Special Interest

GENERAL SOUND DISCUSSION => GENERAL SOUND DISCUSSION => Topic started by: Marko-V on May 27, 2014, 08:41:15 PM



Title: Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music - genius work or complete trash?
Post by: Marko-V on May 27, 2014, 08:41:15 PM
Tried to search if there is topic of Lou Reed's MMM, but did not find any... point me to the right direction if I'm mistaken.

Just wanted to know what do you think of MMM? Is it just some amphetamine-ridden mishmash of feedback, a joke or entertaining piece ort sound art? I find it quite hard to listen to at one sit, and every time I try... I keep questioning myself, why bother? But... still there must be some strange fascination in it because I own CD, remastered vinyl and DVD editions of MMM and haven't regretted buying them.


Title: Re: Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music - genius work or complete trash?
Post by: HongKongGoolagong on May 27, 2014, 09:54:35 PM
Love the record, it's untamed harsh noise and its extremity must certainly have had a major influence on the nascent Throbbing Gristle who were fans at the time and therefore on the whole Industrial genre.

The theory that it was a prank is misguided - I think Lou Reed was trying to prove that he could make sonic experimentation just like John Cale was known for before the Velvets, as he was coming off a run of over-commercial releases. Of course his drug habits of the era add a certain crazy attitude to the work exemplified by the weird sleevenotes, 'for those for whom the needle is no more than a toothbrush, my week beats your year' etc.

If you can take a long Merzbow or Hijokaidan release, MMM is easy.


Title: Re: Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music - genius work or complete trash?
Post by: Zeno Marx on May 27, 2014, 10:08:50 PM
I thought it was to fulfill his record deal contract so he could move to another label.  TVU was always influenced by his contemporary NY minimalists.  For whatever reason(s) he made the album, it wasn't out of left field.

Genius work.  It's on a couple of my recommendation lists.  I'm sorry I didn't hear it sooner.  It would have been handy to find around the same time I heard Ummagumma.  I wonder how I would have heard it then.  I wonder how it could have added, or subtracted, from that part of my own musical history.


Title: Re: Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music - genius work or complete trash?
Post by: tiny_tove on May 27, 2014, 10:17:02 PM
Essential. Not an easy bit, but considering the time and who released it it adds even more appeal.


Title: Re: Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music - genius work or complete trash?
Post by: Andrew McIntosh on May 28, 2014, 12:20:37 AM
Read a Reed biography which shows spent a long time justifying this release to his critics and the public. Something to do with taking heroin and listening to it. Then it became a bit of an embarrassment for him when he went totally commercial ("My Red Joystick"), then became something he could flog again in some thirtieth-anniversary issue or something, at a time when it was less of an embarrassment. 

I dig it - it's certainly not trash. Never had a proper copy, a friend taped it for me (I imagine he must have avoided listening to the damn thing). Certainly ahead of its time in terms of Harsh Noise, although compared with the latter Japanese masters it's fairly sedate.

How far away was it from the sort of thing "the Velvets" did live? I'm given to believe they were quite intense in a live situation, often getting into louder, harsher noise if the mood hit them.


Title: Re: Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music - genius work or complete trash?
Post by: Tommy Carlsson on May 28, 2014, 02:05:26 AM
Yeah, I have nothing to add really... who thinks it's trash?

And if you dig MMM, you probably also dig this -- ironically the only non-Lou penned VU track that I can think of!

VU Loop, ESSENTIAL listening
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7y8fyIVhqXI


Title: Re: Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music - genius work or complete trash?
Post by: Zeno Marx on May 28, 2014, 02:24:54 AM
How far away was it from the sort of thing "the Velvets" did live? I'm given to believe they were quite intense in a live situation, often getting into louder, harsher noise if the mood hit them.
I'm trying to remember if any of the boots I've heard get beyond moments of unsustained dissonance.  I'm almost certain they never got as bold as the Grateful Dead did with what is known as their Feedback track on live recordings (which is very much like we now know as noise).  TVU was more about repetition built into quasi-meditation and something you could remotely call a drone vibe (not drone, but akin to the minimalists) ala "Sister Ray".  They got noisy in a rock sense, but not so much in an experimental sense.  They would hit a blast of noise or dissonance to break into "Sister Ray", but it wasn't a long prelude.  I should probably go back and re-listen to a couple recordings before I stand behind any of this.


Title: Re: Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music - genius work or complete trash?
Post by: Andrew McIntosh on May 28, 2014, 07:16:06 AM
It's very likely I've got my stories mixed up. I do recall reading, in a Pink Floyd concert program I found at a friend's house, that PF apparently played student parties in their early days where they would layer feedback blatantly. Perhaps I was thinking of something like that.


Title: Re: Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music - genius work or complete trash?
Post by: WCrap on May 28, 2014, 09:04:40 AM
i am very fond of the Zeitkratzer version of MMM

http://www.discogs.com/Zeitkratzer-And-Lou-Reed-Metal-Machine-Music/release/1119902

when Zeitkratzer approached Loud Reed with the idea to transcribe the piece for a classical ensemble he said that they are mad and that it is impossible. but they did it with great success.


Title: Re: Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music - genius work or complete trash?
Post by: Zeno Marx on May 28, 2014, 05:12:29 PM
It's very likely I've got my stories mixed up. I do recall reading, in a Pink Floyd concert program I found at a friend's house, that PF apparently played student parties in their early days where they would layer feedback blatantly. Perhaps I was thinking of something like that.
There are many PF live recordings.  If they did anything like that, I would think you could find examples of it.


Title: Re: Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music - genius work or complete trash?
Post by: vargrwulf on May 29, 2014, 07:46:11 AM
The last time that I went out to a bar I was astounded to see this record on the jukebox.
I played just the first track. It took at least ten minutes before they finally turned it off.


Title: Re: Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music - genius work or complete trash?
Post by: RyanWreck on May 29, 2014, 04:36:38 PM
The last time that I went out to a bar I was astounded to see this record on the jukebox.
I played just the first track. It took at least ten minutes before they finally turned it off.

Wow, that is surprising. Whoever decided on that thinking "this would be great pub music!" must have never heard it before and thinking it's just the same ol' Lou Reed as on other records, or wanted to fuck with people.



Title: Re: Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music - genius work or complete trash?
Post by: Bloated Slutbag on May 29, 2014, 05:06:31 PM
or wanted to fuck with people.

Here's hoping.


Title: Re: Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music - genius work or complete trash?
Post by: Zeno Marx on May 29, 2014, 05:15:29 PM
I hadn't heard this until today.

"In December 1966, Warhol and David Dalton designed Issue 3 of the multimedia Aspen.  Included in this issue of the magazine, which retailed at $4 per copy and was packaged in a hinged box designed to look like Fab laundry detergent, were various leaflets and booklets, one of which was a commentary on rock and roll by Lou Reed, another an EPI promotional newspaper. Also enclosed was a 2-sided flexi disk, side one produced by Peter Walker, a musical associate of Timothy Leary, and side two titled 'Loop', credited to the Velvet Underground but actually recorded by Cale alone. 'Loop', a recording solely of pulsating audio feedback culminating in a locked groove, was 'a precursor to [Reed's] Metal Machine Music, say Velvets archivists M.C. Kostek and Phil Milstein in the book, The Velvet Underground Companion. 'Loop' also predates much industrial music as well. More significantly, from a retail standpoint, 'Loop' was the group's first commercially available recording as the Velvet Underground."


Title: Re: Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music - genius work or complete trash?
Post by: ImpulsyStetoskopu on May 29, 2014, 05:27:54 PM
I hadn't heard this until today.

"In December 1966, Warhol and David Dalton designed Issue 3 of the multimedia Aspen.  Included in this issue of the magazine, which retailed at $4 per copy and was packaged in a hinged box designed to look like Fab laundry detergent, were various leaflets and booklets, one of which was a commentary on rock and roll by Lou Reed, another an EPI promotional newspaper. Also enclosed was a 2-sided flexi disk, side one produced by Peter Walker, a musical associate of Timothy Leary, and side two titled 'Loop', credited to the Velvet Underground but actually recorded by Cale alone. 'Loop', a recording solely of pulsating audio feedback culminating in a locked groove, was 'a precursor to [Reed's] Metal Machine Music, say Velvets archivists M.C. Kostek and Phil Milstein in the book, The Velvet Underground Companion. 'Loop' also predates much industrial music as well. More significantly, from a retail standpoint, 'Loop' was the group's first commercially available recording as the Velvet Underground."

Many recordings from this period are here: http://www.discogs.com/John-Cale-New-York-In-The-1960s/release/725082
There is 3 x CD box too. Highly recommended! Pre-noise industrial materials!


Title: Re: Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music - genius work or complete trash?
Post by: F_c_O on May 29, 2014, 07:55:22 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7y8fyIVhqXI

On the electronic front, there's the free-wheeling manipulation of dials in control rooms; sub-sonic sounds that you feel, not hear; machine noises; feedback; tape echo; anything!

Had to search for that loop. I certainly enjoy this.

Description stolen from here: http://www.ubu.com/aspen/aspen3/index.html


Title: Re: Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music - genius work or complete trash?
Post by: Marko-V on May 30, 2014, 07:30:32 PM
Here's what Lou said in interview in 2007:
"The myth-- depends on how you look at it, but the myth is sort of better than the truth. The myth is that I made it to get out of a recording contract. OK, but the truth is that I wouldn't do that, because I wouldn't want you to buy a record that I didn't really like, that I was just trying to do a legal thing with. I wouldn't do something like that. The truth is that I really, really, really loved it. I was in a position where I could have it come out. I just didn't want it to come out and have the audience think it was more rock songs. It was only on the market for three weeks anyway. Then they took it away."

Also a rip off from The Rough Guide to Velvet Underground:
"Mastering engineer Bob Ludwig confirmed in 1997 that Lou was extremely interested in every detail of it, and that it be just right. There was never a hint that this was anything that he wasn't 100% serious about."

Haven't heard that Zeitkratzer version yet, but they did a fine job with Whitehouse material.

I've heard way too many Velvet Underground bootlegs and those early live jams never really scratch my noise nerve. Instead I love to listen to a guitar amp tape from Boston Tea Party. Recording is so overdriven that it almost qualifies as a good early example of guitar noise rock.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofGVisFjwEM


Title: Re: Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music - genius work or complete trash?
Post by: Andrew McIntosh on May 31, 2014, 05:31:42 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvknzHWyfi8 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvknzHWyfi8)


Title: Re: Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music - genius work or complete trash?
Post by: ANDROPHILIA on May 31, 2014, 08:02:59 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvknzHWyfi8 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvknzHWyfi8)

more conceptual than MMM

nice


Title: Re: Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music - genius work or complete trash?
Post by: Marko-V on June 07, 2014, 12:32:36 PM
Did he ever perform MMM live back in the 70's??? I have one Lou Reed bootleg where is some form of MMM impro piece (at least it is titled so) as the last track but it sounds more like some show ending free form guitar wankery than a real MMM piece.


Title: Re: Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music - genius work or complete trash?
Post by: tinnitustimulus on June 11, 2014, 06:21:44 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwZ9B0c6Z4I (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwZ9B0c6Z4I)
More than certain this is from the eighties, heck, they probably dubbed the record in the audio, but maybe not in the beginning.

I believe that loop recording is big apple express on the cale boxset on TOE which ends in his next door neighbors screaming at him to stop.


Title: Re: Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music - genius work or complete trash?
Post by: Marko-V on June 11, 2014, 11:38:37 AM
Here is what the video really sounds:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtF_tFDQGKY

Bloody hilarious that someone dubbed it.