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Holger Czukay - Czukay & U-She: The New Millennium CD (album) cover

CZUKAY & U-SHE: THE NEW MILLENNIUM

Holger Czukay

 

Krautrock

3.24 | 8 ratings

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Lewian
4 stars For me this is the best one out of the three collaborations of Holger Czukay and U-She. It is the least meditative, though, with some fast techno beats and some dazzling cascades of notes that you wouldn't normally expect from a grey-haired veteran like Czukay... actually you wouldn't expect them from anybody, so adventurous and fresh is this. Some of this has dancefloor qualities, although you'd need a pretty unusual crowd there for this to work. In any case, this may be Holger's most physical music.

There are still some of Holger's trademark slow and deep soundscapes in this, but usually they come with some nervous electric rhythm. U-She's singing is fine in most places here; in "Cinderella" and "Supernova" both her and Holger's voice can be heard, making for a fascinating contrast (actually I think these are my favourite occurrences of Holger's voice in all his work - he sounds like a true sorcerer here). These are my two favourites. A number of songs are longer than what you find on "Time and Tide" and "21st Century", and this suits the album well. There is more development and ideas are played out with more patience.

In some respects this is quite accessible, particularly through some of the rhythms and digital riffs that carry some of the songs. On the other hand, those who'd like to have traditional drums, bass, guitars or even traditional song structures should stay away.

Interestingly, the title song "New Millenium" was tried out as a single and I saw Holger and U-She performing this on mainstream German TV (Harald Schmidt Show). Something is not quite right with this song, though. Although the melody (particularly the main keyboard motif) is nice and could work well in principle, the song has by far the worst sound on the album with some very cheesy synthesizer chords, and U-She, uncharacteristically, seems to have some difficulties synchronizing properly with the syndrums, which Holger may have played manually and which are perhaps even on purpose pedestrian and imprecise (or precisely subverting what they should have been for a normal listener; totally opposed to most of the rest of the album, which is very sharp). For me this is the song I like the least; funny that they put some effort into selling this of them all to the general public. It actually may be just one more example of Holger's strange humour, from which there is no hiding in his work generally, but if you just want to immerse yourself in the music from beginning to end, this is something of an annoyance.

Anyway, if you're not scared off by the lack of good old natural instruments, check this out!

Lewian | 4/5 |

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