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

CZUKAY & U-SHE: THE NEW MILLENNIUM

Holger Czukay

Krautrock


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snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Holger Czukay, legend and co-founder of Can, is known for years by his experiments with electronic music, rhythms,atmospheres and world music. This album is quite accessible example of intelligent electronics with vocals.

All album's atmosphere is very airy,spacey and ambient. Holger plays all instruments himself, and it's obviously different electronic devices. Usually I hate drum machines, but there is a rare example when electronic drumming is so complex and interesting, that it doesn't destroy music, even opposite - in big part this music is based on spacey,complex electronic rhythms. Possibly, the reason is Holger uses rhythms as jazz musician, playing with sounds.

The only other artist presented on this album is singer U-She. Her vocals are influenced by Mother Gong, Bjork and Nico between others. Dreamy,psychedelic,spacey,freaky - all in one.

All album sounds similar to Bjork most electronic works, but with more experimental using of electronic rhythms and minimalistic sound. Really interesting work for fans of accessible experimental electronics,IDM, intellectual trip-hop,etc.

Report this review (#305719)
Posted Wednesday, October 20, 2010 | Review Permalink
admireArt
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars If all nightlife music were like this!

Holger Czukay's, 2003, album "The New Millennium (with U-She)", had the luck of appearing in PA, due to Czukay's pioneering in the early Krautrock scene (co-founder of CAN). But most of these songs fit the electronic dance floor scene rather than the average prog/electronics's or Krautrock's audiophile expectations, less the other 90% of the Prog's bunch!

But I myself am glad because it is so un-prog, yet experimental and intelligent all the way through. And mainly because this kind of techno-trance/dance, electronic music found its way on such a "sacred Prog land" !

Anyway, the songwriting besides being in its majority danceable, does not subdue itself to be or become "mainstream". The experimental and humorous Krautrock tones, save each song of becoming a self-parody of the dance floor scene or the 80's one. Opposite to that, it becomes the kind of "perfect world" nightlife music for "lost" proggers.

The real deal is having taken the best of the 80's sexy dance sounds (U-She's vocals take care of this), bringing them to the 21st century's refinement, transmuting them into something less cliched and fresher, and adding really cool contemporary experimental dance/trance-electronics and stylings, and still be intelligent in its songwriting and never condescending to its own roots.

Going by the book ***3 PA stars, but I am gonna keep this one!

Report this review (#1252916)
Posted Sunday, August 17, 2014 | Review Permalink
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!

Report this review (#1451468)
Posted Tuesday, August 11, 2015 | Review Permalink

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