Saturday, October 09, 2010

ZEITKRATZER CD












You may or may not be familiar with my obsessive attention to particular detail. A pedantry that verges on the pathological at times, and a direct and regular cause of an often bad case of insomnia. Just as a girl knows stocking seams not regimentally straight right up to the mandatory keyholes will earn her a deservedly sound thrashing, for me the thought of leaving even the tiniest orthographical error is mortifying.

In fact, on two separate occasions now, at vast personal expense, entire Susan Lawly CD booklet runs each had to be recalled and reprinted owing to a single ridiculously minor typo; always for the simple reason that, even if not a single person ever noticed, I couldn't comfortably live with myself knowing they were thus flawed.

And thus my heart sank when the new Zeitkratzer Whitehouse CDs arrived. Already bewildered by the band's bizarre choice of cover illustration, like a rabid proofreader, I came upon not only flagrantly insignificant punctuation and spelling mistakes in the booklet's accompanying text's English translation, but also factual errors. Oh, and a font that looks suspiciously like the dreaded Helvetica. Damn.

Despite all that, and some rather indiscreet revelations from our preparatory conversations on his part, ZK's genial main man Reinhold Friedl writes a lot of very kind things in the text, for which I'm grateful; and it has to be said what counts most, the music itself, sounds fantastic, clear and abrasive. It was, I repeat, an amazingly pleasurable experience to work with such incredibly talented musicians there in Marseille; this release is a great testament to their brilliant and thrilling performance.

I'll send a complimentary copy of the album to the first person who correctly identifies the original albums of the songs Nzambi Ia Lufua and Scapegoat in the comments section.

13 comments:

Brian Lavelle said...

Is it Asceticists and Cruise?

I share your pain about typos too.

William Bennett said...

you win, Brian :-) please email me your address so I can ship a copy out to you

x said...

i must that i felt a little confused by the image of the cover i saw when i listened to samples on amazon; the music, however, sounds extraordinary, and i am looking forward to hearing it in entirety.

x said...

i must SAY...haha. typos...bah.

Sypha said...

What is that on the cover anyway? The picture is so tiny I can't really make it out.

hOU said...

When will this reach us mere mortals?

hOU said...

And would you elaborate on the origins of the word Zeitkratzer?

My Frau, a language snob, replied: Made up name :)

William Bennett said...

Sypha, some kind of racing car?

hOU, official release date stated in Wire is October 22nd, there'll also be some copies available from Susan Lawly; I have no idea what the name means ;-)

Thomas Bey William Bailey said...

I believe "Zeitkratzer" is a kind of neologism formed out of "Zeit" [time] and "Krazter" ['scratcher,' 'scraper,' or some such]...so, maybe a "timescraper" as opposed to a "skyscraper."

I'm pretty sure the group intends it to be open to multiple interpretations, since I haven't read any 'official' explanation in their various manifestoes.

Am also puzzled by the race car on the front. I doubt ZK put it there to make some silly allusion to other things that are "loud" besides Whitehouse music. Maybe a reference to "start the engine, let's go..."

WCrap said...

apart from the mentioned meanings for Zeitkratzer, the word 'kratzer' is also used for a scratch you have on your skin (or your car etc), so 'zeitkratzer' can also mean a scratch caused by time, if this makes sense.

a good place to buy zeitkratzer titles is the tochnit aleph / rumpsti pumsti (musik) mailorder & shop in berlin. the new titles (whitehouse & alvin lucier) are already listed.

Alan.. said...

From the short clips of this release that I have heard so far it is striking how faithful the Zeitkratzer interpretations are to the original material. Every track is instantly recognisable, even from the short preview clips available on Amazon.

Hearing these recordings, without the privilege of seeing the musicians at work, leaves me wondering how on earth did they did that.

Very much looking forward to hearing the full release.

Peter Wullen said...

I think it's a brilliant cd! It has some wonderfull moments like the shrieking trombone on 'Munkisi munkondi'. I wrote a rave review about it for www.cuttingedge.be and on my blogspot www.peterwullen.blogspot.com. The cover of a racecar? If you look in the inside sleeve you see the same image. Zeitkratzer is like a negative to the music of Whitehouse. That's what it is!

Seth Tisue said...

"The precision in [Bennett's] thinking is not so surprising when one considers his previous background as an international chess player."