Bunch Of Fives: Metal Machine Music | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Electronic artist, film score composer and ‘zine maker, Metal Machine Music, or Roz as he is known to his friends, drops his first new release in a while. Double A-side Lucifuge Rofocale/E Orgasm (Holy Mountain) was recorded in his home studio (aka Voodoo Towers). 

E Orgasm (Holy Mountain), which is a homage to Alejandro Jodorowsky’s film Holy Mountain from 1973, has a dark cyberpunk groove and ambient samples combined with much brighter-sounding eighties cop-movie-esque keys and the occasional punchy vocal hook. Lucifuge Rofocale is reminiscent of Gorillaz but with a more psychedelic approach and comes complete with lo-fi vocals, shuffling rhythms and swirling instrumentation.  Both tracks make for an intriguing and rather moreish listen.

We find out about Metal Machine Music’s favourite albums via a bunch of fives…

Nirvana’s debut album kicks arse from start to finish. Everything about it, both musically and lyrically is stellar. Obviously, it’s very raw, but the album also has strong pop sensibilities. Kurt’s scream on this album can’t be beaten. It’s the best scream ever, it’s blood-curdling. Cobain’s guitar work is sometimes overlooked but he is one of the best guitarists of all time, an amazing riff-maker and soloist. 

A Syd Barrett gem. Incredibly melodic and hypnotic with some very effective vocal harmonies between Barrett and Rick Wright. This album was recorded right next door to The Beatles while they were recording Sergeant Pepper and this album is far, far better. Yeah, a lot of the lyrics are whimsical but in terms of experimentation with sound and the way it deviates from the way music was ‘meant’ or required to sound in the mid 60’s it was revolutionary. 

The best album of all time. Truly perfect. It’s baroque, dark, poppy, lyrically amazing and can’t be topped. It’s the band at their peak. Three-part vocal harmonies mixed with angular guitars, out of this world synths and Hammond Organ from the master Dave Greenfield (RIP) and insane bass runs from J.J Burnel, all held together by the rock solid and masterful drumming of Jet Black (Also RIP.) 

An esoteric, yet very prosaic album by the fab four from Dusseldorf. When you contemplate that this album is from 1975 it’s actually quite mind-blowing. Don’t get me wrong, there was a lot of electronic music around at the time other than Kraftwerk but their conversion of rhythm boxes into drum machines that could actually be played on stage and manipulated in real time is so far out. Their pop sound was starting to form on the preceding album ‘Autobahn’ but Radioactivitat heralds the dawn of some insanely catchy music that would regularly get into the charts, yet which was always groundbreaking. 

The perfect mood album. I used to rinse this all the time back in my drug-infused youth, it was euphoria encapsulated. It still has the same effect when I listen to it these days. It’s a very strong album bereft of any filler, melancholia juxtaposed with joy. Being a massive fan of vintage keyboards this album is a doozy as it features some of my favourites – Wurlitzer, Rhodes, Solina Strings and Korg Ms-20, mixed with live bass it creates a majestic vibe. I saw Air live in 2004 (when they were still good) and to quote Alex from A Clockwork Orange “ Oh bliss! Bliss and heaven! Oh, it was gorgeousness and gorgeousity made flesh. It was like a bird of rarest-spun heaven metal or like silvery wine flowing in a spaceship, gravity all nonsense now. As I slooshied, I knew such lovely pictures!”.

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