Zeitkratzer - Whitehouse Electronics [Zeitkratzer Records - 2010]“Whitehouse Electronics” finds a selection of tracks by the infamous Power electronics project being re-interpreted by avant-grade and noisy German chamber orchestra Zeitkratzer. I guess the idea of any noise projects work been re-done by a chamber orchestra is somehow bizarre and unbelievable, but Zeitkratzer have often tattled very noisy works like Lou Reed's Metal Machine music in the past. And if you think about it the often shifting ‘n’ shrieking tonalities of Whitehouse’s work is prime for chamber re-interpretation.
On offer here are six tracks taken from three of the following more modern and fairly recent Whitehouse albums: Cruise( 2001), Birdseed(2003) and their last album Racket from 2007. The whole album comes in at just over twenty seven minute mark , but what a searing, intense sounding and dissonant near on half an hour ride it is. Zeitkratzer construct the tracks mainly taut, tense, huge and complex sonic shapes from a mixture of: Clarinet, Trumpet, trombone, piano, harp, percussion, violin, violoncello & double bass. The tracks swinging from being huge, nightmarish and bombastically rhythmic, through to grating, alien shrill and brooding, onto angular and high pitched. I guess the nearist sonic comparison is a mixture of Edgard Varèse and his focus on huge/violent timbre and rhythm elements. And Iannis Xenakis sharpe, shrill and angular sonic constructions, but this album still has very much it’s own taut, seared and dramatic feel about it.
All told this is a very rewarding, violent and at times even epic ‘n’ apocalyptic re-taking of the work of one of the key and most influential noise projects of all time. Let’s hope Zeitkratzer & Whitehouse work together again in the future, as they really have managed to add a feeling of violent and malevolent grandeur to the Whitehouse abrasive and seared sound.Roger Batty