Lou Reed's 1975 album Metal Machine Music may well be the most polarizing album ever released by a major rock artist. An hour-long atonal sound collage constructed from distortion and guitar feedback, Metal Machine Music horrified many listeners who were unprepared for its sonic assault when it was first released, though years later a generation of noise rock artists and experimental musicians were guided by its influence and originality. Zeitkratzer is a German avant-garde ensemble who not only loved and appreciated Metal Machine Music; they took the bold step of attempting to re-create it on-stage with strings, woodwinds, and guitars, breaking down the layers of noise into an orchestration that could be played by the group. Lou Reed gave the project his blessing, and even performed with Zeitkratzer in Europe. Metal Machine Music: First Full Instrumental Version is a later interpretation of their MMM adaptation, and if this performance is more subtle and less ear-shattering that Reed's original, it does reveal just how richly detailed a work it truly is, and charts the internal logic of a long-form piece that is more than just a mass of electronic noise.
AllMusic Review by Mark Deming