Holger Czukay

The New Millennium

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If anyone can actually be allowed to call an album The New Millennium, Holger Czukay is the one. A man who felt too constrained even within the framework of Can, one of the best avant-garde bands ever, and who kept up his maverick sound-pioneering spirit throughout his subsequent solo albums. But beware -- this guy also has a lot of humor, and on this music's evidence, that title does seem more on the tongue-in-cheek side. No earth-shattering breakthroughs here; the track "Millennium" even sounds pretty reminiscent of the '80s. Often carried along by nervous electronic percussion, these tracks tend to lack Holger Czukay's characteristic gift of melding disparate elements into satisfying compositions. No doubt, as always, he keeps sprinkling lots of ideas throughout the tracks, but only on "Rosebud does everything come together to add stronger melodic sense to the drive of the rhythm. His sound universe however does gain by the vocals of his new partner, U-She. Her lyrical interjections fit his style well, and the resemblance of her voice to Nico is a further asset. Holger Czukay certainly knows a thing or two about sound textures, so, on that level, the album is a treat for the ears as usual, but the content is a bit too aimless and cool this time around. Which, as he has stated, might well be the last time around on a commercially available recording. The last two albums were already only offered through his website. Although he let himself be talked into releasing this album conventionally, for Czukay the Internet remains the place for all things cutting-edge, so for him (no wonder) that definitely is the place to be, whatever further explorations into sound he may yet come up with.

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