“Double Heart” gave ample evidence that Rental could bridge the gap between synth pop and post punk, aligning the pastoral prettiness of Eno’s Another Green World with the scenes of urban decay and despair that characterised PIL or Joy Division. A solo album seemed the next obvious step, and in the months that followed Rental turned his attention to creating some astounding soundscapes with his Wasp synthesizer, a British-made instrument that had a warmer yet more aggresive sound than the Japanese-made Korgs and Yamahas favoured by Depeche Mode and The Human League. [Source]
It’s not that Genesis P-Orridge isn’t capable of the odd moment of beauty. The ballad “New York Story” reminds you where Califone’s Tim Rutili found the prettiest song on his last album; the cut is as liquidly clear and simple as “The Orchids.” Vocals are reverb’d to an unearthly polish and drenched in cynicism: “Life is a vacuum pump / always sucking me dry.” It is so lovely that you float right over shocking imagery. (“Your body is so cold / It’s turning blue / You look so cold / Not human anymore.”) [Source]
Ten minute dark, brooding instrumental with Fritz on bass, Alex on drums, Sam on guitar and Johnny on percussion with a cassette loop of the band chanting a Chinese phrase and Johnny playing clarinet. Recorded at Cabaret Voltaire’s Western Works Studio and Produced by 23 Skidoo, Stephen Mallinder and Ken Thomas for Fetish Records in July 1981. One of the greatest tracks of all time! Enjoy!
On its release, it was reviewed in Rolling Stone magazine as sounding like “the tubular groaning of a galactic refrigerator” and as displeasing to experience as “a night in a bus terminal”. In the 1979 Rolling Stone Record Guide, critic Billy Altman said it was “a two-disc set consisting of nothing more than ear-wrecking electronic sludge, guaranteed to clear any room of humans in record time.” However, the first issue of the seminal New York zine Punk, placed Reed and the album on its inaugural 1976 issue, presaging the advent of both punk and the discordance of the New York No Wave scene. To quote critic Victor Bockris, Reed’s recording can be understood as “the ultimate conceptual punk album and the progenitor of New York punk rock.” The album was ranked number two in the 1991 book The Worst Rock ‘n’ Roll Records of All Time by Jimmy Guterman and Owen O’Donnell. The book gives sympathy to legendary record cutting engineer Bob Ludwig for having to listen to the album in its entirety. (In fact, according to the liner notes of the 2000 reissue of the album, Ludwig was “totally into what Lou was doing” and compared the work to that of avant-garde classical composers Iannis Xenakis and Karlheinz Stockhausen.) In 2005, Q magazine included the album in a list of “Ten Terrible Records by Great Artists”, and it ranked number four in Q’s fifty worst albums of all time list. It was again featured in Q magazine in December 2010 for the “Top Ten Career Suicides” list, where it came eighth overall. The Trouser Press Record Guide referred to it as “four sides of unlistenable oscillator noise,” parenthetically calling that assessment “a description, not a value judgment.” Probably the most sympathetic appraisal of Metal Machine Music was given by rock critic Lester Bangs, who wrote that “as classical music it adds nothing to a genre that may well be depleted. As rock ‘n’ roll it’s interesting garage electronic rock ‘n’ roll. As a statement it’s great, as a giant FUCK YOU it shows integrity—a sick, twisted, dunced-out, malevolent, perverted, psychopathic integrity, but integrity nevertheless.” Bangs later wrote a tongue-in-cheek article on Metal Machine Music titled “The Greatest Album Ever Made”, in which he judged it “the greatest record ever made in the history of the human eardrum.”
In 1983, Adi Newton formed a new version of the band. First releasing the single “High Holy Disco Mass” on the major label Polydor Records under the name DVA, the band then released the album Advantage (with several singles) under the name Clock DVA. After a European tour, however, the band split acrimoniously.