Album: Holger Czukay/U-She, ***

The New Millennium, Funfundvierzig
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The Independent Culture

Holger Czukay's latest album is called The New Millennium because, he claims, "it doesn't fit into the old one". Well, I wouldn't go that far: it's pretty much the same type of record he's been making for a couple of decades now, a sort of ethno-ambient-trance-collage affair with, perhaps, a more club-oriented rhythmic sensibility than he employed on pioneering Eighties pre-sampler sample-collage classics such as "Cool in the Pool" and "Persian Love". Unfortunately, instead of sampled snatches of Arabic singing, this time he's allowed U-She to do her weedy impressions of Nico, the novelty of which swiftly wears off. It's fine for the opening "La Secondaire", where her fragmentary French phrases don't detract too much from the trance beat as it mutates into something closer to one of Can's cyclical grooves. But by the second track, "Millennium", an Eighties-style electro-pop exercise, she's begun to outstay her welcome. Which is a shame, because there's plenty to enjoy, from the urgent motorway glide of

Holger Czukay's latest album is called The New Millennium because, he claims, "it doesn't fit into the old one". Well, I wouldn't go that far: it's pretty much the same type of record he's been making for a couple of decades now, a sort of ethno-ambient-trance-collage affair with, perhaps, a more club-oriented rhythmic sensibility than he employed on pioneering Eighties pre-sampler sample-collage classics such as "Cool in the Pool" and "Persian Love". Unfortunately, instead of sampled snatches of Arabic singing, this time he's allowed U-She to do her weedy impressions of Nico, the novelty of which swiftly wears off. It's fine for the opening "La Secondaire", where her fragmentary French phrases don't detract too much from the trance beat as it mutates into something closer to one of Can's cyclical grooves. But by the second track, "Millennium", an Eighties-style electro-pop exercise, she's begun to outstay her welcome. Which is a shame, because there's plenty to enjoy, from the urgent motorway glide of "Supernova" and the loping tribal shuffle of "Echogirl Rmx", to the xylophone and prepared piano drum'n'bass of "Cinderella", barreling busily along like some berserk industrial gamelan. The potential pitfalls of tightly-programmed machine-music are averted by Czukay's characteristic whimsicality, which bubbles through in his weird, off-kilter tone combinations and his penchant for tripping listeners up with loosely-triggered samples. Not bad going, overall, for a 65-year-old weirdo. The baseball cap has got to go, though.

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