Holger Czukay and U-She
The New Millennium CD

It's a rare experience to see a current release refer to the "new" millennium, as all the turn-of-the-millennium-craze had fortunately died away just a few weeks into the year 2000. Why is it then that Can-veteran Holger Czukay has chosen that title? Because, according to Holger himself, "this album would never have fitted into the old millennium".

And it's probably true, for "The New Millennium" is not exactly what Can-fans would have expected - this one is a real highlight of electronic dance music! Holger and vocalist U-She make a perfect pair, not only music-wise - they have been partners in life for quite some time now. On "The New Millennium", U-She has contributed the lyrics and the vocals, while Holger has done all the composing, playing and production work.

All of the nine tracks are very danceable, yet full of variation and surprises. Sometimes the well-known Czukay-sounds are swept to the surface, but at the end of the day this album is packed with fresh and novel ideas, and of course Holger's trademark cynical humour shines through the compositional framework, much to the listener's delight.

Quite some achievement for a man who's 65 years old now and has finally been awarded the German "Echo" trophy for his lifework with avantgarde group Can, a band that has always received much more attention in the UK than in their native country Germany.

Holger continues his musical work in a logical and uncompromising manner, moving away from the ambient soundscapes his former musical partners Brian Eno and David Sylvian indulge in. This change is perfectly illustrated in the opening tune "La Secondaire" with its driving and pulsating rhythm and interspersed African vocal sample. Next is the title track, and, wait a minute - that's almost charts-compatible stuff! Makes me think of the times when Holger shocked the musical world with "Cool In The Pool" - you know, hit follows hit, flop follows flop, and so on...

"Supernova" is my personal favourite: hypnotizing rhythm meets surrealistic German lyrics. I would also recommend listening to "Cinderella" and the remix of "Echogirl" - the latter's original version has been released on the CD "Linear City" (exclusively available via Holger's own record label Dignose - see Weblink below). Some liner notes here: "Linear City" was Holger's (successful) attempt to create a CD with a virtual band whose members had never seen each other, let alone met up - but that is a whole different story.

My advice to fans of Holger's musical work and indeed to everyone with an open ear and mind: listen to the tunes of "The New Millennium" - there is no way you can possibly be disappointed.

(rb 04/MMIII, t&a: rh)
>> Dignose, Holger's Label and Mailorder


Holger's new life after Can