MMM +1/MMM, 2019
performance, vinyl record and cast, 64 mins
When recording Metal Machine Music Lou Reed trod the line between Rock and Roll Star and Serious Artist, a leather clad, makeup wearing junkie versus introverted singer/songwriter it’s nigh impossible to be both, he said, you have to be one or the other, in which case the other camp dismisses you. Metal Machine Music is between categories and comes between listeners. It’s a crazy gap album, falling between Lou Reed:Live and Coney Island Baby, neither of which bare any resemblance to MMM. It’s the least listened to, most talked about album of all time. Each side of the double album consists of a single track lasting around 16 minutes, giving a total listening time of some 64 minutes. CDs weren’t around in 1975, anyone wishing to listen to the entire album had to take time to change from Side A to Side B to Side C to Side D. It’s been a nagging interest of mine, how the break necessary for changing a record inadvertently affects the listener’s experience.
Here’s the scenario; you’ve listened to near on 16 minutes of howling feedback hell and then suddenly and without warning it ceases. There is silence, a kind of silence. Maybe you had your eyes closed, you open them. You get up from your comfortable seat and move to the record player. You pick up the stylus and place it in its holder. You then pick up the record, flip it over and replace the stylus at the start of the record. You sit back dow again and close your eyes. All of that’s gotta count for something within the concept of the album as a whole. Surely! Prospectively DJing MMM in its entirety, I sought a resolve for what goes on in between one side of th album and another. A collective resolve. What is outside of MMM is not MMM, so I chose to make a negative cast of a side of MMM and play this as a transition between one side and another.