la! NEU?
Cha Cha 2000 - Live in Tokyo

Released 1998 on Captain Trip
Reviewed by john, 01/05/2000ce

This recorded document of la! NEU? live from '96 starts innocently enough, with a mischivious Klaus Dinger asking the audience, "Would you like some Cha Cha?" But then we are off on the most self-indulgent Dinger trip of all time, (and I mean this in the very best way) a one hour 45 minute version of Cha Cha 2000 spread across two discs. Sounds like too much of a good thing? Fear not, because as an acid-fried friend once told me, "music is time travel" and this particular album proves that saying to be true like no other album I own. Not only is DInger a master musician, but he is also a master priest, practicing the high-flowing magick of time manipualtion and tranced-out bliss. On the "Blue" album DInger talks about his wish to create a type of music which will smash the military industrial complex and create paradise on earth, much like the famous Iggy Pop quote of 'wanting to swallow all misery whole.' Well,on Cha Cha 2000, Dinger and co succede.
But this isn't just Dinger's trip. la! NEU? is a band, and besides KD, the band's greatest asset is the singer Viktoria W, who sings like a woman possessed, a pychic medium channeling deomons and angels, sometimes at the same time. She sings in English, French, German, and a kind of universal mother tongue, all quite effectively. Imagine a female Damo Suzuki, and you'd be close. (Although I like Viktoria better than Damo...) Another asset is their piano player Rembrandt, who mostly plays one note, over and over! But that note acts as a pulse, going along with the steady metronomic drumming to anchor the listener as they are dragged through a cross-cultural pychedelic masterpiece.
Despite being one song, Cha Cha 2000 is quite varied, and very different from previously recorded versions. It builds and falls, only to build again. At times the intensity is so great that the listener feels like they are having an acid flashback, with all of their emotions released in a tidal wave of sound, reducing them to a crying happy mess. On other times, the song breaks down completely, either on purpose or because the band makes a mistake. But Dinger is a true believer of the moment and he knows that sometimes the mistakes are just as important as the times they get it right, and it is this sheer im-balance between ragged glory and raged failure which makes this album so compelling.
Cha Cha 2000 ends in a big sonic feedback frenzy. Once I was giving a girl head while this album was playing, and her orgasm coincided with the aural orgasm at the end of this song. Talk about transedental bliss! Dinger is my favorite Rock Star of all time, and Cha Cha 2000 - live in Tokyo ranks as a milestone in his career.

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