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Magyar Posse - We Will Carry You Over The Mountains CD (album) cover


Magyar Posse


Post Rock/Math rock

3.78 | 39 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars The first album by Finland's Magyar Posse (named after a cheap local wine, or so I'm told) announced the arrival of a promising new band: yet another gem from northern latitudes. Their style was always a little too unique for the Post Rock pigeonhole, resembling instead a series of atmospheric, ersatz film score instrumentals, but with a melancholy Krautrock vibe.

The group was still a quartet at the time, and hadn't yet patented the edgy, angular rhythms that would later define their 2006 studio swan song "Random Avenger", arguably the peak effort of a sadly abbreviated career. Missing too was the evocative violin of Sandra Mahlamäki, not yet drafted into the posse, although the musical saw wielded by producer Sami Sänpäkkilä added an appropriate spell to the song "Witchcraft".

The sound of the album is simplicity itself, but with a gray sub-arctic moodiness, like a children's fairy tale gone awry. The bittersweet chords and haunting, hypnotic melodies (with colorful titles like "Singlesparks are Spectral Fires") are equally introspective and aggressive, if sometimes a little too homogenous. Brian Eno may believe that "repetition is a form of change" (quoting from his deck of Oblique Strategies), but the lockstep unison of a song like "The Endless Cycle of Violence" needed a better payoff after six long minutes of escalating monochrome tension.

The intermittent motorik beat recalls the momentum of classic NEU! (more accurately, the secondhand facsimile of bands like Stereolab), almost verbatim in the album closer "Lufthan". Magyar Posse may have been driving a similar highway, but the detours they took were more intuitive, and no less inviting despite the occasional cul-de-sac. Like the road films of kindred Finn Aki Kaurismäki, it's more about the journey than the ultimate destination.

Neu!mann | 3/5 |


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