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Magma - Üdü Ẁüdü CD (album) cover





3.76 | 396 ratings

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3 stars This is understandingly disappointing following "Kohntarkosz" and it is not another chapter in that saga, but rather in Jannick Top's own "Ork" mythology. Still, it's great fun.

There's a strong fusion/worldbeatesque presence about the opener, but it vanishes just as quickly, leaving side one as the proud owner of much rushed zeuhl-rock. It's of a good quality, but this is the realm of Magma imitators and not the legend themselves. For the first time in a Magma composition anticipation does not build and the music lacks a certain sense of importance. Perhaps I'm reading too much into side one - a listener with fresh ears would not be biased towards Magma's more epic statements and should be willing to enjoy this more. "Weidorje" is moody and fluid but would have served better as a bridge between two other parts of an extended song - on its own it does not herald anything special. The Ghost Dances are much the same, one amusingly reminiscent of the style used in the theme music of shows like "Mission Impossible", "The Avengers" and so forth - great incidental pieces of small importance. It's a shame that all these ideas weren't woven together with the usual orchestral subtlety.

Side two has a little more eccentric substance to it, being entirely composed of Top's masterpiece, "De Futura", and yes, it's a rhythm section showcase with a pulsing electric heart. Vander gets to re-establish himself a little here, after the straitjacket of the bite-size songs on the flipside. What's important is that the trademark Magma menace is foremost in the music, and that change flows through it - when I think of zeuhl, it's the insidiously metamorphic nature of early Magma that seems definitive, and although De Futura dispenses with the lighter tones of the palette - choirs, electric keys and wind instruments are all absent, replaced with Top's Troll vocals and a layer of dusty distortion - the song's flow is correct and certainly suited to being their "last great" song for quite a long time.

People often recommend Udu Wudu as a good starting point and that's fine - if you like De Futura's style, then you should move backwards through Magma's discography rather than touching on Attahk or Merci, two lesser works.

laplace | 3/5 |


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