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Magical Power Mako - Super record CD (album) cover


Magical Power Mako


Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.68 | 24 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars The music of Magical Power Mako never crossed my radar until I stumbled across his 1995 album "Lo Pop Diamonds" in my local library (in suburban Buffalo, of all places) and later discovered he was a featured artist in these Archives. That first encounter proved a less than ideal entry into the alternate universe of MPM, elsewhere known as Makoto Kurita when he isn't hiding in his bedroom studio, conjuring his Magical Power.

Thankfully this 1975 effort is something else entirely. And by "something else" I mean an almost uncanny funhouse-mirror reflection of his Western role models: something not uncommon in post- war Japan but elevated here to its creative zenith, where simple translation becomes original mutation. A blind headphone test would leave me convinced I was hearing a long-lost, early '70s Krautrock LP, instead of a home recording by a reclusive Japanese teenager with a tacky fringe haircut and a near-visionary understanding of his own interior cosmos.

The album was recorded over a period of several years, and the music is (literally) all over the map, from backwoods Azerbaijan to rural Switzerland to beyond the Andromeda Galaxy...everywhere, apparently, except his native Japan. But Mako's controls were set mainly for the heart of counterculture Germany. The album opener "Andromeda" reveals a kinship with Manuel Göttsching and ASH RA TEMPEL; the musical caravan of "Silk Road" carries echoes of Michael Karoli and CAN (in its strummed baglama and laser-beam electric guitars); and in "Pink Butch (LaLaLa)" the subtitle conveniently spells out the song's entire lyrical content, breathlessly sung in the style of a narcoleptic Klaus Dinger.

The latter half of the album alternates even more eclectic detours - medieval Normandy in "Majorica Resistance Song"; a child's nursery in "Rock Baby in Meadow" - with pieces of a split interlude titled "Sound 3", divided into five parts but totaling under four-minutes in combined length. Separating the tracks this way only increases the album's overall sense of stylistic dislocation, appropriate for an artist described by psychedelic fanboy and "Japrocksampler" author Julian Cope as a "musical hermit".

After first hearing the skewed tinker-toy electropop of "Lo Pop Diamonds" (worth at least one spin, for the unexpected novelty) I was relieved, and more than a little thrilled, to be reminded that there are still magicians among us, weaving their powerful spells.

Neu!mann | 4/5 |


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