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Magma - Live/Hhaï (Köhntark) CD (album) cover

LIVE/HHAÏ (KÖHNTARK)

Magma

 

Zeuhl

4.44 | 170 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars 4.5 stars. I agree that this is their most Fusion sounding release. I have never heard so much violin either on a MAGMA record. There are times when Didier Lockwood makes his violin sound like a guitar, no i'm not kidding. He's all over this album though, while Vander and Pagnotti supply the ingredients for a formidable rhythm section. Widemann on keys, and Blasquiz and Stella on vocals are the main players on this live document. They introduce three new songs on this double live record, while they play one from their debut, and two each from their "MDK" & "Kohntarkosz" albums.

It's cool to hear "Kohntark" parts one and two played right after one another to open the proceedings. I'm not sure why there is a gap of silence between the two though. That is disappointing. Anyway, after a dramatic intro to part one the song settles down 1 1/2 minutes in. The main melody arrives 3 minutes in and I like it a lot. Vocals, drums and violin lead the way.The tension builds up to the 6 minute mark when the song changes. Check out the drumming after 8 minutes. Screaming violin after 13 minutes,but the main melody of female vocal melodies and drums is fairly mellow. It ends before 15 minutes as a pastoral climate arrives that continues into part two of this "Kohntark" track. Yes it is interupted first by a gap of silence. Violin comes in early and later after 4 minutes as the instrumental work and vocals build to a frenzy. We're are cooking 7 minutes in with a good rhythm that includes relentless bass and drums while the violin is shredding. 9 1/2 minutes in the crowd bursts into applause I believe for Lockwood's amazing violin work. What a frantic conclusion to this 32 minutes of "Kohntark". The first disc ends with "Emehnteht-Re (Announcement)" a new song. It opens with solemn sounding vocal melodies which aren't a highlight. Violin joins in 2 minutes in. It all stops as spoken words follow. We then get a long instrumental section to the end of the song that is reserved.

Disc two opens with a new song called "Hhai". It begins with reserved vocal melodies that become quite powerful. They stop 3 minutes in as instrumental work gets louder. Some great bass, violin and drums follow before vocals return 6 1/2 minutes in. Paganotti just kills on this one. A very powerful sound to end the song. "Kobah" apparently was spelled wrong as it's the title track from their first album called "Kobaia". This one is jazzy sounding with vocals. A very catchy tune with organ and guitar making rare appearances. It's hard not to move to this song. "Lihns" is another new track. This has a tranquil, laid back soundscape with vocals including Stella later on. Electric piano and drums stand out instrumentally. The last two songs are from "MDK". "Da Zeuhl Wortz Mekanik" opens with prominant male vocals before being joined by other vocals. Drums pound away as violin plays over top. Tempo changes early before the song settles into a groove. Guitar melodies are competing not only with the violin, but the relentless rhythm with vocals. This is great ! Some fat bass before 4 minutes. Screaming violin before the song ends with some strong vocals from Blasquiz. "Mekanik Zain" is the 18 minute finale. Check out Pagnotti making his bass make unheard of sounds. The beginning is quite experimental with lots of atmosphere to follow. A melody arrives after 3 minutes. And it sounds fantastic ! The violin starts to grind it out as bass, drums and keys provide the rhythm. The violin is amazing in this frenzied soundscape. A change comes in before 12 minutes as an uptempo melody with vocals arrives. Violin is back after 16 minutes. Lockwood gets another loud applause from the crowd during this track.

I don't think I have ever given 5 stars to a double album before. It's too difficult to have that much material that is worthy of a five star rating. Highly recommended anyway as MAGMA brings down the house on this one.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |

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