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Magma - K.A CD (album) cover

K.A

Magma

 

Zeuhl

4.28 | 425 ratings

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Shakespeare
4 stars Magma return! An even twenty years divide this release and Magma's previous studio effort, Merci. And a solid six years divide Merci from Magma's last good release, Attahk. Magma fans have gone long without fresh sustenance: but our waiting has paid off. (I say our, but I didn't even acquire my first Magma album until 2007, so I can hardly be considered part of that populace.) Composed around the time as the other Magma masterpieces, K.A is nothing short of utterly flawless, and does not dry up the Magma magic by repeating the tricks from the 70s. The composition is as strong as any Bartˇk, Orff, or Stravinsky symphony, though perhaps a bit less complex than the latter. But just as lingering, if not more.

K÷hntark÷sz Anteria is the second album in the K÷hntark÷sz trilogy. Theusz Hamtaahk is Magma's other mythological trilogy, though it is more popular and somewhat complete. Theusz Hamtaahk is the first movement in the Theusz Hamtaahk trilogy. Live recordings of it are easy to come by (Retrospekt´w I, BBC Londres 1975, Theusz Hamtaahk Trilogie), but never was it done in studio. For that reason, the Theusz Hamtaahk trilogy is not truly complete. Wurdah ¤tah was second, and concluding the Theusz Hamtaahk movement was the celebrated and immensely popular (by Zeuhl's standards) MŰkan´k Destrukt´w Kommand÷h. That is their chronological order, but not their release order.

The Theusz Hamtaahk series had actually a quite coherent and meaningful story (at least, MŰkan´k Destrukt´w Kommand÷h did - and the others were definitely themed, though the narration was not so clearly voiced). The K÷hntark÷sz series has less of a clearly articulated plot the Theusz Hamtaahk. I wouldn't doubt the plot is there, I've constructed and written some very long theories and ideas of what the story may be. In hindsight, it's probably not much more than fanfiction. God that's embarrassing.

The original K÷hntark÷sz, recorded in 1974, had a very clear purpose and direction, but less of a design in terms of story. There is a reason for this: K÷htnark÷sz is Koba´an mythology of the long forgotten Earth: what occurred chronologically even before the tales of the original release, Koba´a, from 1970. It is predominately a mythology rather than a full tale. Since K.A follows this plotline, which seemed to conclude fairly, it's not too easy to just guess what K.A is about. And, as is the Koba´an tradition, Vander offers no hints. Besides the lyrics in full. In Koba´an. Thanks.

Musically, this is of equal calibre as the 70s material. Just as powerful, just as evoking, magical, celestial, complex. It is of a much better timbre, however. The state of the art recording quality, the masterful production value, and the perfect mixing is so much appreciated. Still, though, after a minimum of twenty full listens, I am so amazed with the care and mastery with which Vander composes his symphonies. Smooth and eased accelerations steer the band's dynamics, to the extremes of intensity and volume. Gorgeous climaxes act as the segue of the tracks, giving the album even more of a mastery over flow. K÷hntark÷sz Anteria is a fresh and perfect addition to Magma's much too small studio catalog. Masterpiece.

Shakespeare | 4/5 |

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