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Magnog - More Weather CD (album) cover

MORE WEATHER

Magnog

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.00 | 4 ratings

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Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer
2 stars If Magnog's self-titled debut album was like a trip through the abyss between stars, this posthumous collection of fragments, rehearsals and early demos is more akin to falling into the super-massive black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy.

The range of music is astonishing, from the 51-second "Vacant Chair" to the 30+ minute "Mystery Goodness", a title which doubles as a five-syllable synopsis of the entire album. Although maybe 'goodness' is the wrong word to describe the 2.3 hours of dense, intimidating Space Rock compiled here: truly more Space than Rock, and so thick in atmosphere you could slice it with a diamond-bright laser beam and leave not a mark on the amorphous cloud of sound.

None of the eighteen total tracks has a legitimate beginning or end. Instead, they each seem to fade into and out of a jam in progress, which only adds to the uneasy sense of cosmic mindwarp, "Somewhere Between Asleep and Awake", as the title to one of several 10+ minute workouts asserts. In short, there isn't a stable foothold to help your balance anywhere over the entire album.

The music occasionally locates a grinding, Post-Punk, Space-Kraut groove (in the latter half of the nearly 13-minute "Chopstick", for example). But it mostly follows an intuitive path of pure, improvised electric guitar ambience, often without any rhythm: in the short "Pattern Shifter", or the two-part "Goom Chi Pan". The home-recorded, low fidelity 4-track production is an acquired taste, but it suits the raw underground power of the music. Note the instrument lineup: aside from their standard guitar, bass, and drums, each of the three young players (amazingly all still in their teens when this music was recorded) is also given credit for 'delay', and all those effects pedals must have been overheated near to melting from the constant surge of high voltage.

It's a lot of music to digest, for psychic reasons more than the obvious time investment: I've had the album in my library for over two years now, and have yet to survive the whole thing in one sitting. Two stars for the challenge, and because it should only be approached with extreme caution: like an unshielded electrical cable, posing a fatal hazard to careless pedestrians.

[ Postscript: guitarist Phil Drake was forced to quit the music business for health reasons, before Magnog's sophomore studio album was completed. He died too young, in November 2015: a victim of medical negligence, according to his mother. We will never know how he might have matured as an artist and musician. But on the evidence of Magnog's limited recorded output, what was lost to us might have been extraordinary. ]

Neu!mann | 2/5 |

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