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Magma - Mekan´k Destrukt´w Kommand÷h CD (album) cover





4.30 | 871 ratings

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James Lee
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Quick generalization: do you like the often-sampled "O Fortuna" from Orff's Carmina Burana? Then you'll probably like MAGMA's "Mekanik Destruktiw Kommandoh".

There's really very little else to compare it to, though it takes influence from several other sources: modern classical composers as well as bop-era jazz and a smattering of rock elements. The album is a largely choral work with some orchestral instrumental embellishments over a rock/jazz combo, all of which meld to form a heavy and unique ensemble characterized by Teutonic intensity, hypnotic repetition, and cathartic exultation. The language used, Kobaian, is an essential part of the creative structure, having been developed specifically for the music by the band themselves (mostly by the original MAGMA visionary, Christian Vander). This album is part of an extended narrative with elements of spirituality and science-fiction, portraying a group of spacefaring refugees from Earth and the history of their new society. Howver, since you have to be fluent in Kobaian to understand it, you may want to track down a translation to attempt to appreciate the story for yourself.

There's really nothing quite like the album. Opinions are pretty polarized, with many feeling that MDK is a work of complete originality and genius and others asserting that it is nothing but noise and nonsense. It's perfectly okay to laugh at it, or be a little scared, at first- but once these initial impressions have dissipated you will be in a much better position to either appreciate MDK (in which case you'll probably want to check out the rest of the trilogy, as well as other Zeuhl albums) or discard it as unfit within your concept of music. Nothing I could write would alter that decision one bit. So buy, borrow, or otherwise find a copy of MDK and decide for yourself...because with a work this original and momentous, the only mistake would be to never have heard it.

James Lee | 4/5 |


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