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Magma - 1001 Centigrades [Aka: 2] CD (album) cover





4.12 | 376 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars For 1001, it appears that planet Kobaia has received some visitors!

For the opening track, the 22-minute Riah, it sounds as if perhaps the band Chicago has come to join the sessions...but without their guitarist...and with a clarinet and bass clarinet...and probably on acid...OK, it's probably not Chicago, but the horns really are quite reminiscent of Chicago, even if the vocals and rapid time changes are not. Overall, this track really does not hang together well for me. It opens well, with some nice energy and uniquely Magma vibe, but the middle sections are so hit and miss that I lose interest. Fortunately, there are some classic Magma moments toward the end, with a couple good freakouts--most notably the final syncopated crescendo with some nice monkey-like vocals just to remind you that you are indeed listening to Magma, and not Barry Manilow, for example. You know, because sometimes I get the two confused.

For the B side, it sounds as if perhaps Area, and maybe the ghost of Fusion Zappa, has stopped in for some dinner on Kobaia, with some very nice jazzy chords (cleverly revisiting some themes in the opener along the way) and horn work. These final two tracks are better pieces, both in terms of hanging together as well as being more enjoyable. They certainly are more musical, and they spend just a bit more time to explore these ideas than elsewhere.

Great arrangements, mostly interesting melodies, lots of controlled experimentation and plenty of Magma weirdness, but not so much that it distracts from the music (i.e., half an album's worth of Vander screeching). Although I'm a long way from being a fan of their first album, I'm on board with their second release.

Flucktrot | 4/5 |


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