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Magma - Magma [Aka: Kobaļa] CD (album) cover





4.04 | 473 ratings

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4 stars Magma ' 1970 (4/5) 12 ' Best Song: You're kidding, right?

Have you ever pondered late upon a midnight dreary, oh what it might be like if Elton John, King Crimson, Keith Emerson, Napoleon Bonaparte, and LSD went together to make a double-album alien rock opera in a fake language in 1970? No, me either. All I know is it took a bevy of big balls to write and record these songs with the intent to offer them to the public for consumption. They aren't poor musical creations ' quite the opposite, to be sure, but you've got to understand a few key points before even BEGINNING to think you're capable of happily accessing a Magma album. In the very first place, you've got to realize that these French folks, headed by Christian Vander, aren't here for your understanding. They are here for ' I have absolutely no idea, but it most certainly isn't because anybody expected Johnny-come-Beatlesfan to pick this up and immediately love it to death. What, you think Revolution #9 was some astral bonkers shit? You ain't heard the 10 minute opening, uhm, creature that is 'Kobaia', which blends acid jazz with Wagnerian classical and pop so fluidly you'll be enthralled for long spasms just before the electric freak-out near the end whiplashes you into the vast reaches of outer space.

What's the point? It rocks ass! It doesn't just knock you off your feet, it knocks you off your planetary course. 'Sohia' has a venomously deranged buzz-saw electric guitar attack mingling with soft, proto-ambient interludes. It is this eclectic mesh that tantalizes me so. Even upon multiple playings it is difficult to remember each swerve and curve the music takes. There are several instances of brassy jazz rocking, and if you're a lyrics guy, learn Kobaian, because this isn't the purpose of the band, per se. They're giving you a world that you have to either embrace completely, or let slip to the wayside, there isn't much a middle ground. It's eighty minutes long, as well. That's a lot to take, even when the music is standard and you can understand what they're saying, but man is it a crazy journey while you're there.

Alitare | 4/5 |


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