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Koenjihyakkei - Angherr Shisspa CD (album) cover





3.94 | 131 ratings

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4 stars When Magma Isn't Crazy Enough For You

You took the plunge and tried Zeuhl. It was a little bitter. There were some spices you didn't recognize. The texture made you just slightly nauseous at first but now you want a little of it with every meal. You've digested MDK, dug the modern versions, even sampled some of the more casual stylings like Udu Wudu. After some months or eons, your brain is actually comfortable with the style. How do you possible challenge yourself now?

For many of us, the next stage was ANGHERR SHISSPA. Koenjihyakkei's masterwork is unmistakebly Zeuhl, totally indebted to Magma. At the same time, the band has clearly explored the sound well enough to now place their own stamp on the land of Kobaia. Most obviously, this music is even more intense, chaotic, and somewhat harsh. The orchestration is also a little more immediate, feeling more like a rock band than a classical orchestra. The mix is a bit drier in accords with modern standards. At the same time, the big fuzz bass is still here, the gang vocals, the intense drumming. Even if the music might be a little too much even for some Magma fans, you can't deny that this band totally tearing it up.

There is also a bit less of the throbbing repetition that I associate with Magma, and I appreciate that. The sense of occasional composition is more chamber rock than the free- form jazz, another contrast to the parent band. The musicianship is top notch, and much tighter than the looser 70's jazz ethic as well. The melodic forms are remarkably the same, and you may catch yourself trying to place a phrase or section in the Magma classic catalog. As such, this is the perfect next step after Magma.

There are times that I put this on and I can't finish it. It's just too much. But when I have a taste for intense, complex, quirky, and crazy. This hits the spot.

Negoba | 4/5 |


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