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Magma - Live/Hhaï (Köhntark) CD (album) cover





4.44 | 218 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars If there's one type of album I've had a bad history with, it's the live album. I'm from the generation that gets spoiled with VHS tapes, DVD concerts, internet streams, etc. I have no understanding of the importance of a live record and have very little urge to investigate live albums. Usually, the studio version of a song is the first I hear, and it's hard to top the first time I hear something. Every live album that has ''new'' tracks has been a dud to me, including my first try with Magma on a live album. INEDITS is not a good Magma album to get, period. So, why did I get HHAI after all I've said before?

Something told me it was time to give HHAI a listen. To be fairly honest, with the resources they have, HHAI actually works to an extent. Without a brass section to accentuate the MDK pieces colourfully, Didier Lockwood's violin adds more of a fusion-y texture to the sound. The vocals are also limited to usually Klaus and Stella (not all the time though), which sucks as the core of Magma is the operatic choirs and that's what really gave KOHNTARKOSZ and MDK their power.

''Kohntark'' is really ''Kohntarkosz'', but without as much power with much of the choir and the guitars missing (Lockwood can only compensate for so much, as good as he is). ''Da Zeuhl Wortz Mekanik'' is exactly the same as on MDK only sped up while its continuation in ''Mekanik Zain'' is a hyperactive jamming around the main theme of MDK before going into ''Mekanik Kommandoh'' at the end. Neither is too bad, but the studio tracks offer so much more. In contrast, the reworking of ''Kobaia'' in ''Kobah'' is done rather well as the bouncy fusion fits the track as well as that thumping proto-Zeuhl did back on the debut.

Magma really does deliver very well not only on ''Kobah'', but on the other three tracks. In particular, that title track climaxes only like Magma could do it, and it's absolutely spellbinding to hear the climb. Basically, HHAI is probably the best live album I've heard, which is good credit even if I feel passive on it.

Sinusoid | 3/5 |


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