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Prog-Folk Team
3 stars A splendid blend of South American folk, psychedelia, and contemporary jazz are on display on this compilation CD. The first two Magma LPs are contained herein. Produced as they were by Lito Vitale by MIA, they came with instant prog credentials, and remain the most collectible items in the Magma discography, the original recordings commanding high prices.

The main features of the Magma sound at this point are mellowness, plaintive and yet gentle vocal harmonies, omnipresent flutes, and highly poetic lyrics in Spanish. It is definitely not for those into heavier prog or even heavier symphonic prog, but more for those among us who enjoy reflective beautiful music, but even there I find much to be somnolent. In the end, while it's all nice, only those tracks which go beyond mere pleasantness end up distinguishing themselves. "Araucaria" does so by its strong and varied melodies. The real highlight of the first half (and hence the first original album) is the 12 minute "Un pequeno tema para jugar", which builds slowly into a simply stunning vocal and electric piano exercise.

The second album, "Transformacion" from 1985, is the stronger, incorporating more jazz elements as in "Posdata para una resureccion", which has a gorgeous melody in the emotional chorus. "El loco de las puertas" is a relatively lively blend of Andean folklore and prog, and the closer, the song "Transformacion" itself, blends expressive flute and vocals which display Magma at their best.

Not an all guns blazing type of progressive group, Magma nonetheless possesses the capacity to cool and solidify in your subconscious. Recommended for those who like prog but also want to relax.

Report this review (#185379)
Posted Sunday, October 12, 2008 | Review Permalink
siLLy puPPy
PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
4 stars KRONICAS is the twofer compilation released by the Argentinian progressive folk band MAGMA in 1995 which showcases their first two albums 'Canto Para Una Consagracion' and 'La Transformaci'n.' Since the band remains fairly obscure this to date is the only release which has seen these albums on CD and the original LPs remain fairly expensive for collectors.

There are no perks here. There are no bonus tracks, there are no special features in packaging or nothing. This is pretty lo-fi all the way and all you get is the first two MAGMA albums on CD but unfortunately in order to fit both albums on the limitations of a CD, a few of the shorter tracks from'La Transformaci'n' were nixed. These three tracks 'El Atravido,' 'El Otro' and 'Nuestro Rio' can still only be found on the original vinyl LP released in 1985.

This is however recommended just to get the debut album which i like much better. Think of the second album as bonus tracks and all is good. MAGMA was a unique band in the Argentinean scene and still remains so as on the world's stage so definitely worth checking out for those interested in strange eclectic angelic jazzy prog folk. 3.5 but rounded up because it's the only way to get the first album on CD.

Report this review (#1539336)
Posted Sunday, March 13, 2016 | Review Permalink

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