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5 stars The first 5 tracks reveal a more commercial side (if that were ever possible). The title track is a joy. The last word, however, belongs to Jannick Top with his excellent signature piece of 'De Futura', again Top & Vander working as if as one. Needs to be heard to be believed.
Report this review (#22351)
Posted Saturday, January 10, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars Without any doubt their best and certainly the most influential.Their long track 'De futura' is from another planet.I first listened it when this album just came out and it was immediately my favourite album.Now so many years later after listening many thousands albums more it's still one of my top 3 albums.Also 'Throller tanz' is a classic and so many times copied by other groups.Also first apearance from ex-Cruciferius bassist Bernard Paganotti.
Report this review (#22353)
Posted Tuesday, February 3, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars So you've tuned into the space channel of your mind and you've found a rather interesting place to spend a bit of time called "Udu Wudu". MAGMA's "Udu Wudu" is a cult prog classic and in honor delivers some attractively wild ethereal musical moments. This album showcases their darker side with grand thumping bass grooves, Christian Vander's percussive skills and MAGMA's authentically original language known as Kobaian. "Udu Wudu" contains 6 pieces of music with their signature epic track "De Futura" which clocks in at around 18 Mins. Overall a dark and grotesque album yet wonderfully progressive and highly original. Without a question, MAGMA get the old Alien- Space - culture thing going and at times as a listener you find yourself being transported into this unique world of MAGMA. Overall a splendid album with some grand epic prog moments... an album to treasure.
Report this review (#22354)
Posted Wednesday, March 17, 2004 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Interesting?

I thought I'd give this album a try for two reasons. Firstly, ace snooker player Steve Davis lists Magma as his all time favourite band, and in fact paid for them to reform for a live concert some years ago. Secondly, it was cheap!

The first (title) track, sets out the band's stall immediately. A brass backed jazz rock beat complete with African style percussion introduces male and female "tribal" vocals, not unlike some of Santana's early work. "Weidorgie" is slightly more commercial with a heavier more traditional rock beat, and pleasant mildly operatic male vocals.

I must admit, my attention wandered somewhat as the album wore on, the tracks seemed to merge into each other in a sea of rambling jazz rock, with little to set it apart from the many others who have trodden the same path. The long final track "De Futura" did however grab my attention. Some interesting synthesiser introduces what seems to pretty much be a Jank Top solo outing. Normal service is resumed as the track progresses and it ends rather disappointingly a long while later.

I don't know how representative of the band this album is, and it's not a bad album, it's just dull and uninspired.

Report this review (#22355)
Posted Sunday, April 25, 2004 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
Prog Folk
3 stars Please note that the cover here has poor rendition as you should see the black sky in the background. Also avoid the Charly record version because the bass is muffled and really , this is the highlight of the album. Janik Top is at the top of his game (pardon the too easy pun) as one of the prime bassist of those years. This is especially true in his sidelong composition De Futura which I consider the last "Morceau de Bravoure " from Magmafor a while (they are still awesome live but have not written good stuff (to my knowledge anyway) in quite a while. The rest of the tracks are much shorter and slightly sub-par for Magma standards. For me , as far as studio recording , this is as far as I ever got. Definitely worth your time and money.
Report this review (#22361)
Posted Thursday, October 21, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars Another great Magma record to be enjoyed. The distict Magma sound is present throughout this album, but some changes have occured, most notably Christian Vander losened his grip on the writing of the songs, so Jannik Top wrote a large part of the album, and also Bernhard Pagganoti is credited for the writing of Weidorje.

On Üdü Wüdü the Kobaïan singing is largely replaced by what appears to be Gregorian type chanting (probably in the Kobaïan language anyway), and the singing is less dominant than on previous records. On this album the bass guitar is very prominent and very much in front of the music, like an ongoing bass solo. The rhythms are a bit less complex than on MKD, or Kobaïa, and it's very easy to get into the grooves.

The first five songs of the album are very short for Magma's standards, very Jazzy/Funky, with a solid piano-drum-bass foundation, nice songs and very cheerfull at times, but not really up to par with earlier albums, mostly because it lacks some of the intensity that was a big part of Magma's sound, it's all a bit more melodic, but it still works great.

The last song, De Futura is a side-long epic, with strong intense bass grooves, strong rhythms and lots of sound effects occuring, some keyboards/synth effects and soft background chanting. great song.

On this album Magma created a bit less complex music, with more space-progressive influences, it's not as good a s Kobaïa or MDK, but still fabulous moments to be enjoyed. Four stars, recommended, but try Mekanik Destruktiw Kommandoh (MDK) or Kobaïa first.

Report this review (#39746)
Posted Monday, July 18, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars The band were in a bit of a shambles by this point. Essentially, the band consisted of the Vanders, Blasquiz and Top, everything else being fleshed out by guest musicians. The startling 18-minute feature piece "De Futura" is performed solely by the core trio of Top, Vander and Blasquiz, and features Top's bass as its main melodic lead instrument. Bass players are sure to go wild for this piece, as I can think of few musical pieces where a bass player is allowed to go wild like on this track!

Synthesizers appear for the first time on a Magma disc, and they seem absolutely tailor-made for the band. The disturbing electronic wails on "Zombies (Ghost Dance)" and the Gothic/operatic "Weïdorje" add a distinct colouration to Magma's sound, which is perfectly in line with their futuristic, science-fiction nightmare conceptualism. On the other hand, the bouncy title song is likely to take Magma's established fan base by surprise, featuring Christian Vander performing a rather comic call-and-response with a female choir. This is Stella's only appearance on this album (apart from the bonus track on the CD).

So, I don't know if I'd recommend starting here (even if it was my first Magma LP), but considering the state of the band at the time, it turned out well in the end.

Report this review (#46579)
Posted Wednesday, September 14, 2005 | Review Permalink
Zac M
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This album is very different from the masterpiece, Mekanik Destruciw Kommandoh. The operatic vocals are not as prevalent on this album, although all lyrics are still in Kobaian. This was in fact my first Magma purchase, and I can safely say that this release got me interested in the rest of the discography. The musicianship and uniqueness is all there. Vander and company create a truly great work.

The album itself starts out with the title track, "Udu Wudu." This is probably one of my favorite Magma compositions because it is so different than the other things they have done. It is very ethnic, upbeat, and most definitely catchy. The next track, "Weidjore," recalls the earlier Magma style. The excellent musicianship is ever-present on this track. "Troller Tranz" is again much like earlier MDK period Magma. It has a haunting effect and some of the trademark Magma operatic vocal parts with some synth parts thrown in to the mix.

The next track, "Soleil D'Ork," is probably the most forgettable track on the album. However, it's not bad by any means, but a little repetitive. "Zombies" is another "ghost dance" and is similar to the other one on the album ("Troller Tranz"). However, it is a little more forgettable than "Troller Tranz." The last track is definitely the highlight of the entire album. "De Futura" is one of the best tracks in all of Magma's catelogue. It has a haunting affect much like the other tracks on the album with the signature sound of Top's bass and Vander's incredible drumming with various keyboards and effects thrown in. In the end, this track really does the album justice, making it a must for every Magma or Zeuhl fan.

I think that this is a great starting point for someone interested in Zeuhl. The album is much tamer than MDK and thus much easier to get in to. So, I think that this album deserves four stars because, while still an excellent listen, it does not stand up to the masterpiece standard set by Mekanik Destructiw Kommandoh.

Report this review (#53882)
Posted Saturday, October 29, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars I bought this CD just for listening. I had never heard about the whole album before buying. Well when it came from Amazon I started to listen.

"UDU WUDU" immediatly got stuck in my head. I really love the bass and brass in the song. It has a happy feeling in it. A feeling I couldn't find in the other songs of the album. It was quite dissapointing.

"Trollen Tanz" has this semi-mystic vibe in it, and I kinda like it. The vocals are nice too. The song stays quite interesting all the time.

"De Futura" Has nice melodies and sounds in it. I enjoy the bass and synthesizers in this song. The song did give me depressed feelings when it went kinda "dark and cruel".

I think this album is worth buying, because it has given me good listening moments on some Zeuhl.

Report this review (#70408)
Posted Friday, February 24, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars After the dense series of albums before this, Magma's 1976 release Üdü Wüdü comes out with a more pared sound. Much of this one is held back to vocals, bass, drums, and keyboards. The brass does come out on a few pieces, including the opener/title track. A break from the norm -for Magma- is this very catchy, upbeat piece with an ethnic flavor. It also has amusing call-and-response vocals throughout. A personal favorite. All of the pieces are pretty different from each other. The quality musicianship is constant. There are less vocals here than in the past. After the first song, there are no female vocals. Given the sound of the other pieces, I suppose there really wasn't a lot of space where female vocals would be effective. So I am not going to mark off for that.

The first five tracks are all shorter pieces, and all five of them have fade-out endings. It is somewhat bothersome for me. Putting that aside, the pieces themselves are all strong. Unfortunately, the lack of density and length refrain these pieces from having the same level of intensity as MDK or Kohntarkosz.

The 18-minute "De Futura" is a very grotesque piece, largely affected by the vocals, which accentuate the throbbing bass and drums. This piece gets pretty intense, but I don't think it matches the past epics. It is still a good song.

This material is slightly below the standards Magma had set from the past handful of releases, but nevertheless is strong. While I've grown to love it, I have to recommend you try one of the earlier albums first (preferrably MDK). Although, this one is easier to find, which is why I made it my first Magma record. Unless you are certain you want to dig into what Magma has to offer here, I would grab this one a little later.

Report this review (#77090)
Posted Wednesday, May 3, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Album released in 1976 "Udu Wudu". Bernard PAGANOTTI and Janik TOP produced wonderful music, and it became an advanced, variegated content. The masterpiece of the album is "De Futura" of B side. It is very heavy tune. The eerie electronic sound caused by synthesizer.Bernard PAGANOTTI forms WEIDORJE after this work was released, and MAGMA collapses in fact.

It is a recommended work for the beginner of MAGMA.

Report this review (#81142)
Posted Wednesday, June 14, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is my third attmpt at writing this review, the first time the computer went a little mental so I lost it. Yesterday I was down to my last sentence of my lengthy second attempt, but them the nuisence of a cat put her paw on the keyboard and and somehow managed to wipe it. If this third attempt fails then perhaps the good lord does not want me to write a review on this album. Anyway this album was my first introduction to Magma and the Zehuel music in general. I have listened to it many times, infact too many times which is a testament to the quality of music of this album. The first song Udu Wudu starts off with a somewhat optimistic feel to it, which I latyer found out to be quite unusual for Magma, it has a kind of African/Latin Jazz feel to it , very ethnic feeling, with Christian Vander's and backing female vocals, the female vocals have the basic rhythem, while Vander's voice works inside and outside of their graceful beautiful voices. The trumpets are what give the song the optimistic feel to the tune, while the piano gives it a somewhat soothing feel to it. A warm introduction to the album. The second track, Werdorje has great operatic vocals on it, again a little more cheerful than Magma's usual work, but with great guitar and keyboards that give it, in my opinion, a science fiction feel to, its truely a great song. Troller Tanz (Ghost Dance), is for newbies to Magma, the most accessible track, great screeching, ghostly keyboard sounds, limited vocals set in the middle of the sog that give it an exciting element, the vocals have a sense of trepidation if perhaps ghosts nare scaring him, infact the whole song has an exciting feel to it, and quite possibly if it was remixed today could be a hit on the dance floor. This song is very much rhythmic based, with some Star Warsesque Keyboard brake which make me think whether this album influenced the composer of Star Wars; since this album came out a full year before Star Wars (it makes you think the name Vander sounds surprisingly close to the name Vader). The third track Soleil d'Ork (Ork Sun), has a great kind of african/ethnic feel to it, great base and wah guitar and great kobian chaning, which gives it a Science Fiction ethnic feel to it, as if this is a folk song of the planet Kobia. An interesting and brilliant piece. Zombies (Ghost Dance) The singing sounds like it was either done by Zombies or labotimised patients that sound of loss of humanity and lethargy thus conformed to the living dead, which suits the Zombie theme just fine with a great great funky bass rythem and piano with haunting sounding keyboards that adds to the Zombie theme, the song acomplishes everything it was set out to achieve. The one sided epic De Futura should appeal to fans of bass guitar and is another masterpiece, with low octive alien like vocals that remind me of the Morlocks in H.G. Wells' time machine (which is quite funny since this song is about time travel). The stamina of Jannik Topp's bass palying is super human, building to faster and faster tempos perhaps to emulate the sound of time travel going faster and faster thru time and space. Great heavy guitars also add to the scince fiction feel to this album. Some might complain that this song is a bit too repetitive, but this is Zehuel not Syphonic prog and when you are in the right zone for listening you'll relise that this is an amazing Zehuel masterpiece. The climatic base playing and heavy guitar (almost metal sounding) are just brilliant and exciting. This to me with the more emphasised keyboards is the most 'spacy' album by Magma, the first track Udu Wudu is the only song with any brass in it, so it is quite different from Mekanik Destructiw Kommandoh. If I could describe this album to newbies of Magma I would say it is a cross between Mike Oldfield and Yes, without copying them (infact I think Magma influenced Oldfield), with singing style reminesent of Atom Heart Mother's opera vocals on its 20 minute opus. Please don't be turned off by the strange vocals, I was originall bemused by them, but like all top notch prog I feel in love with Magma's music, you will eventually get your head around the Kobian thing I promise it just takes time to grow. This album In my opinion is without fault in the Zehuel genre and shouls be considered an essential buy to any serious prog collector, just remeber be patient and open minded and you'll reap a huge reward. Long live Magma!
Report this review (#81274)
Posted Friday, June 16, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars I will start off by saying that my rating is based solely on this album, as I sadly have not yet managed to get ahold of any others and do not believe in downloading music. I have heard all of the Mp3 samples available on this website, but still cannot make a fair comparison to other albums. That being said, I say that I LOVE what I have heard! It took me a few spins to 'get' it, and found the last three tracks much more enjoyable off the get go. The title track was just so joyous and celebratory I found it utterly laughable and terrifying all at once but came to enjoy it in time. It was the hardest for me to enjoy. When I first got this record my favorite track was Ork Sun, because I just thought the hypnotic jungle vibe was just so cool, and the bass.. just left me speechless. After listening to Udu Wudu in it's entirety approx. 75 million times, I've come to the conclusion that my favorite tracks are De Futura, Troller Tanz, and Zombies. Being a bass player makes this album even more special to me, just because the way Mr. Top plays his bass like such a psychopath is just mind-blowing. Christian Vander also has to be THE most talented drummer I haver ever heard as well, and combined with Jannick, the make the deadliest duo in prog, IMHO. The only downside to this album is that the other instruments are not as involved, though the guitar and piano are present in parts, and Klaus is a delight to listen to, even though I have no idea what he's saying. That is why I'm looking forward to hearing other albums of theirs, especially Kobaia, for the long instrumental jazz groove, and M.D.K. for the praise it recieves. I just hope I can get past the multi-vocalizations! That being said, this Is one of my top 10 albums, and I listen to it every day. I don't know how it will stand up to their other efforts for me, but for now, I say a big 5/5.
Report this review (#81685)
Posted Thursday, June 22, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars It took me a while, but I finally "got" this album.

Another excellent Magma release as the band charts unexplored waters of music. This one is jazzier and includes maybe the best background work of the band, as the non-lead instruments do a fine job. There is less vocal work here, which I feel as good, as the operatic vocals of MDK got a little too carried away at times. Instead more attention is focused on the band dynamics, which makes for many interesting moments throughout the album.

Free-improv style is the name of the game here, as the musicians are allowed to stretch out beyond the confines of song and structure, especially the grooving bass work on De Futura. I highly enjoy the two Ghost Dance sections. This album is a bit more psych/space influenced. This album essentially has to be looked at in a different manner from MDK, because of it's vast difference. Both are excellent and I wouldn't part with either one. Udu Wudu lacks the epic appeal of MDK, but this album is by no means inferior, and musicians of all kinds will enjoy the amazing instrumental work found. A wonderful release, spend the effort to pick this one up.

Report this review (#117869)
Posted Tuesday, April 10, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars This is understandingly disappointing following "Kohntarkosz" and it is not another chapter in that saga, but rather in Jannick Top's own "Ork" mythology. Still, it's great fun.

There's a strong fusion/worldbeatesque presence about the opener, but it vanishes just as quickly, leaving side one as the proud owner of much rushed zeuhl-rock. It's of a good quality, but this is the realm of Magma imitators and not the legend themselves. For the first time in a Magma composition anticipation does not build and the music lacks a certain sense of importance. Perhaps I'm reading too much into side one - a listener with fresh ears would not be biased towards Magma's more epic statements and should be willing to enjoy this more. "Weidorje" is moody and fluid but would have served better as a bridge between two other parts of an extended song - on its own it does not herald anything special. The Ghost Dances are much the same, one amusingly reminiscent of the style used in the theme music of shows like "Mission Impossible", "The Avengers" and so forth - great incidental pieces of small importance. It's a shame that all these ideas weren't woven together with the usual orchestral subtlety.

Side two has a little more eccentric substance to it, being entirely composed of Top's masterpiece, "De Futura", and yes, it's a rhythm section showcase with a pulsing electric heart. Vander gets to re-establish himself a little here, after the straitjacket of the bite-size songs on the flipside. What's important is that the trademark Magma menace is foremost in the music, and that change flows through it - when I think of zeuhl, it's the insidiously metamorphic nature of early Magma that seems definitive, and although De Futura dispenses with the lighter tones of the palette - choirs, electric keys and wind instruments are all absent, replaced with Top's Troll vocals and a layer of dusty distortion - the song's flow is correct and certainly suited to being their "last great" song for quite a long time.

People often recommend Udu Wudu as a good starting point and that's fine - if you like De Futura's style, then you should move backwards through Magma's discography rather than touching on Attahk or Merci, two lesser works.

Report this review (#132409)
Posted Thursday, August 9, 2007 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars 4.5 stars. This record really impressed me. They would use synths for the first time on this one, and I found "Udu Wudu" to have a lot of variety that recalled some of their past albums.

The title track "Udu Wudu" is an uptempo, jazzy song with Blasquiz on vocals along with Stella and 3 other ladies (like on "MDK"). The sax and trumpet melodies are a nice touch. "Weidorje" a Paganotti composition, would also be the name he would call his band that he would form along with Gauthier after this album. The first minute is slower and dramatic with Blasquiz on vocals. It becomes lighter as Blasqiuz continues to sing with Vander also singing in the background. This is such a good tune. Synths and piano from Gauthier. Paganotti chips in with bass and percussion. "Troller Tanz (Ghost Dance)" is the Vander and Top show as they are the only two involved in performing. This is a catchy tune with piano and drums played by Vander, and bass and cello from Top. Spoken words and vocals by Vander.

"Soleil D'Ork" is a Top composition and one i'm familiar with from his solo album. This is a cool, hypnotic track with Top on bass and synths, he also provides the vocal melodies. Flute and drums round out the sound. "Zombies (Ghost Dance)" features Top again on bass and cello. Blasquiz' vocal melodies are a highlight as is Vander's drumming. More synths on this one by Vander. The side long suite "De Futura" is the highlight of this album. Lots of bottom end on this Top composition. Blasquiz on vocals. Spacey synths arrive courtesy of Top as we enjoy a great ryhthm section of bass and drums. Blasquiz is fantastic after 4 minutes as Vander pounds away and Top supplies the heavy bass lines. The song speeds up 8 1/2 minutes in. Check out the bass and drums after 13 1/2 minutes ! Cello follows. My cd has a 3 minute bonus track called "Emehnteht-Re (Extrait No.2)" a Vander composition with Gauthier on synths,Stella and Blasquiz on vocals,Top on bass and Vander on drums, piano and vocals. This song is dominated by vocals.

One of my absolute favourites from the band.

Report this review (#144951)
Posted Tuesday, October 16, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Well, with the Bartók in them waning, and the Coltrane (and others) waxing, Magma produced this, their, sixth studio album, Üdü Wüdü. The mythology that was so important to the first three releases, and dimmed with Köhntarkösz, is all but gone here. The only traces of any mythology is in guesswork and song names. Half of me thinks it narrates the beginning of the ORK war or something rather. The People of ORK certainly have something to do with the lyrics' theme, but it's not clear how. Top's solo album Soleil d'Ork might have something to do with it, too. But since there is a significant lacking of Kobaïan scholars, I fear Vander and the gang may take the secrets of the plot to the grave with them. So this Magma review will not have a chain of five fat paragraphs describing the lengthy saga. I will say this, though: the word Weidörje is Kobaïan for celestial wheel which is believed to signify the flying saucer of sorts on the band Weidorje's cover. Sounds like imagery for an ORK invasion, perhaps.

As for the music, Üdü Wüdü marks a strong change in Magma's sound and direction. The grandiose scheme of Mëkanïk Destruktïw Kommandöh and Köhntarkösz is all but abandoned and a return to jazz is at hand. But not the Coltrane sort of jazz that was the bulk of the first two releases, but a fatter, denser jazz. The complexity, resonance, and scale is sacrificed for the celestial groovy jazz. Vocals are much more prominent, particularly after something like Köhntarkösz where vocals were just folded in. Bass is turned way up, and the emphasis on rhythm and its trance-inducing qualities is an integral element of the album. A lot of younger zeuhl bands took after this album, and its style of zeuhl is probably the most mimicked. Magma offshoot band Weidorje not only took the lead-bass, booming-beat style from the album, but their band name from a song off the album. More than a mere influence.

The centerpiece of the album, De Futura, is a monster of a track. Dark sequences, groovy jazz bits, oppressive percussion, haunting key drops, and the most addictive bass line ever mark this an absolute essential track. Not only intense and monstrously stimulating, but it's lingering and menacing. It features some of Vander's most inspired and furious drum work, which is saying a lot, as the man is truly a beast on the kit. Top is top of his game here, and rightly so, since this is his last studio appearance with the band ever. De Futura also marks a rare occurrence as it is one of the rare non-Vander composed tracks to grace a Magma studio album. Its title is a shortened form of De Futura Hiroshima, and a song perhaps about WWIII, nuclear war, and the girm future. I would say the atmosphere and, clearly, the booklet hint that the track is orbiting around the central theme of time travel, which must tie into the Kobaïan tale some how. I guess we'll never know.

Report this review (#168450)
Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars I became interested in the music of Magma when I read on wikipedia in the Prog Rock Article, about a French progressive band , whose drummer created a new lenguage called Kobaian, and they sing their songs in their own language. Interesting, I thought.

Udu Wudu was released before the very cool Live/Hhai, and contains one of the best tracks in the entire Magma catalogue, De Futura.

Track by track:

01 - Udu Wudu - The title track, it has a very cool latin feel, with cool percussion, brass arrangements, bass guitar and piano. Blasquiz with his very cool and operastic voice, with Stella Vander and some other female singers singing in the background. It's very uptempo and happy in comparision with other tracks in the album. Surely, one of the best tracks in the album, despite it's very different from the other tracks in the album and another tracks by Magma. (5/5)

02- Weidorje - Another very cool song. It has a amazing start, with powerful bass and snare drum, cool piano and vocals, and a very good synth work. Then a session with cool piano, light drums and cool vocals, then a cool short bass and synth solo. The song is most driven by synths, bass and drums. (4/5)

03- Troller Tanz (Ghost Dance) - The very start of the song is quite scary, some heavily vocoded choir, but the song has some very cool piano and bass works, and the drums are very cool too. Top and Vander are amazing musicians. The vocoded vocals come back for a while, and then a brief session with cool vocals. The end of the song is very cool. This song remind me some old films with ghosts. (3.5/5)

04 - Soleil D'ork (Ork's Sun) - This one is a hipnotic tribal song. Some tribal singing during all the song serves as background to Janick's amazing Bass Work. Some cool synths during the song complete the atmosphere. Jazzy, Catchy, but repetitive, almost the entire song is the same. (3.5/5)

05 - Zombies - Begin with very fast drumming and some bass guitar and brass arangements. The song is driven by Vander amazing drumming, he plays very fast here. There's some creepy synths here, and vocoded vocals. This song is the weakest here, but with cool moments. To me Magma tryed to do another song in the Troller Tanz Style, but failed. (2.5/5)

06 - De Futura - This one is the freak. Creepy. Really. Janick Top is the great man here. His throbbing bass destroy almost everything here. Some creepy synths follow the bass guitar. Very cool Drumming and troll vocals complete this epic. Again, this track may scare you. It has various sessions, but all of them with Vander's syncopaded drumming and Top's macabre bass. The session around eight minutes is very cool, with a riff with increasing vellocity, amazing drumming and scary vocals. It's a bit repetitive, but always interessing. The Starting session is revisited around the 12 minute mark, but faster, but with the same power. Between fantastic and scary bass and syncopaded drums there are quieter parts. Then around 14 minutes the drumming became very fast, and at 15:00 the bass sounds alone and getting heavier and with some cool drumming. This is the masterpiece of the album, a very scary masterpiece, but the masterpiece. (5/5)

07- Emehent-Re - A cool short song present in some editions. Cool piano, cool synthesiser work and cool vocals. (3.5/5).

Operastic vocals, throbbing bass, piano, and complex synth work. It was a very good start to me listen to Magma.

(5+4+3.5+3.5+2.5+5+3.5)/7 = 3,85 - 4 stars.

Report this review (#196454)
Posted Tuesday, December 30, 2008 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
4 stars Üdü Wüdü is an album that I hadn't been paying much attention to yet. Quite unrightfully so. It's an album where Vander eased his control a bit and let the other musicians contribute to the writing. By consequence it is the most varied Magma ever.

The title track is a great RIO piece. Magma's zeuhl is of course closely related to that style but still the differences are clear: this is more playful then anything else they had done, and it introduces experimental elements from classical modernists into their sound. Weidorje comes closer to their normal zeuhl fare with a heavy bass groove and - I think - the first synths on a Magma album.

Troller Tanz is another RIO piece. For people not similar to this style, this Magma album might be a difficult album because of this recurring element. It sure has also cost me some time to fully absorb it. It uses totally different tonalities, that are closer to Arnold Schönberg's experiments then to your average Camel album (to name something). No, this is not your usual sugary-sweet melodious prog snack to say the least.

And on it goes, Soleil D'Ork continues the experimental tendencies. The album is just a good 10 minutes on its way and I've heard more inspiration already then on many artists entire careers. Zombies and Da Futura will probably please most people as these pieces are a continuation of the Köhntarkösz sound. But they're very good so no issue with that.

I think it's a shame Magma only continued one more album down this path. But, as you often see, the fans didn't appreciate the style changes. More of the same is what they wanted and that's what they got in the 30 years since: Magma revisiting their old style on endless compilations and live albums. I'll be very curious to hear what the fuss around the Ëmëhntêht-Rê album is all about... I'll sure hold that 2009 release against this one. In the meantime, 4.5 stars for Üdü Wüdü.

Report this review (#252669)
Posted Wednesday, November 25, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars Another Magma album, another essentially unique sound, this time heavier (though not necessarily more intense). ti's nothing short of amazing the extent of creativity and unique qualities to be found in Magma's discography. Having said that, it feels like there is a little bit less of that jawdropping uniqueness, whether it's in sounding a bit like previous Magma or taking a somewhat familiar compositional approach in places. Either way, it's Magma, so we already know to expect the unexpected.

Side A. The title track reminds me a bit of MDK style, with it's shifting yet catchy melodies. Then things get more and more Top-heavy, with the bass cranked up and less of the that trademark Magma "lightness" to counterbalance the intensity. By the time Zombies arrives, we are into heavy grooving that would characterize the B side. Nothing bad, but nothing great yet.

Side B. De Futura is like riding your bike down a hill that's just way too steep: at first it's a slow roll at the crest, and as the speed picks up your emotion changes from mildly thrilled to genuinely terrified. Soon you're an unstoppable missile that crashes, leaving you wondering just how things got that intense. Certainly not perfect analogy, because no one listening to this menacing and threatening beast would confuse it with cycling on a sunny day. Nearly everything about this song is low, from Klaus' vocal grunting/chanting, to the guitar chords, to--of course--Top's bass cranked to eleven. The effect of this is to really set apart the spacey keys in a genuinely eerie and spine-tingling way. By the time we're near the end, I'm left wondering if there's any possible way Top and Vander could push things harder, and then it's gone, with just some bass growling to allow me to contemplate the demented trip I have just taken. A unique musical journey that I have trouble finding another piece to compare it to.

Certainly essential for Magma fans, but not necessarily representative of their peak creativity--at least not throughout the album. Worth having just for De Futura for me, but certainly not to everyone's tastes, particularly those who are endeared with early Magma style.

Report this review (#286201)
Posted Saturday, June 12, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars Magma - Udu Wudu (1976)

Change of direction...

After the amazing Wurdah Itah Magma decided it was time to change their style once again. The choirs went and the piano wasn't used very much during the recording of Udu Wudu. Christian Vander was open for influences of other band-members and so this record is seen as the most diverse Magma record. The role of Jannick Top is very important, he helped writing a lot of material on side one and wrote the 18 minute De Futura together with Vander. On this album Magma also began to use synthesizers and as always Magma finds a way to use them totally different than other bands.

On side one the title-track, Üdü Ẁüdü, is a world-music-fusion affair with an almost happy feel. The wind-section is used in a joyous way and the vocals join this newly explored atmosphere. on the second track Weidorje Magma returns to the classic Zeuhl sound with distorted bass, inventive drums and a hypnotic feel (especially the ending section). Troller Tanz has a very unlikable synthesizer intro, but the other parts of the track are good. Soleil D'Ork is another hypnotic Zeuhl track and Zombies is a classic Zeuhl track with emphasis on drums and bass. The bass of Jannick Top is amazing here. The song has been recycled and expanded for the E-Re album, but the original version is just fine.

Side two features the 18 minute track De Futura. Though the track is long, I don't think of it as an epic song. Magma's approach on music is different on this track. The result of this mainly atmospheric, industrial, futuristic and dark track with it's dooming sci-fi theme could be seen as a protest to the industrial and technological society we find ourselves in. This song is about the future in which the machines rise against humanity. The composition isn't as strong as on older Magma albums IMHO. There is just less muchness. The complete track is distorted-bass and drums oriented with some synthesizers and back-ground vocals. That's is. The themes of Jannick top on bass-guitar are original and his sound is amazing, but the drums don't sound very clear on the recording. The vocals are as futuristic as the music and non-melodic. However, the atmosphere of the track is very strong and it's inhuman/abstract futuristic sound make this a worthwhile listen for all Magma fans. Also fans of the abstract-sounding King Crimson might find this track to be a very pleasant surprise.

Conclusion. Perhaps the hay-days of MDK, Konterkosz and Wurdah Itah were over. The music is less complex (but still as demanding!) and there are less moments of great musicianship. The bass of Jannick Top is great and the drums are played very well by Vander, but the recording of the drums isn't what it could have been. Still this is a great effort by the band that shows there will to change in direction. There heavy aggressive sound on Futura is original and the track could be seen as one of the first steps into the industrial metal that would arise years later.

This isn't the best way to start your Magma obsession (you either really like this band or you dislike them), but it's still highly recommended to fans. Four stars (actually 3.5) for an innovative record, albeit not as masterful as the three records that came before this one.

*Edit. I changed my rating to three stars. De Futura doesn't impress me anymore and is recorded with an un-attractive sound. Side one is perhaps 3.5 stars.

Report this review (#286718)
Posted Wednesday, June 16, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is quite a departure from previous Magma albums. There's a lot more synths present - which is pretty good news in my opinion. Side one has 5 short tracks kicking off with 'üdü wüdü' which is surprisingly cheery and colourful for a Magma track. It's also the catchiest tune on the album. There are a couple of bits and bobs on this side that re-appear on 'Ëmëhntëht-Rê' in 2009. Strangely some of the bass parts remind me of Mick Karn. And even stranger, a few parts sound like the 'Residents' from the early 80's due to the keyboards used.

Like most other reviewers have commented, side two's 'De Futura' is superb. A five star track and definitely in the bracket of the best three tunes they ever wrote. Jannik Top's bass is simply fantastic. As the track progresses it sounds more and more threatening - as if something dreadful is going to happen. An intimidating and relentless stomper!

Probably the easiest entry point for a first time listener.

ps. You know, I used to hate the sight of Steve Davis (the snooker player) with his red wiry hair and dead eyes - but I recently found out he's a huge Magma fan - so much so that he even arranged for them to play in London some years ago! Who would have believed it??!!

Report this review (#287477)
Posted Sunday, June 20, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars With this album, we see yet another change in sound from Vander and crew. Whereas the last three were pretty similar in that they were all basically album-long epics, this one changes up the format a bit and decides to go for some individual songs along the way. For a good while, this was one of my favorites, and it was one of my first few Magma albums. Unfortunately, this one hasn't held up as well over time as most of the others.

Side one is what I really don't like quite as much as previous (and most later) Magma material. The songs are still good, but for the most part they lack a certain, special something that the majority of Magma's material have for me. One good thing this side of the album did for me was introduce me to Bernard Paganotti and his intensely fuzzy bass. He would be put to much better use on Magma's live albums and in his own band, Weidorje, though. One of my favorite parts on side one, "Zombies" was updated and put to MUCH better use in the band's most recent album, Ëmëhntëhtt-Ré. This side of the album is "merely" good, which as far as Magma goes is below par in my opinion. There aren't any bad songs on this side, but none of them are exactly amazing, either...except the previously mentioned "Zombies" and "Soleil d'Ork", which has a nice funky bass line throughout. Side two, however, is another story. What we get here is the incredible "De Futura". This track was the first track I truly loved from this album, and it's remained my favorite over the years. It starts off chugging along, but as things go on it builds in intensity and speed to an incredible climax before disappearing, leaving you wishing for more. The atmosphere throughout the song is pretty mysterious/dark, definitely well done. As other reviewers have said, this track alone is worth the purchase of the album.

Overall, I would not recommend this album as a starting place for Magma. Once you're acquainted with the band's overall sound and atmosphere, though, it's not a bad place to go. The followup, Attahk, will take the style of the first half of this album, improve upon it, and change it into a much better (in my opinion, of course) style, bringing out the jazz/fusion style of the band for an incredible album. This one, though, is deserving of something around a 3-3.5.

Report this review (#330507)
Posted Monday, November 22, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars I've always preferred my Magma with jazz- and funk-influenced bass right up front, which is one of the reasons that this album, Udu Wudu, has been one of my favorites by Magma. Jannick Top's basslines on this album are funky and repetitive and incredibly infectious. The grooves are dark and evil sounding, which really sets the whole mood for the entire album (except the title-track, which is remarkably optimistic).

Synthesizers occasionally make a few touches in the music on this album, most likely due to both the band thinning out in amount of members and also possibly Magma trying to create greater appeal to the "modern" crowd. Most of the synth lines are creepy-sounding graveyard effects that accentuate Top's dark funk grooves flawlessly.

Another huge reason that I prefer this album over most other Magma albums is that the horribly done operatic bafoonery vocals take a backseat on this album, for the most part. Occasional scatting and chanting appears, but the actual music portion of this album prevails.

Magma for fans of jazz-fusion and funk - highly recommended.

Report this review (#442319)
Posted Tuesday, May 3, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars Udu Wudu ? 1976 (3.1/5) 11 ? Best Song: Udu Wudu

I've been traveling on the Magma train for a good little while now, and I can safely say what is and is not normal for one of their albums. No, the atmosphere and mood is not always centered on dark, brooding obedience and martial, terse anger. It is not always bass-driven and call-and- response. The vocals and songs don't always begin quietly and sway between calm and climax. What you are definitely going to hear in most any Magma song (if you split them between separate tracks) is a heavy reliance on repetition and classical, slow building progression. Yes, there are times when the songs will abruptly whip between one idea and another, but once they've found a groove, you can predict it won't change very much until the next scheduled stop.

Another series of 'usual suspects' are the usage of the Piano. It's the underlying theme in a majority of their tracks. Brass instruments come in from time to time, and they're lovely when they do. Keyboards are rarely implemented, but they do use some nice Rhodes piano. There's a heavy emphasis on bass guitar and percussive interplay. Which leads me to the one primary strike against the group ? they aren't truly melody-oriented. Their songs are built on rhythms and grooves, which unfortunately aren't all that diverse. Now that we've given ourselves a recap of what makes the group's collective works similar, let's discuss why Udu Wudu is different. The repetition and piano droll is still present, and so is the martial order and subservience ideology. But at the same time, they incorporate funk and upbeat vibrancy to the floorplan. Does it work? Well, it certainly does on the beginning value of the album. The title track is one of the best, most misrepresentative song in their collection. It's not that this is wildly different from their formula (which yes, it is a formula by this time). It's tribal, brassy, and picturesque (Picasso eat your heart out.) I can't handle the disjointed nature of it much longer, though. At this point my mind is begging me for something more, how should I put it, musical.

Report this review (#443277)
Posted Thursday, May 5, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars Funky Zeuhl

I picked up Udu Wudu because it was discounted at one of the online mp3 stores. Of the four Magma albums I own, this one is the most lack luster. Jazz fusion had evolved in the years prior to the 1976 release date, and Magma pulled in some of these sounds for this release. While it does provide a new angle on the Magma style, this funkiness sounds quite dated now, and detracts from the otherwise singular sound of the band. My overall impression was that the band had said what they had to say musically and now were playing around just for pure enjoyment. This is not a bad thing in general, especially when the musicians involved are so talented. In fact, I could see some with more whimsical tastes enjoying this album more than some of the classics (where Magma has a habit taking themselves a little too seriously.) For me, however, this one is still good music but not nearly as essential as their main works. (As a prog nerd, I have an extremely high tolerance for pretentiousness.)

Udu Wudu is, if nothing else, all about the bass. Throbbing distorted bass dominates this album, often playing circular repeating figures that feel like a herd of marching elephants. This is at turns exhilirating (even a little frightening) and tedious / boring depending on the listener's mood. I believe bassist Jannick Top contributed more songwriting on this album, and it shows in the prominence of the low riff in many of the songs. Vocals are not as prominent as some earlier releases like MDK but do appear in the typical Magma chorus style. As usual, the drumming is tasty and dextrous. The tracks each are self contained, and only one (De Futura) is epic length, but really doesn't have enough going on to merit it's length. The overall tone is pretty dark, but that's true of most of Magma's work.

For someone who has worn out their other Magma records and is looking for something a little different, Udu Wudu is still going to serve up more of the wacky prog-fusion stew that you've come to love. It's still very good, just not as strong as the band's best works. 3.5/5 rounded down because of better options available.

Report this review (#481362)
Posted Wednesday, July 13, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars I hate to say this, but for the first time I have found a Magma studio album that utterly confuses me. Even if ATTAHK has a more mainstreamised sound, UDU WUDU is something I haven't come to realise. The quality of the songs seems to be down compared to earlier, and the direction of the group is no longer clear here.

I prefer to begin with the mammoth epic ''De Futura'', a brutal slab of space synths and manic bass all wrapped around a psychedelic jam. It's well more psychedelic than I've ever heard Magma. Keep in mind that I normally enjoy long psych jams that seem to head nowhere; I tend to phase out too much as ''De Futura'' wears on. It starts off wonderfully, but about ten minutes in, I feel too bored to continue.

Stranger is that I enjoy the shorter tracks more. Of them, ''Weidorje'' is the only one that I would say is a pure Zeuhl experience (to the point where the two composers of the piece broke off from Magma to found their own band under that name). Elsewhere, we get funk (''Soleil d'Ork''), jazz (''Zombies''), classically influenced R&B (''Troller Tanz''; the main melody sounds like ''Figaro'') and the title track that is very indescribable other than disco meets Zeuhl; I kid you not.

UDU WUDU very much sounds like a hodge-podge of different styles instead of one unitary vision, and in short, the inconsistencies keep this album down in rating. The group took the dabblings of funk, R&B and other allsorts, did some Zeuhl processing and put out a better representation of that sound on ATTAHK. In a sense, UDU WUDU sounds like the sample test of ATTAHK; I honestly feel Magma needed to test out how more mainstream sounds worked in their sound before they knew exactly how to channel them.

Report this review (#490811)
Posted Tuesday, July 26, 2011 | Review Permalink
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars This album was my first experience with Magma, and when I first bought this LP, I just about played it to death. But strangely, I never got much further with this outstanding band.

The album starts with the title track, Üdü Ẁüdü. It's a fusiony piece, with a very latin sound. The percussion, horns and vocals add to this effect. Very nice. The heavy Weidorje follows. It has a simpler rhythm section, and almost chanted vocals. Bernard Paganotti's bass, at least at the beginning of this song, along with some synth play, keep the piece from getting too boring. One could swear that Troller Tanz (Ghost Dance) was a song by The Residents. Soleil D'Ork (Ork's Sun) has a funky world music feel, and Jannik Top's cool bass keeps this one fun. Zombies (Ghost Dance) closes out side one with some fantastic drumming. It's a dark piece that sounds like avant jazz at times to me.


Side two is one long piece. De Futura. It's a fantastic bass heavy piece with Top playing everything but drums. Just astounding.

Report this review (#522556)
Posted Tuesday, September 13, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars Heralding a change in Magma's sound - brought about, in part, by bassist Jannick Top's greater involvement in songwriting (the album includes his bass-driven epic De Futura), Üdü Ẁüdü sees Magma moving away from the "Klingon opera" of Mekanik Destruktiw Kommandoh and Kohntarkosz. At points there are hints of the band's early fusion direction, but what is more prominent is a shift towards a sound not unreminiscent of the chamber prog of fellow continental eccentrics Univers Zero. Expanding the definition of what Zeuhl could sound like, this album is a fine refinement and reinvention of the Magma myth. Congratulations, Vander and Top - now, Üdü that Ẁüdü that you do so well!
Report this review (#550417)
Posted Friday, October 14, 2011 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
3 stars "Udu Wudu" follows on from a slew of excellent Magma albums and has some more accessible tracks and one outstanding track. There is still the quasi-human Kobaian language that Magma addicts have all come to know and love. However, gone is the uniqueness of the sound and side one is rather mediocre in comparison to the wild inventiveness of previous Magma albums. There are still some excellent passages of jazzy Zeuhl such as with 'Troller Tanz' with it's whimsical melody, and Vander's high pitched screeching and the choral voices typical to Magma. 'Zombies' is also a standout track with stunning dissonant jazz overtones and chaotic percussion.

Side two features the best track, a side long 18 minute epic, 'De Futura'. The use of high pitched synthesizer on this creates a new Magma sound. There is a uniquely futuristic atmosphere with the added synth tones and it is a welcome change to the album. Vader is a man possessed on percussion and trumpets, sax, flute, and bass compete and battle it out for much of the epic. At one point the instruments drop out and Jannik Top's fuzzy bass solo takes over. It is one of the high points of the album and played aggressively perfectly augmenting the dark atmospheres. The hypnotic groove works well with the percussion and outer limits spacey effects.

In conclusion, the one epic track elevates this to a worthwhile listen, but it is not to the level of previous Magma, and less consistent in terms of innovation and musical excellence. Unless you are a bonafide Magma fan, it would be best to begin with one of the other earlier albums as this is not to the usual consistent high quality standard.

Report this review (#605464)
Posted Sunday, January 8, 2012 | Review Permalink
2 stars I have been attempting to like this album, but I don't even know where to begin - so far, I couldn't even determine in what kind of mood and/or circumstances this should be played in order to attain the best listening experience. One thing I can say for sure, it's disproportionately noisy and intrusive, especially for the caliber of the musical message it delivers.

Üdü Ẁüdü has, IMHO, some of the prominent troubling attributes of a so-so album that is ... ... Aggressive without being powerful ... Confused without being sophisticated ... Odd without being innovative ... Pompous without being distinguished

All in all, yet another attempt to like it failed - going to play the marvelous Starless and Bible Black to "detox" my poor ears from the Blüüdü Üdü Ẁüdü thingy :(

Report this review (#789781)
Posted Monday, July 16, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars 4.5 stars really

Here begins the "change" of Magma; in this, Attahk and Merci, they incorporated R&B, Funk and Soul influences that are very clear.

I wish i couldn't mention De Futura at the begin of this review, but it's impossible to me because that song is a another landmark in Zeuhl genre. It's the longest track (over 17 minutes) of the album, and it's very evil. But that's not all, the album has five songs more, and they're good too!

The cd begins with Udu Wudu, a very "happy" song, something strange (because we're talking about Magma, not the Bee Gees). The purists of early Magma's records maybe hate this album, but i don't mind. It's fresh, and different. It reminds me to Robert Fripp, with his recognized quote: "King Crimson is a way of doing things". By the same way, we can applicate that to Magma. They reinvent themself with every new record.

Some parts of this and Attahk were included in Emehntehtt-Re album (2009) -i will review it in later-.

Well, to not be very extense, i will talk about De Futura, the best track on this record. The choral voices are similar to MDK, but different at the same time. The main "riff" is very strange, and even absurd, but rough. The song gathers intensity from the eight minute, when the Jannick Top's bass begins destroying all. The bass riff is repeated from there to the end and it's faster every time, to the point of ending the song. Very simple to say it, but very hard to get into the first time, obviously.


Report this review (#807044)
Posted Saturday, August 18, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars If at first you don't succeed try,try again. That's pretty much my motto with Magma, it took several attempts before I was able to enjoy this band and genre and it all started with Udu Wudu. While rhythm has always been an important part of Magmas music Udu Wudu sees them branching out a bit while still subtly retaining some of their classic elements which start to disappear after this album. The title track offers up some of the best vocal melodies heard on any other Magma album along with some great piano and bass lines. This album is filled to the brim with great throbbing bass lines which really come to a head on the classic track De Futura. Musically this might be Magmas most accessible album and a great starting place for anyone who is interested in this band but you must keep in mind that this album is kind of a transitional one for the band and does not have too much in common with their earlier releases.

Report this review (#812192)
Posted Wednesday, August 29, 2012 | Review Permalink
siLLy puPPy
PSIKE & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars Another development for MAGMA after the space opera in the form of the Theusz Hamtaahk Triology had run its course. While many of the previous styles and sounds can be heard sparingly on ÜDÜ ẀÜDÜ, this is a much less busy affair with only a few of the many musicians on the album taking part in any particular track. The star of this album is Jannick Top who delivers the funkiest and most in-yer-face bass lines that occur on any MAGMA album. He also handles the brass arrangements and synths as well leaving his indelible stamp on this album that sounds like no other.

The title track begins the album and has the most musicians participating and to be honest is my least favorite track on the album. The repetitive piano roll with the call and response Kobaian vocals with a nice jazzy sax appearing sounds like MAGMA making a tribute to African ritual music or something with its unrelenting rhythms. The problem for me is that it just doesn't do much with all the sounds going on and seems like a four minute group drone of some kind. The same is also true of the second track "Weidorje" which has a weak groove and vocal phrasings that i find really boring. Not a good start.

Luckily everything changes for the better with the brilliant third track "Tröller Tanz (Ghost Dance)" which starts with a cool synth run followed by an infectious bass groove with awesome interaction between the keyboards. The synth run has a haunting oscillating effect that actually sounds like haunting ghosts. This effect is heard from here on and adds a very effective spookiness to the mix including the other Ghost Dance of "Zombies" that also has a nice dissonant jazziness to it.

Most tracks are short and to the point but there is one progressive behemoth in the form of "De Futura." I wouldn't exactly call it more progressive than the other tracks, i would simply call it longer. It utilizes the exact same formula with beefy groovy double bass lines, oscillating ghost sounds and alternating themes and tempos, and basically it pretty much takes different songs and sows them together into an 18 minute monster that morphs into another track instead of being separate. It is the perfect way to end the album. Another successful MAGMA release in my book and although not as perfect as others, still quite a worthy addition.

I was surprised by the addition of"Ëmëhntëht-Rê (extrait no. 2)" as a final track until i realized it's a bonus track on the CD, but since it sounds more like the operatic craziness from MDK it is a nice reminder just how different ÜDÜ ẀÜDÜ is in comparison and how lucky we are to get a band that can not only invent a progressive rock sub genre out of the sonic boiling pots of jazz, classical and rock but that they can reinvent it with every move they make. Although MAGMA would not continue this sound beyond this sole album, keyboardist Patrick Gauthier and bassist Bernard Paganotti would leave MAGMA to carry it on with their own group Weidorje which not only took on the sound but the name from the track as well, and i personally think they did an excellent job at perfecting this style of zeuhl.

Report this review (#1358159)
Posted Friday, January 30, 2015 | Review Permalink
Prog Leviathan
3 stars Welcome to a strange, grotesque, and musical alien world. It's a place where bouncing melodies, fat bass fuzz, and weird keyboard textures interplay to create songs that will make you smirk, tap your foot, and scratch your head all at once. Welcome to Üdü Ẁüdü.

This is my first Magma record; in fact, it's my first listen to the "zeuhl" genre here on Prog Archives, and it was an entertaining experience. Üdü Ẁüdü is weird while retaining melody, and moves at a fine pace through mostly upbeat songs that are packed with music and musical sounds. You'll boomerang from dancing rhythms to open-ended a breezy passages that feel improvised. The sound, instrumentation, and vibe fits right in with the '70's prog scene, though Magma's voice is literally a unique one, because all of the lyrics are nonsense words created by the band's founder. They're quirky, but they work, and really do make it feel like you're walking among aliens listening to their off- kilter pop music.

From a song writing perspective there's not much here to grab you, in part because of the overall feeling of mystery or ooky spooky vibes the band creates. This is accomplished by the instrumental work, which is great. There's moments of Zappa-like orchestration and flippancy, but for the most part this Magma album is all about keys, drums, and bass... bass especially, with a near-constant stream of off-kilter lines and experimentation to enjoy. For me, this album isn't about the songs, it's the effect. A lot sounds ad-libbed, giving Üdü Ẁüdü a jam session-like quality. The downside of this is that there isn't much variety, as the equal parts prog/jazz/funk/Tralfamadorian folk sort of blend together throughout the experience.

Creative and entertaining, Üdü Ẁüdü outdoes a handful of shortcomings to become a lot of fun. Recommended for those seeking a good dose of weirdness in their classic prog collection, especially bass lovers like me.

Songwriting: 2 - Instrumental Performances: 4 - Lyrics/Vocals: 3 - Style/Emotion/Replay: 4

Report this review (#1562620)
Posted Friday, May 13, 2016 | Review Permalink

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