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Jazz Rock/Fusion • Austria

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Alex  Machacek picture
Alex Machacek biography
Alex Machacek was born in Tulin, Austria on July 1, 1972. His parents expatriated from Eastern Bloc Czechoslovakia to Austria in the 1960's. Alex started playing guitar at age 8 and would later study at the prestigious Konservatorium Wien. While studying classical guitar in his youth he developed a taste for heavy metal, but would soon evolve to a love for jazz. By 1999 he would release his first solo album under the name MC Hacek called Featuring Ourselves. The album clearly displayed an influence of Allan Holdsworth and Frank Zappa. His following releases expanded the scope of jazz and fusion influences. He would enlist a wide cast of cohorts that included Terry Bozzio, Marko Minnemann, Gary Husband, Jeff Sipe, and many others. His music is marked by attention to balanced composition and complimentary instrumentation.

Aside from his projects as primary composer he has also had numerous collaborations with other musicians that included:
Jason Sadite's Why with Marko Minnemann and Tony Levin
Ray Riendeau
FAT (Fabulous Austrian Trio)
Out Trio with Bozzio and Patrick O'Hearn
UK's live reunion tour

Additionally, Alex teaches at Hollywood's GIT and has a healthy library of instructional videos.

ALEX MACHACEK Videos (YouTube and more)

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ALEX MACHACEK discography

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ALEX MACHACEK top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.94 | 3 ratings
Featuring Ourselves (as Mc Hacek)
3.00 | 1 ratings
4.00 | 2 ratings
Improvision (with Jeff Sipe and Matthew Garrison)
4.50 | 2 ratings
24 Tales

ALEX MACHACEK Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
The Official Triangle Sessions (with Jeff Sipe and Neal Fountain)

ALEX MACHACEK Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

ALEX MACHACEK Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

ALEX MACHACEK Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Featuring Ourselves (as Mc Hacek) by MACHACEK, ALEX  album cover Studio Album, 1999
4.94 | 3 ratings

Featuring Ourselves (as Mc Hacek)
Alex Machacek Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by JazzFusionGuy

5 stars Think Ed Mann, think Zappa, think vibes, think Holdsworth and Henderson and especially so -- please think pure zany fusion. Alex Machacek is guitars/programming, Tibor Kövesdi is bass/keys, Flip Philipp is awesome vibes/percussion and Harri Ganglberger make one seriously talented Austrian jazz fusion band. I hear Dave Samuels' Gallery days and Ed Mann's superb GetUp release. Things are always surprising here with violin, viola, and cello swooning in on "Liebe, Jazz Und Übermut". They even acknowledge this track sounding like an Allan Holdsworth piece on the liner notes but to me it has its own significant character fully apart.

Machacek is one firmly talented guitarist, no doubts here. He has his own style even if he echoes Henderson and Holdsworth. Riffs are riffs. For in-your-face Zappa, hear "Zapzarapp". It is one of my fav tracks as it flows in fits and starts then mellows in a ballad format at times like an old Bruford piece. Philipp's vibe unison runs with Machacek's fleeting melody lines was as good if not better than those sax/guitar tricks on Stern's releases or even Gong's unison vibes/axe runs with Holdsworth way back when . . . A solo bass break nicely pulls this piece out into more room for Machacek to squeal harmonics-laden wailings for the outro.

To show off all this band's syncopated bells and whistles you must experience, "Donna Lee -- Easy Viennese Version". This reminded me of game show jingles re-written for fusion keeping in mind the whirlwind effects of a manic Magma intro. Truly whacked!! I luv'd it. "Intro 2 7" leads us very Allan Holdsworthic right into "Allandig" which seems a tribute to Holdsworth. It is an 8:53 mellow flowing piece that builds into room for Machacek to do the butterfly-kiss, light-fingered touch, and then open it up for extended jams infusion heaven with angelic vibes countering his axe's tortured screams and bluesy-rocked fusion runs. The flurry of notes here is wonderfully placed and without any excess. The bassist does an excellent job on piano on this great cut. They outro with a tight drum solo.

"Bänderriss" was a perfect blend of Zappa meets Tribal Tech. Hunh? Yep. It worked. It demonstrated just how much fine jazz riffage Machacek can pullout of his sleeve. Bass solo is just right. Compositions shift and flow and this group just breathe the change-ups unfalteringly. A joy to experience.

Class stuff here. Last two tracks were free-form improv, avant garde excursionsthat reminded me of when Tribal Tech just gets weird and whankish. They did little to help this release. In spite of the anti-climax in these last two cuts, I highly recommend this release for superb fusion of Austria.

 Featuring Ourselves (as Mc Hacek) by MACHACEK, ALEX  album cover Studio Album, 1999
4.94 | 3 ratings

Featuring Ourselves (as Mc Hacek)
Alex Machacek Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Tapfret
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

5 stars Back before we were blessed with the "try before you buy" era of internet showcases like Youtube, Bandcamp, etc., the prog minded listener had to make a certain amount of leap of faith purchases with new music. Some waited for friends to make the buy so you could here the music first, but at some point it had to be your turn to make that leap. Often it resulted in stinkers, but sometimes the catalog was true to the description and you actually get that album that's " a blend of Frank Zappa and Allan Holdsworth." That was the case when I purchased MC Hacek - Featuring Ourselves.

Before Alex Machacek moved to the U.S. and became a renowned guitar instructor at Hollywood's GIT, he was already making a name for himself in his home country of Austria. After studying at the Vienna Conservatorium he formed an ensemble called MC Hacek with drummer Harri Ganglberger, bassist Tibor Kövesdi, and percussion/mallet specialist Flip Phillip. The name was chosen, somewhat ironically, to prevent confusion about Mr. Machacek's name. This lone release under the pseudonym starts out exactly as advertised: with a very tightly syncopated, vibe heavy intro that harkens to passages from the Mothers of Invention that prominently featured Ruth Underwood's mallet skills. Underlying the complex manic starts and stops is a very Holdsworth-esque set of jazz-rock fusion chord progressions that form a package that is very much homage, while maintaining a sense of originality. And the homage to these musical giants is in no way disguised with track titles like Zapzarapp and Allandig. Despite being an entirely instrumental album, even Zappa's cornerstone humor gets a nod, exemplified by the cover of Donna Lee by Charlie Parker, which is subtitled Easy Viennese Teenage Version. The song is notoriously challenging in its original form and then taken to the woodshop and carved into an insanely twisted version that the most trained ear can spend a tremendous amount of time trying to find the sourced passages. It is moments like these that punctuate the album's progressive nature. And all the complexity of composition and technical skill of the players never becomes overbearing. There is always a tasteful texture and seamless meshing of ideas, capped with a well balanced recording to form a top-tier production of progressive jazz-rock.

As the years passed, Alex Machacek would develop a more individualized playing style, become an instructor and even have young players attempting to mimic his style. The hints of his influences would continue to be there; enough so that he would eventually have the opportunity to tour with the last manifestation of UK, playing some of the most recognized progressive works in Allan Holdsworth's sphere of influence. Ultimately his compositional style, tone and technique would be wholly his own. And that's a good thing. But Featuring Ourselves will nonetheless shine as a masterpiece of an artist melding styles that influenced him in a very transparent way. This is an album that any fan of either Zappa or Holdsworth will absolutely enjoy, and should be a necessity to any prog collection.

Thanks to tapfret for the artist addition.

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