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MAGYAR POSSE

Post Rock/Math rock • Finland


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Magyar Posse biography
Formed out of the ashes of THE ALIBI OF CARLOS, MAGYAR POSSE are actually the only post-rock group in Finland, but what a group it is! When talking about similar bands, I guess you could draw comparisons to GY!BE, SIGUR ROS and TORTOISE, but that would not be sufficient in describing their sound. They are also heavily influenced by Ennio Morricone's music, and there's definitely a movie soundtrack feel in many of their tracks. Also, I remember reading that some of the band members were huge krautrock fans and that does show when listening to their hypnotic grooves in tracks like "Lufthan".

MAGYAR POSSE have released two albums by now, "We Will Carry You Over The Mountains" was already a solid and refreshing debut, only to be topped by their highly acclaimed second album "Kings Of Time" - which was voted "album of the year" (2004) by many different sources in the Finnish music press. Both are recommended.


Why this artist must be listed in www.progarchives.com :
Well, since post-rock is now a sub-genre in progressive rock, MAGYAR POSSE should undeniably fit in. While their style doesn't directly resemble any other post-rock group, they have that certain "sound" that only groups from that genre have.


Discography:
We Will Carry You Over The Mountains, studio album (2002)
Kings Of Time, studio album (2004)

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MAGYAR POSSE discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

MAGYAR POSSE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.68 | 19 ratings
We Will Carry You Over The Mountains
2002
3.46 | 28 ratings
Kings Of Time
2004
4.18 | 39 ratings
Random Avenger
2006

MAGYAR POSSE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Live at UMF, Finland
2006

MAGYAR POSSE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

MAGYAR POSSE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 We Will Carry You Over The Mountains by MAGYAR POSSE album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.68 | 19 ratings

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We Will Carry You Over The Mountains
Magyar Posse Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

3 stars The first album by Finland's Magyar Posse (named after a cheap local wine, or so I'm told) announced the arrival of a promising new band: yet another gem from northern latitudes. Their style was always a little too unique for the Post Rock pigeonhole, resembling instead a series of atmospheric, ersatz film score instrumentals, but with a melancholy Krautrock vibe.

The group was still a quartet at the time, and hadn't yet patented the edgy, angular rhythms that would later define their 2006 studio swan song "Random Avenger", arguably the peak effort of a sadly abbreviated career. Missing too was the evocative violin of Sandra Mahlamäki, not yet drafted into the posse, although the musical saw wielded by producer Sami Sänpäkkilä added an appropriate spell to the song "Witchcraft".

The sound of the album is simplicity itself, but with a gray sub-arctic moodiness, like a children's fairy tale gone awry. The bittersweet chords and haunting, hypnotic melodies (with colorful titles like "Singlesparks are Spectral Fires") are equally introspective and aggressive, if sometimes a little too homogenous. Brian Eno may believe that "repetition is a form of change" (quoting from his deck of Oblique Strategies), but the lockstep unison of a song like "The Endless Cycle of Violence" needed a better payoff after six long minutes of escalating monochrome tension.

The intermittent motorik beat recalls the momentum of classic NEU! (more accurately, the secondhand facsimile of bands like Stereolab), almost verbatim in the album closer "Lufthan". Magyar Posse may have been driving a similar highway, but the detours they took were more intuitive, and no less inviting despite the occasional cul-de-sac. Like the road films of kindred Finn Aki Kaurismäki, it's more about the journey than the ultimate destination.

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 Random Avenger by MAGYAR POSSE album cover Studio Album, 2006
4.18 | 39 ratings

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Random Avenger
Magyar Posse Post Rock/Math rock

Review by zravkapt
Special Collaborator Post/Math Rock Team

5 stars Magyar Posse are a post-rock group from Finland who have yet to follow-up this amazing album. As more evidence that there is no justice in the world, this album is currently out-of- print and was never easy to find to begin with. Such a shame as this is an album that more people should hear and own. This is both the first post-rock album I have given 5 stars to and the most recent album I have given 5 stars to. Generally, no matter how great they are, a lot of the best post-rock albums still have a little bit of filler or parts that don't seem to go anywhere and add little. I do not give out any 'masterpiece' ratings until that release is a least 5 years old. Random Avenger has stood the test of time long enough to be considered a masterpiece in my opinion. Some think this band has a weird name for a Finnish group; 'Magyar' means 'Hungarian' but apparently the group named themselves after a brand of wine.

The band here changes their sound from the cinematic moodiness of Kings Of Time. Random Avenger is more rocking and symphonic while the drumming is far more important, yet also contains some Steve Reich inspired minimalism. There are two keyboardist here and the keys as well as the violin are very important to the sound. Some odd meters are used as well as wordless vocals, sometimes in harmony or a single female voice. The music is almost linked thematically due to some of the melodies in different songs being similar. Not only are the compositions excellent and well executed but the production is sympathetic to them and the whole album has a great flow to it.

The journey begins with a "Whirlwind Of Terror And Tension" which is a great opener and one of the best tracks. Very symphonic sounding with a restless, urgent vibe. The guitar here almost sounds like 1960s acid rock in places. Features some of those great harmony 'la-la' vocals you hear throughout the album. Goes into a brief GYBE style atmospheric non- music section before returning to the main theme. Nice solo singing towards the end that gets delayed/repeated before it stops. "Sudden Death" starts out in a similar way to the previous song but this is both more upbeat and dramatic sounding. Nice synth sounds in this track. I like the ascending and descending melody done on violin before the music changes and melancholic piano takes over.

The drums, guitar and violin proceed to build up to a crescendo but never actually make it there. Instead it settles down a bit and the music changes yet again to symphonic rock. The beginning melody is reprised at the end. "Black Procession" is under 3 minutes long and like "One By One" could be considered filler if listened to outside the context of the album. Some background sounds are drowned out by almost horror-movie style piano and emotional violin playing. Works as a great segue when you listen to the whole album. The centerpiece of Random Avenger is the 12 1/2 minute title track (sort of) "European Lover/Random Avenger." Opening with very classical sounding piano as if it were recorded off an old radio, more keyboards join it and then guitar picking and fast jazzy hi-hat. Then the bass comes in and the drummer hits the snare rim.

The violin sets up the main musical theme which just builds and builds gloriously from here. Ascending and descending melodies and wordless singing are all part of the fun in this song. Around 4 minutes begins a break where a mini-solo on synth and jazzy cymbal work lead to the best part: where the violin plays it's heart out as the drummer is bashing his cymbals like there is no tomorrow. The second half is more traditionally post-rock sounding yet still symphonic. Some noises on the guitar strings are joined by some guitar strums which create a melody. Vibraphone sets up the final musical theme. The rest of the track builds up in a stereotypical post-rock way but with some great sustained string-synth notes along for the ride. Ends with some accordion that sounds like it was recorded off an old radio.

"Intercontinental Hustle" has a similar vibe to the first two tracks. More great violin work here. Before 3 minutes is some interesting keyboard work and then it goes back to the main melody, already in the process of building a crescendo. The tempo picks up at the end and it almost sounds like space-rockers Ozric Tentacles or even Hawkwind. "One By One" is a 3 minute piece which features lovely acoustic guitar picking. Some background sounds and vocals. Gets spacier towards the end. Like "Black Procession" this works as a segue but would not stand on it's own. "Popzag" is the last song and true to it's name its the most poppy song here, but that is mostly because it is more upbeat and optimistic sounding than the rest of the album. More great 'la-la' vocals here. Some good guitar after 3 minutes. Great mix of Leslie-fied guitar and organ/synth at one point. In fact, the main melody/riff of the song is done on organ.

Magyar Posse was one of those bands who just got better and better with every release but unfortunately have not yet followed up Random Avenger. Maybe this album is so perfect they realize they will never top it...or even match it in terms of quality. Definitely one of the better post-rock releases of the past 10 years. This is post-rock that would appeal to fans of symphonic prog or possibly even Crossover or Neo as well. I hope this album gets released again because it deserves to be and is one of the best albums of the 2000s. Try and find a used copy or a digital version of Random Avenger because it just great, great, great. There is very little I can criticize about this, 5 stars.

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 Random Avenger by MAGYAR POSSE album cover Studio Album, 2006
4.18 | 39 ratings

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Random Avenger
Magyar Posse Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Whereas Magyar Posse's first two albums were fairly typical post-rock efforts, Random Avenger is a far more interesting prospect. The addition of Sandra Mahlamäki to the lineup on violin is a big part of this, but that's not the whole story - what really struck me listening to the album is the melodic keyboard playing of Jari Lähteinen and Pasi Salmi, which at points reminds me of the approach of some neo-prog bands. This deft expansion of the sonic palette of the band results in an extremely original sound which finds them finally standing head and shoulders above the post-rock crowd and finding their own unique voice.

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 Kings Of Time by MAGYAR POSSE album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.46 | 28 ratings

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Kings Of Time
Magyar Posse Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Magyar Posse's Kings of Time is a reasonable enough effort, but I felt that it's a bit too much of a rehash of their first album to really engage me. It's not that it's a bad album per se - but I suspect many listeners will find themselves preferring whichever one they happened to hear first. The main difference is that, to my ears at least, the band seem to be edging a bit closer to what I'd think of as a "standard" post-rock sound - you know, the sort of thing Explosions In the Sky and other bands who follow the Godspeed/Mogwai model without really having anything particularly clever to say for themselves play.

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 We Will Carry You Over The Mountains by MAGYAR POSSE album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.68 | 19 ratings

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We Will Carry You Over The Mountains
Magyar Posse Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Magyar Posse's debut album reveals a post-rock collective clearly inspired by the likes of Mogwai - particularly Mogwai's busier material, as showcased effectively on the Rock Action album - but at the same time achieve their own individual take on post-rock by taking on the motorik rhythms of krautrock masters such as Neu! or Kraftwerk. Thus, the band are a product of the cross-fertilisation of post-rock and prog rock which really got underway in the early 2000s, and We Will Carry You Over the Mountains is a fascinating product of that cross-fertilisation experiment which is a very accessible introduction to the band's music - and post-rock in general, if you happen to be a Neu! fan.

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 Random Avenger by MAGYAR POSSE album cover Studio Album, 2006
4.18 | 39 ratings

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Random Avenger
Magyar Posse Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Tunca Arican

4 stars For the first time listened to "Whirlpool Of Terror And Tension" , I felt like lost in both serenity and chaos. This song always reminds me two-face greek figure "Janus" as the god of gates, doors, beginnings, and endings. Chaos, namely, as the cradle of possibility, takes you in its gates. This is not an invitation, but a force that you should obey. Anyway, this album is really good and intensive that contributes prog.experimental music something new melodies. With electronic samples and synths, live instruments just play in perfect harmony and balance that makes this music also ironically a little schizophrenic in one sense. Actually, I like to lose myself or ego in some music which never allows listener to get the atmoshere out, but contrarly imprison him/her its magical sphere. So, Magyar Posse is really successfull to keep listener with the music, sphere and interrelated melodies that impress audience to experience somehow a sort of continuum.

Highly recommended album for everyone not just prog.rock listeners...

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 Random Avenger by MAGYAR POSSE album cover Studio Album, 2006
4.18 | 39 ratings

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Random Avenger
Magyar Posse Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Matti
Collaborator Neo-Prog Team

4 stars Chamberry's sole review for this album is totally perfect. He confesses that this album is one of the hardest ones he's tried to explain, but he succeeded in it extremely well, better than I ever could. In addition to the hard-to-describe nature of the music, my knowledge in so called Post-Rock is all too limited. But I'm planning to expand it... The Finnish MAGYAR POSSE (what a strange band name) was recommended to me three years ago and so I listened to Kings of Time album back then. I remember I thought it was fine but remained quite untouched, and have now forgotten what kind of music it was exactly. Now I believe that Random Avenger will become an actively listened album (home taping) to me.

It's one of those rare albums that you wish to hear straight way again after it stops. Sort of cinematic, yes, and minimalistic and emotional - I'm only stealing words from Chamberry. Female wordless vocals and a cello enrich the sound on few tracks; the group consists of two guitarists, two keyboardists, a violinist and a drummer. The music is dynamic and tense, and yet very pleasant to ears, not anyhow disturbing even as background music. I liked it from the very beginning, but it's not the kind of easy greasy music you get bored of in short time. What else can I say? Gimme more Post-Rock, please! (P.S. The cover pictures of empty school stages and such are quite dull, but not without a certain kindred spirit with the music.)

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 Random Avenger by MAGYAR POSSE album cover Studio Album, 2006
4.18 | 39 ratings

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Random Avenger
Magyar Posse Post Rock/Math rock

Review by chamberry
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Whoa! What happened here? This doesn't sound like the same Magyar Posse I heard in Kings of Time...

This is yet another album that bends and breaks the usual traditions post-rock (I better stop saying that) and it's no wonder it got highly praised around the net often considered one of the best post-rock albums of 2006.

Where as Kings of Time was more of a mood album with dark atmospheres and being very cinematic and powerful, Random Avenger bares no resemblance to it. For starters this album is more concrete in its sound leaving little to no space for electronic or ambient fills. The keyboards are more in front as well and sometimes reminds me a lot to TERRY RILEY or STEVE REICH's early recordings. In fact, this album blends flawlessly the rigid and cerebral minimalist music with the theatrical and emotional music of post-rock (imagine Reich's works filled with emotions and a sense of grandiosity and post-rock with the punch and discipline of minimalist composers in the 70's). This combination may look a bit weird in paper, but in the music all just seems to glue together and take shape. The guitars, violins and vocals are, as always, in top shape and perfectly blended with their sound.

The mood of the album is tense. The tittle of the first song, "Whirlpool of Terror and Tension" can be a nice representation of their sound in this album. It isn't aggressive, per se, but it isn't something that one would put before sleeping. It always keeps you in the edge of your sit from the start of the album until the very end. Luckily there are shorter songs in between the more frantic ones that softens the journey and calms your nerves while still being highly enjoyable.

While not sounding "epic" like Godspeed You! Black Emperor or Yndi Halda it can easily rival both bands in the cinematic department. The usual Magyar Posse female wordless vocals are definitely a mayor factor on this and they also give more dynamic to their music (as if their new sound wasn't enough). I really like the overall feel of the album and it wouldn't sound out of place in a post-apocalyptic themed movie or something similar. Although Kings of Time may also fit in a movie like that, Random Avenger takes a totally different direction as mentioned earlier.

I've never been good with words and honestly this album is one of the hardest albums I've tried to explain. Fans of minimalism will definitely enjoy this (I know I did) and post-rock fans will have a new toy to play with. Highly recommended.

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 Kings Of Time by MAGYAR POSSE album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.46 | 28 ratings

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Kings Of Time
Magyar Posse Post Rock/Math rock

Review by bamba

4 stars "Kings of time" sounds more mature and more sophisticated, but at the same time more aggressive and Dynamical, the songs are more interrelated and the album feels more like an entity. The music has moments of Peace and Serenity Inserted with the powerful and aggressive ones because of this the overall feeling turns always in two directions that make you perceive the dynamical changes.

The tracks have no name and it's kind of boring but I don't really care about this. In the previous album the violin doesn't sound too much just in some moments but here they use this instrument with more Intelligence and Capacity. The pieces last longer and they use more ambient passages to give the song a more intricate feeling. There are some vocals (like in the first piece) but only in few tracks, the whole album it's again instrumental. Some people says that its boring because they don't sing but I think they express better the feelings they have when they record this. The guitarist "Harri Sippola" is truly inspired and also Sandra Mahlamäki is in her best condition The keyboards sounds more like a grand piano but in some passages they make strange sounds that enrich the music.

They made a 10 minute song and I think it's the best because it have all the things I mentioned before and sometimes sounds a little bit jazzy but Unexpectedly they start to whistle like in a old west movie (maybe because they love morricone's music) really amazing; this piece in particular sounds very Powerful and Inspiring. To slow down the emotions the next track it's more soft and nostalgic really beautiful piece. Other beautiful song it's the fourth track with an excellent violin Interpretation and some guitar effects that connects to the next track and make it like if where only one piece, really amazing.

Magyar posse really have developed a new sound here they keep searching for new things like in the first album and they probably reach their peak in the next album (I hope). The post rock its always being renewed and Magyar Posse surely helps to the progression of the subgenre because of this I can say that they need more attention.

4.5 star's almost a masterpiece, excellent addition to any experimental/post rock collection and a must for all the subgenre lovers and Enthusiasts.

BAMBA

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 We Will Carry You Over The Mountains by MAGYAR POSSE album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.68 | 19 ratings

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We Will Carry You Over The Mountains
Magyar Posse Post Rock/Math rock

Review by bamba

4 stars This band from Finland makes a very interesting music; their sound is really unique. I personally found better their second album, but this album it's an excellent debut for this new post rock band.

The band develops a new sound for the post rock scene; their Influences could we the Morricone's music and maybe a little from Explosions in the sky but certainly they sound fresh and the comparisons are away from what they really are. In this album they use more the guitar effects and the violin don't play the principal role (like in the next album) but make some beautiful textures and Adornments.

We Will Carry You over the Mountains sometimes sound a little hypnotic and surrounding like in "Pacific Ocean / Death In The Desert", "The endless cycle of violence" and also could sound dark like in" witchcraft". The last track it's an amazing piece of soft and encouraging music, and closes perfectly the album. The music is all instrumental but transmits effectively the emotions and feelings they try to produce. There are not Weak points here the whole album could be listened as an entity.

"Harri Sippola" one of the guitar player makes a very good and interesting sound, sometimes he use the guitar to improve the sound, making solos and effects like all the post rock have. The keyboards complement the Atmosphere and give the hypnotic feel in some tracks but it never becoming annoying.

In general Magyar posse found a very interesting and unique sound to improve the experimental/post rock scene and also to considered one of the best in this sub-genre (needs more attention, and Recognition) and this is only the beginning I think, their second album it's even more beautiful and more Sophisticated. I have too many hopes in this band and think if they keep and improve their sound they will have in the future a true and more intelligent music Development.

4 stars excellent addition to any Experimental/post rock music collection. BAMBA.

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Thanks to useful_idiot for the artist addition. and to NotAProghead for the last updates

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