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MAGNOG

Psychedelic/Space Rock • United States


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Magnog biography
US trio MAGNOG were formed by teenagers Phil Drake (guitar), Jeff Reilly (bass, guitar) and Dana Shinn (drums) in 1993. They made a number of demos early on, and when three of their 90 minutes long demo tapes found their way to Kranky Records in 1995 the label signed them at once.

Their self-titled debut album was issued in 1996, and got quite a lot of attention. Magnog found themselves opening for Pearl Jam, got positive reviews in the Rolling Stone magazine and generally saw their talents recognized.

While recording their second album Kranky Records asked if they could issue an album consisting of chosen parts of the demo recordings the band had sent Kranky, and in the autumn of 1997 this resulted in the double-CD More Weather to be released.

Sadly Magnog broke up the same year, and whilst the two albums issued by the band showcase their talent the world would never get the chance to experience it fully developed.

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MAGNOG discography


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

3.96 | 4 ratings
Magnog
1996

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

MAGNOG Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

3.00 | 4 ratings
More Weather
1997

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

0.00 | 0 ratings
Mist Waves Riding The Hills
1996

MAGNOG Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 More Weather by MAGNOG album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1997
3.00 | 4 ratings

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More Weather
Magnog Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

2 stars If Magnog's self-titled debut album was like a trip through the abyss between stars, this posthumous collection of fragments, rehearsals and early demos is more akin to falling into the super-massive black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy.

The range of music is astonishing, from the 51-second "Vacant Chair" to the 30+ minute "Mystery Goodness", a title which doubles as a five-syllable synopsis of the entire album. Although maybe 'goodness' is the wrong word to describe the 2.3 hours of dense, intimidating Space Rock compiled here: truly more Space than Rock, and so thick in atmosphere you could slice it with a diamond-bright laser beam and leave not a mark on the amorphous cloud of sound.

None of the eighteen total tracks has a legitimate beginning or end. Instead, they each seem to fade into and out of a jam in progress, which only adds to the uneasy sense of cosmic mindwarp, "Somewhere Between Asleep and Awake", as the title to one of several 10+ minute workouts asserts. In short, there isn't a stable foothold to help your balance anywhere over the entire album.

The music occasionally locates a grinding, Post-Punk, Space-Kraut groove (in the latter half of the nearly 13-minute "Chopstick", for example). But it mostly follows an intuitive path of pure, improvised electric guitar ambience, often without any rhythm: in the short "Pattern Shifter", or the two-part "Goom Chi Pan". The home-recorded, low fidelity 4-track production is an acquired taste, but it suits the raw underground power of the music. Note the instrument lineup: aside from their standard guitar, bass, and drums, each of the three young players (amazingly all still in their teens when this music was recorded) is also given credit for 'delay', and all those effects pedals must have been overheated near to melting from the constant surge of high voltage.

It's a lot of music to digest, for psychic reasons more than the obvious time investment: I've had the album in my library for over two years now, and have yet to survive the whole thing in one sitting. Two stars for the challenge, and because it should only be approached with extreme caution: like an unshielded electrical cable, posing a fatal hazard to careless pedestrians.

[ Postscript: guitarist Phil Drake was forced to quit the music business for health reasons, before Magnog's sophomore studio album was completed. He died too young, in November 2015: a victim of medical negligence, according to his mother. We will never know how he might have matured as an artist and musician. But on the evidence of Magnog's limited recorded output, what was lost to us might have been extraordinary. ]

 Magnog by MAGNOG album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.96 | 4 ratings

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Magnog
Magnog Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

4 stars One of the more enigmatic and underappreciated bands in these Archives came and went too quickly at the end of the last millennium, and never had a chance to fulfill the enormous potential shown in their only studio album.

When it was released in March of 1996, this self-titled debut was compared in the music press to early Ash Ra Tempel, and not without reason. The group is classified here as Psychedelic/Space Rock, but this is Space Rock as the Germans used to play it, circa 1970: dense, unnerving explorations of infinity, the musical equivalent of dark matter. Imagine the drifting interstellar guitars of "Traummaschine", cranked up to occasional brain-melting volume.

And yet there are moments of unexpected beauty in the music, silver linings around all the churning guitar abstractions and overwhelming reverb effects. "Learning Forgetfulness" has a lovely, Eno-esque melody, with barely audible spoken poetry from an obvious teenage voice (the average age of the Magnog trio was around twenty, at the time). And in "A Moment's Seam" the band miraculously conjured a facsimile of an actual song, one of the more haunting ballads ever beamed down to Planet Earth from beyond the stars.

The longer tracks do tend to wander, like stray asteroids adrift between galaxies. But over its generous 77-minute length (actually longer, on vinyl), the album is able to sustain an awesome mood of cosmic introspection.

Ill health broke up the band before a second album could be realized. But in an instant of time almost too short for anyone to notice, Magnog flared like a supernova explosion: shining briefly and brilliantly before contracting to neutron ash.

 More Weather by MAGNOG album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1997
3.00 | 4 ratings

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More Weather
Magnog Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by bzfgt

5 stars WOW!! This stuff is the real deal. "Mystery Goodness" alone is an almost album-length (31 minutes) hunk of transcendent space clatter. If you are looking for some psychedelic stuff to blow your mind, particularly if your mind is already primed, it really doesn't get much better than this.

To me this is their masterpiece, the other album is really good but there's something extra going on here.

The guitar player, Phil Drake, died last year, by the way, so the Magnog there is is the Magnog there is. It's hard to imagine they could have topped this, though. It's shame, he couldn't have been very old, but this is his legacy and it's something of which to be proud.

Thanks to windhawk for the artist addition.

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