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Magma - Rock Duo »Magma« CD (album) cover





3.21 | 21 ratings

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3 stars This German duo originated from the city of Gelsenkirchen, featuring Siegfried Scholz on drums/vocals and Detlef Gehrke on keyboards/vocals.Their roots though go back in early-70's in a school band, when performing aloongside guitarist Dieter Kuck.When Kuck quit in the summer of 73', the remaining duo decided to move on under the name of Rock Duo Magma, playing numerous lives (at least 10 gigs per month) and even visiting Holland for live shows.In 1975 they felt it was time to release an album, so they visited Helmut Reketat's Elrec Studio in Gelsenkirchen.A sum of about 20 tracks was recorded and seven pieces made it to the first pressing, released the same year.Reputedly a second pressing followed a bit later without the Elrec logo.

It's not hard to imagine that Scholz and Gehrke played keyboard-based psychedelic music in the vein of Swedish pioneers HANSSON & KARLSSON, adapting many elements from the loose side of the German scene and creating diverse atmospheres, executed on piano, Hammond organ and synthesizer.The material is based on varied tempos with a strong psychedelic color, soft rhythms leave their place to more furious grooves and a bunch of light jazzy influences, passing from minimalistic textures to neurotic synth-drenched instrumentals.Vocals are typical of a German singer, pretty irritating and slightly accented.Fortunately there are no needless drum soloing or excessive keyboard fanfares, the music is very tight, keeping a balance between lyricism and instrumental orgasms and even some tracks are close to great, featuring sinister atmospheres and an odd Kraut Rock background of spontaneous experimentation.

As the original vinyl copies became very rare, Garden of Delights re-released the album in 2003 with an extra set of bonus tracks.While these have much in common with the sound of the original album, there is definitely a more pronounced Classical/symphonic range, based on eerie synthesizers with spacious touches, backed up by narcotic organ-driven rhythms and some strong jazzy acrobatics.Four of them were recorded live in a youth club in Marl, while ''Fur Elise'' was an unreleased studio recording.

In 1977 the duo recorded some demo more tracks at Gerd Fortak's Emscherland Studios, which were sent to Brain for evaluation, but apparently turned down, propably due to their uninteresting lyrics.Rock Duo Magma split in 1978 due to Gehrke's work and family commitments.

Underground 70's keyboard-based Psych Rock, up there with similar German acts such as TWOGETHER and SIXTY-NINE.Atmospheric and deeply psychedelic music with some jazzy and Classical flourishes.Recommended.

apps79 | 3/5 |


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