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Magma - Attahk CD (album) cover





3.72 | 419 ratings

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4 stars Magma produced an extraordinary body of work from 1973 - 1976, when the ever changing line up revolved around the core of Christian and Stella Vander, Klaus Blasquiz and bass maestro Jannick Top. Apparently the creative partnership of Vander and Top was a stormy one, and following Udu Wudu Top quit the band. There was a Vander/Top tour, with the two getting equal billing, but following that they went their separate ways. As Magma Live demonstrates, thepost Top Magma were still a force to be reckoned with, but this album is proof that they were past their best.

Things get off to a promising start with The Last 7 Minutes (phase 1), which builds on the jazz fusion experiments of Udu Wudu and is a good slice of Zeuhl with some superb bass work from Guy delacroix, who is frequently overdubbed on this album so there are 2 bass parts. Spiritual is a stab at Zeuhl meets gospel, and is best seen as an interesting failed experiment. Rinde (Eastern Song) is a chance for Stella Vander to take a lead vocal over an excellent piano accompinament. It's not exactly old school Zeuhl, but it's a fine piece nontheless. Lirik Neconomicus Kanht is another track which doesn't quite work, mainly because of a rather irritating novelty keyboard sound.

The second half of the album more than makes up for the shortcomings of the first. Maanht (The Wizard's Fight Vs The Devil) is a highly enjoyable piece of Zeuhl tomfoolery, with some interesting vocal effects that fans either love or hate - personally, I think they work superbly. Dondai (To An Eternal Love) is a slower paced piece with jazzy chords that is reminiscent of early tracks like Kobaia, and also has a similar atmosphere to some of Popol Vuh's vocal pieces. A simple yet menacing bass line takes us into Nono (phase 2), a companion piece to the first track and just as effective, and which features Vander's best drumming on this album.

Attahk may not be Magma's greatest work, but it stands up well alongside Udu Wudu and is possibly the easiest album for the novice Zeuhl head to get into.

Syzygy | 4/5 |


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