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Magma - Mekan´k Destrukt´w Kommand÷h CD (album) cover





4.30 | 902 ratings

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5 stars What do I put on when asked to throw on my weirdest, most bizarre, yet somehow undeniably good album?

Magma's MDK, of course!

There's lots of bizarre, weird and innovative prog out there, but most of that stuff just isn't very good, as in rocking and catchy. MDK comes through in meeting all criteria.

First off, a couple points to keep in mind with MDK: 1) It's hilariously, ridiculously over-the-top, so don't take it too seriously--in fact, I still can't help but smile in places to think about how goofy but somehow enjoyable certain sections can be. 2) This is not just Carl Orff-inspired chantings put to jazz. Actually, I hear very few jazz influences here, with much more rock instead, with a definite symphonic flair. That's probably why I like it so much!

Why is this music so unique? One reason is that unlike most set-ups, nearly every band member is essentially a rhythm player, with very sparse keyboard, guitar or vocal solos. It's nearly all rhythm and syncopation--and often in 7/8 time to boot--sporadically punctuated by some great horn additions (effective) and Vander's screechy wailings (not effective).

Highlights: the beginning and the ending. The first 15 minutes or so are great, started by establishing a great groove and adding tons of musical ideas in rapid succession. The last 10 minutes are also fantastic, with a wonderful freakout in 7/8 that transitions into a thrilling double-time finale, with a somber conclusion to finish the affair.

In between these highlights? Lots, and I mean lots, of chanting and Vander-screechings. It's not terrible, but not particularly interesting either. I don't understand how a band can be bursting with creativity for much of an album and yet include these repetitive parts.

All considered, MDK is my favorite from Magma, and when I skip a few tunes toward the middle of the album, I've got nearly half an hour of what I consider to be incredibly creative, unique, and enjoyable music.

A must-have in any comprehensive prog collection.

Flucktrot | 5/5 |


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