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Magma - Üdü Ẁüdü CD (album) cover





3.75 | 373 ratings

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3 stars Magma - Udu Wudu (1976)

Change of direction...

After the amazing Wurdah Itah Magma decided it was time to change their style once again. The choirs went and the piano wasn't used very much during the recording of Udu Wudu. Christian Vander was open for influences of other band-members and so this record is seen as the most diverse Magma record. The role of Jannick Top is very important, he helped writing a lot of material on side one and wrote the 18 minute De Futura together with Vander. On this album Magma also began to use synthesizers and as always Magma finds a way to use them totally different than other bands.

On side one the title-track, Üdü Ẁüdü, is a world-music-fusion affair with an almost happy feel. The wind-section is used in a joyous way and the vocals join this newly explored atmosphere. on the second track Weidorje Magma returns to the classic Zeuhl sound with distorted bass, inventive drums and a hypnotic feel (especially the ending section). Troller Tanz has a very unlikable synthesizer intro, but the other parts of the track are good. Soleil D'Ork is another hypnotic Zeuhl track and Zombies is a classic Zeuhl track with emphasis on drums and bass. The bass of Jannick Top is amazing here. The song has been recycled and expanded for the E-Re album, but the original version is just fine.

Side two features the 18 minute track De Futura. Though the track is long, I don't think of it as an epic song. Magma's approach on music is different on this track. The result of this mainly atmospheric, industrial, futuristic and dark track with it's dooming sci-fi theme could be seen as a protest to the industrial and technological society we find ourselves in. This song is about the future in which the machines rise against humanity. The composition isn't as strong as on older Magma albums IMHO. There is just less muchness. The complete track is distorted-bass and drums oriented with some synthesizers and back-ground vocals. That's is. The themes of Jannick top on bass-guitar are original and his sound is amazing, but the drums don't sound very clear on the recording. The vocals are as futuristic as the music and non-melodic. However, the atmosphere of the track is very strong and it's inhuman/abstract futuristic sound make this a worthwhile listen for all Magma fans. Also fans of the abstract-sounding King Crimson might find this track to be a very pleasant surprise.

Conclusion. Perhaps the hay-days of MDK, Konterkosz and Wurdah Itah were over. The music is less complex (but still as demanding!) and there are less moments of great musicianship. The bass of Jannick Top is great and the drums are played very well by Vander, but the recording of the drums isn't what it could have been. Still this is a great effort by the band that shows there will to change in direction. There heavy aggressive sound on Futura is original and the track could be seen as one of the first steps into the industrial metal that would arise years later.

This isn't the best way to start your Magma obsession (you either really like this band or you dislike them), but it's still highly recommended to fans. Four stars (actually 3.5) for an innovative record, albeit not as masterful as the three records that came before this one.

*Edit. I changed my rating to three stars. De Futura doesn't impress me anymore and is recorded with an un-attractive sound. Side one is perhaps 3.5 stars.

friso | 3/5 |


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