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Magical Power Mako - Hapmoniym 1 CD (album) cover


Magical Power Mako


Psychedelic/Space Rock

2.79 | 5 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars The first of five identically-titled home recordings from the Japanese artist calling himself Magical Power Mako was only the opening installment of a planned 15-CD project, to be released in limited batches of one-thousand copies each (the remaining ten volumes have yet to see the light of day). Like the rest of the existing series, this initial chapter combines song fragments, tape experiments, and cryptic oriental psychedelia in a dense, continuous (and non-indexed) 43-minute stew, prepared and served with no written recipe.

The music here was first heard in 1993, but was recorded twenty years earlier, during the sporadic sessions for MPM's highly-regarded (and aptly-titled) 'Super Record', the two albums sharing a similar mood of homemade nonconformity. Comparisons have also been made to the Krautrockers of FAUST, and with good reason: the disc is an exotic Far Eastern cousin to the cut-and-paste mayhem of 'The Faust Tapes', produced more or less at the same time, and with the same uninhibited freedom of expression.

How to describe such elusive (non-) music to newcomers? A minute-by-minute breakdown of the almost three-quarter hour composite would be a fool's errand, so naturally I feel obligated to try...

The album opens with an ominous 13-minute, acid-fried rite of passage, played on ancient zithers over a hypnotic chanted mantra...then moves toward a groovier acoustic guitar passage, devolving after a few minutes into another one-chord space-out...followed by a very Faustian freak-out, anchored (barely) to some atonal singing, reminiscent of Damo Suzuki's wilder digressions alongside CAN...which in turn blossoms at the 22-minute mark into something not unlike early HAWKWIND or classic PINK FLOYD, but with even more demented vocalizing and some distinctly Krautrock guitar embellishments...

And by the end of the album the music has collapsed into a formless yet fascinating chaos. The noise continues until the final, unexpected space-ballad, crooned romantically over a gorgeous synth-and-piano melody before drifting away once again into the uncharted cosmos.

Eclectic stuff to be sure, as outtakes often are. And maybe needing a pair of ears conditioned by the amateur Outsider Music of the early RESIDENTS to hear it in the right context, where creativity doesn't require textbook proficiency, only an exploratory spirit and a blissful ignorance of your own limitations.

Three-plus stars, rounded down in recognition of its very narrow appeal. But the complete, multi-volume package might qualify as a masterpiece of arcane musical self-indulgence.

Neu!mann | 3/5 |


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