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Magma - 1001 Centigrades [Aka: 2] CD (album) cover





4.10 | 503 ratings

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Special Collaborator
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars I've just finished reviewing (and relistening to) Merci so I felt the need to go back to some original Magma.

Their second album is not yet totally into Zeuhl, but is somewhere in the middle between the debut and Mekanik Destruktiw Kommandoh. It contains three tracks, one 20 minutes epic which occupied the whole side A of the vinyl, and two other tracks which filled the B side for the remaining 20 minutes.

Track 1 (I don't write track titles in kobaian) starts in a jazzy mood but after some sudden changes goes totally into zeuhl. This is a clue of what we'll later find on MDK and Kohntarkhosz This epic is very complex but it's not a challenging listen. Some parts are easy enough, other a bit more difficult but in the end you don't need to be born on Kobaia to enjoy it. Even the most chaotic and rhythmated parts are not very hard to follow. There's an excellent brass section, supported by a great bass. Sudden changes in the signature, and in the melody, too are very frequent. It can be described, just enjoy it.

Moving to side B, we start with a dark athmosphere, but the music moves quickly into the orchestral jazz realm. A twelveth of bass notes are the base for brasses, then they are left alone in playing what sounds like classic contemporary, then the bass introduced the sung part. It cant be defined "melodic", but it's not dissonant as when I think Klaus Blasquiz speaks with a bass voice. It's an unusual (out of Zeuhl) kind of chorus. The piano introduces a different section, still jazzy but darker and compulsive. The rhythm is not fast, but there is tension created more by brasses and piano than by drums and bass. It "relaxes" close to the end.

Track 3 starts with bass playing on an odd signature. This is true Magma. Not much dissimilar from the previous track in the athmosphere. Similarities are hard to be found between parts of the same song, so I can't even compare this track to the others. What is remarkable on all the three is the great work made by bass in supporting the brasses.

This is one of the most accessible albums from Magma. I suggest it to those are not familiar with this band and its genre to start with.

4 stars not only for the quality but also because it can be appreciated by any progger. Well, maybe not neo-prog fans, but who knows....

octopus-4 | 4/5 |


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