Saturday, April 4, 2015

Lockwood Top Vander Widemann - 1981 - Fusion


01. GHK Go To Miles     23:56
02. Overdrive     4:58
03. 767 ZX     6:47
04. Reliefs     8:12

Christian Vander / drums
Didier Lockwood / violin
Benoit Widemann / keyboards
Jannick Top / bass

Well, this is a Magma album that won't openly say it for a few reasons, namely because it's instrumental, and sometimes wanders away from the Zeuhl genre? But make no mistakes, all four participants were at one time or another in Magma, and most likely simultaneously together in the late 70's. That was a few years before this album's release in 81, though. Yup, Jannik's instantly recognizable bass thumps, Christian's distinctive skin banging instantly reminds you of the Kobaian bunch, and Benoit's Rhodes and assorted Kb reinforces the déjà-entendu feeling. Of course, the main difference is that this is only a quartet, and it's without the typical Kobaian Orff-ian choirs.

The album opens on the 24-mins sidelong epic "GHK Go To Miles" (Davis??), a very moody piece that oscillates between very calm piano to wild fusion, while remaining typically Zeuhl at all times, but that doesn't go without some typical flaws: Vander's drums are often too present in the calmer moments. There is a brief Bolero moment around the 20-mins mark as well. The shorter flipside features three tracks, starting with its Harley Davidsonian-opening Overdrive (I can tell you that it's rather panicking when you're driving), a 100 MPH piece that has Jannick blowing all four cylinders (uh, I mean bass strings ;o)))) down the highway. The quieter (at first) 7-mins 767 ZX pieces features more Lockwood than all that had gone on beforehand in the album. The album closing slow-starting Reliefs (in French it, means hilly landscapes or sculptural elements or even meal leftovers) slowly climbs up the heavy slopes and even gets quite riffy, but the middle section suddenly drops intensity, tries to capture back the old momentum, but has to find another goat trail, to end up some place else

Does Didier have a presceance as to why this album bears his name (outside the obvious alphabetical order) or why it's classified under his name? I can't really say that his presence is determinant and that he's a bigger cylinder than his other three team mates. Nevertheless, the album is certainly worth a good investigation for Magma aficionados, but it's relatively unrepresentative of Lockwood's solo output. BTW, I've seen this album with a very different grey, yellow and blue tyre imprint artwork as well.



  2. I was looking for this one and I'm really grateful for your efforts! It's the missing piece in my Widemann collection. This guy is simply great.