Friday, April 3, 2015

Magma - 1976 - Üdü Wüdü

Üdü Wüdü

01. Üdü ?üdü (4:10)
02. Weidorje (4:30)
03. Troller Tanz (Ghost Dance)(3:40)
04. Soleil D'Ork (Ork's Sun)(3:50)
05. Zombies (Ghost Dance)(4:10)
06. De Futura (18:00)
Bonus Track on Seventh CD:
07. Ëmëhntëht-Rê (extrait n°2) (3:12)

- Christian Vander / percussion, vocals, piano, keyboards, drums
- Jannik Top / bass, Brass arrangements, vocals, synthesizer
- Klaus Blasquiz / vocals
- Stella Vander / vocals
- Lisa "Deluxe" Bois / vocals
- Lucille Cullaz / vocals
- Catherine Szpira / vocals
- Pierre Dutour / trumpet
- Alain Hatot / saxophone, flutes
- Bernard Paganotti / bass, vocals, percussion
- Patrick Gauthier / keyboards
- Michel Graillier / keyboards
- Benoît Widemann / keyboards

Another Magma album, another essentially unique sound, this time heavier (though not necessarily more intense). ti's nothing short of amazing the extent of creativity and unique qualities to be found in Magma's discography. Having said that, it feels like there is a little bit less of that jawdropping uniqueness, whether it's in sounding a bit like previous Magma or taking a somewhat familiar compositional approach in places. Either way, it's Magma, so we already know to expect the unexpected.

Side A. The title track reminds me a bit of MDK style, with it's shifting yet catchy melodies. Then things get more and more Top-heavy, with the bass cranked up and less of the that trademark Magma "lightness" to counterbalance the intensity. By the time Zombies arrives, we are into heavy grooving that would characterize the B side. Nothing bad, but nothing great yet.

Side B. De Futura is like riding your bike down a hill that's just way too steep: at first it's a slow roll at the crest, and as the speed picks up your emotion changes from mildly thrilled to genuinely terrified. Soon you're an unstoppable missile that crashes, leaving you wondering just how things got that intense. Certainly not perfect analogy, because no one listening to this menacing and threatening beast would confuse it with cycling on a sunny day. Nearly everything about this song is low, from Klaus' vocal grunting/chanting, to the guitar chords, to--of course--Top's bass cranked to eleven. The effect of this is to really set apart the spacey keys in a genuinely eerie and spine-tingling way. By the time we're near the end, I'm left wondering if there's any possible way Top and Vander could push things harder, and then it's gone, with just some bass growling to allow me to contemplate the demented trip I have just taken. A unique musical journey that I have trouble finding another piece to compare it to.

Certainly essential for Magma fans, but not necessarily representative of their peak creativity--at least not throughout the album. Worth having just for De Futura for me, but certainly not to everyone's tastes, particularly those who are endeared with early Magma style.

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