Exposé Online banner

Jannick Top — Infernal Machina
(Utopic UR01009, 2008, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2009-07-01

Infernal Machina Cover artJannick Top will be known to most readers as one of the most bad-assed, brutal, and intense bass players alive, and a major creative force within Magma at two different points during the 1970s. He, more than any other is responsible for that heavy growling bottom end bass attack that has became integral with the “zeuhl” sound, best exemplified on the jaw-dropping “De Futura,” which occupied the entire second side of Magma’s Udu Wudu album. If one liked that savage, heavy bottom end riffing with accelerando, there’s plenty of that to be found here, some even seemingly appropriated from that classic side. But there’s a lot more to this than just a recap of past glories, and it’s the newer ideas that Top has grafted into this twelve-part hour-long composition that make it so special. Along with drums, percussion, grand piano, cello, guitars, and numerous lead and backing voices, this epic begins to take shape right at the outset, and builds through numerous evolutionary steps throughout its duration. Several from the Magma camp are on hand, including Christian Vander, Klaus and guitarist James McGaw, but throughout there’s no mistaking that this composition is Top’s baby entirely, and although it does encompass some of the spiritual and harmonic aspects of his old band, it seems to be equally informed by various eastern European and world influences, especially in the vocal department. This is about as good as it gets.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 37, 2008 releases

Related artist(s): Jannick Top, Christian Vander / Offering

Latest news

2017-05-19
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more

2017-05-05
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more

2017-05-02
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more

2017-04-16
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more

2017-04-16
Allan Holdsworth RIP – Surely in the list of artists who have contributed to the sound of modern music, there is a special spot for guitarist Allan Holdsworth. His name is known to virtually every student of the instrument in jazz and rock, and his style has been so widely emulated that it's hardly worth mentioning anymore — we can just assume that every guitarist has Holdsworth as an influence. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

The Art of All - Morgan – The Art of All is a young band (Peter Aliferis drums and keyboards, Ruben Ruiz vocals and guitar, and Chris Debari bass) based in Massachusetts who characterize themselves as a progressive trance...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues