Magma — Mekanïk Zeuhl Wortz
(KISS 30, 1976/1994, 2CD)
by Rob Walker, 1995-11-01:
A two CD set, this contains the second half of the concert begun on Theusz Hamtaahk. The first disc features a stunning and powerful rendition of "Mekanïk Destruktïw Kommandöh," which unfortunately fades out several minutes before the end of the piece is reached. Still, this is in the running for the best version ever released. Paganotti's heavy bass gives the piece a relentless momentum, and his overwhelming solo continues for more than 11 minutes before giving way to Didier Lockwood's violin. The second disc contains lengthy versions of "De Futura Hiroshima," a Jannik Top piece to appear on Üdü Wüdü, and "Ëmëhntëht-Ptâh," an extended Christian Vander drum solo. While 25 minutes of drum soloing may get a bit tiresome, this is a welcome inclusion as the only Vander drum feature ever released. The sound quality on both Theusz Hamtaahk and Mekanïk Zeuhl Wortz is quite good, especially considering the age and the source of the recordings.
by Peter Thelen, 1994-08-01:
Here's one of those unbelievably powerful Magma concerts that's been circulating on cassette for years, finally cleaned up and transferred to CD. Hallelujah! This is one of the best live shows around, recorded March 2, 1976 at the Opera, Reims, France. In addition to Zebehn Strain De Geustaah (Christian) and Tauhd Zaia (Stella), the lineup at that point in time included Klotsz (Klaus Blasquiz) on vocals, Didier Lockwood on violin, the dual keyboards of Benoit Widemann and Patrick Gauthier, Gabriel Federow on guitar, and bass-monster Bernard Paganotti who stole the show on almost every track that night. This is a 2CD set, the first disc containing a 42 minute (and unfortunately prematurely truncated) version of "Mekanïk Destruktïw Kommandöh." This is perhaps one of the most gripping versions of this track I've heard, at least equal to the version on the Retrospektiw 1 & 2 album; Wurd (Paganotti) begins showing off his chops about halfway through in an apocalyptic duel with Federow, gradually increasing the speed and tension in a fight to the finish that ends in pure chaotic madness. The track fades at 42:00, a couple minutes short of the applause, presumably because the tape ran out. Still, this one's a stunner. Those who enjoyed "De Futura" on Üdü Wüdü, but wished for more - well, here's the more: disc two opens with "De Futura Hiroshima," a full twenty-five minutes of it, this time with Paganotti instead of Janik Top. Needless to say this one is a smoker as well, as one might well imagine - more of the Paganotti-Vander-Federow rave-ups, and plenty of support from the others. Disc two closes with "Ëmëhntëht - Ptâh" which, after the short intro, turns into a legthy 20+ minute drum solo by Zebehn himself, and I believe the first time the whole thing has been captured on record or CD. If you enjoy a great drum solo you’re bound to enjoy this; if not, consider it a bonus track, as the other two alone are certainly worth the cost of this set. A must have for all Magma fans.
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more
Errata Corrige - Siegfried, il Drago e Altre Storie – In #4 I reviewed the new reformation album by this obscure 70s group. This album was their debut in the mid-70s and is not surprisingly quite a bit different from Mappamondo. This album is a beautiful... (1995) » Read more
Steve Hackett with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - A Midsummer Night's Dream – Here I am beset by another serious classical work by guitarist Steve Hackett on the new classical label, Angel (which also released Jon Anderson's Change We Must and Ian Anderson's... (1997) » Read more