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.
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Jack o' the Clock and Zero Times Everything, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more
Acoustic Festival of Britain 2017 Announces Eclectic Lineup – The Acoustic Festival of Britain has been going since 2006, and this year's event sees a number of outstanding artists on the bill. Fairport Convention, Tir na nOg, and Martin Turner are some of the artists we've covered, and there are many more, including The Men They Couldn't Hang, Howard Jones, Chantel McGregor, and many more. The festival runs June 2-4, 2017 at Uttoxeter Racecourse in Staffordshire. » Read more