Magma — Ëmëhntëhtt-Ré
(Seventh Records A XXXV, 2009, CD+DVD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2010-07-01
Listening to the new Magma album is kind of like visiting an old town you used to live in thirty years ago. As you walk around you see some of the old landmarks you used to know, but there are many new things to see that have sprung up in all the spaces between. What elements are familiar are given an entirely new context in their new surroundings. And so it is with Ëmëhntëhtt-Ré – various parts of what was originally supposed to be album number six in Magma's ten LP Kobaian chronicle were chopped up and distributed across three albums: Live, Üdü Wüdü, and Attahk, rather than presenting it in one lengthy opus like its predecessor Köhntarkösz. The first familiar theme the listener encounters is "Rind–e" originally from Attahk, then some unfamiliar parts, then we hear "Hhaï" from the live album, all put together now as they were originally intended to be. The "Ëmëhntëhtt-Ré" suite is presented in four seamless parts that works out to around 46 minutes total, with a shorter track ("Funëhrarïum Kanht") tacked onto the end of the proceedings. Later we hear more familiar parts, extracts from "Zombies" and other cuts from Üdü Wüdü and Attahk all collected together into this new long-form piece with new parts heretofore unheard. Like anything by Magma, it's strange enough that a newcomer won't get through it without some effort – definitely not easy listening, but for those familiar with the band's canon, this fits right in like a missing piece of a puzzle. The companion DVD presents some bits and pieces of the band recording parts in a studio setting; not essential, but interesting to watch once or twice. But the CD itself is absolutely essential classic Magma.
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
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
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
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