Magma — Rock Duo »Magma«
(Garden of Delights 083, 1975/2003, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2004-09-01As the story goes, this German duo was unaware of a French band with the same name, and they certainly bear no stylistic resemblance to their more widely known and prolific namesake. Drummer Siegfried Scholz and keyboardist Detlef Gehrke originally played with a guitarist, but when he left, they continued as a duo, with Gehrke covering the low end on synthesizer and electric piano. Stylistically they range from fairly standard rock (albeit without guitar) to adapted Classical pieces, and the sound is generally quite uncluttered, as Gehrke did not indulge in many overdubs in the studio. Of course, “uncluttered” is only a short step away from “thin” when it comes to arrangements, and there are certainly times when a little clutter might have been welcome. The descriptively titled “6 Minutes Release Rock” is a case in point: for its first half, a simple two-chord pattern on organ backs up a synthesizer solo while the drums keep a steady beat, and a bass part might have rescued it from tediousness; the drum solo that makes most of the rest of the tune does not display any more than average competence. On the whole, it’s a bit amateurish, but has some nice parts here and there. Both of the musicians sing in serviceable English, with Scholz apparently mostly leading. This reissue was taken from a mint vinyl LP, as the master tapes have been lost; the sound quality is fairly good, and the five bonus tracks make for a good package.
Related artist(s): Magma (Rock Duo)
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more