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MAGMA...need help
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Re: MAGMA...need help

meanchico wrote:
your conflicting feelings have me all intrigued!

I feel the conflicting views are somehow appropriate, as Magma's music is full of light and shade! There can be a lot of darkness in some of their stuff, which may turn some people off. Equally there are many moments of transcendent beauty, which brings about an almost spiritual connection to their music like little else I have heard. How deep a listener wishes to immerse themselves in this can be measured in their tolerance for slowly unfolding tracks of 40 minutes in length, telling tales of an epic space opera in an alien language from the planet Kobia! For some they will view this as pretentious twaddle, little more than virtuoso musicians humouring the visions of a madman. For others they might feel it is one of the most ambitious and legendary bands they ever heard. Each view is fine, as taste is purely subjective. I fall into the latter group :D

As velvetwater has mentioned the track you have cited is not really all that typical of their work, but is one I love very much as well, a "hidden gem" if you will.

Rather than start with the accessible, let's jump straight into the dark side and check out the first movement of the famous "Theusz Hamtaahk" trilogy, which tells of the "time of hatred" :)

If this seems daunting watch closely from approx. 5:40 onwards (after the ominous warning sirens!), when things really start to move into what they call these days "next level shit". Around 12:29, we are induced to a state of deep trance by one of the most bizarre and enthralling passages of music I think I've heard. By 13:28, the musicians (and hopefully listeners) have left this planet and remain in a state of suspended animation, through a journey of intense concentration and gradually building tension. This is something Magma does so well, as their compositions move through many phases with great dynamics giving way to intense crescendos. After a brief respite in the form of some nice repeated chanting verses, at 18:50 we are thrust into another dramatic section as the tempo picks up and the band lock into a ferocious groove. We approach a frantic "serene velocity" until "boom!"....22:06 a gentle theme emerges with some lovely scat style singing. Anybody still listening will surely be thinking by 25:11 "woah, that was pretty fantastic!" But what's this now? Another crazy part is coming. Cool! Oh, hang on, 24:45 and things have gone very calm now....a certain calmness, but still generating a sense of foreboding. And now Mr Vander is approaching the mic....we still have a long way to go on this journey, if you have enjoyed what you heard thus far then you are surely in for an exciting conclusion :)

I'll leave it there for now, as it is impossible for me to talk about Magma without sounding like some pretentious gurning fanboy :D Magma is the kind of band people will either love or hate, and in this day of youtube etc it is simple for those who are interested to explore further. Popular wisdom suggests MDK is their magnum opus, so this would be one of the many good places to begin. I hope you will approach with an open mind, and that you enjoy what you find!

Aug 13, 2014, 18:18