Magma Mekanik Destruktiw Kommandoh

Music On Vinyl
1st April 2022

Format Info

2LP - Gold Vinyl

Emerging from a febrile jazz rock scene in France, Magma’s 3rd album set the bar not only for the rest of their career but for what could be achieved with rock music in general. Unfairly lumped in with “prog rock,” Magma’s use of instinctive yet complex rhythm and sub-operatic, choral vocal belied a whole mythology and origin story that equals, at the very least, the sort of world building being done by Sun Ra and the iterations of his Arkestra at the time.

While the Arkestra might revel in the no holds barred, apparent chaos of free improvisation, Magma were(are) the brainchild and result of the genius, inspirational force of nature that is Christian Vander. Ostensibly a drummer (and one of the greatest rock drummers to ever sit behind the traps) his vision encompassed a whole different world (that’s Kobaia) where Magma hailed from and a fusion music that throws polyrhythms, ecclesiastical alien hymns and the visceral power of rock musicians in full flow, at the top of their game.

Mekanik Destruckitw Kommando contains the seeds of so much music that flowed afterwards. The entire American noise-rock scene, the Japanese 90s noise scene (see Ruins, Ground Zero, Boredoms), post-rock, the new psychedelia of the 00s, all of it was pretty much invented here, in the early 70s. MDK’s engine is the powerhouse rhythm section of Jannick Top and Vander augmented by theatrical vocal performances from the choir, rising and falling then rising again to peaked crescendos. Immaculately structured to almost feel like a musical, the music feels cosmic, sacred but also ridiculous, whole shards of group playing slicing up the universe into digestible chunks in front of you.

Just incredible music anyway you cut it.


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