Magma has been around since the 60’s. Just the other day I saw some of their ancient releases in a downtown record store and I thought to myself, ‘Gee, I’d like to hear what they sounded like back then’. But with a huge fucking price tag of over thirty dollars (very expensive no matter the currency) I was at a loss. I did manage to download a couple of their older songs over the net, but this did not help me much. It’s hard to trace a line between two fifty year old songs and one modern release. All I know is that they are French and led by one Christian Vander. So, let’s just talk about the music on this disc and forget about band bio and past recordings. Agreed? Good.
This is fun. On K.A Magma are like a religious psychedelic space choir who have come to convert you with their operatic prog rock. There are three tracks on this CD simply titled “K.A I”, “K.A II” and “K.A III”. The first one is eleven minutes long, the second is over fifteen and the last over twenty. All of them contain sifting song structures that play almost like folk music with various people singing in the background like a choir over a super energetic band. “K.A I” is the song that smacks you in the face and doesn’t stop th whole way through. The songs begin to slow down one by one, until “K.A III”, which is much quieter than the first, with soft keyboard playing and what sounds like improvised jams on the drums and various guitar/organ noodlings. This is all contained in the first half of the song. By the midway point vocals are introduced, and man, they are some of the craziest on this CD of crazy vocals. Oh, did I forget to mention that the band sings this heavenly music in the Kobaïan language (don’t ask).
One of the weirdest, most interesting releases I’ve heard in a while. If you are a fan of prog rock then you should definitely check this out. If you like the new Art Brut, stay the fuck away (for your sake).
- Andrew Iliadis
/july 1st 2005/