Magma

Attahk

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AllMusic Review by

After Üdü Wüdü, Magma disbanded for a time, only to reconvene a year later under a slightly different direction than before. While drummer Christian Vander had maintained general leadership of the band since the early '70s, this new phase of Magma could almost be considered a Vander solo project. His interest in funk, R&B, gospel, and pop would come to the fore, and similar to many of his prog rock and jazz fusion peers, he would mold the band's sound into something with crossover appeal. The music on this album is brighter than the previous album, emphasizing rhythm, lead vocals, and bright, fusion-informed basslines rather than murky group vocals or extended zeuhl suites. Fans of the earlier material tend to criticize this album for its lack of a "traditional" zeuhl sound in favor of a funk/fusion/zeuhl hybrid. While it is markedly different than the preceding albums, it is one of the most exciting and certainly one of the most accessible. "The Last Seven Minutes" is burning zeuhl-funk, with some of Vander's most explosive drumming on record. Although they weren't singing about interplanetary war anymore (but were singing in "Kobaian"), the bandmembers never lost their intensity. This is getting closer to hard-edged fusion à la groups such as Mahavishnu Orchestra and Return to Forever, but nothing that features Vander's idiosyncratic wail is going to sound derivative. Similarly, "Dondaï" might be a pleasant, unaffecting funk ballad from anyone else, but from Magma it sounds at once magical and silly. In truth, this is calm by Magma's standards, and for a while the group actually seemed willing to present relatively straightforward music.

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