Magical Power Mako

Magical Power Mako

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This 1973 album, the debut effort from multi-instrumentalist Magical Power Mako, offers a similar rejection of conventional rock to what Krautrock bands were undergoing, though filtered through a Japanese rather than European sensibility. The album veers wildly and creatively in styles as one track flows into the next, from gentle folk on the first half of "Flying" to psychedelic rave-ups like "Restraint, Freedom" and the end of "Look up the Sky," to even more experimental extremes with the disturbing tape collage of "American Village 1973," though throughout there floats a cosmic vibe. Some tracks, like "Tsugaru" and "Shukuyakushi Nenbutsu Kanehari," weave traditional Japanese folk music into Mako's skewed vision. The sweet chorus of children singing to a relaxing piano on "Open the Morning Window" is almost too cute; fortunately, there's plenty of demented moments, like the pounding and screaming on "In a Stalactite Cavern Astonaus" and the hilarious and upbeat "Cha Cha," to make up for it. The eccentric Magical Power Mako would go on to make many more records, but this opening salvo of his psychedelia shows him already at the top of his game.

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