Magma

Üdü Wüdü

  • AllMusic Rating
    7
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

Udu Wudu is the fragmented follow-up to Magma's successful 1976 Live set. Leader Christian Vander relinquished some control over the group for this album, only writing about half the music. From the start, the signature Magma sound is noticeably different, to which the quaint rhythm box-generated Latin beat flavoring the title track attests. Also, synthesizers are used throughout the album (to varying degrees of success) and most of the songs are short (three to four minutes) with simple, almost catchy melodies. Bassist Bernard Paganotti wrote "Weidorje." Heavy synths date this tune, and the rather mellow, optimistic vibe (which it shares with the title track) does seem uncharacteristic of a band known for singing about the end of the world. During the course of recording, Paganotti would leave Magma to form his own band, named after this song. Perhaps the most significant aspect of the album lies in the compositions of bassist Jannick Top. "Soleil D'Ork" and especially "De Futura" perfectly capture the simultaneous joy and doom of all the best Magma music. "De Futura" is an 18-minute, funky tour de force. This piece practically invented the "brutal prog" scene (à la groups like Flying Luttenbachers and Ruins) with its crushing bass and heavy, syncopated drums. That is not to say that it's chaotic or disjointed, but there is definitely a primal aggression at work here that Magma rarely approached; it's fierce and fun.

Since it came immediately after the almost universally praised Live in Magma's discography, prog aficionados often underrate this album. Truthfully, it is not in the higher pantheon of the band's work; it lacks the cohesion of their earlier releases and veers away from the Kobaian legacy that had informed most of the band's strangeness. Synthesizers and shorter songs may have been concessions to the times or may have just been a breath of fresh air for the band. Whatever the case, the album has enough to offer that fans should investigate it.

blue highlight denotes track pick