(All Album Reviews by maribor)
When I bought my first Magma album, I remember all the warnings about how strange this band is, about the unusual combination of styles. However, as I listened to that disc, I wasn't particularly shocked. Magma was very much a digestible entity. I was bored though. The songs didn't seem to go anywhere. At that time, I thought I already knew what kind of music I liked and Magma simply didn't fit the profile. So I was actually a bit surprised at myself that I stuck with them. I played the disc several times, but it just didn't work for me. About the 50th time around, things started clicking. Once that happened, I became hooked.
Wurdah ¤tah isn't officially a Magma release, it's a Christian Vander solo effort, yet it is still considered as a Magma album. It has all the characteristics of this unique band and it continues the story of Kobaia. The record is special though, because it's almost acoustic and very stripped down. There are no guitars or horns, only pianos, bass, drums and vocalsůlots of vocals. This is probably the most vocal Magma album of the 70s. Another unique feature is the absence of jazz elements that prevailed on some of the previous offerings. The only jazz element appears to be Christian Vander's skilful drumming. Otherwise, the music here combines classical music, rock and of course opera, which became a trademark of theirs at the time. The choral arrangements are wonderful, second only to KA in my book. The album flows in a somewhat similar direction as MDK, namely some segments, which Vander obviously thought were important, are repeated throughout. Also, some melodies appear here that would later see the light of day on KA in a more perfected form.
It may take a while for certain people to appreciate Magma. Some people get ╗itź immediately, some, like me, have to listen and listen before certain elements shine through, some will never understand their music. But that's OK. Because if you fall for Magma, you usually fall big time. It's exactly this intoxicating quality of their compositions that has spawned such a loyal and devoted following. So, if you're looking for a good place to start with this band, look no further. Wurdah ¤tah is the ideal address.
9 out of 10.