Exposé Online banner

Magma — Mekanïk Destruktïw Kommandöh
(SP-4397, 1973, LP)

by Rob Walker, Published 1995-11-01

Mekanïk Destruktïw Kommandöh Cover art

With the almost complete overhaul of Magma's lineup in 1972 came a similarly drastic shift in musical style and direction. Two of the group's main jazzmen, François Cahen and Jeff Seffer, departed to form Zao, and with them went virtually all traces of jazz from Magma's sound. Vander's first album length composition instead focuses heavily on vocals as the main melodic "instrument" and repetition as the primary structural device. Eight vocalists are utilized to weave layers of repetitive motifs with their powerful and insistent chanting. The other instruments are relegated to mere supporting roles, providing an incessant rhythmic drive and occasional harmonic and countermelodic figures to compliment the vocals. Vander's drumming is exceptional, subtly avoiding the spotlight while providing enough rhythmic variation and complexity to keep the melodic repetition from becoming overbearing. His drumming style has changed as well to fit the music; the jazzy feel and snare offbeats are less prominent, replaced by an often heavy downbeat emphasis evoking the marching theme of the lyrical narrative. The cumulative effect is both mechanical and dynamic; machine-like in the repetition yet always driving forward and developing towards the dramatic finale.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 8, 1973 releases

Related artist(s): Magma, Jannick Top, Stella Vander, Christian Vander / Offering

Latest news

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more

2018-06-13
Jon Hiseman RIP – One of the great drummers of the rock era has died. Jon Hiseman was a veteran of such ground-breaking groups as Colosseum (I and II), Tempest, John Mayal's Bleusbreakers, and was a founding member of the innovative large band United Jazz + Rock Ensemble. » Read more

2018-06-05
Koenjihyakkei Seeks Funding for New Album – It's been quite a few years since the last new studio album by the amazing Koenjihyakkei. Now they are preparing Dhormimviskha for worldwide release, and they're asking fans to pre-order via a Kickstarter campaign to help it happen. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Roger Powell - Fossil Poets – Roger Powell is best known as long-time keyboardist for Utopia as well as his early pioneering synthesizer records (Cosmic Furnace and Air Pocket). Fossil Poets is his first set of new recordings in...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues