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MAGMA: Myths & Legends Vol 2 (DVD)
Somehow missed when it came out, this is Vol. 2 of the massive retrospective recorded at the Triton in 2005. 2 hours of the 10 piece band (4 singers), which on this evening included Jannick Top - and an uncredited appearance by the great Klaus Blasqiz. They play Wurdah Itah (aka Tristan & Isolde), Mekanik Destriktiw Kommandoh, De Futura and Quadrivium. Just Tristan and Mekanik make this a precious document, for their compositional economy and transparency, precision, exquisite articulation, breathtaking control of tempi and dynamics, and sheer concentration. In my opinion it would have been a kindness to edit out Jannick Top's bass solo in the middle of Mekanik. I would skip the guitar solo that follows it too - it's fine in its way, but it interrupts the tight structure of the composition which deserves to stand alone. But that's me. De Futura is rather weak in the company of Vander's compositions, though there are good sections and it improves as it goes along. And it is good to hear Klaus. Jannick's bass solo around the Bach's Suite for Cello No.3 is also in the programme... I'm not sure why, but he's no improviser. In spite of the criticisms, this is still is a must for the 90 breathtaking minutes of Tristan and Mekanik. DVD all region - 2 hours - PAL or NTSC.PCM stereo - 16/9 compatible 4/3.