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De Futura - Hiroshima

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Album Review

Jannick Top's oeuvre in and outside Magma occupies a key spot in the collective unconscious of this odd race of musicians we call the Bassists. Here, French bassist Erik Baron has assembled a large group of low rumblers under the moniker d-zAkord to pay tribute to one of the heaviest bassists to have made the Earth shake. On De Futura-Hiroshima, six electric bassists, six electric guitarists, and one drummer perform an uninterrupted 50-minute suite. At its core rests Top's magnum opus, "De Futura," immortalized on Magma's 1976 LP Udu Wudu. Before getting to that piece, the group performs "La Musique des Sphères" (from one of Top's solo albums), and the whole thing is bookended by drones credited to Baron — there is also a drone halfway through "De Futura," providing a menacing four-minute breather, just before the song launches into its devastating, exhilarating, ever-accelerating, ork-invasion-depicting riff. Baron's additions ("Pandora," "Le Drone du Milieu," "De Profundis") are textural in nature. Their presence might be motivated by a desire to stretch the album's duration a bit, but they actually serve a purpose as mood-setters. "La Musique des Sphères" was never a particularly convincing track; here, it gets an interesting textural-ambient treatment that moonlights as an extended buildup toward "De Futura." That piece is the album's focal point. Baron's arrangement is very respectful of the original, maybe a bit too much in fact, although this performance sure has a lot more bottom end than Magma's 1976 version. Fans of Magma and Top will dig this gloomier-than-ever take on the classic. Just make sure to hear the original first. ~ François Couture, Rovi

De Futura - Hiroshima, Erik Baron
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