Thirty years after it was originally recorded for Magma's Udu Wudu album, Janick Top's composition "De Futura" gets a reworking from French bassist Erik Baron and his group of musicians d-zAkord (Dés Accordes). From 1973-76 Top wrote several compositions dedicated to the people of Ork, a mythical race of people fighting against machines, with the epic "De Futura (Hiroshima)" as it was originally titled, being the most memorable.
Baron's band consists of six bassists (himself included), six guitarists and one drummer, so one might assume that with such a large ensemble, that there's a lot going on in the music itself. Well yes and no. "Pandora" (which is one of Baron's own compositions) sets the introductory tone as a subtle and rich sounding, albeit minimalist ambient piece of music which flows seamlessly into the first Top track "La Musique Des Sphères". This song features a very machine like, repetitive guitar sequence which basically repeats the same notes over and over for the entire nine minutes, while the drums pound out series after series of intermittent tribal beats. It's interesting to note that when this ambitious album was performed live by the group last year, the drum sections of this composition were recreated by one of the bass players tapping his strings with what appeared to be a small mallet,similiar to what a vibe or xylophone player would use.
After two tracks of what comes across as basically experimental ambient music, "De Futura 1" kicks immediately into gear and takes the freak out to a whole other level as the twelve players dig their teeth into the menacing main theme. For almost thirteen minutes the song never lets up save for very brief breakdown for about a minute around the seven minute mark, after which the pulsating bass rhythms begin once again as the track begins it's slow, deliberate reconstruction back towards the main theme. Another Baron penned track "Le Drone du Milieu" which translates roughly as "The Medium Drone, is pretty much just that, a four minute drone composition which serves as nothing more than a divider between the two Futura tracks. "De Futura 2" begins innocently enough as the rubbery bass lines slowly begin to carve out the tempo, gradually increasing over the exploratory electronic and acoustic percussion work. By the five minute mark, with everyone firing on all cylinders, the band locks into a furious groove and the guitars begin their aural onslaught, forcing the music into an even faster tempo, which eventually reaches it's exhaustive conclusion after fifteen and half minutes of pure sonic chaos. After this masterpiece has assaulted your senses for quarter of an hour, the final track "De Profundis" (another short, Baron penned drone piece) unfortunately comes across as nothing more than filler.
All in all De Futura (Hiroshima) is an extremely challenging and ultimately satisfying listening experience from start to finish. Hats off to Erik Baron and his talented group of musicians who managed to effortlessly breathe new life into these magnificent Janick Top compositions. If you're a fan in any way shape or form of either Magma or avant-garde music in general, then this disc will more than satiate your thirst.
2) La Musique Des Sphères
3) De Futura 1
4) Le Drone du Milieu
5) De Futura 2
6) De Profundis