Chico Magnetic Band - s/t. 1970 France

Chico Magnetic Band - s/t. 1970 Vogue

There are no legit reissues!

There are a couple of items here that make this album special. One is the heavy handed use of studio trickery (phasing, radical dynamic shifts, backwards tape, etc…), a common trait found amongst early 70s French and German albums. Cynics say it’s to mask the incompetence of the players, but I prefer to believe that a high amount of creativity was applied, and maybe even expected, for the era. Even more important, though, is Chico himself. Chico is the vocalist, and it’s his ranting, raving, screeching, drooling, mumbling that makes this album so REAL. The listener witnesses a man on the edge – a true freakout captured on tape for all time.

There are other albums where this can be found, and they’re all favorites of mine: Dawn on Brainticket’s “Cottonwood Hill”, John L. on Ash Ra Tempel’s “Schwingungen’, and Catherine Ribeiro on “No. 2” (really any of her early 70s works). The psychedelics that are applied both externally (music) and internally (individual) allow the artist to apply his or her most creative mind gymnastics. Sure, it’s pure madness, but it sends a chill down my spine especially when paired with raging wah wah guitar solos and a cacophony of tribal percussion.

It’s funny today to watch bands try to recreate this same sound. When it’s just the music, they do a good, sometimes great job, but when they try the “I’m crazy, here me rant” - they’re faking it. It was a one time “of the era” event. Everything else is just a simulation, a make-believe-let’s-pretend-we’re-freaked-out-and-nuts. And it sounds artificial. Get the real deal and check out Chico Magnetic Band.

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