Chico Magnetic Band - s/t. 1970 France


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.

Personal collection
CD: 2008 Nosmoke (Portugal)

So let's talk about this CD shall we? Imagine my surprise when I saw the back liner notes... which were written by.... ME! (what did they use for the liner notes you ask? What you see above). Guess we can safely assume this is a bootleg as well, since I certainly wasn't contacted prior! It's a pretty decent boot actually, with extra tracks taken from 45s and Ep's, also from the bootleggers collection no doubt. There's also a full history of the band, up through 2003, probably pulled from the internet as well.

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