Magda MagdaFrom The Fallen Page
She likes the dark stuff. And the way things are now, who doesn’t? The thing is, Magda has a special taste. She doesn’t like it gothic, nor does she fancy Victorian strings. Not to mention the theremin. She shies away from the obvious. The proof thereof we find on the first cut, a slow spectral tune in a minimal vein that evokes and pays tribute to the soundtracks the Italian group Goblin made for Dario Argento’s best films –for example the masterpieces “Suspiria” and “Rojo Oscuro”. “Get Down Goblin” is, in fact, with that revealing title, Giallo chewed, regurgitated and digested on the dancefloor: misty synths, retro effects, pulsating claps, watery bass lines, morbid moods. The DJ and producer unites the psyche of Italian B-movies with the microscopic techno of the latest generation’s musicality, and she does it brilliantly. She applies the same formula to the next track “Breakout”. And again she is spot on with a mix of zombie keyboards, progressive electro-rock, an outrageous passion for Italian horror films from the late seventies and a pinch of acidic digitalism, to situate the song between horror vintage and the most temporal dancefloor music.
Magda’s debut album is something the lovers of subatomic techno and Minus fanatics have been awaiting with a bag of fireworks and confetti canons. Maybe expectations were too high for an artist for whom, as a DJ is Hellboy’s right hand, when it comes to her own productions still has a lot to prove. Known by everyone as a prodigy with deejaying software, it remained to be seen what her creative abilities were regarding her own material, especially album-wise. Those who got ahead of themselves and proclaimed her the new goddess of minimal may have simmered down a bit; those who considered her to be an artist without the skills to deliver a proper album may have to bite their tongue. “From The Fallen Page” is a well-polished piece of work, shoots great ideas at the listener and is constructed according to the unbeatable mathematics of the Minus family. In general, it’s an impeccable lesson in experimental minimal, but beware: it’s vacuum sealed and spreads a coldness that is unbearable at times – rather than songs, Magda offers microscopic developments which, save during the most Argento-like moments, advance stumbling and need a constant word of mouth by the one on the other side. The Giallo explosions are really good, I find the very late-seventies lysergic secrecy very well chosen and I love the way Magda models the ectoplasm of her songs with minimum tools. Tracks like “Lost In Time” –with a mellow beat and extremely fun effects and synths a la “Planet Terror”–, “Bad Habits” and “Dream Disco” –possibly one of the best tracks, with dislocated pianos that generate a state of maximum restlessness– create this mood of minimal Ouija board, low-budget horror film, unplucked eyebrows, plastic knives with fake blood and bell-bottom trousers.
The problem –a minor problem, in any case– is that there is a certain disconnection with the listener’s inner self. While it’s true that Magda passes her theory exam summa cum laude, she does lack something on the practical side, prefers to confine herself to the emptiness of a sound that freezes you as if it were liquid hydrogen and leaves you without the hunger for more. However we have to give her our vote of confidence. “From The Fallen Page” is an academic record, passionately experimental, but without a drop of hot blood. In any case, thanks to tracks like “Music Box” –which is like combining the DVD of “Basket Case” with a bad shroom trip– one can remain at peace in the knowledge that Magda’s best is yet to come. The present is only half of the path.
Magda - Lost In Time
Magda - Distance To Nowhere