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funkosaurus fiddling while gondwanaland burns
on 21 December 2009
There are so many reasons why this cd should NOT be good.
Firstly, in characteristic electric-period-Miles-before-the-collapse-mode, Miles doesn't even deign to pick up his horn for the first 10 minutes, and he exits stage-left over 15 minutes before the end.
Secondly, the host of guitarists employed to impersonate Hendrix jamming with Sly Stone (Pete Cosey to the fore) end up sounding like a bunch of teenage garage wannabes on too much caffeine.
Thirdly, Miles sounds like he's haunting himself through the medium of a wah-wah pedal: a bizarrely mournful wail snaking around a black sabbath boogie.
Fourthly, despite the track-listing - this is basically one long formless jam session barely held together by the heavier-than-thou bass of Michael Henderson.
Fifthly, Miles is transparently so up his eyeballs in Columbian marching powder that he could have played a kazoo for two hours and walked away from the performance thinking it was pretty damn brilliant... (the list goes on)
It should be awful. It's not. 'Dark Magus' is a ghastly spectacle - right up there with the Stones Altamont gig - it's the sound of idealism burning out and chowing down on it's own caramelised membranes. It's funky as hell and as down, sleazy, despairing and cynical as Lou Reed's 'Berlin'. Destruction and devastation are just around the corner, but meanwhile, kick back, dance, snort, enjoy, try not to be appalled.