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Magnus - The Body Gave You Everything


Review: Jack Foley

MAGNUS describe their debut album, The Body Gave You Everything, as a 'clubbers' record', given that it is 'totally dedicated to rhythm'.

And, to be fair, it has its moments - although you probably would expect no less from the people behind it, namely Tom Barman, the heart and soul of Antwerp rockers dEUS, and CJ Bolland, DJ-producer and key figure in the international techno scene.

The theme of the album is definitely movement, and in some of the hip beats, it's hard not to imagine the club crowd dancing merrily along to it.

Opening track, Rhythm is Deified, for instance, is described as 'a statement of intent', which is an out and out dance number, designed to be heard with the speakers turned up.

Yet, as with all modern dance music, there is a repetitive element about it, which restricts its enjoyment, particularly in CD form.

Had the album stuck to more chilled out numbers, such as former single, Summer's Here, which features on the film, Any Way The Wind Blows, it may have fared better.

Summer's Here is a chilled out effort, which owes its roots to the swinging Sixties, as well as the sophisticated beats of dance acts such as Gus Gus and The Beloved - thanks to its smooth vocal style - and it marks the album at its most shamelessly enjoyable.

Likewise, the drum 'n' bass-tinged Soft Foot Shuffle, which benefits greatly from the soulful backing vocals of Angelique Wilkie, giving it a little extra edge.

But tracks such as the distinctly Euro-tinged, techno-laced French Movies simply outstay their welcome and would probably sound much better on the club circuit, than they do in album form.

The middle section of the album feels like a very hard slog, settling into too many easy rhythms, without really taking them anywhere.

The Pick-Up, especially, is guilty of under-pinning things with the same relentless, techno beat, which gets on your nerves after a while - especially as tracks aren't short on the album.

Once you get beyond that, however, things seem to drift towards the end of the night, almost towards the chilled out finale.

As Barman states, moody final track, Assault on Magnus, could quite easily be the 'hangover after the party'.

And there to ease you into it, are the likes of the the fun Rock Chick, and the David Holmes/Lalo Schiffrin-inspired drum shuffles and upbeat funk of Pistolero Savvy.

The Body Gave You Everything took three years, in total, to record, and fuses everything from techno, house, drum 'n' bass, and rock, to the cool beats of DJ Shadow and the Mowax label.

It is this mixture that proves to be the album's strength... and, sadly, its weakness.

Editor's note: The Body Gave You Everything is released with a bonus DVD featuring the videos for the tracks French Movies, Summer's Here and Jumpneedle. All three videos are directed by Tom Barman.

 

 

 

Track listing:
Disc1:
1. Rhythm is Deified
2. Summer's Here
3. French Movies
4. Soft Foot Shuffle
5. Jumpneedle
6. Hunter/Collector
7. The Pick-Up
8. Rock Chick
9. Pistolero Savvy
10. Buttburner
11. Assault on Magnus

Disc 2:
1. Summer's Here
2. Jumpneedle
3. French Movies

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