Scotch on the Rock is our irregularly recurring column from Scotch, music and life enthusiast JD Short. Mr. Short has spent time in the rock and roll outfits Root and The Cardinal Number, as well as being a jack of all trades for Rickenbacker. He currently records under the name BassDbler.
Scotch On The Rock: Round 4
The pairing of the decade
Ledaig 10 Year and Magma – Mekanïk Destruktïw Kommandöh
Truth be told, every time I drink scotch I think of the Isle of Mull and Tobermory, home to the Ledaig 10 year.
Mull is where my real love of scotch began. You see, dear readers, Mull is where my wife and I were married… and the registrar’s office is just up the hill from the distillery in Tobermory. We walked along this stream which feeds the distillery…
Looking at a dram of Ledaig you’ll notice it seems quite light. The nose is also quite fresh, a bit of lemon and only a hint of peat. But as soon as you taste it you realize the color and nose are a bit deceiving. This isn’t a light bodied scotch at all; rather there is a strong sense of peat but with gorgeous floral notes (instead of the more traditional salty, iodine ones) and a nice peppery finish. The effect is that this is a near perfect scotch. It is wonderful for those who are just getting in to scotch, or are just moving in to the peaty ones. The more seasoned vets will (or face my ire) appreciate the nuances and left-of-center approach. The Ledaig lets you have a light, easy-drinking dram if you want; or a peaty beast – depending on which aspects you focus on.
Mekanïk Destruktïw Kommandöh (affectionately known as MDK) is one of my all-time favorite albums from my all-time favorite bands. Our friends at Aquarius Records (aquariusrecords.org) said this, “Of all their Wagner-meets-Sun Ra output, this is perhaps the most dark and militaristic-sounding, despite the inherent spirituality of the concept.” …that certainly fits. Earlier Magma albums are a bit easier to listen to on the first go; they sound more like an insane Birds of Fire era Mahavishnu Orchestra than MDK’s insane Ring Cycle era Wagner. The thing about MDK is that it is perfect from top-to-bottom, beginning-to-end. MDK is what made me absolutely fall in love with Magma (again, thanks to our friends at aQ for knowing me well enough when I just said send me some Magma). MDK is filled with dramatic, operatic moments… moments of pure musical genius. Here are a couple of videos, one more recent…
Also, they’re French, sing in a made up language and I secretly pretend Christian Vander is my eccentric French uncle…