MAGMA - rfi

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Now i love stupid ideas realized and carried to their logical conclusion (made up languages, neo classical stravinskyesque jazz rock), and i have always loved ruins who everyone has always told me are somewhat of a magma tribute act. the magma i have heard has been quite slow, stodgy, & non-challenging, but i'm guessing i've been listening to the wrong bits. SO... where is the hilarious over the top bombast and jizz winkery in the magma catalogue? - i need the absolute STUPIDEST stuff.

bob snoom, Friday, 16 August 2002 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink

M.D.K. is the one everyone recommends (and it's the only one I've found cheap. It's pretty over the top sounding at points (and GREAT to boot).

Alex in SF, Friday, 16 August 2002 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink

For over-the-topness, I agree, Mekanik Destruktiw Kommandoh is just what you need. If you want something a little less bombastic, pick up Udu Wudu. The A-side isn't so great, but the B-side-- the mindblowing 19 minute long song "De Futura"--is probably their single best song.

Diego, Friday, 16 August 2002 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink

Ah, Magma. Band of bands, freaks of freaks. The funny thing about Magma is that they have the rep of being completely over the top and from a different world, but in actuality, were just very determined (and talented as well, they don't get the muso respect they deserve because that other reputation often supercedes it) musicians writing a little sci-fi stuff. Hey, it was all in the name of peace and John Coltrane, man!

By the numbers:

Magma (1970): Debut 2-CD set. Hmm, ever wonder what Chicago would sound like if they were singing in another (made-up) language, and listening to too much Stockhausen? The first album is by most accounts, not the place to start, but it is arguably their *strangest*. Great playing and singing, but too goofy-60s-jazzrock- band for me.

1001 degrees Centigrade: Getting much better (and shorter). Leader/drummer Christian Vander's vision of a martial brand of jazz- fusion begins to take over with the excellent "Rïah Sahïltaahk". This is about 20 minutes of episodic, jazzy prog, and isn't the best stuff they ever did, but is getting there.

MDK and MK: Magma released a couple of versions of Mekanik Destruktiw Kommandoh, and the one titled simply Mekanik Kommandoh is the one I prefer. This is rock opera at its finest: aspects of fusion, Carl Orff, Wagner and free jazz make appearances here. Caveat: Magma gets mega panned by some hardline proggers for being overly weird and *repetitive*. They are known to run grooves into the ground and then some, and not funky goodtime grooves either, but hard, downbeat mashing war march grooves. The singing, by Vander and frontman Klaus Blasquiz ranges from think operatic baritone to fluttering trill falsetto.

Wurdah Itah: Officially released as a Vander solo, but really a part of the Theusz Hamtaahk trilogy (of which MDK is the third movement). For my money, this is actually the best Magma studio album. Style is similar to MDK, but no goofy horns, and while still featuring the hard war beat, also features a lot more dynamics, color, and all around interesting stuff. Classic.

Kohntarkosz: The other side of Magma begins on this record. Reportedly, when Vander seemed to notice other bands copping his style (most notablhy Mike Oldfied, who Vander accuses of having literaly stolen music from him for Tubular Bells), he changed his style a bit. This record is much mroe textural than the earlier ones, sounding something like a cross between Can, Mahavishnu Orchestra and Tangerine Dream. Not nearly so "over the top" as MDK, and by many fans' accounts, the most conventionally "pretty" sounding era of Magma.

Live/Hhai: Double live set featuring most of their well known material to that point. Great starting point for an intro to the band, though it does emphasize their more fusion-y tendencies.

Udu Wudu: Disappointing record wherein Vander starts losing control of the band's vision, and opens the floor to other members for writing music. The most famous song is bassist Jannik Top's "De Futura". Vander called his music "zeuhl", and one constant aspect of zeuhl is the role of the bass. Top was Vander's main man for a lot of Magma's best moments, and his signature distorted, almost growling bass is all over this 18 minute epic. As a whole, the album drags though.

Attahk: Magma goes crossover! Fusion, funk, disco, gospel, symphonic prog -- they weren't doing space-operas anymore, but for my money THIS IS ACTUALLY THE MOST OVER THE TOP MAGMA RECORD. Vander's singing and drumming on the incredible opener "The Last Seven Minutes" is alone worth the price of the CD.

Merci: After an extended hiatus, Magma releases this terrible record in 1984. Taking 80s gated drums, contemporary rnb and a whole mess of "oooh baby's", Magma goes from eccentric cult heroes to embarrassing soul freaks. I don't a single Magma fan who likes this album -- but if you're in it for laughs, go right ahead.

Beyond these, Magma has a number of live releases. Last year, they put out the entire Theusz Hamtaahk trilogy on a 3-CD live set. It's a great place to go after you've heard the original versions (and in some places, I think it surpasses them).

I <3 Magma!

dleone, Friday, 16 August 2002 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink

the magma i have heard has been quite slow, stodgy, & non- challenging, but i'm guessing i've been listening to the wrong bits.

Erm...are you sure you're listening to Magma?

Joe, Friday, 16 August 2002 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink

i like "simples" (short, more "songy" tracks that made me like magma at a time when i thought i was going to be eternally opposed to them), the first one and "udu wudu". especially "udu wudu," 'de futura' is the jam.

regarding the ruins/zeuhl connection, there's a side project called koenji hyakkei that is pretty straight zeuhl stuff. nice!

what i want to know is, what other zeuhl bands are worth hearing? i've heard (the debatably zeuhl-influenced) shub niggurath and they kicked my ass but good; weidorje didn't, though. where next?

your null fame, Friday, 16 August 2002 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink

I would say two other non-Magma definites are Zao's "Z = 7L" and Eskaton's "4 Visions". Zao was the first Magma-offshoot band (led by Yocho Seffer and Francois Cahen) and Eskaton was a non-Magma related clone band (*excellent* cloning, though). This all being said with the caveat that I from my perspective, Weidorje is the greatest non-Magma zeuhl albums. "Vilna" and "Booldemug" in particular are incredible.

Then there's also non-Zeuhl (i.e., don't be expecting Magma or near-Magma) albums by Zeuhl musicians--these are recommended:

Laurent Thibault's "Mais on ne Peut Pas..." (like a symph prog album)
Stella Vander's "D'Epreuves D'amour" (moody, melancholic piano/vocal music)
Pierre Michel Sivadier's "D'Amour Fou D'Amour" (ditto)
Simon Goubert's "L'Encierro" (jazz)

Joe (Joe), Sunday, 18 August 2002 04:01 (11 years ago) Permalink

Re: Ruins -- I think this comparison is brought up too much, and for Ruins, hasn't really been accurate in about 7 or 8 years (when their last noticeably zeuhl-influenced record "Hydermastrgroningem" came out). The thing is, Ruins' leader is an admitted Magma fanatic and because his band features strange "singing", bass up front and angular, repetitive riffs, people say they sound like Magma. However, the end result is mostly in a different world.



Koenjihyakkei has already been brought up, and that's a band much closer to the Magma sound -- but still very much louder and chaotic.



A different band that I always associate with Magma, even though they are completely unrelated, is Italy's Area. Same thing goes, with strange singing and acrobatic riffing, though Area played closer to straight fusion than Magma did.



And Joe, I still haven't heard that Thibault. It sounds interesting.

dleone (dleone), Sunday, 18 August 2002 04:45 (11 years ago) Permalink

1 year passes...
i just wanted to add that jannick top's _soleil d'ork_ album is pretty cool if you've got a magma thing going on. has the "epithecanthropos erectus/utopia viva" single for a start, some unreleased stuff (long version of "mekanik machine" on which i swear the chorus is "lego head thrashing! lego head thrash-uh-ing!") and some demos of udu wudu tracks ("soleil d'ork" and "de futura" with richard pinhas on guitar). and a long, weird quiet song at the end.

your null fame (yournullfame), Thursday, 21 August 2003 11:55 (10 years ago) Permalink

"Soleil D'ork" is a jam -- zeuhl-funk has long been underrated (see entirety of Attahk). Another interesting release is the Vandertop Paris '76 CD, which is basically an official bootleg, but has an epic piece called "Music of the Spheres" which is really just an excuse for Jannick Top to take a long bass solo.

dleone (dleone), Thursday, 21 August 2003 11:59 (10 years ago) Permalink

8 months pass...
All I have from Magma is "Floe Essi" which sounds like the bastard son of Stereolab and Ruins... What is the cannonical Magma stuff for me to drop my cash on?

GET TO THA' (PRICE) CHOPPA!!!!!!!! ROFFLE!!!!!!!! (ex machina), Friday, 7 May 2004 22:00 (9 years ago) Permalink

Magma, where do I go from here?

Joe (Joe), Friday, 7 May 2004 22:17 (9 years ago) Permalink

is Attahk really good?

GET TO THA' (PRICE) CHOPPA!!!!!!!! ROFFLE!!!!!!!! (ex machina), Friday, 7 May 2004 22:23 (9 years ago) Permalink

Attahk rawks.

Joe (Joe), Friday, 7 May 2004 22:28 (9 years ago) Permalink

I love it.

jazz odysseus (jazz odysseus), Friday, 7 May 2004 22:59 (9 years ago) Permalink

Does it sound more like Stereolab or Ruins.

(PS - MAGMA ROXXXX SO MUCH)

GET TO THA' (PRICE) CHOPPA!!!!!!!! ROFFLE!!!!!!!! (ex machina), Friday, 7 May 2004 23:10 (9 years ago) Permalink

I don't think it sounds like either, but I've not heard that much of Ruins.

jazz odysseus (jazz odysseus), Friday, 7 May 2004 23:15 (9 years ago) Permalink

dleone describes it pretty well upthread, I think.

jazz odysseus (jazz odysseus), Friday, 7 May 2004 23:17 (9 years ago) Permalink

Yeah, Attahk doesn't sound like either Stereolab (I don't really here much Stereolab in the Magma I'm familiar with; haven't heard "Floe Essi" yet) or Ruins; first track comes closest to Ruins in terms of the energy level on the drums...

Joe (Joe), Friday, 7 May 2004 23:25 (9 years ago) Permalink

Maybe it was just the vocals and instrumentation on Floe Essi? It was really pretty.

GET TO THA' (PRICE) CHOPPA!!!!!!!! ROFFLE!!!!!!!! (ex machina), Friday, 7 May 2004 23:31 (9 years ago) Permalink

"Floe Essi" is the more fusion-tinged song on the single that also contained Vander's more straightforward "Ektah". I don't really hear much Stereolab in either of these, but if I had to choose one to fit that bill, I wouldn't have picked "Floe Essi"!

For my money, the moments in Magma that remind me most of Ruins are on Wurdah Itah, and even then, you have to imagine them amplified by about 100x.

dleone (dleone), Friday, 7 May 2004 23:38 (9 years ago) Permalink

6 months pass...
This week's The Freak Zone show on 6 Music just played a fantastic 20 + minutes long Magma John Peel session track from 1974

http://www.bbc.co.uk/6music/presenters/freakzone/

[the show should be on listen again in a couple hours time]

also NEW Magma album released in Europe tomorrow:
http://muzihk.free.fr/ka/html/english.htm

DJ Martian (djmartian), Sunday, 7 November 2004 19:02 (9 years ago) Permalink

Saturday Night Live seriously needs to book Magma.

Joe (Joe), Monday, 8 November 2004 01:36 (9 years ago) Permalink

With Ashlee Simpson glossies tied to the drum cymbals.

Joe (Joe), Monday, 8 November 2004 01:37 (9 years ago) Permalink

Discography above left out the Univeria Zekt lp from 1972. This is actually a Magma album, released shortly after 1001 Degrees Centigrade, but due to record company hassles, the name Magma was not used.

Anyway, if you like 1001 Degrees Centigrade, you'll like this one.

Lefty, Monday, 8 November 2004 04:27 (9 years ago) Permalink

http://www.livejournal.com/users/magma_/

(Jon L), Monday, 8 November 2004 05:49 (9 years ago) Permalink

1 year passes...

Dominique (dleone), Tuesday, 21 February 2006 01:55 (8 years ago) Permalink

I love that picture. The one on Wikipedia is great, too.

Joe (Joe), Tuesday, 21 February 2006 02:13 (8 years ago) Permalink

Two lady friends of mine recently surprised me by ordering me Korusz for my birthday. Incredible that they actually picked out at random a Magma CD I don't yet own, though I suppose not without good reason...the look on their face as I explained to them that they had just bought me an entire 2CDs worth of drum solos ("But it's such a sweet gift!!!") was totally classic.

Joe (Joe), Tuesday, 21 February 2006 02:27 (8 years ago) Permalink

I haven't heard anything from those CDs - have you heard them yet? I really can't imagine owning 2+ hours of drums solos, even from Vander, but maybe I'm missing something

Dominique (dleone), Tuesday, 21 February 2006 02:32 (8 years ago) Permalink

Well, so far, I've only been able to make it through the first track so far (about 11 minutes or so). First track was more interesting than I thought it would be, because for a good portion of it, Vander keeps an actual beat (say, like "Bonzo's Montreaux") rather than just a boring free-form rock drum solo. Plus, it IS Vander, so it's suitably intense in parts.

But, yes, overall it still seems a bit much to me as well...the next two tracks are each over 20 minutes!

Joe (Joe), Tuesday, 21 February 2006 02:45 (8 years ago) Permalink

KA really grew on me. Fourth time was the charm.

milton parker (Jon L), Tuesday, 21 February 2006 19:12 (8 years ago) Permalink

I think "Live/Hhai" is the one to get

Rotatey Diskers With Dadaismus (Dada), Tuesday, 21 February 2006 19:18 (8 years ago) Permalink

my first one was 'attakh' and by the time the first track was over I knew I was buying all the rest.

milton parker (Jon L), Tuesday, 21 February 2006 19:24 (8 years ago) Permalink

11 months pass...
Last year, they put out the entire Theusz Hamtaahk trilogy on a 3-CD live set

I got the DVD of it! In a car boot sale! For £5! Tried watching all of it in one sitting, but that was being wildly over-ambitious on my part. And stretched my schoolboy French well beyond the limit trying to follow the documentary that came with it.

Tom D. (Dada), Wednesday, 24 January 2007 14:36 (7 years ago) Permalink

Extremely jealous of your bargain purchase, sir.

More so given that said item is out of print now. Maybe I could trouble Steve Davis for a copy.

myopic_void (myopic_void), Wednesday, 24 January 2007 15:10 (7 years ago) Permalink

There is also the 4 Volume DVD set of their 35th Anniversary series of concerts (four weekends, each covering the various stages of the band with guest alumni, etc.)...currently, Vol. 1 & 2 is available,
and pretty awesome. Watch Vander on the MDK Jam (Volume 2)--whew!

Joe (Joe), Wednesday, 24 January 2007 17:50 (7 years ago) Permalink

Here's an excerpt (This is "Theusz Hamtaahk" from Vol. 1):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BnNngMb4lvk

Joe (Joe), Wednesday, 24 January 2007 17:53 (7 years ago) Permalink

I really want to see these new "epok" dvds -- also very anxious for the Emehnteht-Re record

Dominique (dleone), Wednesday, 24 January 2007 18:04 (7 years ago) Permalink

Vander looks really wild in the photo posted above. not to mention the Rasputin-like guy on the left.
One day we should meet and just talk for ages about Magma - and other 70's French bands too.

Marco Damiani (Marco D.), Wednesday, 24 January 2007 18:44 (7 years ago) Permalink

Is that an open invitation? I'd sure love to talk up some Heldon.

myopic_void (myopic_void), Wednesday, 24 January 2007 19:32 (7 years ago) Permalink

Heldon/Richard Pinhas: S&D

milton parker (Jon L), Wednesday, 24 January 2007 19:35 (7 years ago) Permalink

yes, pls to book me a tkt to France, and we shall meet, drink wine and talk about french prog

Dominique (dleone), Wednesday, 24 January 2007 19:42 (7 years ago) Permalink

Avec plaisir!

myopic_void (myopic_void), Wednesday, 24 January 2007 19:50 (7 years ago) Permalink

Heldon, Lard Free, Fille Qui Mousse, Red Noise, Bernard Szajner, and all that Lovecraft-inspired prog...I'm always amazed by the number of good albums released in France in those years.

Marco Damiani (Marco D.), Wednesday, 24 January 2007 20:14 (7 years ago) Permalink

Can't wait to see the new DVD's, I actually saw one of the concerts (Vol. 2 - well, they did 5 nights, dunno if they filmed the specific one I was at), was beyond awesome. Although Top was slightly disappointing on bass, the guy they have now is better these days. I met Steve Davis there too! D. Leone's brief guide upthread is a v. good guide to Magma btw, although I'd recommend Udu Wudu more than he does because the AWESOMENESS of De Futura more than cancels out the ragbag on side 1.

Two awesome's in the same post about Magma. Could've been more.

Matt #2 (Matt #2), Wednesday, 24 January 2007 21:17 (7 years ago) Permalink

Oh yeah, there's some Zeuhl / Rock In Opposition festival Magma are playing at in France soon. Also with Univers Zero and some others (no Pinhas though I don't think).

Matt #2 (Matt #2), Wednesday, 24 January 2007 21:18 (7 years ago) Permalink

btw, Magma actually plays USA in the summer at Nearfest (along w/Bob Drake)

Dominique (dleone), Wednesday, 24 January 2007 22:43 (7 years ago) Permalink

6 months pass...

http://www.emusic.com/artist/Magma/11777412.html

I have Kohntarkosz, Attahk and Udu Wudu. What next among these?

abanana, Wednesday, 15 August 2007 03:01 (6 years ago) Permalink

those arent so hot

Catsupppppppppppppp dude 茄蕃, Wednesday, 15 August 2007 06:52 (6 years ago) Permalink

there will be a seminar on Magma tomorrow night at MIT, with vintage live footage shown on a big screen

get in touch if you want to come with

geeta, Sunday, 9 October 2011 22:45 (2 years ago) Permalink

Much as I love everything these guys are involved in, they really need a new graphic designer on board asap :

|III|||II|||I|I||| (Matt #2), Tuesday, 11 October 2011 21:10 (2 years ago) Permalink

good lord.

what is that, anyway? new album?

also, lol:
http://us.fotolia.com/id/5774703

(⊙_⊙?) (Alan N), Tuesday, 11 October 2011 21:24 (2 years ago) Permalink

goddamnit

Dominique, Tuesday, 11 October 2011 21:32 (2 years ago) Permalink

It's a new Christian Vander & friends record, a tribute to Coltrane as is probably obvious. There's supposedly a new Magma album being recorded too, but it'll be this new piece they've been doing called Felicite Thosz, which is pretty awful tbh so I'm not really bothered about it.

|III|||II|||I|I||| (Matt #2), Tuesday, 11 October 2011 21:33 (2 years ago) Permalink

yeah, i wouldn't say awful, but from what I remember, not as driving as some of their other epics (maybe more similar to Offering than Magma?)

However, if new record has "Slag Tanz" on it, I'd buy it for that alone

Dominique, Tuesday, 11 October 2011 22:54 (2 years ago) Permalink

yea, was going to say exactly that. 'slag tanz' is incredible.

(⊙_⊙?) (Alan N), Wednesday, 12 October 2011 03:47 (2 years ago) Permalink

7 months pass...

when this gets released, really think it's going to join the ranks of classic magma tracks

Dominique, Wednesday, 16 May 2012 15:48 (1 year ago) Permalink

and when did they start playing w/an orchestra???

Dominique, Wednesday, 16 May 2012 15:53 (1 year ago) Permalink

agreed about the 1st track you posted. a serious highlight when I saw them last year. so heavy!

(⊙_⊙?) (Alan N), Wednesday, 16 May 2012 18:32 (1 year ago) Permalink

I still can't get past the first album (not to say it's incomprehensible or anything - I'm just fascinated with it to the point where I don't want to hear their later stuff yet)

frogbs, Wednesday, 16 May 2012 18:33 (1 year ago) Permalink

oh man, you're in for a treat.

if you ever get the chance to see them live, jump on it. one of the best shows I've been to. the '75 live album is prob my favorite magma release too.

(⊙_⊙?) (Alan N), Wednesday, 16 May 2012 18:37 (1 year ago) Permalink

would love to regardless of how little I know of their music, but somehow I don't think Green Bay is on their list of U.S. cities to visit..

If you say they're good I'll d/l a few more discs off eMusic or something - I didn't like Autechre until you mentioned how brilliant you thought they were, then they suddenly clicked, so I'll take your word for it here

frogbs, Wednesday, 16 May 2012 18:42 (1 year ago) Permalink

hah, nice.

definitely get live from 1975 (sometimes confusingly titled live kohntark or live hhai). the versions of 'hhai' and 'mekanik zain' on there are definite but the whole recording is fantastic.

I'm a big, big fan of their last studio release Ëmëhntëhtt-Ré too. essential.

if you're into the first lp, try 1001 degres centigrades. it's the closest in feel to that one though not as scattershot and already trending towards the hypnotic sound they would eventually land on and become obsessed with. unfortunately, not much else in their catalog sounds much like these early records aside from various rarities from that era.

obviously, these will not be on emusic, but the live dvds they released a few years ago are killer. check out this incredible version of 'de futura':

if you use spotify, an impressive amount of their material is on there as well.

(⊙_⊙?) (Alan N), Wednesday, 16 May 2012 19:01 (1 year ago) Permalink

or, if you decide to go that another route, I imagine it would fun to just dig through release by release. fascinating catalog imo.

(⊙_⊙?) (Alan N), Wednesday, 16 May 2012 19:03 (1 year ago) Permalink

so that's how they ended up sounding, eh?

I'll probably wind up just going in order, partially b/c I'm OCD about this (it's been awesome to do that for Ae and there are a lot of artists where I *wish* I had gone that way), partially because I really want to see how they arrived at the sound everyone talks about. Kobaia sounds like a neat little jazz-rock oddity, in fact outside of some of the more "out there" vocal parts, it's fairly straight, but totally addictive

frogbs, Wednesday, 16 May 2012 19:43 (1 year ago) Permalink

yeah, kobaia is a weird one but mostly in the context of the rest of their stuff. I like it a lot as well.

(⊙_⊙?) (Alan N), Wednesday, 16 May 2012 22:13 (1 year ago) Permalink

New album out May 30th!

http://www.seventhrecords.com/indexuk.html

A++++++ would deal with again (Matt #2), Friday, 18 May 2012 20:00 (1 year ago) Permalink

:) (but wtf, no slag tanz)

Dominique, Friday, 18 May 2012 20:08 (1 year ago) Permalink

yeah thats too bad. esp since it looks like it will only run just over half an hr :-/

(⊙_⊙?) (Alan N), Saturday, 19 May 2012 13:30 (1 year ago) Permalink

I got Udu Wudu on mp3 and it is great, very fresh for you alternative types! But there is something too ahistoric, un-seventies about owning it on mp3. I suspect it is worth the $30-40 the LP is going for on ebay...

โตเกียวเหมียวเหมียว aka Bulgarian Tourist Chamber (Mount Cleaners), Saturday, 19 May 2012 14:48 (1 year ago) Permalink

Haven't seen mention of the remastered box set that came out like 3-4 years ago in the messages i've read on this thread, Sound seriously improved over the previous version of the cds.
I'm assuming that edition is currently available individually.
Was surprised that the end tone on MDK & Kohntarkhosz that I thought might be a glitch on the previous version was retained. i haven't heard the original vinyl so can't tell if it's on there too.

Stevolende, Saturday, 19 May 2012 22:48 (1 year ago) Permalink

2 months pass...

http://www.therocktologist.com/interview-with-christian-vander.html
Fear not, Slag Tanz will be on disc eventually

I'm really digging the Univeria Zekt disc, but was this really meant to be a Magma album? Anyway that 11 minute piece at the end "Africa Anteria" is such a crazy earworm, I just can't get enough of these guys.

frogbs, Wednesday, 8 August 2012 21:13 (1 year ago) Permalink

huh. the way he phrases it makes it sounds like "slag tanz" will BE the next album. could just be a second language thing but I am kind of salivating thinking of that track stretched out emehntett-re style.

(⊙_⊙?) (Alan N), Thursday, 9 August 2012 18:01 (1 year ago) Permalink

4 weeks pass...

So, this new one... First listen and the piano on it is real pretty so far.

(⊙_⊙?) (Alan N), Friday, 7 September 2012 00:10 (1 year ago) Permalink

alright, I just heard MDK for the first time and, uh...yeah, that's got to be one of the most intense first listens to any album I can remember. like, if I was in an altered state of mind, I might have shed a tear or two

frogbs, Saturday, 15 September 2012 04:13 (1 year ago) Permalink

3 months pass...

reason #lostcount I love this band:

longest and best version of "Slag Tanz" yet -- a track that has yet to be released, and has already evolved into a classic mini-epic. Magma pieces never remain static, even some of their most famous pieces from the 70s feature new twists when they play live. Inspiring.

Dominique, Monday, 24 December 2012 23:17 (1 year ago) Permalink

thank you. love when this thread gets revived!

fit and working again, Tuesday, 25 December 2012 04:40 (1 year ago) Permalink

finally heard Felicite Thosz this weekend on a road trip to LA. it's short. we played it twice.

Milton Parker, Tuesday, 25 December 2012 04:53 (1 year ago) Permalink

yeah, I usually play it twice too

(⊙_⊙?) (Alan N), Wednesday, 26 December 2012 23:32 (1 year ago) Permalink

John Quijada, creator of a hyper-precise invented language, was inspired as a kid by Magma's created language-

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012/12/24/121224fa_fact_foer

bendy, Friday, 28 December 2012 22:11 (1 year ago) Permalink

yeah, and now certain Russians are very inspired by him...excellent piece.

dow, Friday, 28 December 2012 22:20 (1 year ago) Permalink

1 month passes...

I've been pretty obsessed with Wurdah Itah lately. What an incredible piece of work that is. One of those albums that I just immediately have to play again whenever I listen to it. I don't even have the words for it, everything after about 4 minutes in is just stunning. I can definitely see why so many people have a religious connection with this music.

frogbs, Monday, 18 February 2013 16:04 (1 year ago) Permalink

10 months pass...

Holy cow, Live/Hhai is just amazing. This is like the music that Zappa should've made had he not, y'know, been Frank Zappa. What are the other live albums to check out??

frogbs, Friday, 20 December 2013 15:35 (3 months ago) Permalink

BBC 1974 is very well recorded, with a pretty brooding version of Kohntarkosz.
Theater du Taur 1975 and Opera de Reims 1976 sound like they were recorded from the toilets, but capture the full crazed intensity they were cooking up back then.
Bobino 1981 is best avoided if you're not into their funky fusion phase, a lot of it's good though but sounds a bit more like their subsequent band Offering.
Theusz Hamtaahk Trilogie and the Mythes et Legendes DVDs feature the newer line-up, it's good but not as insane as they used to be.

bleak strategies (Matt #2), Friday, 20 December 2013 16:49 (3 months ago) Permalink

The Retrospektiw discs are great -- you just have to put up with some (actually pretty classic) 80s synths. However, the version of "Theusz Hamtaahk" on it is definitive, and I love the extended version of "Hhai".

Dominique, Friday, 20 December 2013 17:53 (3 months ago) Permalink

Oh yeah, those are on my list to get (Retrospektiw). Was wondering about the newer live albums since there seem to be a lot lately and I'll bet they're a lot better recorded than some of the earlier stuff. Are they all very different?

frogbs, Friday, 20 December 2013 18:03 (3 months ago) Permalink

The newer records by Magma are pretty much all good (live or not) if you like the band. Matt#2 has a point in that they aren't quite the same ball of fire they were in the 70s, but on the other hand, they add new wrinkles to all the pieces, and the performances/recordings are ace. I saw Magma in New York a few years ago, and it's probably the best concert I've ever seen.

Dominique, Friday, 20 December 2013 18:16 (3 months ago) Permalink

I may have been at the same show, and yeah, co-signed! one of the live sets I've ever caught.

(⊙_⊙?) (Alan N), Friday, 20 December 2013 18:28 (3 months ago) Permalink

For me the Retrospektiw discs are the best of all. I love the synths, always felt they should've have gone farther down that road!

Aside from that, my favs are the AKT Live at BBC and also the newer 1979 live thing which is beyond killer with energy levels going straight through the roof. I also have a bootleg called live in Bremen featuring Jannick Top which gets played a hell of a lot. It's the most apocalyptic of all their stuff! They play KMX twice and both takes are staggering. Top especially sounds like some ferocious Lovecraftian monster or something. Worth tracking down!!!

Another really underrated one is the AKT Les voix de Magma which has Wurdah Itah and Zess extracts performed with choir and pianos and nothing else... maybe their most beautiful album of all. But I also am a huge fan of everything Vander did in the 80s!

liam fennell, Friday, 20 December 2013 18:50 (3 months ago) Permalink

xp - Well I can hardly imagine anything with the same amount of fire as the last track on Hhai. I was kind of stunned by how stupidly fast it was - were there 2 drummers or was that all Vander?

I have seen some recent videos and felt like all the newer (younger) guys did a really good job. Like King Crimson I think the constant swapping in and out of band members makes for a lot of interesting live recordings.

liam - thanks for the suggestions. I'll certainly check those out. That Bremen gig sounds amazing. Haven't heard any of Vander's work in the 80's yet or beyond...he kinda went silent for a while didn't he?

frogbs, Friday, 20 December 2013 18:56 (3 months ago) Permalink

if les voix is your bag definitely check out the very limited "live in tokyo" release... this one has them doing a reduction of the whole theusz hamtaahk trilogy in the same style as "les voix"

magma is a band where you can really get into the bootlegs... even though there are a lot of hoarders, there's still hundreds of hours of classic stuff out there- one needs well-seasoned ears, of course, but they tend to be on fire. sowiloi for instance was just an epic jam in '73, going on for like half an hour, and you can hear how k.a. literally turned into kohntarkosz from '73-'74. there's also the original version of "theusz hamtaahk" from dec '73 and jan '74 where they just kill it for eight minutes straight on the ending. there's also stuff like magma's first american concert, with the brecker brothers guesting on horns- shambolic but top is fabulous- the "great zombie" from '77, where the last half of emehntehtt-re was taken from- an amazing 38 minute kohntarkosz from beynes 1975- magma doing the most ear-curdling "otis" ever in a 1981 radio broadcast- the short-lived lineup with the late pierre moerlen on second drums- a '72 concert where they encore with "klaus kombalad"- some tremendously stoned takes on "om zanka" from '75 and '77- it's a major rabbit-hole.

offically some of the stuff on the "vandertop" cds (magma by another name) is worth hearing- stuff like "la musique des spheres" and a ten-minute version of "mekanik machine"... a lot of fans don't know of these

in the '80s vander transitioned magma into "offering" which was more of a jazzy thing, to some people's tastes but not as overtly apocalyptic. in '96 magma reformed and has been going strong ever since.

rushomancy, Saturday, 21 December 2013 00:13 (3 months ago) Permalink

2 months pass...

from ProgressiveEars:

anyone know when "Slag Tanz" is coming to the studio?

Slag Tanz, now called Axium, is being mastered as I write. Should be out in a few months, unless Offering live is released sooner.

so...new Magma this year???

frogbs, Thursday, 13 March 2014 20:23 (1 month ago) Permalink

nice

(⊙_⊙?) (Alan N), Thursday, 13 March 2014 20:26 (1 month ago) Permalink

Slag Tanz sung by child

fit and working again, Thursday, 13 March 2014 21:36 (1 month ago) Permalink

frogbs, who is that user? I forgot my progressiveears login, wondering what his source is. Trying to be a good obsessive Magma fan, but can't recall passwords in my old age

Dominique, Thursday, 13 March 2014 22:30 (1 month ago) Permalink

it was Dana5140, who writes for Sea of Tranquility. also posted this:

Originally Posted by Dana5140
I think the plan is to include a new version of MKD with Axium on the new CD.

that's a little disappointing. I love MDK as much as anyone but how many versions of it do we need?

frogbs, Friday, 14 March 2014 13:28 (1 month ago) Permalink

from "unclemeat":

They did re-record "Riah Sahiltaahk", and, along with a couple of new pieces and "Axium", this is (apparently) going to be the next CD. Also in the pipeline : the Offering DVD (and - possibly - a Vander solo DVD and a tribute to Michel Graillier, all filmed at le Triton).

frogbs, Friday, 14 March 2014 13:30 (1 month ago) Permalink

I see -- well, I guess it makes sense, because I don't know any other new Magma songs that are unreleased.

Dominique, Friday, 14 March 2014 14:12 (1 month ago) Permalink


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