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Offering - Offering Part I / Part II CD (album) cover

OFFERING PART I / PART II

Offering

 

Zeuhl

3.91 | 18 ratings

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obiter
Prog Reviewer
4 stars A tremendous double album from Magma legend Christian Vander where zeuhl mixes with jazz with a splattering of madness added to the mix.

The opening track is out there in the dark walking the fine line between the demented wailings of the asylum inmates and raging winds. Not for the faint-hearted. But before we run away screaming Stella Vander's vocal relaxes into a more smooth gentle and playful jazzy tone. The Lovecraft nightmare vista melts away to be replaced by a smokey relaxed basement bar filled with afficionades (not my cup of tea but there's no pleasing everyone)... then a real Magma zeuhl feel takes over. Christian Vander brings us Earth. This is what I was hoping for. Delight for Zeuhl fans. The intensity and passion is striking. Always the pulsing bass riff and precussion keep order. the vocal becomes more aggressive at one point joining the pulstaing rhythms with several of those deep funky choral soul brother Huhs that proliferated in the late 70s.

The second side is dedicated to one track: Joia. it opens with Incredible vocals: zeuhl to the fore once more. the minor(?) chords on the piano beat out time. Christian breaks into a couple of ines of English : i Give my Love to God. The beat picks up, subtly. Tremendous rhythm, restrained and toe tappingly catchy, but over it we have the shackled madness and bridled passion of zeuhl. There's more of an exotic overtone here perhaps. Love it. Guy Khalifa lets rip with the flute. Still the chords on the piano keeps the heartbeat steady. I am not sure what th term is but Vander wavers his voice at times a bit like Feargal Sharkey (only better, sorry Feargal). The piano breaks stride and provides the lead into side 3.

C'est per nous: trumpets fill in like the brass section in Kid Creole. it's more upbeat. well happy. christian and stella sing together. it's a melodic machine gun performance from CV. i give my love, i give my soul. great stuff but find yourselves a room! This is a happy and fun as Steve Wilson and PT is miserable. I cant's help listen to this track without imaginging a cartoon where there are hifis in a room Steve Wilson is whining about how miserable he is and how his last girlfrined wasnt' nice through one (as the room at that end turns grey), while Christian and Stella sing out sheer bliss from the other (sgt pepper like flowers and rainbows springing from the hifi at that end).

Anyway, enough of my delusions. ... Nah. Just as the grey wave of despondency seems to be winning, Oh Oh Baby comes on. A Tsunami of feelgood love-in sweeps the nasty grey gremlins away. hey, vander almost sounds like an early robert plant at some points: make that misty mountain hop. Tilim M'Dohm is a short track showing off the precise vocals of Stella.

Mazur Kujiawiaki Oberek shows off an interesting meter and phrasing. I reckon the name of the song gives a bit of the game away: we get three different polish (?) folk themes. Different.

Solitude swings us back deeply into jazz-zeuhl territory. It is somewhat disconcerting being able to listen to and understand english lyrics. it takes away form the experience for me, but musn't grumble: Oh Coltrane I can wait for you night and day

Uguma Ma Melimeh Gingeh is just a laid back chill out to end the journey.

This is absolutely essential for any zeuhl fan, but not a masterpiece.

obiter | 4/5 |

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