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

OFFERING PART I / PART II

Offering

Zeuhl


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5 stars This album is a continuation of Christian Vander`s ever expanding vision, most of these songs were written long before magma released their swansong (Merci) Personally i LOVE all songs on this album...

It starts of with a freefloat jazz zeuhl song with beautiful vocals by Stella Vander, and evolves into a real pretty tune with lots of different elements working in the background, this song floats right into the next song "Earth" which is the closest Offering ever came to Magma related music, here Vander screams out his lungs with such a creepy passions and it gets to a point where the music goes way beyond music, this song last for 10 minutes and when it is fisished it glides straight into "Joia" which is a more chill out song and have a repeted pattern nealry all way through only interrupted by a genoius breakdown with only percussion and congas, then goes into the same repetetive motive, this song will grow on you, but i must admit i found this song quite boring at first, now its one of the very best on the album, then (again) it glides into "C Est Pour Nous" (It`s for Us) which is the "hit" on the record, a very uplifting song with the best "scatting" ever done on a record (Forget Scatman John please) , Vander sings magnificent on this song, a really must hear song (and for some reason i find the song to be a sort of Udu Wudu part II, play first that song and put this on straight afterwards)

Then we come to Lp2 (only one cd) it starts of with "Love In The Darkness" which is a stripped down version of the song "Oh Oh Baby" from "Merci" , but here we dont get the TERRIBLE drummachine that features and ruins the song on "Merci" , this version have only Vocals and Piano from Vander, very relaxing song. Then we get a short sweet interlude with "Tilim M'Dohm" which is also a very intresting song, which has a cool rhytm pattern, no drums only percussion The Next song is the only song i dont feel fits on this album (Probably cause its the only song NOT written By Mr Vander) this song features only Guy Khalifa on piano, not bad but not really working for me, but the next song "Solitude" is a very sweet ballad dedicated to John Coltrane (The whole Offering Affair is one big Coltrane Tribute, Even the name is from a Coltrane Song, Check that one out along with "Expression" , and this song is pure heaven, very smooth and very intimate and probably very personal to Christian Vander The album closes with another calm one, this one is even calmer than the last and man it works, the mood i get in by listening to this album can`t be summoned by words at all, but this song features only piano and Christian Singing, and i wonder what he says in the beginning of the song, i think its something about the piano should be a little faster, i May be wrong on this, since i cant speak or write french at all....

Don`t hesitate buying this record, and please don`t take other Magma fans words about this album too serious, I think it stands up just as well as Mdk Or attahk for that matter, this is Vander`s Vision beyond Magma, and man it works for me, If you are intrested in buying this, I reccomend you get the complete Offering Boxset, with 4 cd`s and a bonus track (Out of This World, Written by Coltrane) Recorded In 1987, The boxset isnt that expensive and can be bought at seventhrecords.com Or mellotronen.com

A solid 5.5 stars for this release (if they had taken out "mazur" it would be a solid 6)

HIGHLY RECCOMENABLE

(if you like prog/zeuhl/jazz/R.i.o. ...ect)

Report this review (#113898)
Posted Thursday, March 1, 2007 | Review Permalink
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.

Report this review (#158116)
Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2008 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This is Christian Vander's side project which is very much influenced and also dedicated to his music hero John Coltrane. When I open the cd case on the inside cover at the top it says "In the memory of John Coltrane 1926-1967", and at the bottom of the same page is a flower with the words "To John". I like the way Wayside Music describes OFFERING as a "vocal / Jazz / piano ensemble". A good description of the music. Lots of vocals and chanting along with piano, while we also get some horns, percussion, flute and drums. I really didn't think I was going to like this a whole lot from some of the descriptions I read, but this has turned out to be a very pleasant surprise for me. Should have known with MAGMA members being involved and all the chanting with that Jazz flavour that this would turn out to be a favourite of mine.

"Offering (Part 1)" opens with piano, flute and intricate drums while the horns come and go. A collage of sounds. Stella comes in after a minute and steals the show. It all settles after 4 1/2 minutes as piano and Stella can only be heard. Although she does let it rip a few more times. "Earth" is the most MAGMA-like as we get that Zeuhl rhythm throughout. Male vocals before 1 1/2 minutes and really Vander is the focus on this one with an incredible vocal display. Check out Vander's vocals after 4 minutes. What a theatrical performance. You have to hear this ! Lots of flute in this one.The opening style vocals return before 9 minutes. Vander is still carring on though after this. "Joia" is by far the longest track, in fact it's a side long 18 minute song. Strange male vocal expressions are the focus to start with sparse piano and tambourine. It starts to build 6 1/2 minutes in. A second male vocalsist comes in at 9 minutes as he trades off with Vander back and forth. Vocals stop a minute later as flute comes in while percussion and piano continue. Vocals are back after 12 minutes. Percussion only before 13 1/2 minutes. Piano comes in then vocals before 15 minutes.

"C'est Pour Nous" opens with piano melodies. Stella comes in before a minute. It kicks in with horns 2 minutes in and male vocals. Stella and horns end it. "Love In The Darkness" makes me laugh because it's so catchy with Rhodes and vocals. Just a blast ! "Tilim M'dohm" is mostly Stella and piano. "Mazur Kujiawiak Oberek" is piano melodies only throughout. "Solitude" opens with piano as male and female vocals (both Vanders) join in. The vocals become more powerful before 1 1/2 minutes. Contrasts continue. "Uguma Ma Melimeh Gingeh" opens with spoken words and piano. Vocals come in. Sounds like rain before 2 minutes. A great way to end this record.

A special album where Christian Vander sings and chants his heart out for his hero.

Report this review (#250843)
Posted Sunday, November 15, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars This album will appeal to those who like the more extreme solo vocalising side of Magma - often what is missing are the really killer melodies, chord progressions, grooves and instrumental interplay. In addition the pieces on this album stay in one place with a kind of minimalist aesthetic, rather than change direction like Magma music does. This is very much a chamber music, rather than symphonic, project and to enjoy it you have to afford leader Christian Vander a little more license for indulgence especially on the vocal front. The album will probably appeal mainly to those who enjoy the music of Magma but many Magma fans may find it problematic.

Here are the tracks:

The first half of the album is darker with more meandering melodies (perhaps even more improvisational):

Offering (Part 1): Some free and intense vocalising rising to a climax and becoming sweeter as the piece continues. It sets the scene but is not of great interest in and of itself - ** stars

Earth: Intense vocals and fantastic Magma-like groove on the plus side but on the negative side not much thematic or harmonic (or rhythmic for that matter) development... It's all about the groove - ***1/2 stars

Joia: a two chord vamp - quite hypnotic with some decidedly strange and indulgent vocalising. It builds a little as it goes on but is a very long track which ultimately outstays its welcome - ** stars

The second half of the album is lighter, more melodic and more concise:

C'est Pour Nous: A real feel-good track - tight arrangement with excellent brass, latin style percussion and precise interlocking virtuoso scat style vocals. Very enjoyable - **** stars

Love in the Darkness: takes the melodic and rhythmic essence of 'Love in the Darkness' from Merci (by Magma) and transforms it from a semi-Euro disco track to something with a great deal of sophistication and sensitivity. It is light, perhaps 'slight' in a way (and the English vocals do not contribute to any sense of profundity) but it does make for a very satisfying listen - **** stars

Tilim M'Dohm: lively female unison scat vocals with piano and light percussion. Very syncopated, very light, deft, beautiful and complex - **** stars

Mazur Kujiawiak Oberek: a piece for solo piano with a strange East European sounding modality. The opening is a strident kind of waltz but then the piece shifts into a very beautiful semi-impressionistic second section which is reminiscent of the Catalonian composer Mompou - **** stars

Solitude: gentle, lyrical and beautiful - **** stars

gma M Mlimh Gngeh: quite an impromptu way to end the album with what seems to be (off mic) chit chat etc.... But nevertheless quite pleasant - *** stars

Report this review (#852612)
Posted Wednesday, November 7, 2012 | Review Permalink

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