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1001░ CENTIGRADES

Magma

Zeuhl


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Magma 1001░ Centigrades album cover
4.11 | 280 ratings | 35 reviews | 36% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Studio Album, released in 1971

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. R´ah Sah´ltaahk (21:45)
2. "Iss" Lanse´ Do´a (11:46)
3. Ki ¤ahl Í L´ahk (8:23)

Total Time: 41:54

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Christian Vander / vocals, drums, percussion
- Klaus Blasquiz / vocals, percussion
- Franšois Cahen / acoustic & electric pianos
- Francis Moze / bass
- Teddy Lasry / clarinet, sax, flute, voice
- Jeff Seffer / sax, bass clarinet
- Louis Toesca / trumpet

Releases information

Seventh REX 6 / King International KICP 173

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Joren for the last updates
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Emehntehtt-ReEmehntehtt-Re
Import
101 DISTRIBUTION 2009
Audio CD$29.40
$43.00 (used)
Zuhn Wol Unsai: Live 1974Zuhn Wol Unsai: Live 1974
MADE IN GERMANY MUSI 2014
Audio CD$12.79
$12.49 (used)
Felicite ThoszFelicite Thosz
Import
Seventh Records 2013
Audio CD$14.22
$12.95 (used)
Riah SahiltaahkRiah Sahiltaahk
Jazz Village 2014
Audio CD$16.47
Kohntarkosz Anteria K.A.Kohntarkosz Anteria K.A.
Import
Seventh Rec 2013
Audio CD$14.23
$14.23 (used)
AxiomAxiom
Jazz Village 2014
Audio CD$13.98
Mekanik Destruktiw KommandohMekanik Destruktiw Kommandoh
Import
Imports 2003
Audio CD$30.55
$25.95 (used)
TrilogyTrilogy
Box set
Snapper UK 2012
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Udu WuduUdu Wudu
Import
Indie Europe/Zoom 2003
Audio CD$6.77
$18.23 (used)
KobaiaKobaia
Import
Seventh Records 2013
Audio CD$23.52
$39.99 (used)
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MAGMA 1001░ Centigrades ratings distribution


4.11
(280 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(36%)
36%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(43%)
43%
Good, but non-essential (15%)
15%
Collectors/fans only (5%)
5%
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)
1%

MAGMA 1001░ Centigrades reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
4 stars I've known this one with a different and much better cover but I think it was an italian edition. A classic Magma ,where Vander confirms that the previous albums were no accident. On some editions of this album comes some quite deep and somber poetry first written in french and tranlatted to their invented Kobaian language. One of my best buddies actually studied it and wrote them a letter in Kobaian and got an answer again in Kobaian, so this is no joke.

As for the music on here it is just as great as Mekanik or Kohntarkosz having this unique blend of influences of Stravinsky, John Coltrane for the music and Carl Orff for the vocals that come mainly as choirs. Very impressive..... MAGMA alone invented a style of music that will be called Zheul music.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#22300) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Review by lor68
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars A classic one by this famous French experimental progressive music,when such " Zeuhl Music" did not completely take its shape!!

Well despite of such Zeuhl Music being often difficult to assimilate, this work was their first step ahead and their music was quite accessible to the lovers of normal experimental fusion progressive... afterwards, thanks to their contribution to the complex and very dissonant Zeuhl School. They became more difficult to take and their dissonant parts were too much "brainstoming" to take them easily. Anyway albums such as the following "Mekanik Destruktiw Kommandoh" or "Udu Wudu" represent an important reference still today, for bands such as UNIVERS ZERO, ART ZOYD and so on.

Recommended!!

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Send comments to lor68 (BETA) | Report this review (#22301) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, April 03, 2004

Review by Progbear
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars An awkward transitional LP. "R´ah Sah´ltaahk" is probably the great Magma "epic", a feature-length composition that builds estimably on the concepts first delved into on the debut Magma double-platter. As before, the vocal attack of Blasquiz and Vander can be hard to swallow if you're used to "easier" music, but their vocals are also perfectly in tune with the tone of the music. Which, as before, is darker than dark. One can only expect such from a conceptual oratorio about the End of the Earth.

What keeps me from listing this album among the Magma greats is the B-side. Here, we find rather more conventional jazz-oriented compositions; well-played but somewhat lacking in inspiration. They weren't composed by Vander and don't fit in with his conceptual vision of Magma in any way, shape or form. Later, the band would acquire members who could compose music that did (notably, irreplaceable bassist Jannick Top), but this is something of an early aberration. After this album, Seffer and Cahen would form the slightly Magma-esque Zao, while Moze defected to Gong.

This is really one of the less essential of the "classic" Magma albums. Not bad, but not something to run out and buy either. Wait until you have some of their other albums first.

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Send comments to Progbear (BETA) | Report this review (#46575) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Review by laplace
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars About half a year ago, I wrote a three star review of this album, which just goes to show a) how much of an idiot I am, and b) how long it takes to come to appreciate these formative Zeuhl albums; I've long considered myself a confirmed Magma fan and yet only recently have I come to terms with their pre-M.D.K. vision.

"R´ah Sah´ltaahk", the opening story here - and a track I had previously described only as "proto-Zeuhl" - has all the central Kobaian elements and musically conveys the loose plot of a chapter from an epic space opera, skipping past your likely rudimentary grasp of the celestial language and manifesting directly in your creative centres, and in a more melodic sense, is a voyage from upbeat beginnings akin to brass-rock through incidental filmic moments, the required electric piano motifs and mournful prayers of an uprooted galactic community, descending into volatile, jazzified marching dirges replete with shrieking Vanderisms, spluttering trumpet stab-rows and the grim determination of Master Blasquiz - there is an amazing amount of viciousness throughout "1001 Centigrades" and here is the first knockout dose. In my first draft I mourned that this song came before the arrival of Jannick Top but in truth, the Zeuhl bassoblueprint is equally strong here and in some places, the grooves make so much sense, so much cosmic correctness that it makes me think that the Magma bass chair is sentient in and of itself, and each player to don the Kobaian garb channels its wisdom.

Side B is actually JUST AS ESSENTIAL - something I wish I had realized initially. If "R´ah Sah´ltaahk" was momentarily vicious then "Iss Lanse´ Do´a" is full-on psychotic, and squalls throughout. "Ki ¤ahl ÷ L´ahk" starts with a Kobaian hymn, moogs out and then resolves towards brilliantly grooving jazz-funk-space-rock. I can admit that the chord progressions here are a mite too relaxing, but this would make the most ridiculous elevator muzak possible, space elevators excepted. Shades of Coltrane, Davis AND Hancock all in the same song? Buy.

I can't be sure whether my adjustment to this album came thanks to Stockholm syndrome, brainwashing or a legitimate fruition in understanding, and I hope it's not just the result of my desperation to justify a purchase, since I have plenty of derision for the Genesis and Rush die-hards who brave cognitive dissonance to do the same. All I can remember is that it wasn't easy. What I'm trying to say is this: if, like me, you're none too fond of jazz qua jazz, don't start here - it's "Mekanik Destructiw Kommandoh" you need. Then, if you received it favourably, come back and dare to grok this much wilder album.

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Send comments to laplace (BETA) | Report this review (#109774) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars As much as I enjoyed their debut I think this one's better. Claude Engel's leaving is the most significant lineup change for this record, although the guitarist would return for their next one under the band name UNIVERIA ZEKT. Perhaps Jeff Seffer's arrival is even more significant, what a talent ! Ted Lasry stays but the other two horn players left allowing Seffer and Louis Toesca to join. Their style has changed from their debut. And it's the vocals that are the most significant change and they clearly are Zeuhl now. This is heard on the first and third tracks here.That vocal Zeuhl style would come on even stronger on "MDK". So I think it would be fair to call this album MAGMA's first real Zeuhl record. The next one under the name UNIVERIA ZEKT is a little different for the first half of the album, but the second half returns to the MAGMA sound of the first two records. Interesting that on the back of this album it says "Magma 2", and then near the bottom, under the song titles and band members' list it says "Univeria Zekt".

"Riah Sahiltaahk" is a side long suite composed by Vander. Vocals, bass, percussion, sax? and drums start us off with piano joining the melody 2 minutes in. This is a great uptempo section. The song changes before 3 minutes as it slows right down and then theatrical vocals arrive. A sax melody 5 minutes in with fast paced vocals reminds me of Zappa for some reason. The drumming is prominant 6 minutes in and a great section follows a minute later as the tempo picks up the pace. The song slows down briefly with theatrical vocals and the speeds up again as we are cooking now. The tempo shifts often and themes keep returning. Some screaming sax after 11 minutes as flute,vocal melodies, a great horn section, and then heavy drums follow as the song continues to change so quickly and often. Drums, vocals, horns and throbbing bass dominate to almost the end of the song before it ends with gentle piano. The trip is over and I can breathe now.

"Iss Lansei Doia" is a Teddy Lasry composition. These last two songs are more Jazz influenced and less experimental than the first track. This one opens with a nice sound of vocal melodies, bass, percussion and horns. Some dissonant horns 3 minutes in as drums and bass continue. A good pastoral sound follows. The electric piano and bass is to die for people ! Check out the sound 6 minutes in ! Strange vocals come and go. There is an amazing 4 minutes of music until the song calms down 10 minutes in with piano and vocals. The clock is ticking to end it. Time is up. "Ki Iahl O Liahk" is a Cahen composition and my favourite. I can't wait to review ZAO, a band Cahen and Seffer started after the UNIVERIA ZEKT album. This song flows so well, and it's just a cool tune. Bass, horns, cymbals to open with piano then vocals joining in this relaxing soundscape. The song speeds up briefly 4 minutes in with liquid sounding keys coming in right after this as drums pound away.The horns are fantastic with piano, drums and bass filling out the melody. It's almost haunting and experimental before 12 minutes then the electric piano, a beat and sax come in tastefully joined by vocals as it builds. Amazing stuff !

A top three MAGMA album for me. And don't let the ("duct tape" grey) cover put you off, it's what's inside that counts.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#140238) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, September 23, 2007

Review by obiter
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars A rip roaring expedition into the eclectic world of zeuhl.

Not as approachable but more challenging than Hhai/Live, 1001 is definitely a love it or hate album.

Riah Sah´ltaahk is characteristic of the album as a whole. There are passages of weirdness interspersed with smooth jazz interludes. During the jazzy bits, the listening becomes a lot easier. And yet, there is no doubt that having listened again and again to the album it is the weirdness that grabs you: it's that original strangeness that offers more.

Iss has a trippy groovy bass intro that would not be out of place as a backing track to some of the darker corners of the internet. Dripping with groove and a salacious undertone. It enters a land of trippy weirdness before finding an altogether more spaced out jazz feel.

Ki ¤ahl Í L´ahk has a very jazzy feel. At times it almost sounds mainstream late 60s/early 70s.

Maybe it's still a bit rough round the edges still, the ideas are there, but this is not the finished article. wait for MDK and Live.

The complex arrangements and accomplished musicianship are obvious. The bizarre vision is also slowly crystallizing.

It's a good album, certainly a decent addition to a prog music collection. Between 3 and 4 for me: on balance a 4. I'd recommend MDK or Hhai/Live for the non-initiated.

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Send comments to obiter (BETA) | Report this review (#162277) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars 1001░ Centigrades is the second studio album from French avant garde rock/ zeuhl band Magma. I was very impressed by Magma┤s debut album which I found to be an excellent album and an eye opener as I hadn┤t listened to music like that before. 1001░ Centigrades continues the style which was initiated on the debut.

The music is dominated by lots of brass arrangements and there are lots of influences from both avant garde rock and jazz. The jazz influences are really great and never sounds like regular jazz which is such a relief for someone like me who┤s generally not very fond of jazz. The semi-operatic vocal style is an aquired taste for sure and I have to be in a certain mood to enjoy it. The song structures are really complex and with song lengths that are 21:45, 11:46 and 8:23 minutes respectively ( there are only three tracks on the album)this qualifies for a very challenging listen.

R´ah Sah´ltaahk which is dominated by the weird vocals is the hardest song to get into IMO but it definitely wins on repeated listens. Iss Lanse´ Do´a is pretty avant garde and reminds me a bit of Henry Cow at their most out there. My favorite here is Ki ¤ahl Í L´ahk. It┤s certainly the easiest song to get into IMO.

The musicianship is outstanding. Christian Vander┤s drums are innovative and challenging and is the driving force in Magma┤s music but as I said above the brass section is very dominant. There are actually three brass players on the album. There are also some really great bass and piano playing.

The production is excellent. Great organic mix.

I prefer the debut to 1001░ Centigrades and it┤s probably because I still have a hard time with the weird vocals which are much more dominant on 1001░ Centigrades compared to the debut. This is still an excellent album though. Magma has a very unique musical approach and 1001░ Centigrades fully deserves 4 stars even though I think it┤s a hard album to get into. I can feel it growing on me though.

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Send comments to UMUR (BETA) | Report this review (#185603) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Prog Specialist
4 stars Before I proceed to review "1001║ Centigrades" need to be honest and say that I evaded Zeuhl until this point of my life mainly because I consider he use of Kobaian as absurd as Klingon Opera or Elvish music, and one of the reasons why people catalogues Prog as unreal and excessively fantastic, but still worth to give a try.

Before I got this album, started to investigate what exactly Zeuhl is (Before my research Zeuhl was only a hollow term), and the idea of blending Neo Classical, Jazz Fusion, Symphonic and even tribal elements sounded interesting, so bought a couple albums and likes what I heard.

So where better to start my adventure in Zeuhl than with MAGMA

"R´ah Sah´ltaahk" is a 21 minutes epic that I enjoyed from start to end, and summarizes what I read about the genre, the rack begins with a Funk - Jazz intro and the peculiar vocals of Christian Vander (Not my cup of tea, a bit self indulgent IMHO), the wind instruments by Teddy Lasry and Jeff Seffer are simply delightful while the harsh and almost tribal chants of Vander blend perfectly.

What impressed me more about MAGMA is the speed in which they move from one sound, mood or atmosphere to another radically different, in some points I believe they sacrifice coherence for spectacularly, but the result is delightful and intriguing, forcing me to listen more.

The piano performances by "Franšois Cahen" deserve special mention, because the radical changes from almost violent Operatic sections he jumps to fluid jazz in the vein of MAHAVISHNU. By the way, the frenetic finale is simply fantastic. Still the Kobaian language is hard to assimilate, but the music is outstanding.

"Iss Lanse´ Do´a" is simply one of the weirdest musical experiences I had in my life, after an experimental intro of incoherent sounds comes an extremely coherent Fusion passage, and despite the obvious dissonances, they never loose the sense of melody and musicality. But this is only the beginning, the real weird stuff comes after that, chant sections, experimental stuff, hallucinating vocals, frenetic music, interrupted by coherent Jazzy sections, almost impossible to assimilate by a newbie.....Despite this fact, I loved it, the mystery and pomp is fantastic.

"Ki ¤ahl Í L´ahk" is the shortest track and my favorite, the bass , winds intro that lead to an absolutely dissonant passage where the piano enters as in Avant garde and then sections of fantastic melody and contradictory changes, but overall the amazing chants and the fluid fusion sections, all blended in a coherent mixture, is something you love or hate from the first listen...I like it

Before I finish this review I want to apologize if the review sounds amateurish, but this is my first experience with Zeuhl, even when I'm sure not the last, the only thing I can say in my defense is that is really honest, being that I am basing my opinion in what I hear and for that reason judging MAGMA exclusively for their merits

Now, if I try a weird genre for the first time and like it, I believe here must be something, if you add the versatility and skills of the musicians you are before a great album that deserves no less than 4 stars.

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Posted Thursday, June 25, 2009

Review by Gooner
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Carl Orff forms a rock band and runs into a humourless Frank Zappa? Next door, they hear Ian Carr's Nucleus playing electric modal jazz. Across the hall from Ian Carr's Nucleus is Osibisa. Both Carl & Frank invite the groups over and they record Magma's 1.001 Centigrades. That's about it. Of note, however, is the Zeuhl sound fully realized on the opener _Riah Sahiltaahk_ which they develop to the fullest on subsequent albums. Still a little too jazzy for most prog.rock listeners and not rock enough for fusion fans. The bass guitar is much higher in the mix than on the previous debut. Still not a great place to start for the Zeuhl sound. A solid 4 stars. The best Magma album from their early period(first 3).

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Posted Friday, July 10, 2009

Review by Sinusoid
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Kind of a wonder of the prog rock world. I still wonder what genre this encompasses other than Zeuhl, and it's probably better just to leave it at Zeuhl.

Those unfamiliar to Magma might be very turned away from their works unless they have open minds or of the adventurous sort. Think meaty fusion type compositions with brass and opera backdrops all done in pretentious, fixated language system. Many a prog fan might get a fancy tickled in them because of how 1001 CENTIGRADES is set up; very CLOSE TO THE EDGE style with the massive epic kicking it off followed by two shorter pieces and that's it. But, I can't stress enough, APPROACH AT YOUR OWN RISK!!! This album/group might be something that you just won't like.

Let's take the monster ''Riah Sahiltaahk''; there are so many themes going on that it's just crazy. It seems that every one to two minutes, the theme has to all of a sudden change into something different. Any typical progster will enjoy the constant inflow/outflow of themes, but it happens too often for me to really enjoy it. The piece contains several different dynamic levels, multiple odd metres and prominent clarinet/bass clarinet in the first half in style that I've already described.

The two things on the second side have more focus to them; both take themes and lay them out for a few minutes at a time while constantly expanding them. The only low point of the second half is the very bland fusion at the end of ''Ki Iahl O Liahk''. The vocals here are sparse as opposed to ''Riah Sahiltaahk'', and the sparseness helps the enjoyability factor. The electric pianos here are absolutely mesmerising and layered over fantastic bass grooves by Francis Moze (not surprising considering what he'd do for Gong on FLYING TEAPOT).

If the name Magma ever strikes an interest, try this album first as it has things that many typical progsters and fusion-ites will enjoy. Be mindful of the vocals as they are an acquired taste and the general bizarreness of everything presented. I made my Magma start here and I am very proud of doing so.

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Posted Friday, July 31, 2009

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
3 stars The second Magma is a lot stronger then I anticipated after being slightly disappointed with the debut. It's still very much rooted in jazz-rock, but over the course of the album it gradually develops into a full blown Zeuhl attack, featuring heavy war-like rhythms, unconventional vocals and crazed theatricals.

The first piece is the most traditionally jazzy, mainly due to the jazz drumming, the keyboard chords and extensive horn section. The singing is very unusual though and originally it made me think of recitative parts from operas. Now I'd rather say it sits somewhere between jazzy, operatic and avant-garde. While I'm usually very fond of Magma's non-conventional approach to vocals, they do not entirely satisfy me here. Also the music is not Magma's best yet, it's swinging, original and adventurous but it doesn't convince me as much as the following two tracks on the album. It seems to lack the coherence, power and purpose of later Magma works.

Also Iss is a dominantly jazzy piece, but this time with a dreamy lounge atmosphere. The mood is occasionally broken by a threatening section with low rough vocals, sounding as if Captain Beefheart poked his nose into the recordings. The second half of the track is dominated by a repeated loop on piano, a typical Zeuhl feature that Magma has further explored ever since: the art of making a repetitive phrase into an entrancing one. I think Iss is one of Magma's best studio pieces, certainly when looking at their first few years.

The closing Ki adds a few more Zeuhl elements, especially the solemn main theme and the more warlike rock drumming brings it closer to the sound Magma achieved on MDK and K÷ntark÷sz. But the jazz presence is still very strong as well, after the threatening and cacophonous bits in the opening section, the track mainly operates in soft dreamy jazz textures.

Based on the excellent second side of the album, 3 stars feel rather short. But this is Magma and I need to establish some margin to be able to distinguish between the many masterpieces they would continue to create. Had this been from any other band I would certainly have given 4.

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Posted Saturday, March 20, 2010

Review by friso
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Magma - 1001░ Centigrades (1971)

Climbing in their discography, the second offering of Magma is 1001░ Centigrades. First of all. This cd-cover (also shown here on PA) is inferior to the original vinyl cover, which was also used for my vinyl reissue. The burning lava path to the Magma logo with it's warm red colors stands out as perhaps Magma's best cover and fans of the band should try to find this original artwork.

The second Magma album is a recognizable follow-up for their innovative debut. The sound of the band became a bit more professional and precise, but the real difference is the great recording of 1001░ Centigrades. This makes it less hard to get into the music. Another big difference from the debut is the fact this isn't a double lp, but a single one. Side one has one big Zeuhl epic, side two has two compositions with more jazz moments albeit very atmospheric jazz.

On 1001░ Centigrades there are still no female choirs, but male (double) vocals. For those who aren't knowledgeable of the Magma-experience it is important to know this is the truly Progressive side of prog with innovation being the basis of the music. Magma plays dark music with diverse influences such as classical music, jazz-rock, minimal music, war rhythms and avant-garde. The emphasis is on the rhythmic department led by founder and main composer Christian Vander. The brass section plays the intelligent rhythmical melodies that often have a dark impact. There are few recognizable emotions in Magma music, therefore it has been called Zeuhl or celestial music. The vocals are sung in an own language.

The storyline continues on 1001░ Centigrades. The Kobaians are asked to teach about their magnificent culture on earth. This becomes a problem for the local authorities on earth and it is decided the Kobaians are imprisoned. The great planet of Kobaia reacts by threatening the Earthlings with Kobaia's main weapon (which I think feels very hot). Enough storyline to make dark music.

It is apparent to me this record is far better digestible if one first listens to side two and then ends with the big epic on side one. Emotionally this sound way more logical though I know this disrupts the continuation of the storyline.

Conclusion. This record might not be as innovative as the debut, but I think the quality is high throughout the record and there are no forgettable moments. The recording is very good, the compositions are great, the band amazing. I will give it four stars for now, but I just might change it to five stars someday. I really like this record and I think it's essential for fans of Magma and proggies interested in Zeuhl, psychedelic, jazz-rock and the heavy side of eclectic prog.

* Eddited *

I have listened to this album some more and it turned out to be a perfect masterpiece that fully deserves the five star rating. The technical aspect combined with it's un-earthly atmospheres and out-of-the-box thinking is unique. The sound of the album has a special transitional sound, coming from the male-vocals debut - going to the choirs of MDK. The jazzy aspect of side two is very strong: they made the best jazz I know of!

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Posted Thursday, May 06, 2010

Review by Flucktrot
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars For 1001, it appears that planet Kobaia has received some visitors!

For the opening track, the 22-minute Riah, it sounds as if perhaps the band Chicago has come to join the sessions...but without their guitarist...and with a clarinet and bass clarinet...and probably on acid...OK, it's probably not Chicago, but the horns really are quite reminiscent of Chicago, even if the vocals and rapid time changes are not. Overall, this track really does not hang together well for me. It opens well, with some nice energy and uniquely Magma vibe, but the middle sections are so hit and miss that I lose interest. Fortunately, there are some classic Magma moments toward the end, with a couple good freakouts--most notably the final syncopated crescendo with some nice monkey-like vocals just to remind you that you are indeed listening to Magma, and not Barry Manilow, for example. You know, because sometimes I get the two confused.

For the B side, it sounds as if perhaps Area, and maybe the ghost of Fusion Zappa, has stopped in for some dinner on Kobaia, with some very nice jazzy chords (cleverly revisiting some themes in the opener along the way) and horn work. These final two tracks are better pieces, both in terms of hanging together as well as being more enjoyable. They certainly are more musical, and they spend just a bit more time to explore these ideas than elsewhere.

Great arrangements, mostly interesting melodies, lots of controlled experimentation and plenty of Magma weirdness, but not so much that it distracts from the music (i.e., half an album's worth of Vander screeching). Although I'm a long way from being a fan of their first album, I'm on board with their second release.

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Posted Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Second Magma's album is somewhere in the middle between their jazz-rock debut and real zeuhl of later albums. It's still not the classic Magma's sound, but I really like it (as I like their debut as well). Some musicians were changed for this albums, and album's sound generally made one more step towards their dark Orffian neoclassic tribal hymns.

This album is still strongly jazz fusion based, even if there are plenty of neo-classical elements added. Just three long compositions, vocals singing on Kobayan, some screams and operatic bombastic brass.

Not a masterpiece, but really interesting album for whose interested in unusual genre combinations. Zeuhl purists should search on next few albums though...

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Posted Friday, July 23, 2010

Review by JJLehto
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Zeuhl. The first time I saw this genre I thought that has to be a made up word, (back to that in a bit!). I am still not sure quite what defines this genre. Maybe I have an inferior mind, but all my metal is condensed into six genres and all my prog into two. Anyway, I must say I really enjoyed this album upon first listen, and it only grew on me over time.

This is largely a jazz based album, but with elements of classical in there as well as symphonic. This album is a nice blend of it all and moves between all the genres seamlessly. Free jazz, minimalism, classical, atmospheric and symphonic, militaristic and tribal. You will hear it all, and this is just in the first song! While the transitions are pretty smooth, (often it just kind of happens and you dont really realize it) the changes can be quite abrupt.

Indeed there are pretty wild changes in tempo, time signature, rhythm, and timbre through out this album. This is good as the first song as an almost 22 minute epic. These are either glorious or a disaster, and it usually depends on how well my attention is kept and how well the song is actually composed. How often are these long songs either boring are terrible, sounding like a bunch of junk sewn together. I digress. The first song does hold my attention, and quite well. Each section lasts the right amount of time. Not an equal amount of time of course, just write. The song never drags, each section is long enough to be enjoyed but not too long to slow or monotonous. Anyone can make equally timed sections though, and that could get boring over the span off 22 minutes. No the emotional roller coaster has the perfect height in its dips and lifts. Truly awesome song, both musically and in composition.

"Iss" Lanse´ Do´a. Almost entirely a jazzy song, it ranges from smooth to free jazz, of course with sections of minimalism. The middle section is quite mellow before giving way to a slowly increasingly frantic section, the pace being kept by some sweet drumming. As a drummer, and one who loves jazz drumming, I was quite struck with Vander's drumming. It is spectacular. Any drummer or jazz fan must enjoy it! The frantic climax is halted with a very minimal and kind of creepy outro. A moaning over a disturbingly simple piano riff, ending with a shivering sound and a growing clock ticking. Enough to drive a sane person to the brink of madness! I loved it.

Ki ¤ahl Í L´ahk. Starts off very jazzy. Like the other two songs this is the foundation throughout, but of course there is variation. This song has some the best piano and bass playing on the album. The bass is really cool, but the piano is awesome and has a really wild jazz solo at one point. There are solos all over the place, with lots of different instruments of course. My favorite part of the song may be the middle part, which is a mellow jazz section with what sounds frighteningly close to nazi rally chants over it. The tempo quickly picks up and gives way to an ominous piano and then an upbeat folk dance! Which would not be complete without off tempo piano!

The music on this album, now onto the vocals. On my first listen I thought this was in a strange German dialect, or maybe some obscure or archaic European language. Something folk maybe? No. Turns out it was a language made up by Christian Vander. The language is Koba´an, the language spoken by the people of Koba´a. Though made up and is a gut reaction to the music, the language has the feel of German, and looks Nordic.

Anyway, I really like it. Sure, to many it may sound silly, but doesn't scat singing? That is what the vocals remind me of. Scat singing is not about a message, (obviously) but using the voice as another instrument. A way to truly improvise the vocals, and a way to match the music on a primal level. That is what Koba´an is like. Though there is a story, the lyrics are less about conveying the message and more about matching the music. Just like scat singing it is not really "thought" out and constructed but comes from the soul, in a way its more meaningful than the words I am typing.

The vocals themselves vary greatly. Everything from regular singing to tribal chanting, and even militaristic sounding marches. Sometimes they are melodic, sometimes they make you want to dance around a communal fire, sometimes they are abrupt, staccato barks, and often dramatic. Multiple vocalists are used, sometimes in a back and forth manner, sometimes weaving around each other. Sometimes they are in unison like a choir.

This is an excellent album. Sure, this made up language is a bit pretentious. I won't deny that, but I like to look at it another way. Unique. With a common gripe about music being that nothing is new or original, no one can say that about this album. This is not a story about another universe, this is a story IN another universe, in their native language and not English, whatever that crazy language is! More importantly, it really does blend well with the music and compliment it.

This is a brilliant and unique album. Highly recommended.

FOUR STARS

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Posted Thursday, July 29, 2010

Review by SaltyJon
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Here we are again for another Magma review tonight. This one, as I mentioned in my review of their debut, is another anomaly in the band's discography. The jazz aspects of the debut are brought out in full force here. A saxophone/bass clarinet player by the name Yochk'o Seffer (here, he was called Jeff) joined the band for this album, and boy did he add a lot. He is a true master of his instrument in my opinion. The guitar of the debut is now absent, as well. As far as length goes, the track lengths are generally on the "epic" scale, but the album is a mere single vinyl this time around. Quality of the tracks hasn't dropped here, though. Again, we get a bit of an otherworldly feeling here in places, but not as often (or as strong) as on the debut. As I said earlier, the focus on this album is the band's jazzy side. The jazzy side would take a back seat for a while starting with the band's next album MDK.

Just like the debut, this is a one-of-a-kind album in the band's discography, and it's another gem. Not quite good enough for the full 5 stars, but it's definitely at least a 4.5. I'll give it four here.

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Posted Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
4 stars I've just finished reviewing (and relistening to) Merci so I felt the need to go back to some original Magma.

Their second album is not yet totally into Zeuhl, but is somewhere in the middle between the debut and Mekanik Destruktiw Kommandoh. It contains three tracks, one 20 minutes epic which occupied the whole side A of the vinyl, and two other tracks which filled the B side for the remaining 20 minutes.

Track 1 (I don't write track titles in kobaian) starts in a jazzy mood but after some sudden changes goes totally into zeuhl. This is a clue of what we'll later find on MDK and Kohntarkhosz This epic is very complex but it's not a challenging listen. Some parts are easy enough, other a bit more difficult but in the end you don't need to be born on Kobaia to enjoy it. Even the most chaotic and rhythmated parts are not very hard to follow. There's an excellent brass section, supported by a great bass. Sudden changes in the signature, and in the melody, too are very frequent. It can be described, just enjoy it.

Moving to side B, we start with a dark athmosphere, but the music moves quickly into the orchestral jazz realm. A twelveth of bass notes are the base for brasses, then they are left alone in playing what sounds like classic contemporary, then the bass introduced the sung part. It cant be defined "melodic", but it's not dissonant as when I think Klaus Blasquiz speaks with a bass voice. It's an unusual (out of Zeuhl) kind of chorus. The piano introduces a different section, still jazzy but darker and compulsive. The rhythm is not fast, but there is tension created more by brasses and piano than by drums and bass. It "relaxes" close to the end.

Track 3 starts with bass playing on an odd signature. This is true Magma. Not much dissimilar from the previous track in the athmosphere. Similarities are hard to be found between parts of the same song, so I can't even compare this track to the others. What is remarkable on all the three is the great work made by bass in supporting the brasses.

This is one of the most accessible albums from Magma. I suggest it to those are not familiar with this band and its genre to start with.

4 stars not only for the quality but also because it can be appreciated by any progger. Well, maybe not neo-prog fans, but who knows....

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Posted Friday, September 17, 2010

Review by zravkapt
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Post/Math Rock Team
4 stars Originally, the cover for this second Magma album was much more interresting. Compared to the debut album this is slightly less weird and innovative, but also more consistent. This is still much more jazzy than Magma will later become. In fact, this is not as "Zeuhl" sounding as MDK is. Drummer/vocalist Christian Vander is not completely in control of the group yet, although his Kobaian language and mythology leads the way. The songwriting is more democratic than on later albums. The line-up has changed a bit from the first album. After this keyboardist Francois Cahen and saxophonist Jeff Seffer form Zao, while bassist Francis Moze will join Gong.

Things kick off with the almost 22 minute "Riah Sahiltaahk." This starts out with some groovin' jazz-rock with vocals. Later goes into a more typical Zeuhl sound. Parts of this epic definately forshadows later Magma. Constantly changes but nothing ever sounds forced, the different sections melt into each other. Goes almost proto-chamber-prog in the middle; you can hear the sound of later Art Zoyd and Univers Zero in this part. Gets more chaotic and avant for awhile. Music stops at one point and then some beautiful yet eerie Rhodes and flute come in. More typical Zeuhl sounding later on, some vocal freak-outs towards the end. The piece ends with a big bang, then the piano melody from "Klaus Kombalad" (which can be heard on the compilation Simples) finishes it.

You can listen to ""Iss" Lansei Doia" here on PA. I like the bass sound at the beginning, it sounds acoustic. Other than the bass it starts off with everything else just making random noises until a Rhodes leads the bass towards some jazz-rock that sounds like Zao. Later gets more dissonant and noisy with the bass and Rhodes still going steady. Nothing but brass for awhile. Bass and hi-hat come in and harmony vocals follow. Then Klaus Blasquiz (I think) does some some weird low creepy vocals as Vander does drum fills. A long instrumental section later on before the music stops. Some Rhodes and vocals appear again. Clock and bell sounds to finish it.

"Ki Iahl O Liahk" is a rather funky song at times for this early in Magma's career. This is probably the most traditionally melodic song on the album. Love the militant chants you hear once in awhile. I like how the tempo picks up and it goes into a more energenic section before getting more funky. Nice Rhodes playing during this part along with some great trumpet work. This continues until the end of the song. The sound and production is better here than on the following MDK, which was always better live anyway. As usual for Magma, a great mix of vocals, drums and piano; the Zeuhl bass sound had yet to be invented. There is only hints of later Zeuhl here, but also hints of later avant-prog as well. Great album but not their best. 4 stars.

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Posted Saturday, March 26, 2011

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars This transitional album from the fusion sound of the debut to the fully developed Zeuhl monstrosity of Mekanik Destruktiw Kommandoh is unique in the Magma discography for its blending of the two musical styles. Leaning somewhat more towards fusion than Zeuhl, the album brings to the fore the driving, hypnotic rhythms and the pained, roaring lyrics which would be a centrepiece of Christian Vander's Zeuhl vision, but the airy fusion stylings make the album a bit more approachable to jazz fans than the rest of the band's catalogue. Particularly worthy of mention, aside from Vander's always exceptional drum work, is the clarinet work of Lasry and Seffer, which add a compelling accent to the music which makes it a special treat for anyone interested in fusion or proto-Zeuhl.

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Posted Monday, July 11, 2011

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
4 stars Magma's second offering is a transitional album leading to the masterpiece. '1001 Centigrades' is Magma at their revolutionary best with 3 songs of powerful chanting and mantras in Kobaian alienese. It is the album that was released after a knockout debut and before "Mekanik Destructiw Kommandoh" which became the ultimate Magma experience, gaining a massive cult status over the years. Although the second album is not up to that standard there are still some extraordinary passages of music.

Christian Vander is psychotic on drums and vocals that range from operatic low vibrato tones to high pitched screeching. The album is the typical sound of Magma with avant-garde vocals and atonal jazz blasted out with irregular sax and asymmetrical orchestrations. As usual the band are a large cast of musicians that improvise and extemporise musical patterns to evoke dark alien atmospheres. The repetitive chanting is synonymous with Magma and it is a consistent feature on this early album. 'R´ah Sah´ltaahk' is a side long epic with characteristic Magma murmurings and chants along with very strong tribal rhythms. At one point there is an outro with a clock ticking, heaving gasps, and moans exuding a rather creepy atmosphere.

'Ki ¤ahl Í L´ahki' features sensuous sax jazz tones, an off beat piano, and a pulsating bassline all in a different time signature. The dissonance and weighty denseness of the music is a specific trait to Magma and works well as the celestial operatic chanting begins.

The irregular percussion and high degree of hyper-jazz musicianship makes for a compelling experience. I would have liked more variation similar to the amazing debut, but this is still a ground breaking album foreshadowing the masterful music to come.

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Posted Sunday, January 08, 2012

Latest members reviews

5 stars 4.5 stars really Magma did it again! This one is amazing, and it's different to its predecessor. I found it more jazz-rock and more aggressive than Kobaia. There's too a better production, and the drums sound really clear and very heavy, with an inmense groove (reminds me of Miles Davis' drumm ... (read more)

Report this review (#807022) | Posted by mau | Saturday, August 18, 2012 | Review Permanlink

3 stars 1001 Centigrades ? 1971 (3.4/5) 11 ? Best Song: ????????????????? While I may understand very little of what could draw a troubled individual to choose this sort of art for their own sense of personal self-expression, I have come to the distinct conclusion that this incarnation of the band ... (read more)

Report this review (#443194) | Posted by Alitare | Thursday, May 05, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Magma, after the big debut still maintaining the level of your music with their sound influenced by KC, delving into jazz. The album mentioned is more a question of keeping or not the five stars (which does not dare to do). Besides a unique style, the fact of abusing woodwinds less common in p ... (read more)

Report this review (#287906) | Posted by nandprogger | Tuesday, June 22, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars First step was creating of the Koba´n language. Second step in Zeuhl evolution was this. Already acquired strong jazz and classical influences, 1001░ Centigrades features more conventional for Zeuhl and less conventional in general vocals ('tribal' chanting). This is where Zeuhl began. The cover ... (read more)

Report this review (#278378) | Posted by Psychedelist | Sunday, April 18, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars My travels in Magma land continues with this, their second album. This album, a socalled Zeuhl album, is basically a jazz album with some added neo- classical, chanting and tribal rhythms. The first song is a twenty minutes long epic called R´ah Sah´ltaahk which winds itself through some good ... (read more)

Report this review (#265852) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Saturday, February 13, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars 1001 Centigrades was my first exposure to Magma, and it actually remains my favorite. This captures them in their early stages, and has a lot of jazzy elements still very prominent. To me, this has the most memorable moments of the 5 or so albums I'm familiar with. It's the kind of album th ... (read more)

Report this review (#230814) | Posted by jmcdaniel_ee | Monday, August 10, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Magma were bonkers weren't they? They always sounded so confident in what they did. Unfazed by critics and doing exactly what they wanted to do. Who else would have had the bottle to release a double LP as their first record? They even had the cheek to release a single from it too - 'Koba´´' - which ... (read more)

Report this review (#215332) | Posted by Dobermensch | Wednesday, May 13, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars 1001˚ Centigrades is Magma's second album. Whilst their first was a somewhat aimless double LP, with an air of rootlessness which saw the band wandering from one type of music to the next, not just over the double album as a whole, but even within the confines of each separate piece, this s ... (read more)

Report this review (#165961) | Posted by song_of_copper | Monday, April 07, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Halfway between avant-jazz and Zeuhl, we find 1001░ Centigrades. Very much like its predecessor, Koba´a, it moves with slick rapidity, weaving through complex compositions, wild arrangements, and stark splashes of beauty. Comprised of three monster tracks: all outstanding, but none standing out, t ... (read more)

Report this review (#152870) | Posted by Shakespeare | Monday, November 26, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I wasn't sure if anyone had done symphonic jazz before. I also wondered if Math Jazz had ever been done. Here, Magma has done both, and done it extremely well. Each song captures the rising and falling tumult of an epic with the complex detail and sound of math jazz, creating a very unique an ... (read more)

Report this review (#151399) | Posted by kickflipthecat | Saturday, November 17, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Birth of a musical type: Zheul music " R´ah Sah´ltaahk ", piece of 20 minutes written, composed and arranged by Christian Vander constitutes the birth of a true musical style in full measure. Very different from symphonic rock, school of Canterbury or Italian prog, Zheul music has been founded ... (read more)

Report this review (#140128) | Posted by H.NOT | Sunday, September 23, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Every (three) song in this album is a masterpiece. Ki ¤ahl Í L´ahk is maybe a little monotonic (can it be?) and too short track, and Iss' Lanse´ Do´a is maybe little bit boring at the start, maybe even four-star song, but eventually there''s nothing else to say about this great Zeuhl, it is so go ... (read more)

Report this review (#109208) | Posted by progressive | Sunday, January 28, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Despite the atrociously boring cover (some issues of the vinyl version came with a much more colourful cover at the insistence of the record company), "1001░ Centigrades" is an excellent album. This was the album where Magma had to show that they hadn't just blown it all off on the debut. And ... (read more)

Report this review (#95309) | Posted by olzen | Saturday, October 21, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The second work "1001℃ entigrades" released in 1971. It is music that develops the first work further. Style that performs enchantment, dashes about angry waves, and repeats eerie stagnation extremely. It is a work that multiuses the melody of the orient style again. The wind instrument ... (read more)

Report this review (#80345) | Posted by braindamage | Monday, June 05, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars What an inferior cover pictured here compared to the beautiful colourful original of the vinyl issue. But now to the music: First a fierce bass-line accompanied by Vander's drumming kicks in, then making it's musical appearance is the electric piano, then the woodwinds and finally Blasquiz' ... (read more)

Report this review (#46034) | Posted by ummagumma08 | Thursday, September 08, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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