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Magma BBC 1974 - Londres album cover
4.26 | 70 ratings | 7 reviews | 46% 5 stars

Essential: a masterpiece of
progressive rock music

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Live, released in 1999

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Theusz Hamtaahk (30:03)
2. Köhntarkösz (27:26)

Total Time: 57:29

Line-up / Musicians

- Klaus Blasquiz / vocals, percussion
- Claude Olmos / guitar
- Michel Graillier / Fender piano, keyboards
- Gérard Bikialo / Fender piano
- Jannik Top / bass
- Christian Vander / drums, vocals

Releases information

Seventh REX 13

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to James for the last updates
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MAGMA BBC 1974 - Londres ratings distribution

(70 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(46%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(34%)
Good, but non-essential (16%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

MAGMA BBC 1974 - Londres reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars These are the earliest live versions of these two songs and in many ways it shows.These were recorded live for the BBC in 1974 without Stella Vander unfortunately. And while these two songs may not be as exciting or as well developed as future versions, I really love them just the way they are. Both songs seem to meander along at times, in no hurrry at all.The guitar on the "Kohntarkosz" track is more prominant than on any other version which is a plus for me as well.

"Theusz Hamtaahk" opens with some vocal lines from Blasquiz before it turns dark and quiet. Lots of atmosphere early. It stays mellow as the vocals arrive and become the focus. Before 6 minutes the soundscape gets louder as Blasquiz sings. I really like the drum / bass / piano melody 9 minutes in that goes on and on until 12 minutes in. Vocals return after 14 minutes as the rhythm continues.The bass is quite chunky.This is great ! The vocal melodies start to get intense 17 minutes in. Including Vander's unmistakeable voice. The rhythm stops before 21 minutes as vocals are spoken softly. It starts to build again before 25 minutes.The piano and bass are going crazy 27 minutes in before it calms back down. I love the sound before 29 minutes especially the guitar and bass.Top is amazing on this record. "Kohntarkosz" is very epic sounding for the first 2 minutes before it settles in. Great sound. Check out the deep, deep bass lines from Top. Vocals stop 5 minutes in as the song calms down a little. A guitar melody followed by a vocal melody with more fat bass. Keys are in the spotlight before 14 minutes followed by some tasteful guitar with light drums. It's building 15 1/2 minutes in. It really sounds like farfisa organ a couple of minutes later. The drumming is fantastic 21 minutes in with heavy bass a minute later. We get the word Hallelujah repeated over and over late with more amazing drumming from Vander.

This is an outstanding live MAGMA recording and in my opinon a top three when it comes to their live recordings. A must-have that really should be in every MAGMA fans collection. 4.5 stars.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars My hero Klaus Schulze has often spoken of his preference to record music live. The urge to have everything exactly right on the spot, the impossibility to do a second take or to edit anything creates an adrenaline level that can not be reached in the relaxing circumstances of a recording studio. It has to be 'there', right from the first time.

This credo also goes a 100% true for Magma. If you talk about being 'there', Magma live is 'THERE!'. No matter how much I admire their studio albums, live recordings such as this one are even superior. Magma creates music that is as much improvised as it is composed and the energy that flows through this particular live recording is amazing.

One of the great things about this Live London 1974 BBC recording is the unique atmosphere it has. It's slightly more reverbed then Magma's usual sound and it creates an ambience that is even more cosmic then the studio originals. The production quality is superb and the band is firing on all cylinders, which is no surprise looking at the huge creativity that went on in Magma in the 73-74 era. In those two years they wrote: MDK, Köhntarkösz, Wurdah Itah, Theusz Hamtaahk + most of the music that ended up on KA and E-Re. That's about 6 full albums in 2 years. Who takes up this challenge?

The real deal here comes from the fact that half of the album contains material that has never been released on any studio album. Theusz Hamtaahk forms the opening part of the Theusz Hamtaahk trilogy, of which Wurdah Itah and MDK are the remaining acts. There are a couple of other live performances of this work available but this is sure one of the great versions. Also Köhntarkösz is very interesting and only partially resembles the eventual studio album. Actually, only half of it would be used for the Köhntarkösz studio album, the other half would wind up on the 2004 KA.

This album is mandatory for Magma fans, and highly recommended for every other progger. It can be downloaded from Amazon for 2$. What's keeping you? 4.5 stars.

Review by Warthur
4 stars Of Magma's many live releases, this one deserves special note because the performance in question was recorded for the BBC, resulting in a higher than usual sound quality for live albums from the era. It also presents two of the band's major epic pieces - an early draft of Kohntarkosz, a greatly retooled studio version of which would be recorded a few months later, and one of the earliest recorded performances of Theusz Hamtaahk.

Both performances are great, but Theusz Hamtaahk is absolutely storming, with brooding, pulsing rhythms building up to a wailing, frenzied crescendo, before a sensitive and plaintive sung interlude marks the transition to a wild jazz-funk-zeuhl conclusion to the album. From what I understand of the Magma myth, the song tells the story of how Theusz Hamtaahk was sent to Earth by the Kobaian colonists to bring word of the wonderful discoveries they had made on Kobaia, only to be persecuted and killed by the spiritually unenlightened Earth people, and without the use of any language intelligible to folks outside of the band the group manage to convey this emotional journey, the wild conclusion to the track seeming to correspond to the outraged declaration of war against Earth that leads into Wurdah Itah and Mekanik Destruktiw Kommandoh.

Whilst I wouldn't suggest anyone should start their Magma explorations with this one, the album is a valuable document of the band in the midst of a creative peak - MDK came out a few months earlier, and the studio sessions for Wurdah Itah and Kohntarkosz would take place a few months afterwards. I wouldn't call it the essential or definitive rendition of either of the pieces offered, but any Magma fan would find it a rewarding document.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Two long songs comprise this CD: Theusz Hamtaahk and Kohntarkosz. First let's talk about Theusz Hamtaahk. This version is very well performed andl recorded. The bass playing in particular is particularly impressive. Theusz Hamtaahk is a work of progressive rock that has many twists and turns, ... (read more)

Report this review (#98523) | Posted by | Monday, November 13, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Magma was first and foremost a live band, and this is one of their best live efforts if not the best. Both of the titles are not in their final form but it was Magma's best period and for Magma fans this is essential. The sound is very good, especially Janik's bass, it seems like they feel tha ... (read more)

Report this review (#63452) | Posted by | Friday, January 6, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars this features an incredible version of theusz hamtaahk, which is worth the price alone, with an alternative ending that is so beautiful...and rockin` ?!!?! the kohntarkosz version is also very nice, a little looser than the orginal, with a little excerpt from K.a. (released in 2004!!) if ... (read more)

Report this review (#22407) | Posted by zebehnn | Wednesday, April 20, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The CDs from the AKT series propose previously unreleased music pieces or unreleased concerts. The quality of sound is usually poor in this series and the quality of the music pieces is inferior, on average, with regard to the original production. Nevertheless, the CD is one of the exception i ... (read more)

Report this review (#22406) | Posted by | Wednesday, July 28, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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