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Magma Zss - Le Jour du Nant album cover
3.70 | 178 ratings | 3 reviews | 22% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2019

Songs / Tracks Listing

- Zss:
1. I - Whm Dhm Zeuhl Stadium (Hymne Au Nant) (4:57)
2. II - Da Zeuhl Wortz Dhm Wrhntt (Les Forces De L'Univers - Les Elments) (6:22)
3. III - Dwhr Spraser (La Voix Qui Parle) (5:12)
4. IV - Strem ndts Whm (Pont De L'En-Del) (6:04)
5. V - Zss Mahnthr Kanthm (Le Matre Chant) (8:08)
6. VI - Z ss Wss Sthm (Vers L'Infiniment) (3:15)
7. VII - Dmghl Bla (Glas Ultime) (3:58)

Total Time 37:56

Line-up / Musicians

- Christian Vander / lead vocals, voice, composer
- Stella Vander / lead vocals, chants, producer
- Rudy Blas / guitar
- Simon Goubert / piano
- Philippe Bussonnet / bass
- Morgan gren / drums

- Isabelle Feuillebois / vocals
- Herv Aknin / vocals
- Julie Vander / vocals
- Sandrine Destafanis / vocals
- Sylvie Fisichella / vocals
- Laura Guarrato / vocals
- Marcus Linon / vocals
- The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra
- Adam Klemens / conductor
- Lucie Svehlova / concertmaster
- Rmi Dumoulin / orchestration

Releases information

Music & lyrics: Christian Vander
Producer: Stella Vander
Mastering: Marcus Linon
Mixing: Francis Linon

Concertmaster: Lucie ?vehlov
Conductor: Adam Klemens
Orchestrater: Rmi Dumoulin

Artwork: Grald Nimal
Stage Manager: James Fitzpatrick

CD Seventh Records ‎- A 40 (2019, France)

LP Music On Vinyl ‎- MOVLP2503 (2019, Europe)

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to Prog Network & NotAProghead for the last updates
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MAGMA Zss - Le Jour du Nant ratings distribution

(178 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(22%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(42%)
Good, but non-essential (24%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

MAGMA Zss - Le Jour du Nant reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by siLLy puPPy
4 stars It's been exactly 50 years, yes that's right, a whopping half of a century since the classically trained Christian Vander founded MAGMA which signified a vision of humanity's spiritual and ecological future. The project that catapulted France headfirst into the progressive rock scene of the late 60s has become one of the most ambitious and enduring musical outfits in the entire world of progressive rock after having exposed an unsuspecting world to a completely new form of jazz-rock with classical underpinnings that narrates the tale of humans fleeing the dying Earth and relocating on a planet called Koba'a. With a self-constructed language and an entirely new musical paradigm tagged as zeuhl (Kobaan for 'celestial'), Vander and an ever rotating cast of top dog musicians have left a legacy of excellent recordings that have only gained steam throughout the ensuing decades and left an indelible impression on the prog world. Here we are in 2019 and the Kobaan Scene is still spreading its celestial joy.

While MAGMA's heyday may have been in the 70s, it's almost unbelievable how much new material is still trickling into the modern era that never found a proper recording during the time it was composed. This trend began all the way back in 2004 when archival material for 'K.A.' (abbreviation for 'Khntarksz Anteria') was finally completed to great critical acclaim and a de facto declaration of a triumphant return into the world of progressive rock as its popularity was finding a resurgence in the era of the internet savvy 21st century. While not as prolific as in the old days, MAGMA returned with more archival material on 2009's ''mhnthtt-R' and then at long last released some totally fresh new material on 2012's 'Flicit Thsz.' While the ensuing years have found some interesting archival tidbits, both studio and live finding new life, a proper new album has been eagerly anticipated but all that waiting has finally come to an end. Lo and behold in the year 2019, MAGMA has finally released yet another slab of archival material that hadn't found its own closure in the form of ZSS. LE JOUR DU NANT.

ZSS translates to 'Master' in the fictitious Koba'an tongue and for the first time Vander utilizes his mother tongue French not only in the titular adornments but also in the poetic prose displayed throughout various segments of the album itself. LE JOUR DE NANT translates as 'The Day Of Nothing' which basically says that you are in for another nebulous and mysterious journey into the musical mind of one of prog's masters and that all you know for sure is that it will implement stentorian vocal choirs, magnanimous jazz-rock bombast and hypnotic bass fueled rhythms that ratchet up to climactic explosive rocket blasts of energy and then change around a few keys and scales and start the process over. While ZSS does not disappoint in all these predictable expectations, this album is the most distinguished album in the band's entire canon, well at least since the funk fueled attempt at going mainstream on 1984's 'Merci.' MAGMA is back only this time not alone.

While ZSS may be reaching back to the past to tie up loose ends, it clearly looks to the future and along for the ride comes the accompaniment of the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, which allows ZSS to stand out as the band's most orchestral and symphonic as it tackles the usual jazz-rock zeuhl only transmogrified into a modern form of third stream jazz. Z'SS not only sounds timeless but literally is so. While composed in the 70s it was never quite finished but debuted as part of a live set in Bourges in 1979. It has also appeared on live recordings such as the archival sounds heard on 'Bobino 1981' and 'Les Voix Concert 1992 Douarnenez' as well as having been performed live during the 1980s with Vander's side project Offering but these performances only found extracts but at long last ZSS has found resolution and stands on its own two feet and finds MAGMA revealing new aspects of itself and finding the much deserved resolution for decades of uncertainty.

In addition to the orchestral parts which give MAGMA a completely new stylistic makeover, another unexpected development was the fact that Christian Vander took the spotlight as the lead vocalist for most of the album but also in the process passed the baton of percussionist to Swedish drummer Morgan 'gren of Kaipa and Karmakanic. Of all the previous incarnations of the greater MAGMA family, only Vander, singers Stella Vander, Isabelle Feuillebois, Herv Aknin and bassist Philippe Bussonnet make an appearance and while the classical orchestral parts are ramped up, the jazz aspects have been practically annihilated without completely surrendering to the newcomer's somewhat restrained presence. ZSS delivers the usual MAGMA goods of connecting several tracks together with a thread of musical continuity with each one generating distinct variations from the others. Sounding much like any old MAGMA album of yore, 'Ẁhm Dhm Zeuhl Stadium' delivers the familiar vocal performances that slowly summon the Koba'an spirit guides to lead the listener to the promised musical lands.

Continuing past the introductions of the familiar, the new MAGMA takes a left field turn into an unexpected lengthy journey into the slow but steady tension inducing cyclical loops of a staccato piano delivering a gentle yet firm tinkling while Vander tells a story in French and works his way up to nonsensical scatting of some sort. This is the first album that implements both French and Koba'an into the mix along with the nonsensical wordless utterances. While the orchestral elements announce their presence early on, they merely punctuate the down times between beats and the like and don't really take off until the thunderous climactic outbursts on the third track 'D Ẁhr Spra?er' where they seem to gain an equal foothold and then finally usurp the rhythmic drive with intense melodic counterpoints that engage in progressive rock time signature gymnastics despite exhibiting the timbres of a classical symphony. After a great deal of symphonic wankery, the opening vocalists return with 'Zss Mahnthr Kanthm' and the by now established rhythm flow and almost post-rock melodic repetition only highly adrenalized finds new variations to express the dynamics and melodic possibilities.

The album continues with an infinite variety of vocals, orchestral punctuations and ever changing time signatures however in the end ZSS is really one very long track that only occasional deviates from the basic rhythmic groove that sustains itself for lengthy runs and when all is said and done, it sounds like that the excerpts of the original workings were merely padded out with a variety of tricks and trinkets without adding any substantial changes to the underpinnings of the composition, however MAGMA has always been about lengthy roundabout ways of milking rhythmic drives and letting the melodic melodramas spiral into uncharted territories and in that department ZSS successfully follows the logical flow of the band's past trajectory. Upon conclusion, i doubt ZSS will go down as MAGMA's crowning achievement but it is in no danger of tarnishing this mighty band's long lasting legacy either even if by chance this happens to be the end of the long and winding road for a 70 year old Christian Vander who may or may not have other life endeavors to tend to before his final exit to the great Koba'an Scene in the sky. While all that futuristic talk is uncertain, one that that is clear is that MAGMA have delivered yet another stellar slice of musical mojo into their fields of fecundity and for any of the true fans already indoctrinated into the fan club, ZSS will not disappoint one little bit.

Latest members reviews

3 stars Magma are the founders of the zeuhl genre. Over the span of their 50-year career, they've been remarkably consistent in both their strange character and high quality of output. Strongly rooted in jazz and heavy on hypnotic jamming, their studio recordings were often taken to new heights in live sett ... (read more)

Report this review (#2903260) | Posted by TheEliteExtremophile | Friday, March 31, 2023 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This album was quite the stylistic detour for Magma. On many Magma albums, such as K.A, Christian Vander's voice is used sparingly. His voice appears a few times, but he is mostly the drummer. On Zss (Le Jour Du Nant), he is the lead singer and doesn't play drums. Instead, a Swedish drummer named ... (read more)

Report this review (#2245203) | Posted by thebig_E | Monday, August 19, 2019 | Review Permanlink

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