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OFFERING

Zeuhl • France


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Offering biography
Offering came to the world as one of Christian Vander's post Magma projects, functioning throughout the later half of the 80s up till the early 90s Offering ventures into territory where only Magma's 'Merci' dared the tread. While the 70s Magma revolved around a more classical interpretation, Offering shows Vander's fascination with Coltrane's acoustic inspired Jazz blossom into full realization. Offering is sited by many as Christian Vander's most praised post-Magma project.
Offering takes a step aside from Magma's tight formulas, introducing compositions of a much looser, improvisational design. Vander's drumming expertises sadly take to the bench, while focusing more specifically on vocal experimentations alongside his wife Stella. We hear an evolution of the soul-scat vocals utilized throughout Magma's 1984 album 'Merci'. Offering went on to record 3 albums, which hold many draw backs for most listeners. Much of the time the musical insights become quite unfocused and produces a patchy final product
Their latest recording 'A Fiieh' is their most concise document; bring in a full line-up including the likes of Isabelle Feullebois, Philippe Dardelle and Emmanuel Borghi. The usually suspect are augmented by four other percussionist, four vocalist and one Keyboardist. The style becomes dark, minimalist and even a little more symphonic. While the epic 'Purificatem' reverts back into the familiar vibe of the two prior albums.
Boasting as one of Vander's most accomplished post-Magma projects, this will appease Christian Vander fans, but could still facilitate your average listener's enjoyment.

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OFFERING discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

OFFERING top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.91 | 22 ratings
Offering Part I / Part II
1986
4.02 | 18 ratings
Offering Part III / Part IV
1990
3.98 | 15 ratings
A Fh
1993

OFFERING Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.66 | 7 ratings
Paris Thtre Djazet 1987
1998
5.00 | 3 ratings
Concert Triton 2013
2014

OFFERING Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

OFFERING Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.06 | 12 ratings
Offering (Magma Prsente Offering)
2003

OFFERING Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

OFFERING Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Paris Thtre Djazet 1987 by OFFERING album cover Live, 1998
3.66 | 7 ratings

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Paris Thtre Djazet 1987
Offering Zeuhl

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I noticed as I was about to review this live double album from OFFERING that they have just released a new live album from a 2013 performance. It's probably about time really as this live album i'm reviewing was recorded way back in 1987 and at that point they had only released one studio album. Two studio albums would follow and in my opinion they got better as they went. If you don't know, OFFERING is a Christian Vander side project that is dedicated to his hero John Coltrane. The music is jazzy and led by piano and vocals for the most part, but this music is also fairly experimental at times so it's difficult to say that OFFERING is a more commercial sounding MAGMA in my opinion.

Because this is a live recording the music does seem more experimental than the studio albums with plenty of improvization. So for my tastes it's a little inconsistant with some passages over-staying their welcome. A few of these tracks would end up on the next two studio albums. Like many double albums I could edit this one down to one disc and be very impressed. Disc one starts off with "Lohengrin:Prelude" which is a disappointing start in my opinion with the classical sounding instrumental music going on for about 8 1/2 minutes, just not a fan. "Ole" sounds really good early on with some flute playing over top. Stella comes in and eventually her vocals will be the focus. There's a nice piano interlude. Good song. "Cosmos" is a short piece led by piano and female vocals. It's okay but I do tire of the vocals. "Afiieh" is much better and the audience seems to agree with their response when this one starts. Christian is outstanding on vocals here. It seems like everything is being held back and restrained throughout. I like it!

"Les Anges" is piano with Christian on vocals to start. Some female vocals are added later. Again like the previous tune this one is restrained although Stella breaks free of that late. "Les Cygnes" is one where Stella's vocals get a little theatrical at times. The song is okay but i'm not a big fan of it. "Solitude" as the title suggests is laid back early on until the vocals break out. Contrasts continue. An average track really. "La Nuit Du Chasseur" is less than 2 minutes of Stella on vocals with orchestral background sounds. It blends into another short song called "Les Vagues" where it continues in the same style but without vocals. "Lush Life" is one I just don't like with Guy on vocals with piano helping out. "Joia" certainly makes up for the last song as Christian simply kills with his vocals on this over 22 minute journey. Well done!

Disc two begins with the over 47 minute "Another Day" which is such a journey with the vocals and catchy sound dominating. "Anta" is filled with intricate sounds, especially percussion. "Chorus De Batterie Introduction A "You've Got To Have Freedom"" is a 14 1/2 minute drum solo basically as an intro to the next song "You've Got To Have Freedom" which clocks in at around 6 minutes. Not a fan of the drum solo for the most part but the following song is really good with the vocals and drumming standing out.

Well at over 2 1/2 hours it's not surprising that it's inconsistant to my ears and tastes, although even then it's hard not giving this 4 stars. Still I can't do it and I much prefer the three studio albums.

 Offering Part I / Part II by OFFERING album cover Studio Album, 1986
3.91 | 22 ratings

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Offering Part I / Part II
Offering Zeuhl

Review by Neil C

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

 Offering Part III / Part IV by OFFERING album cover Studio Album, 1990
4.02 | 18 ratings

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Offering Part III / Part IV
Offering Zeuhl

Review by Smegcake!

4 stars This is the second longest opening track on an album I've come across, and I must admit, it's where all the action is. It's sprawling, entertaining and very progressive. I enjoy about 35 minutes of the 44 though. Another Day has places in its middle section which really don't do much except squeal and groan, but its placed in between such wonderfully catchy and energetic musical pieces that you can't help but slap your head in frustration that it drags down the album quality that little bit to stop it being perfect by having these additional chunks. And being the mighty length of 44 minutes does make it hard to simply skip when you reach the less wonderful parts.

But make no mistake, this is good music. Even the attempt to make a song of 44 minutes consistently entertaining the whole way through deserves some praise - and that they managed to pull it off pretty well; really shows the talent we're talking about here. And if you look at Christian Vander's earlier work, there's certainly a lot of it. And it shows in the title track. The other two closing pieces don't stand up to the 44 minute Another Day, but they are still nice small additions.

Highly recommended, if you can find it.

 Offering (Magma Prsente Offering) by OFFERING album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2003
4.06 | 12 ratings

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Offering (Magma Prsente Offering)
Offering Zeuhl

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The appeal of getting this 4 cd compilation of OFFERING's 3 albums is the over 32 minute bonus track "Out Of This World" which is why they've had to make this a 4 cd set instead of 3. I've reviewed all the other songs on those 3 records already so i'll just focus on the new track.

It was composed in 1987 like "Ehn Deiss" so it fits well on the "Offering IV" disc. It begins with bass as soft flute and drums join in. Piano too. Stella comes in around a minute. This is all fairly laid back. That changes around 3 minutes as the intensity rises and so does Stella's voice as sax joins in. It calms down as sax continues with piano and light drums. The sax is dissonant. The piano comes to the fore 6 minutes in as the sax takes a back seat. It settles before 16 minutes to an almost dead calm. Drums only can be heard almost like they're in the background. Christian's drum work starts to get louder though. Piano comes in at 29 1/2 minutes as Vander continues.

4 stars for the compilation. I must say this project really surprised me, it was very enjoyable to say the least. I would recommend this to MAGMA fans.

 A Fh by OFFERING album cover Studio Album, 1993
3.98 | 15 ratings

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A Fh
Offering Zeuhl

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This is the third and final OFFERING album. It's quite different from the first two, and it's the only one not dedicated to John Coltrane. And that might be the key because the first two records are so full of joy, it's like they are celebrating John Coltrane for all the great music he has created that has so inspired Christian Vander. Both are like offerings to Christian's musical hero. This one is darker and more serious. A much larger band participates as well with more vocalists and percussionists etc.

"Hymne Kobaien" is basically Christian playing an orchestral-like keyboard solo. Not a big fan of this one. "Cosmos" is a different story though. It opens with a dark atmosphere before piano takes over playing slowly. Soft vocal melodies join in. It builds as cymbals clash. Cool song. "A Fiieh" opens with piano as cymbals and vocal melodies join in. Dual female vocals here. Christian comes in vocally before a minute. Great sound here. Strong vocals before 4 1/2 minutes. Intense. It settles back like earlier but with male and female vocals as piano and cymbals continue. Great track. "La March Celeste" features these deep male vocals with piano. Female vocals join in and the vocals get more passionate. It settles after 4 minutes.

"Magnifi" is a minimilistic track with spoken words and piano. "Purificatem (Accord Des Instruments)" is a jazzy tune with lazy sax melodies as piano and synths join in. Drums after 2 minutes as the sax gets more passionate. "Purificatem" is the 26 1/2 minute closer. This is the most difficult track to digest at times. A lot of dissonance and crazy vocals too. It seems to meander a lot. It opens with piano as drums join in then sax. Christian arrives vocally before a minute. Check out Christian after 4 1/2 minutes with his odd vocal expressions. More of this with tambourine after 10 minutes. The sax then becomes prominant when the vocals stop. Piano joins in. Dissonant 13 minutes in. Vocals join the chaos. Christian is screaming 16 minutes in. It calms down 17 1/2 minutes in but the dissonace returns as these are contrasted the rest of the way. What a song !

Easily 4 stars. For the adventerous and especially MAGMA fans.

 Offering Part III / Part IV by OFFERING album cover Studio Album, 1990
4.02 | 18 ratings

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Offering Part III / Part IV
Offering Zeuhl

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars OFFERING are back 4 years later with their second release and not much has changed. I think I like this a little more than the first one but once again it's the piano and vocals that steal the spotlight. This time we have Emmanual Borghi (MAGMA, ONE SHOT) on piano for the over 44 minute opening track and he doesn't disappoint. I have to say though that the vocals of Christian and Stella Vander are really what makes this recording so special. Once again it's dedicated to Christian's hero John Coltrane, and Vander gives him his all here.

"Another Day" is the over 44 minute highlight reel. Would love to see this performed live in it's entirety. It opens with piano melodies before female (Stella) vocals arrive around a minute. It kicks in with drums before 1 1/2 minutes. Christian comes in vocally a minute later as it settles some. Contrasts will continue. Stella is back trading vocals with Christian. So much passion in their vocals. This is so much fun. It starts to calm down around 13 minutes. Christian offers up some vocal melodies after 14 minutes for about 5 minutes as the piano and drums continue in an almost dissonant manner. The piano stops after 21 minutes but drums continue. The earlier melody is back and so is Christian 23 minutes in. Nice bass here. It settles back and we get some percussion. Piano before 26 minutes then the tempo picks up. Vocals stop as dissonant piano takes over. A dead calm 29 minutes in then it starts to rebuild. Flute before 31 1/2 minutes as piano then vocals come to the fore. Stella's back too, as well as the drums. Stella and Christian battle again vocally. Great sound 37 1/2 minutes in as we get that full sound. Christian keeps shouting "Good God y'all" (haha). Too much fun ! It settles around 41 minutes with Stella's vocal melodies, piano and drums. Wow!

"Ehn Deiss" opens with piano as Christian comes in vocally. Stella after 2 1/2 minutes takes over. Flute before 4 minutes then dual vocals end it. A mellow track. "Offering (2)" is led by drums and piano as Stella comes in, and she does get threatrical.

I mentioned how pleasantly surprised I was with their debut on that review, well this might even be better. Highly recommended to MAGMA fans out there.

 Offering Part I / Part II by OFFERING album cover Studio Album, 1986
3.91 | 22 ratings

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Offering Part I / Part II
Offering Zeuhl

Review by 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.

 Paris Thtre Djazet 1987 by OFFERING album cover Live, 1998
3.66 | 7 ratings

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Paris Thtre Djazet 1987
Offering Zeuhl

Review by goertz

5 stars Among the several releases of OFFERING, this is from my point of view the most representative. Offering masterpieces are gathered here and the versions given are among the best (compared to official releases and any bootlegs i could have hear). "Another day" version is undoubtely the best and most powerfull ever released.

The live atmosphere suits better this music as it's largely improvised. I like also the way the tunes are connected, powerfull pieces and more intamate ones, improvised and written parts. We can fell a real will to build a consistent show instead of only play tunes one after the other.

This album will give you a good overview of Offering material and a taste of what was going on on stage at that time. Offereing raised his peak of creativity and interplay. Moreover, this album is the best example of the astonishing vocal capabilities of Christian Vander

 Offering Part I / Part II by OFFERING album cover Studio Album, 1986
3.91 | 22 ratings

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Offering Part I / Part II
Offering Zeuhl

Review by 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.

 A Fh by OFFERING album cover Studio Album, 1993
3.98 | 15 ratings

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A Fh
Offering Zeuhl

Review by zebehnn

4 stars The last Offering album to this date!

This album is not that consise as the other albums by Offering, but that doesnt mean its bad, not at all, this is actually a very satisfying album in all ways, it is very varied and starts of with a Kobaian Hymn, with only a big organ and nothing else (I Swear i have heard this melody in magma, but i cant put my fingers to it...) Then comes "Cosmos" which is a interlude for the Title track, both songs are stunning and i think these songs shows the evolution of the band and i feel the link to Magma is very evident on these two tracks, A Fiieh was played live already in 1987, and i wonder why Vander took so long to finish up this album (as all 80/90/00 records by him and his bands)

then comes "La Marche Cleste" which i really have not many words for, a decent tune with a very minimalistic theme, lots of harmony vocals in the background...next tune is a strange song called "Magnifi" which deals with (i think) the varoius obstacles mankind must pass through, the lady vocals just repeats the words magnifi, purifi, magnifi, and the next song up is "purificatem" which is a very wild song, and very jazzy, this song took me about 10-15 listens to just get into, again the words fails me to explain any serious details about this, another one you just have to hear, to make up your own opinion.

This album is worth getting non the less, but you should try Offering I & II before you start to get into this record

A solid 4!

Thanks to Black Velvet for the artist addition.

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