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CHRISTIAN VANDER

Zeuhl • France


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Christian Vander biography
Known equally well for his virtuoso drumming, his compositional skills, and his creation of the Kobaian mythology and language, Christian Vander has achieved truly legendary status in the field of progressive rock. As a boy, he listened to and studied jazz, and through 1969 performed in jazz bands. However, in 1969 he was struck by a deeply moving spiritual vision and formed Magma as an outlet for his visions. For a few years, Magma performed rather straightforward jazz-rock without any member of the band being a clear leader. However, in 1973, Vander stepped up as leader and unleashed the force known as Zeuhl on the world with Mekanik Destruktiw Kommandoh, written entirely by Vander. From then on, he was to be the only constant member of the band in a dizzying whirlwind of lineup changes as over 100 musicians passed through Magma. Counting MDK, a total of five Zeuhl albums and one "sell-out" pop album would comprise Magma's canon before the band broke up in 1985.

Following the breakup of Magma, Vander pursued several projects in the late 1980's and early 1990's. He formed a Zeuhl-soul hybrid band called Offering, which unfortunately saw Vander put away the drumsticks and focus on the vocals. He formed a self-titled jazz trio, and two fusion bands, Fusion and Alien, which both featured Magma alumni. In addition, he worked in time to release a few solo albums.

In the mid-late '90's, Vander reformed Magma with a new lineup, which has remained remarkably steady over the last several years. The band continues to tour, and has recorded two albums after this reformation, K.A. and Emehnteht-Re. Both of these compositions were pieces Vander had started in the 1970's but never felt they were complete enough to record until now.

Bio by rileydog22 (Jake)




Why this artist must be listed in www.progarchives.com :
Christian Vander are essentially the brain behind the Zeuhl genre, therefore a obvious and important addition the the site. Approved by the ZART.



Discography:
...

Christian Vander official website

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John Coltrane: L'Homme SupremeJohn Coltrane: L'Homme Supreme
Import
Seventh Records 2013
Audio CD$18.59
$26.38 (used)
Magma AttahkMagma Attahk
Import
Ryko 1996
Audio CD$22.50
$8.68 (used)
To LoveTo Love
Import
Seventh Records 2013
Audio CD$9.90
$4.69 (used)
Jour Apres Jour / 65Jour Apres Jour / 65
Import
Seventh Records 2013
Audio CD$21.88
$25.11 (used)
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CHRISTIAN VANDER discography


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

4.33 | 9 ratings
To Love
1988
4.18 | 9 ratings
Les Cygnes et Les Corbeaux
2001

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CHRISTIAN VANDER Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Les Cygnes et Les Corbeaux by VANDER, CHRISTIAN album cover Studio Album, 2001
4.18 | 9 ratings

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Les Cygnes et Les Corbeaux
Christian Vander Zeuhl

Review by Tapfret
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Le percussionniste principal sans ses tambours (The master percussionist without his drums)

Sub-genre:Zeuhl (vocal and trance feel fit, though no bass and little percussion)
For Fans of: Magma, Choral Music
Vocal Style: True to Zeuhl, primarily female, with Christian Vander's strong operatic presence.
Guitar Style: none
Keyboard Style: Piano, Rhodes and synth string arrangements
Percussion Style: Little, mostly programmed with some natural tambourine.
Bass Style: Programmed background sequences
Other Instruments: None
You are not likely to enjoy this album if: you do not appreciate modern classical or you are expecting traditional Zeuhl fare and a jazz/rock combo.



Summary: First of all, there is no mistaking that this is a Christian Vander composition. While the familiar overdriven bass, jazzy percussion and trademark imaginary language we have become accustomed to with Zeuhl are not there, Vander's dark brooding vocal arrangements and celestial motif is well intact. Broad operatic choral passages paint a very full and majestic landscape true to form for Christian and his wife Stella. While no specific piece is a direct Magma arrangement, the textures are eerily familiar; and I use the word "eerily" in the broadest and most literal sense. Les Cygnes Et Les Corbeaux is broken up into 27 mostly sub 3 minute movements which flow together seamlessly. At times Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire comes to mind, but the music is more accessible; just plain dark rather than obliquely dissonant.



Final Score: I could actually see this piece being appreciated by some listeners, particularly classical listeners, who did not otherwise like Magma or Zeuhl in general. This is a very fine work that should be explored. 4 stars.

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