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MAGMA

Zeuhl • France


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Magma biography
MAGMA is a progressive group led by drummer/composer/vocalist Christian VANDER that has been active in the 'classic period' and in the 21th century. The music of MAGMA is often categorized as 'Zeuhl' (which means 'celestical' of 'heavenly' in Kobaïan, MAGMA's own language). The band doesn't clearly fit in any other progressive subgenre, though avant-prog would qualify.

Swirling riffs in odd time signatures, theatrical choir arrangements, heavy and distorted pulsing bass guitar, bombastic and minimalistic (sometimes both at the same time), dark and brooming, adventurous and angelic, jazzy or classical, but always with the highly innovative and original drums of founder and main composer Christian VANDER. The music of MAGMA is adopted by the progressive rock movement, though even for progressive standards it is very hard to get into because of its 'other worldly sound' and its extended compositions of often more then thirty minutes. The band has had almost no connection whatsoever with other bands of the progressive genre, though in France it would prove to be a big inspiration for other Fusion and Zeuhl bands. It is often though that the modern classical music of Carl ORFF (for instance Carmina Burana) must have been a big influence to MAGMA. VANDER himself has claimed on several occasions that his main influence was the jazz saxophone player John COLTRANE, and listening to COLTRANE's version of 'My favorite things' we do find a hint to what was to become the Zeuhl genre. Legend goes that MAGMA was formed after a vision that was revealed in a dream of Christian VANDER about a spiritual and ecological future for mankind. This vision would influence the three different multi-part saga's, namely the Kobaïan saga (debut and 1001 Centigrates), the Köhntarkösz triology (Kohntarkosz Anteria or K.A., Köhntarkösz and Ëmëhntëhtt-Ré) and the Theusz Hamtaahk triology (Theusz Hamtaahk, Mekanïk Destruktïw Kommandöh or M.D.K and Wurdah Ïtah). The third studio-album of MAGMA, M.D.K., is often seen as the genre defining Zeuhl album, whereas the first two MAGMA albums have stronger jazzrock/fusion leanings and less Orffian choir arrangements.

Being heavily disturbed by his vision, classically trained drummer and composer Christian VANDER formed the first version of MAGMA in 1969 in Paris as a means to give musical expression to his fears for humanity. With a small list of fusion and rhythm and blues musicians, among them some wind-players and one of MAGMA's mai...
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Buy MAGMA Music


Slag tanzSlag tanz
Import
Jazz Village 2015
Audio CD$7.62
$7.61 (used)
1.001 Centigrades [Vinyl]1.001 Centigrades [Vinyl]
Import
101 DISTRIBUTION 2009
Vinyl$32.66
Zuhn Wol Unsai: Live 1974Zuhn Wol Unsai: Live 1974
MADE IN GERMANY MUSI 2014
Audio CD$11.99
$12.08 (used)
Mekanik Destruktiw KommandohMekanik Destruktiw Kommandoh
Jazz Village 2015
Vinyl$19.98
Emehntehtt-ReEmehntehtt-Re
Import
Imports 2014
Audio CD$12.80
$20.12 (used)
Riah SahiltaahkRiah Sahiltaahk
Jazz Village 2014
Vinyl$14.68
$25.00 (used)
Félicité ThöszFélicité Thösz
Import
Jazz Village 2015
Vinyl$16.45
TrilogyTrilogy
Box set
Snapper UK 2012
Audio CD$12.22
$12.00 (used)
Mekanik Destruktiw KommandohMekanik Destruktiw Kommandoh
Import
Imports 2003
Audio CD$27.49
$20.00 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Riah Sahiltaahk [Digipak] by Magma (France) (CD, Sep-2014, Jazz Village) USD $9.00 Buy It Now 38m 39s
Emehntehtt-Re by Magma (France) (CD, Jan-2013, Seventh Records) USD $13.25 Buy It Now 4h
To Love by Christian Vander (CD 7th Records) Magma USD $5.00 Buy It Now 4h 2m
les cygnes et les corbeaux by Christian Vander (CD 7th) Magma USD $9.75 Buy It Now 4h 2m
Nordheim,Arne - Tenebrae Magma (CD New) USD $16.48 Buy It Now 6h 21m
Magma , Christian Vander - Merci (LP, Album) USD $39.00 Buy It Now 8h 24m
VANDERTOP Paris '76 CD (Magma, Zeuhl, prog, RARE Utopic Records release) USD $44.99 Buy It Now 9h 7m
MAGMA-RIAH SAHILTAAHK-CD JAZZ VILLA NEW USD $14.89 Buy It Now 10h 2m
MAGMA-ZUHN WOL UNSAI: LIVE 1974-CD (2) MADE IN GERMANY MUSI NEW USD $16.89 Buy It Now 10h 6m
US 1976 LP ZAO / Kawana MAGMA HELDON Free Shipping to your country USD $44.99 Buy It Now 16h 43m
Magma:Kohntarkosz Promo Box[Japan Mini-LP no cd christian vander univeria zekt Q USD $25.00 [1 bids]
17h 9m
Magma:Udu Wudu Promo Box [Japan Mini-LP no cd christian vander univeria zekt Q USD $20.00 [0 bids]
17h 9m
Faces Status Quo PFM Magma Genesis Alex Harvey Rory Gallagher 1973 Programme USD $227.41 Buy It Now 17h 57m
CD Magma Les Voix Concert 1992 Douarnenez zeuhl prog jazz rock vocals USD $4.25 [2 bids]
19h 14m
ARNE NORDHEIM - TENEBRAE MAGMA [CD NEW] USD $14.71 Buy It Now 19h 24m
TROC s/t NEW RM CD 70s French fusion prog psych MAGMA EMBRYO USD $9.99 [0 bids]
20h 49m
ZABU my coffin's ready RARE MAGMA LP THELEME / KILLER BLUES PROG LP USD $99.00 [0 bids]
21h 14m
LATTE E MIELE Aquile E Scoiattoli LP MAGMA Orig ITALIAN Prog RARE USD $150.90 [0 bids]
22h 29m
ESKATON Fiction LP PRIVATE French Press PROG Magma Influenced TOP COPY! RARE USD $225.90 [0 bids]
22h 29m
NORDHEIM / OSLO PHILHARMONIC ORCH / MORK - TENEBRAE: MAGMA NEW CD USD $21.92 Buy It Now 22h 55m
KAYO DOT Blue Lambency Downward CD prog maudlin of the well magma Univers Zero USD $13.98 Buy It Now 23h 26m
MAGMA RÏAH SAHÏLTAAHK JAPAN NOT MINI LP CD USD $24.99 [0 bids]
23h 37m
La STPO "Les Liquidateurs" (art zoyd magma volcano the bear henry cow) USD $8.34 [6 bids]
23h 56m
Magma Udu Wudu CD 1996 Charly Records Christian Vander USD $4.55 [0 bids]
1 day
MAGMA Kobaia 1970 2 LP orig 1st Press Philips FRENCH PROG ACID PSYCH - EXC shape USD $79.99 [0 bids]
1 day
LASRY TEDDY Tarzoon La Honte De La Jungle EUROPEAN GROOVE MAGMA OST SOUNDTRACK USD $20.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Magma 2001 - Bum Bum Baby - Radiant - 2000 #269699 USD $4.53 Buy It Now 1 day
MAGMA (FRANCE) - TRILOGY [DIGIPAK] * - NEW CD BOXSET USD $21.80 Buy It Now 1 day
Christian Vander - Offering A Fiieh CD (1993) Prog Rock Magma USD $24.25 Buy It Now 1 day
Christian Vander Trio - Jour Apres Jour CD (1990) Prog Rock Magma USD $24.25 Buy It Now 1 day
Magma - Udu Wudu CD (1990) Prog Rock 1976 (Christian Vander) USD $15.15 Buy It Now 1 day
MAGMA MEKANIK DESTRUKTIW KOMMANDOH PROMO LP ON A & M 1973 EX USD $120.00 Buy It Now 1 day
ONDA VAGA-MAGMA ELEMENTAL-JAPAN CD BONUS TRACK E75 USD $22.50 Buy It Now 1 day
Mini LPCD RICHARD PINHAS / Iceland + 1 HELDON MAGMA USD $15.00 Buy It Now 2 days
MiniLPCD Patrick Gauthier ?/ Bébé Godzilla HELDON MAGMA ANGE USD $15.00 Buy It Now 2 days
Mini LPCD RICHARD PINHAS / Chronolyse HELDON MAGMA ANGE USD $15.00 Buy It Now 2 days
MAGMA (FRANCE) - SLAG TANZ [DIGIPAK] - NEW CD USD $11.15 Buy It Now 2 days
Christian Vander Offering III (CD 7th) Magma USD $15.00 Buy It Now 2 days
MAGMA - EMEHMTEHTT-RE CD NEW+ USD $24.63 Buy It Now 2 days
MAGMA - EMEHMTEHTT-RE CD NEW+ USD $24.63 Buy It Now 2 days
ART ZOYD - SYMPHONIE POUR LE JOUR FRENCH PROG LP UNIVERS ZERO MAGMA ZEUHL USD $30.00 Buy It Now 2 days
ZAO: Z=7L - REIS of RARE FRENCH JAZZY-PROG 1st LP 1973 w/ x-MAGMA members SEALED USD $39.99 Buy It Now 2 days
GRAND MAL Jibber The Kibber 12" 2 Track White Label Promo B/w Ride UK Magma USD $7.95 Buy It Now 2 days
UNIVERS ZERO Relaps: Archives 1984-1986 2LP dark Belgian chamber prog Magma NEW USD $27.00 Buy It Now 3 days
Heldon- Allez Teia (SHM-CD) (Richard pinhas,Magma, Zao,Ose,patrick gauthier) USD $32.99 Buy It Now 3 days
Trilogy - 3 DISC SET - Magma (2012, CD New) USD $24.20 Buy It Now 3 days
Zabu-My Coffin's Ready French prog cd Magma related USD $18.99 Buy It Now 3 days
Attahk by Magma (CD 1989 Tomato) IMPORT Christian Vander USD $9.99 Buy It Now 3 days
MAGMA-SLAG TANZ-CD JAZZ VILLA NEW USD $14.89 Buy It Now 3 days
Arne Nordheim - Tenebrae Magma CD USD $22.69 Buy It Now 3 days
MAGMA - ZUHN WOL UNSAI LIVE 1974 (IMPORT) NEW CD USD $62.97 Buy It Now 3 days
Magma - Magma - Mythes et Legendes Vol 4 [DVD] - VD7 USD $44.52 Buy It Now 3 days
ULTRA RARE FRENCH AVANT GARDE PSYCH PROG LP MAGMA MYTHES ET LEGENDES 1970-1980 USD $54.99 Buy It Now 3 days
Magma Live French Prog Jazz Rock 1985 Reissue German Press 2LP Vinyl USD $44.91 Buy It Now 3 days
"FUSION" CD by LOCKWOOD TOP VANDER WIDEMANN magma USD $37.91 [1 bids]
3 days
VARIOUS "Enneade" LP ( Magma, Eskaton , Eider Stellaire , Francois Cahen ) USD $37.91 [0 bids]
3 days
DANIEL DENIS "Les Eaux Troubles" CD magma univers zero USD $15.17 [0 bids]
3 days
Magma - Udu Wudu Cassette - SEALED - NEW COPY - Prog Rock USD $11.99 Buy It Now 3 days
MAGMA-LIVE-UTOPIA-1975-ORIGINAL-GATEFOLD-NM-FREE JAZZ-ART ROCK 2 LP USD $17.99 [0 bids]
3 days
MAGMA ALBUM & TOUR DATES ADVERT 15X7" USD $10.62 Buy It Now 4 days
KOURTYL JAPAN CD STELLA VANDER MAGMA FRENCH PROG SEAL USD $24.94 Buy It Now 4 days
MAGMA**EMEHNTEHTT-RE**CD USD $15.95 Buy It Now 4 days
MAGMA MERCI RARE OOP CD USD $14.99 Buy It Now 4 days
Magma - Zuhn Wol Unsai: Live 1974 USD $17.71 Buy It Now 4 days
WOLSKI, Michat - Magma EP - 12" USD $14.94 Buy It Now 4 days
JOHNNY DEI TRITONS - Sweet Sweet Love Psychedelic-Disco-Prog 7 '76 Magma °HEAR° USD $15.00 [0 bids]
4 days
15/6/74Pgn15 Magma, Kohntarkosz & Tour Dates Advert 15x10" USD $15.15 Buy It Now 4 days
COMBAT ASTRONOMY Dreams No Longer Hesitate CD prog/jazz metal Godflesh Magma NEW USD $11.99 Buy It Now 4 days
MAGMA "Mekanik Destruktiw Kommandoh" A&M Records #SP-4397 (1973) USA Promo Copy USD $199.99 Buy It Now 4 days
Koshi Inaba (B'z) / Magma [CD 1997] Japan CD USD $12.99 Buy It Now 4 days
Christian VANDER To Love CD Seventh Magma Piano & Vocals Jazz Rock Prog USD $13.50 Buy It Now 4 days
Press Cutting/Advert : 15/6/74Pg31 MAGMA, KOHNTARKOSZ Album & Tour 15X12 Poster USD $15.17 Buy It Now 5 days
Press Cutting/Advert : 8/6/74Pg12 MAGMA, KOHNTARKOSZ & Concert Tour 15X12 Poste USD $15.17 Buy It Now 5 days
PAGA Group Haunted CD 1988 INDIE Prog Bernard Paganotti WEIDORJE MAGMA USD $149.00 Buy It Now 5 days
MAGMA- Mëkanïk Dëstruktï? Kömmandöh 1974 full page press ad USD $7.57 Buy It Now 5 days
Yochk'o SEFFER- My Old Roots (musea) (MAGMA, ZAO, NEFFESH MUSIC) USD $19.99 Buy It Now 5 days
Felicite Thosz - Magma New & Sealed DVD Free Shipping USD $24.97 Buy It Now 5 days
FLYING LUTTENBACHERS Destroy All Music Revisited CD avant thrash no wave magma USD $14.99 Buy It Now 5 days
FLYING LUTTENBACHERS Gods Of Chaos CD avant thrash no wave magma orthrelm PROG USD $14.99 Buy It Now 5 days
FLYING LUTTENBACHERS Revenge CD avant thrash no wave magma orthrelm hatewave NEW USD $14.99 Buy It Now 5 days
Christian Vander - Magma Live (Live Recording, 2001) USD $6.85 Buy It Now 5 days
MAGMA FRANCE Press Japan Inserts 1995 NM 2-CD MAGMA LIVE USD $49.99 Buy It Now 6 days
Zao- Ethnics 3 live (Magma, Speed Limit) USD $18.99 Buy It Now 6 days
Zao- live in tokyo (Magma, Speed Limit) USD $18.99 Buy It Now 6 days
Zao- live (Magma, Speed Limit) USD $18.99 Buy It Now 6 days
Heldon- Third (2CD) (SHM) ( Mini Lp) (Weidorje,Richard Pinhas, Magma, Schizo) USD $39.99 Buy It Now 6 days
Magma vinyl LP album record Inedits French TP10001 TAPIOCA 1977 USD $81.82 Buy It Now 6 days
Theusz Hamtaahk Trilogy - 3 DISC SET - Magma (2014, CD New) USD $39.22 Buy It Now 6 days
Inedits - Magma (2006, CD New) USD $21.22 Buy It Now 6 days
MAGMA**MERCI (180 G/WITH DOWNLOAD)**VINYL USD $20.50 Buy It Now 6 days
Magma - Theusz Hamtaahk Trilogy [CD New] USD $65.69 Buy It Now 6 days
MAGMA - INEDITS NEW CD USD $34.75 Buy It Now 6 days
MAGMA - THEUSZ HAMTAAHK TRILOGY (UK) NEW CD USD $69.38 Buy It Now 6 days
(CD) Mekanïk Kommandöh - Magma / French ProgRock / [Seventh Records ] USD $21.99 Buy It Now 6 days
Upsilon Acrux - Last Train Out CD SEALED/NEW magma prog math rock zeul henry cow USD $9.99 Buy It Now 7 days
SCULPTURED Embodiment CD prog-metal agalloch maudlin of the well kayo dot magma USD $13.98 Buy It Now 7 days
SLEEPYTIME GORILLA MUSEUM In Glorious Times CD Univers Zero RIO PROG magma NEW USD $13.98 Buy It Now 7 days
SAX RUINS Blimmguass CD extreme Japanese prog zeuhl Koenjihyakkei zu magma guapo USD $14.98 Buy It Now 7 days
RUINS ALONE s/t CD extreme Japanese prog zeuhl magma Koenjihyakkei boredoms NEW USD $14.98 Buy It Now 7 days
Tenebrae: Magma, Nordheim, Arne, , Very Good USD $13.83 Buy It Now 7 days
CD rock duo magma
MAGMA
~ USD $16.06


More places to buy MAGMA music online Buy MAGMA & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
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MAGMA shows & tickets


  • Gouveia Art Rock 2015 on 1 May 2015
  • Magma at Le Triton, Les Lilas on 5 May 2015
  • Magma on 7 May 2015
  • Magma at Cadogan Hall, London on 8 May 2015
  • Festival Musique Actuelle Victoriaville 2015 on 14 May 2015
  • Magma at La Bam, Metz on 22 May 2015
  • Magma at Ferté Jazz, La ferté sous jouarre on 23 May 2015
  • THE ENDLESS TOUR IN JAPAN 2015 on 3 Jun 2015
  • THE ENDLESS TOUR IN JAPAN 2015 on 4 Jun 2015
  • THE ENDLESS TOUR IN JAPAN 2015 on 5 Jun 2015
  • Silesia in Love 2015 on 4 Jul 2015
  • Oeno Music Festival on 10 Jul 2015
  • Zappanale #26 on 16 Jul 2015

MAGMA discography


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

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

4.04 | 323 ratings
Magma (Kobaïa)
1970
4.13 | 307 ratings
1001° Centigrades
1971
4.31 | 673 ratings
Mëkanïk Dëstruktïẁ Kömmandöh
1973
4.09 | 351 ratings
Köhntarkösz
1974
4.20 | 249 ratings
Ẁurdah Ïtah (Christian Vander)
1974
3.75 | 295 ratings
Üdü Ẁüdü
1976
3.70 | 257 ratings
Attahk
1978
2.52 | 153 ratings
Merci
1984
3.79 | 81 ratings
Mëkanïk Kömmandöh
1989
4.29 | 485 ratings
K.A
2004
4.17 | 401 ratings
Ëmëhntëhtt-Ré
2009
4.06 | 281 ratings
Félicité Thösz
2012

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

4.44 | 179 ratings
Live/Hhaï (Köhntark)
1975
3.11 | 37 ratings
Inédits
1977
3.98 | 62 ratings
Retrospektïẁ III
1981
4.56 | 93 ratings
Retrospektïẁ I-II
1981
4.02 | 18 ratings
Concert 1992, Douarnenez:
1992
3.33 | 30 ratings
Concert Bobino 1981
1995
2.61 | 17 ratings
Concert 1971, Bruxelles - Théâtre 140
1996
4.40 | 20 ratings
Concert 1975, Toulouse - Théâtre Du Taur
1996
4.17 | 36 ratings
Concert 1976, Opéra De Reims
1996
4.26 | 41 ratings
BBC 1974 - Londres
1999
4.53 | 60 ratings
Theusz Hamtaahk - Trilogie
2001
4.10 | 24 ratings
Bourges 1979
2008
3.20 | 11 ratings
Live In Tokyo
2009
4.00 | 20 ratings
Zühn Wöhl Ünsaï - Live 1974
2014

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

4.50 | 18 ratings
Concert Bobino 1981
1995
4.27 | 32 ratings
Theusz Hamtaahk - Trilogie Au Trianon
2001
4.37 | 44 ratings
Mythes Et Légendes, Volume I
2006
4.39 | 44 ratings
Mythes Et Légendes, Volume II
2006
4.80 | 53 ratings
Mythes Et Légendes, Volume III
2007
4.84 | 48 ratings
Mythes Et Légendes, Volume IV
2008
4.61 | 18 ratings
Mythes Et Légendes, Epok V
2013

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

3.75 | 11 ratings
Mythes Et Légendes
1985
2.61 | 9 ratings
Kompila
1997
3.87 | 13 ratings
Simples
1998
1.95 | 13 ratings
Spiritual
2002
2.57 | 12 ratings
Über Kommandoh
2004
4.38 | 8 ratings
Archiw I & II
2008
0.00 | 0 ratings
Mythes Et Legendes (Box Set)
2008
4.90 | 47 ratings
Studio Zünd
2009
3.26 | 8 ratings
Trilogy
2012
0.00 | 0 ratings
45 Ans De Creation Hors des Sentiers Battus
2014

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

4.20 | 5 ratings
Kobaia/Mûh
1970
0.00 | 0 ratings
Hamtaak / Tendeï Kobah
1971
4.20 | 5 ratings
Mekanïk Kommando / Klaus Kömbälad
1972
4.57 | 7 ratings
Mekanïk Machine/Köhntarkosz
1974
0.00 | 0 ratings
Lïhns / Hhaï
1975
0.00 | 0 ratings
Spiritual
1978
0.00 | 0 ratings
Retrovision
1981
2.29 | 7 ratings
Ooh Ooh Baby / Otis
1985
3.92 | 31 ratings
Floë Ëssi / Ëktah
1998
4.00 | 1 ratings
K.A - Extraits - Edition Radio
2004
3.98 | 22 ratings
Rïah Sahïltaahk
2014
4.10 | 23 ratings
Slaǧ Tanƶ
2015

MAGMA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 K.A by MAGMA album cover Studio Album, 2004
4.29 | 485 ratings

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K.A
Magma Zeuhl

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

5 stars 'K.A' - Magma (96/100)

I wasn't aware of Magma when K.A (otherwise known as Kohntarkosz Anteria came out in 2006, and even had I been, I doubt I would have been able to appreciate the magnitude and significance of their comeback. The overlords of Zeuhl had remained silent for decades; the interregnum between K.A and the infamous pop attempt Merci in 1984 had seen the emergence of plenty of would-be Zeuhl and otherwise Magma-influenced bands, but suspicious little from Vander and co. It's been over a decade now since K.A came out, and it still strikes me with a bit of amazement that Magma were able to go so long without releasing anything of substance, and return with their most beautiful, energetic and impressive, yet undeniably accessible album to date. Ranking it within Magma's own accomplishments isn't enough to testify to its quality however; this is one of the greatest albums I have had the pleasure of hearing, in Zeuhl, in avant-garde and progressive rock, in adventurous music in general. The prospect of comeback albums usually entails something half-baked and dated. A surprise achievement like K.A is virtually unheard of.

Calling it a true comeback might not be entirely accurate; band mastermind Christian Vander had written most of the music in the midst of Magma's most prolific and successful years. Why he decided to sit on the music for half a lifetime is beyond me; needless to say, it's a good thing he finally decided to let the cat out of the bag. K.A is a considerably livelier album than Mekanik Destruktiw Kommandoh or Kohntarkosz. Where M.D.K was slow to start, K.A hits its full stride in less than a minute; following a soft entrance, Magma lets loose a surge of cosmic chamber rock, replete with the feminine choral arrangements and cerebral grooves the band have earned their reputation on. In many ways, K.A is a manifestation of Magma at their most accessible. Without having streamlined or cheapened the depth, they distilled some of the more jarring elements of their execution, namely the dissonant antics and caterwauling. The screechy parts of Magma's sound were a large part of why it took me so long to warm up to them, even when their talent was readily apparent to me. The band's signature blend of alien operatic fusion will still likely make for some uneasy digestion for newcomers, but given that Magma are-- if nothing else-- known for their eldritch and challenging material, that comes with the territory.

I'll offer a lapse of my authority as a reviewer by openly admitting I have little idea what the concept or 'story' of Magma's music is all about, much less this particular chapter. From what I understand, it's some apocalyptic saga of the planet Kobaia; the French have always had a cunning grasp of sci-fi pulp and space opera. While M.D.K gave the martial impression of a fleet preparing for war, K.A is much more optimistic, as if the planet Kobaia were celebrating some unlikely victory. Although there's not a lot of semantic sense to be made from the Kobaian language, there is an expanse of feeling in the voices. Magma's vocal arrangements tend to hum around a repeated choral motif, with a lead voice guiding things along. In many ways, the stars of the show are the female voices. Stella Vander, Isabelle Feuillebois and Himiko Paganotti are quick to grab my attention, not by the strength or 'hook' of their melodies, but the wealth they've invested in their harmonies.

Magma love to turn to repetition when they've got a good thing going on-- a focus on melody may have served to wear the ideas out, but close attention reveals that the harmonies are constantly in motion. There are several times throughout the three movements where I noticed the band returning to, and completely refreshing a past motif by the merit of an added voice, a shift in focus, an ever-so-slight change in the harmony. Part of what sets has long set Magma apart from so many of their contemporaries (and inevitably, has made their style that much more alienating) is the sense that they don't dissociate the vocals from the composition. Where most rock n' rollers see vocals as a guide above the sea of instruments, the vocals here are another instrument.

Zeuhl has been a tricky thing for me to get into over the years. If the way I've fumbled through this review is any indicator, the genre itself is pretty hard to pin down, and virtually any discussion of Magma and their acolytes should come with the caveat that their music is not for the faint of heart. Regardless, I am incredibly glad I finally managed to get into their music. While their appeal baffled me throughout high school, I do wonder if I would have had an easier time getting into them had I been introduced via K.A. Even beyond the album's context as a 'comeback', this is Magma at some of their most inspired and passionate. Where other albums of theirs have usually demanded at least a few listens before I start to appreciate them, this one was love at first listen. And unlike so much of the instantly gratifying art out there, this album has never seen fit to lose its magic for me. The connection has only grown with the passing of seasons and subsequent listens. To be honest, it's rare that an album hits me with the emotional force of K.A. The three movements flow together virtually seamlessly; although my cynical side might like to criticize the third act for being a little more longwinded, less compelling than the first two, the journey Magma takes with this album feels just about flawless, if not in the perfect technical sense, then certainly in an emotional one.

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 Merci by MAGMA album cover Studio Album, 1984
2.52 | 153 ratings

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Merci
Magma Zeuhl

Review by coldwhitesky

4 stars When I first heard this album I was a bit put off, I didn't hate it, but it didn't really make me want to listen to it more. Maybe it was how the sound related in some way to music I've heard before that I didn't appreciate. Nonetheless as I kept growing so to did my perception of this music, although this album deviates from the celestial sound we know, It is ZEUHL. If you listen with an unbiased ear, you can feel an energy equal to that of previous material. For me MAGMA is about expanding what we already know, to think up new things and grow, to purify the soul and to enlighten the mind, this album does not deviate from that. Starting with Call From the Dark, the sound is quite familiar for its time, but with musicianship fitting for Magma. The lyrics deal with the feeling of being in love. The next track, Otis, is a tribute to Otis Redding. The melodies on this track are quite captivating, radiating beauty. Softer then what is typical of MAGMA, but rich nonetheless. The next track, Do the Music is much more familiar, Good drums, everything feels well tied together. I'd go as far as to say this track is one of my favorite by MAGMA. "Otis(ending)" is a short slowed down version of a melody in Otis, accompanied by an organ. The next track, "I Must Return" could almost be cheesy, but somehow MAGMA always adds that extra thing to make the music alive, so it escapes being cheesy. The lyrical content in this track deal with dying and the beyond, metaphysics, returning to the core. themes that seem to fit this kind of music. Eliphas Levi, the 6th track, is a calming 11 minute track with emphasis on Flute, Piano and vocals, I don't have much to say about it beyond that. The last track, "the Night We Died" starts with a Kobaian version of a melody in"I Must Return" accompanied by piano, then drifts into the rest of the song, which turns into something quite dissonant and ambient, The song title is fitting for a beautiful expression of death and life. To conclude, I think this album is quite underrated. When listening with an open mind and heart its easy to find substance here, but it definitely deviates from the MAGMA people are used to.

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 Mëkanïk Dëstruktïẁ Kömmandöh by MAGMA album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.31 | 673 ratings

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Mëkanïk Dëstruktïẁ Kömmandöh
Magma Zeuhl

Review by JJLehto
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Generally considered the best, or at least definitive, Magma you won't find any disagreement from me.

MDK is a departure from their first albums which were more like jazz rock and moves into the genre of "Zeuhl". What exactly that is...I'd say it's best to just listen for yourself and give it a try, but for the sake of this review I'll just say MDK is symphonic, jazzy, prog rock in a made up language.

This made up language is common to almost all Magma albums, and while this is a hold up to some, I feel it's no different than scat singing: The words are not what matters, but the sound. The vocals, over lyrics, how it fits the music, which it does superbly. The vocals are orchestral, intense, often crazy, but passionate and emotive. Which is what can be said of the album album. It is undeniably insane, ridiculous and over the top but it's equally passionate and emotive. This is an intense album without doubt. Oh, and sure I know there is a story to this album and Magma in general, of which we know some details, but frankly I don't bother and just enjoy the music.

The album has a great flow to it as the songs move seamlessly, it is more of an overall than individual song experience, but some standouts in my book are Hortz Fur Dëhn Stekëhn Ẁest, Da Zeuhl Ẁortz Mëkanïk and Mëkanïk Kömmandöh.

So, there's not much else to say about this album and no better way to understand it than trying it yourself. Just take it for what it is and you will find this is an ambitious, innovative, fun, powerful album packed with feeling, (something I think often lacks in prog, much as I love prog) superb song writing, and Vander's epic drumming. Operatic classical mixed with jazz and built in a prog rock style, this is one wallop of an album!

FIVE STARS

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 Üdü Ẁüdü by MAGMA album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.75 | 295 ratings

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Üdü Ẁüdü
Magma Zeuhl

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

4 stars Another development for MAGMA after the space opera in the form of the Theusz Hamtaahk Triology had run its course. While many of the previous styles and sounds can be heard sparingly on ÜDÜ ẀÜDÜ, this is a much less busy affair with only a few of the many musicians on the album taking part in any particular track. The star of this album is Jannick Top who delivers the funkiest and most in-yer-face bass lines that occur on any MAGMA album. He also handles the brass arrangements and synths as well leaving his indelible stamp on this album that sounds like no other.

The title track begins the album and has the most musicians participating and to be honest is my least favorite track on the album. The repetitive piano roll with the call and response Kobaian vocals with a nice jazzy sax appearing sounds like MAGMA making a tribute to African ritual music or something with its unrelenting rhythms. The problem for me is that it just doesn't do much with all the sounds going on and seems like a four minute group drone of some kind. The same is also true of the second track "Weidorje" which has a weak groove and vocal phrasings that i find really boring. Not a good start.

Luckily everything changes for the better with the brilliant third track "Tröller Tanz (Ghost Dance)" which starts with a cool synth run followed by an infectious bass groove with awesome interaction between the keyboards. The synth run has a haunting oscillating effect that actually sounds like haunting ghosts. This effect is heard from here on and adds a very effective spookiness to the mix including the other Ghost Dance of "Zombies" that also has a nice dissonant jazziness to it.

Most tracks are short and to the point but there is one progressive behemoth in the form of "De Futura." I wouldn't exactly call it more progressive than the other tracks, i would simply call it longer. It utilizes the exact same formula with beefy groovy double bass lines, oscillating ghost sounds and alternating themes and tempos, and basically it pretty much takes different songs and sows them together into an 18 minute monster that morphs into another track instead of being separate. It is the perfect way to end the album. Another successful MAGMA release in my book and although not as perfect as others, still quite a worthy addition.

I was surprised by the addition of"Ëmëhntëht-Rê (extrait no. 2)" as a final track until i realized it's a bonus track on the CD, but since it sounds more like the operatic craziness from MDK it is a nice reminder just how different ÜDÜ ẀÜDÜ is in comparison and how lucky we are to get a band that can not only invent a progressive rock sub genre out of the sonic boiling pots of jazz, classical and rock but that they can reinvent it with every move they make. Although MAGMA would not continue this sound beyond this sole album, keyboardist Patrick Gauthier and bassist Bernard Paganotti would leave MAGMA to carry it on with their own group Weidorje which not only took on the sound but the name from the track as well, and i personally think they did an excellent job at perfecting this style of zeuhl.

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 Slaǧ Tanƶ by MAGMA album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2015
4.10 | 23 ratings

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Slaǧ Tanƶ
Magma Zeuhl

Review by floflo79

4 stars After the cool re recording of Rïah Sahiltaak (I remember the name !), Magma came back with a studio recording of a live piece called Slag Tanz. The music is in the pure tradition of Magma. Dissonant, complex time signatures, vocals in kobaïan... Logic, it's Magma. The musicians are very skilled as always, and the drum work of Vander is outstanding. For me, the highlights of the album are : the trilogy Dümb, Vers La Nuit, Dümblaë - Le Silence Des Mondes, the song Slag and the furious Zü Zaïn. In fact, all the album is very cool. But it's too short. 20 minutes for an album ! They should put an album with the re recording of Rîah Sahiltaak on the side A, and Slag Tanz on the side B. But I don't have to tell Vander how to make his job. Great stuff, excellent addition to any prog rock collection. Four stars.

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 Slaǧ Tanƶ by MAGMA album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2015
4.10 | 23 ratings

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Slaǧ Tanƶ
Magma Zeuhl

Review by jazz2896

5 stars Alright, here's the one all the Magma fans have been waiting for for quite some time now, and the question is, has the wait been justified? They've been playing this piece live since around 2009, and it has slowly morphed into the piece it is today. Bits have been chopped off, bits have been added, and does it work? Well for me, the answer to that is a resounding "yes". On my initial hearing, I didn't quite know what to make of it. It was certainly different than the live versions I had heard, it seemed to be lacking the sheer metal brutality of its live predecessor on Epok V, and I took this to be a weakness. Yet, there was still something in there that brought me back to it. After many listens, my ears have definitely warmed up to the sound of it, it is definitely less raw and metallic than the live version, but it is just as effective. This piece is very dense and episodic, alternating flawlessly between dark and heavy to angelic beauty. In other words, the piece is constantly moving itself forward, there is very little downtime; boring is the last word one could use to describe it. What it may lack in brutality, it makes up for with intensity and power. What I find most striking about this piece is its genius use of it's main, pulsating 5/4 bass riff (sort of like De Futura). The riff is present throughout nearly the entire piece, and yet it morphs to fit the mood of whichever section of the piece it's in. This riff lies under both heavy, dark passages as well as the light, melodic ones, and I believe this is where the genius of this piece lies; the ability to take this single riff, and flesh it out into a beautiful and powerful 20 minute piece. This is the very definition of fully fleshing out a single idea. Yes, I did say only 20 minutes, but the quality totally exceeds the quanitity. Vander's been working on this piece for years, he wouldn't release it as an unfinished work, he doesn't seem to be the one to take short cuts. Highly recommended.

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 Zühn Wöhl Ünsaï - Live 1974 by MAGMA album cover Live, 2014
4.00 | 20 ratings

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Zühn Wöhl Ünsaï - Live 1974
Magma Zeuhl

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This really makes for an excellent companion record with their live "BBC 1974-Londres" album. The London sessions were recorded about a month after this Radio Brememn recording from Germany and feature the exact same lineup. Nice thing too is that only one track is featured on both albums, that being "Theusz Hamtaahk". This one is a double cd release with both discs clocking in at around 45 minutes which is just right in my opinion. The lineup here features Vander on drums, Top on bass, Blasquiz on vocals, Olmos on guitar and Graillier and Bikialo on keyboards. Sort of a stripped down lineup I suppose with Stella not being part of it as well.

"Sowiloi(Soi Soi)" is like a slow burn as it never really breaks out like you would anticipate. Sparse piano, cymbals and more are added but it's still very laid back early on. Vocals before 2 1/2 minutes then it all picks up about a minute later. It then settles back before 6 minutes. I like this section a lot, it's building. So good! The fuzzed out bass especially. The guitar is killer later on. Great track! "MDK" is a 35 minute version but it is divided into six parts. The first section builds like a slow moving train. High pitched vocals join in then it seems to settle in around 2 1/2 minutes with normal sounding vocals. It's kind of odd hearing the CAMEL-like guitar after 6 minutes, nice bass though. The second part puts the focus on the drumming and vocals. Guitar to the fore after 2 1/2 minutes. Piano is good too. I love the third section with the electric piano and fuzzed out bass. Some passionate vocal expressions late. Part four builds as the vocals dominate along with drums and piano. Great sound on part five early on. Such a cool atmosphere as piano and cymbals lead. A change after 4 minutes as it turns more intense but not for long. The final section continues where the last section left off with the focus on the vocals and it's an uptempo piece.

The second disc starts off with "Korusz" and it's pretty much a Vander drum solo throughout. It's interesting though and quite laid back at times. Some strange vocal expressions too. A big applause when it ends."Theusz Hamaahk" is the almost 26 minute closer. A frantic intro but it settles down quickly. It stays laid back with vocals to match with several outbursts. A change around 13 minutes as we get some intricate guitar along with electric piano and cymbals. A beautiful section. It kicks back in after 16 minutes and the vocals are more passionate as well. An intense instrumental section starts 17 1/2 minutes in. So good! Vocals are back after 19 minutes. The guitar comes to the forefront before 23 minutes but the vocals still dominate until the final 2 minutes(all-instrumental) arrive which is such a great way to end the album.

Easily 4 stars and the German audience seems to be in wonder with what they are seeing and hearing on this 6th day of February 1974. It was a free concert too by the way. Killer sound as usual from the Radio Bremen people.

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 Köhntarkösz by MAGMA album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.09 | 351 ratings

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Köhntarkösz
Magma Zeuhl

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

4 stars I may bemoan, as may others, the fact that MAGMA didn't repeat a certain formula because we really loved an album, but one thing is for sure: this band really knows how to keep things innovative and interesting by adding just enough of what came before but still really throwing your expectations out the window. This is the case for KÖHNTARKÖSZ, the fifth studio album by zeuhl innovators and Kobaians fronted by none other than the star of the show Christian Vander.

Basically MAGMA takes the approach of "Ẁurdah Ïtah" and presents a more fluffy and friendly sound. While that album was a stripped down to a quartet, this one actually has seven musicians on board, yet it sounds more reserved. The album basically consists of two sprawling title tracks (Part 1 &2) plus two shorter tracks. This album is also technically the first of another trilogy which includes "K.A. (Köhntarkösz Anteria)" (2004), and "Ëmëhntëhtt-Rê "(2009). Whatever the theme may be is beyond me and like all MAGMA albums doesn't really matter.

This album has a slow repetitive feel to most of it. Once the teapot starts boiling it is quite exciting, but there is a lot of building up to get to these points and although Vander has had a long love affair with John Coltrane and cited him as one of his major influences, I had never really heard it in MAGMA music until the tribute called "Coltrane Sundia" on this album. Overall, another great album but I do like this one less than the previous ones.

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 Ẁurdah Ïtah (Christian Vander) by MAGMA album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.20 | 249 ratings

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Ẁurdah Ïtah (Christian Vander)
Magma Zeuhl

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

5 stars ẀURDAH ÏTAH is a strange little album in the MAGMA discography. It was originally released as a Christian Vander solo album as the soundtrack for Yvan Lagrange's avant-garde take on "Tristan et Iseult." The album has always been considered a MAGMA album by fans and is now released only as ẀURDAH ÏTAH (Kobaian for "dead Earth"). It's also strange (as are most MAGMA albums) in that despite being released in 1974 after "Mëkanïk Dëstruktïẁ Kömmandöh (MDK)" it is the second movement in the Theusz Hamtaahk Trilogy, while MDK is the third and final one. The first is "Theusz Hamtaahk" itself which was only released live (now on Retrospektiw Parts I & II) but you know what? This is just the technical sorting out after the fact as far as i'm concerned. Listening to and enjoying any MAGMA album is not dependent on listening to another, in any particular sequence or otherwise.

This brilliant little beast as well as the following "Köhntarkösz" are important in the MAGMA world because they prove without a doubt that it doesn't take thirteen performers and an army of producers to create a MAGMA-nificent MAGMA-sterpiece. This album was reduced to a mere quartet (Stella Vander / vocals, Klaus Blasquiz / vocals, percussion, Jannick Top / bass, Christian Vander / drums, piano, Fender Rhodes, vocals) but delivers an epic and beautiful total reinvention of the mesmerizing zeuhl fully developed on MDK. While the basic idea is the same of repetitive zeuhl rhythms, everything else is tweaked and contorted to become a totally new species of this fledgling subgenre of progressive music. The operatic vocal styles incorporate myriad creative forms as do the instrumental parts. While MDK has a huge epic style, ẀURDAH ÏTAH has more of an intimate feel to it like you could go to some coffee house and hear this. I'm totally curious as to what kind of film the version of "Tristan et Iseult" is because it's hard to believe that any film could incorporate music this quirky and bizarre into it's story line!

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 Mëkanïk Dëstruktïẁ Kömmandöh by MAGMA album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.31 | 673 ratings

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Mëkanïk Dëstruktïẁ Kömmandöh
Magma Zeuhl

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

5 stars Although MAGMA had released two wonderful jazz-fusion albums and already invented the whole mythology revolving around the planet Kobaia for which drummer and band leader Christian Vander even created a fictitious language to articulate the vocal utterings that would augment the instrumental nature of the compositions, the sound suddenly changed from a frantic all-over-the-map approach that incorporated myriad influences to a more focused sound that simply utilizes the zeuhl sound as a basis which of course is of their own inventiveness that emerged on the very first album. MËKANÏK DËSTRUKTÏẁ KÖMMANDÖH came out in 1973 and to critical acclaim Nothing like this had emerged on the jazz rock scene not even from the Kobaians themselves.

MDK apparently tells the tale of a Kobaian prophet named Nebehr Gudahtt, who warms the human race that they are destroying their planet and have to change their naughty ways. When all is said and down the people rise against him and through throughout the album's ups and downs and twists and turns the people finally begin to adopt the ways of the Kobaians in order to redeem themselves. I'll have to accept that since i no speako Kobaian but it sounds like a logical story that is a mere segment of a much larger tale drawn out in the many album that MAGMA put out in the 70s.

The music is melodic and bombastic. To the max. This must have been some of the most ambitious music of the time even topping all the other progressive goodies that were coming out. Although the music is based on simple bass line cycles that incorporate two competing choirs that often sound like orgasmic ghosts, it is the sprinkling of jazzy parts, rock attitude and Carl Off a la "Carmina Burana" rhythmic phrasing that really puts a percussive punch in the whole thing. Musically this is akin to organic chemistry where long repetitive carbon chains create an extremely strong yet flexible backbone to support the smaller elements that cling onto it.

Upon first listen I thought this was too repetitious and I do like this a tad less than the first more chaotic albums with far more influences than this but this was a grower and has blossomed into an outstanding album in its own right. If you want one of the most over-the-top rock operas ever to grace not only planet Earth but apparently the entire Universe than you simply must experience MDK for there is nothing else even remotely like it not even within their own alien and eclectic discography.

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