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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


Riah SahiltaahkRiah Sahiltaahk
Import
Jazz Village 2014
Audio CD$10.39
$16.97 (used)
KobaiaKobaia
Import
Seventh Records 2013
Audio CD$26.04
$39.99 (used)
Mekanik Destruktiw KommandohMekanik Destruktiw Kommandoh
Import
Imports 2003
Audio CD$31.76
$23.95 (used)
Kohntarkosz Anteria K.A.Kohntarkosz Anteria K.A.
Import
Seventh Rec 2013
Audio CD$15.27
$13.61 (used)
Udu WuduUdu Wudu
Import
Indie Europe/Zoom 2003
Audio CD$6.51
$4.94 (used)
Emehntehtt-ReEmehntehtt-Re
Import
Imports 2014
Audio CD$15.32
$38.71 (used)
Zuhn Wol Unsai: Live 1974Zuhn Wol Unsai: Live 1974
MADE IN GERMANY MUSI 2014
Audio CD$14.70
$21.03 (used)
Slag tanzSlag tanz
Jazz Village 2015
Audio CD$13.98
AttahkAttahk
Import
Seventh Records 2013
Audio CD$12.85 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Symphony 4 Magma / Path & The Traces, Jarvi, Paavo, Acceptable USD $4.71 Buy It Now 1h 38m
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9h 19m
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ULTRA RARE FRENCH PROG MAGMA RELATED LP HENRI GOUGAUD CHANSON POUR LA VILLE USD $29.99 Buy It Now 1 day
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MAGMA - MEKANKIK KOMMANDOH-CD USD $0.99 [0 bids]
1 day
Magma ~ Mekanik Destruktiw Kommandoh ~ LP ~ (1973) ~ A&M SP-4397 ~ DJ USD $24.99 [0 bids]
1 day
Nordheim,Arne - Tenebrae Magma (CD New) USD $17.28 Buy It Now 1 day
MiniLPCD Patrick Gauthier ?/ Bébé Godzilla HELDON MAGMA ANGE USD $15.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Mini LPCD RICHARD PINHAS / Iceland + 1 HELDON MAGMA USD $15.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Mini LPCD RICHARD PINHAS / Chronolyse HELDON MAGMA ANGE USD $15.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Ark The Dreams Of Mr. Jones SEALED 1988 France CD Prog Heldon Jade Ange Magma USD $73.95 Buy It Now 1 day
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Giants of the Big Band Era: Les Brown by Les Brown (CD, 1994, Magma) USD $0.99 [0 bids]
USD $1.99 Buy It Now
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Giants of the Big Band Era: Stan Kenton by Stan Kenton (CD, 1994, Magma) USD $0.99 [0 bids]
USD $1.99 Buy It Now
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Island: s/t Empty Promo Box [Japan Mini-LP no cd dice zero univers atoll magma Q USD $60.00 Buy It Now 2 days
RARE 1973 HENRI GOUGAUD LP Chansons Pour La Ville - French Prog Zeul MAGMA USD $24.99 Buy It Now 2 days
MAGMA (FRANCE) - Z HN WOL SNSAI: LIVE 1974 [DIGIPAK] - NEW CD BOXSET USD $12.96 Buy It Now 2 days
27 cd dvd zeuhl Magma Paga Archaia Potemkine Zao Ruins Koenji Hyakkei Cos Rialzu USD $499.90 Buy It Now 2 days
Melmoth - La Devanture Des Ivresses cd 1969 Dashiell Hedayat Gong Magma MANTRA USD $85.90 Buy It Now 2 days
GRAND MAL Jibber The Kibber 12" 2 Track White Label Promo B/w Ride UK Magma USD $8.15 Buy It Now 2 days
NEW TROLLS L.I.V.E.N.T. MAGMA K22P 327 Japanese Pressing OBI Vinyl LP USD $0.99 [1 bids]
3 days
ONDA VAGA-MAGMA ELEMENTAL-JAPAN CD BONUS TRACK E75 USD $22.50 Buy It Now 3 days
MAGMA MEKANIK DESTRUKTIW KOMMANDOH PROMO LP ON A & M 1973 EX USD $120.00 Buy It Now 3 days
ARCHAIA CD 1998 Soleil Zeuhl PROG OOP (Magma, Weidorje, Zao, Pseu, Potemkine) USD $59.99 [0 bids]
USD $77.99 Buy It Now
3 days
ART ZOYD - SYMPHONIE POUR LE JOUR FRENCH PROG LP UNIVERS ZERO MAGMA ZEUHL USD $30.00 Buy It Now 3 days
KOURTYL JAPAN CD STELLA VANDER MAGMA FRENCH PROG SEAL USD $24.94 Buy It Now 3 days
Les Voix-Concert 1992 - Magma (2004, CD New) USD $25.85 Buy It Now 4 days
Magma vinyl LP album record Inedits French TP10001 TAPIOCA 1977 USD $83.89 Buy It Now 4 days
Magma - Les Voix-Concert 1992 [CD New] USD $38.69 Buy It Now 4 days
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MAGMA / Live, Japan 1st Press Paper Sleeve CD, SEALD, DEAD STOCK!!! USD $19.99 [0 bids]
4 days
UNIVERS ZERO Relaps: Archives 1984-1986 2LP dark Belgian chamber prog Magma NEW USD $27.00 Buy It Now 4 days
Heldon- Allez Teia (SHM-CD) (Richard pinhas,Magma, Zao,Ose,patrick gauthier) USD $36.99 Buy It Now 4 days
Trilogy - 3 DISC SET - Magma (2012, CD New) USD $25.79 Buy It Now 4 days
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Arne Nordheim - Tenebrae Magma CD USD $22.69 Buy It Now 4 days
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Snellione-Molten Magma Underneath Da Streetz CD NEW USD $11.63 Buy It Now 4 days
Theusz Hamtaahk Trilogy - 3 DISC SET - Magma (2014, CD New) USD $41.02 Buy It Now 4 days
TEDDY LASRY MAGMA SEVEN STONES FRANCE PROG ULTRA RARE JAPAN WHITE LBL PROMO LP USD $48.88 Buy It Now 4 days
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MAGMA / CHRISTIAN VANDER RETROSPECTIVE VOL 3 1981 RCA EXCELLENT+ FRENCH PRESSING USD $23.31 Buy It Now 5 days
Christian Vander - Magma - Wurdah Ïtah - Tristan & Iseult / Barclay, France LP USD $26.99 Buy It Now 5 days
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MAGMA**EMEHNTEHTT-RE**CD USD $15.95 Buy It Now 5 days
MAGMA Inedits ** orig. France 1st issue Tapioca 1977 laminated cover USD $34.99 Buy It Now 5 days
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COMBAT ASTRONOMY Dreams No Longer Hesitate CD prog/jazz metal Godflesh Magma NEW USD $11.99 Buy It Now 6 days
MAGMA "Mekanik Destruktiw Kommandoh" A&M Records #SP-4397 (1973) USA Promo Copy USD $199.99 Buy It Now 6 days
MAGMA- Rock Duo Magma +5 Bonus Tracks (German band) (Garden of delights) USD $19.99 Buy It Now 6 days
NORDHEIM, ARNE - TENEBRAE/MAGMA - NEW CD USD $19.68 Buy It Now 6 days
Press Cutting/Advert : 15/6/74Pg31 MAGMA, KOHNTARKOSZ Album & Tour 15X12 Poster USD $18.66 Buy It Now 6 days
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PAGA Group Haunted CD 1988 INDIE Prog Bernard Paganotti WEIDORJE MAGMA USD $199.95 Buy It Now 6 days
MAGMA (FRANCE) - FELICITE THOSZ [DIGIPAK] - NEW CD USD $15.94 Buy It Now 6 days
Yochk'o SEFFER- My Old Roots (musea) (MAGMA, ZAO, NEFFESH MUSIC) USD $19.99 Buy It Now 7 days
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Tuur,Estonian National Symphony Orchestra MAGMA [import] CD new USD $10.00 Buy It Now 7 days
MAGMA - EMEHNTEHTT-RE (NEW) (UK) NEW CD USD $41.31 Buy It Now 7 days
MAGMA FRANCE Press Japan Inserts 1995 NM 2-CD MAGMA LIVE USD $49.99 Buy It Now 7 days
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Magma Kobaia 2009 Japan Mini LP SHM 2 CD L/E With Obi SJMD-4/5 OOP HTF Very Rare USD $99.80 Buy It Now 7 days
Kohntarkosz Anteria - 2 DISC SET - Magma (2014, Vinyl New) USD $42.77 Buy It Now 8 days
Magma - Emehntehtt-Re (New Edition) [CD New] USD $28.43 Buy It Now 8 days
(CD) Mekanïk Kommandöh - Magma / French ProgRock / [Seventh Records ] USD $21.99 Buy It Now 8 days
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?LISTEN n13110 LP MAGMA - French Original - GROOOOVY French Caribbean USD $4.00 Buy It Now 8 days
Emehntehtt-Re (New Edition) - Magma (2014, CD New) USD $25.93 Buy It Now 8 days
NU CREATIVE METHODS Superstitions K7 ADN M! BASTIEN ~ amm magma zao comelade znr USD $18.50 Buy It Now 8 days
Various Artists Magma Tears CD USD $12.38 Buy It Now 8 days
MAGMA UDU WUDU JAPAN MINI LP CD NEW OUT OF PRINT K2 REMASTERING VICP-63570 USD $18.99 Buy It Now 8 days
Upsilon Acrux - Last Train Out CD SEALED/NEW magma prog math rock zeul henry cow USD $12.99 Buy It Now 8 days
SCULPTURED Embodiment CD prog-metal agalloch maudlin of the well kayo dot magma USD $13.98 Buy It Now 8 days
SLEEPYTIME GORILLA MUSEUM In Glorious Times CD Univers Zero RIO PROG magma NEW USD $13.98 Buy It Now 8 days
SAX RUINS Blimmguass CD extreme Japanese prog zeuhl Koenjihyakkei zu magma guapo USD $14.98 Buy It Now 8 days
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Asahi Sonorama 7" and booklet. [Osamu Tezuka, Ambassador Magma, Space Giants] USD $39.99 Buy It Now 8 days


More places to buy MAGMA music online Buy MAGMA & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
  • AmazonMP3: Search for MAGMA DRM-Free MP3 Downloads @ AmazonMP3 (USA Only) | AmazonMP3 (UK Only)

MAGMA shows & tickets


  • Magma at La Batterie, Guyancourt on 28 Jan 2015
  • Magma + Sidony box at Stereolux, Nantes on 29 Jan 2015
  • Magma at Le Rocher de Palmer, Cenon on 30 Jan 2015
  • Magma at LE BASCALA, Bruguières on 31 Jan 2015
  • Magma at CCM John Lennon, Limoges on 1 Feb 2015
  • Magma at l'Observatoire, Cergy on 6 Feb 2015
  • Magma on 7 May 2015
  • Magma at Cadogan Hall, London on 8 May 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 | 310 ratings
Magma (Kobaïa)
1970
4.13 | 295 ratings
1001° Centigrades
1971
4.27 | 631 ratings
Mëkanïk Dëstruktïẁ Kömmandöh
1973
4.09 | 336 ratings
Köhntarkösz
1974
4.21 | 233 ratings
Ẁurdah Ïtah (Christian Vander)
1974
3.73 | 282 ratings
Üdü Ẁüdü
1976
3.69 | 245 ratings
Attahk
1978
2.47 | 144 ratings
Merci
1984
3.79 | 75 ratings
Mëkanïk Kömmandöh
1989
4.29 | 449 ratings
K.A
2004
4.17 | 380 ratings
Ëmëhntëhtt-Ré
2009
4.08 | 263 ratings
Félicité Thösz
2012

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

4.44 | 172 ratings
Live/Hhaï (Köhntark)
1975
3.09 | 36 ratings
Inédits
1977
3.98 | 60 ratings
Retrospektïẁ III
1981
4.56 | 90 ratings
Retrospektïẁ I-II
1981
4.07 | 17 ratings
Concert 1992, Douarnenez:
1992
3.33 | 29 ratings
Concert Bobino 1981
1995
2.63 | 16 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 | 40 ratings
BBC 1974 - Londres
1999
4.54 | 58 ratings
Theusz Hamtaahk - Trilogie
2001
4.10 | 24 ratings
Bourges 1979
2008
3.20 | 11 ratings
Live In Tokyo
2009
4.14 | 14 ratings
Zühn Wöhl Ünsaï - Live 1974
2014

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

4.28 | 30 ratings
Theusz Hamtaahk - Trilogie Au Trianon
2001
4.47 | 17 ratings
Concert Bobino 1981
2004
4.37 | 41 ratings
Mythes Et Légendes, Volume I
2006
4.39 | 42 ratings
Mythes Et Légendes, Volume II
2006
4.80 | 51 ratings
Mythes Et Légendes, Volume III
2007
4.83 | 45 ratings
Mythes Et Légendes, Volume IV
2008
4.60 | 15 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
2.56 | 9 ratings
Kompila
1997
3.87 | 13 ratings
Simples
1998
1.95 | 13 ratings
Spiritual
2002
2.57 | 12 ratings
Über Kommandoh
2004
4.29 | 7 ratings
Archiw I & II
2008
4.92 | 46 ratings
Studio Zünd
2009
3.26 | 8 ratings
Trilogy
2012

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
3.93 | 29 ratings
Floë Ëssi / Ëktah
1998
0.00 | 0 ratings
K.A - Extraits - Edition Radio
2004
3.93 | 18 ratings
Rïah Sahïltaahk
2014

MAGMA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Köhntarkösz by MAGMA album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.09 | 336 ratings

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Köhntarkösz
Magma Zeuhl

Review by siLLy puPPy
Prog Reviewer

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
4.21 | 233 ratings

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Ẁurdah Ïtah (Christian Vander)
Magma Zeuhl

Review by siLLy puPPy
Prog Reviewer

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
4.27 | 631 ratings

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Mëkanïk Dëstruktïẁ Kömmandöh
Magma Zeuhl

Review by siLLy puPPy
Prog Reviewer

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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 Rïah Sahïltaahk by MAGMA album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2014
3.93 | 18 ratings

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Rïah Sahïltaahk
Magma Zeuhl

Review by siLLy puPPy
Prog Reviewer

4 stars RÏAH SAHÏLTAAHK is listed by most sources as a new studio album by MAGMA but it is in fact simply a re-recording of the first track of the same name from their second album "1001 Degrees Centigrades" which came out all the way back in 1971. This album clocks in at a mere 24:24 so no matter what it "officially" is, this is a freakin' EP in my book. This is one of those projects that makes you scratch your head and wonder why such a thing was necessary. To the casual listener there seems to be few differences between the two but a more careful inspection and repeated listens does yield some substantial changes. Just check out the lineup between the 1971 version and the newest of 2014.

1971 verison

- Christian VANDER : vocals, drums, percussion - Klaus BLASQUIZ : vocals, percussion - François CAHEN : acoustic & electric pianos - Francis MOZE : bass - Teddy LASRY : clarinet, sax, flute, voice - Jeff SEFFER : sax, bass clarinet - Louis TOESCA : trumpet

2014 version

Stella VANDER : vocals Isabelle FEUILLEBOIS : vocals Hervé AKNIN : vocals Benoît ALZIARY : vibraphone James MAC GAW : guitar Jérémie TERNOY : piano Philippe BUSSONNET : bass Christian VANDER : drums, vocals, piano

On the newer version basically we get no horns, more female vocals and a vibraphone. Also the production is quite different as well. The music is one continuous track on the original but only clocks in at 21:45 so a few minutes shorter. On the newer version we we get eight separate tracks that constitute the movements. The artwork is remnant of the original album as well only instead of duct tape grey it is a glimmering silver with the MAGMA emblem wrapped around the front and back instead of boldly displayed in full on the front.

This is story on the Seventh Records website: RÏAH SAHÏLTAAHK is the name of the Kobaïan who left after all the others, despite their disapproval. He thought he was better than anyone else and he was sure he could convert Kobaïa's enemies to the Kobaïan spirit. But he failed and left alone for Kobaïa. On the symbolic stop-over planet, Malaria, he has to face the raging elements he thinks he can dominate. With his ship almost sunk, he ends up begging them - to no avail. He will disappear. Drowned, swept away by the frenzied elements. After the noise? silence. At dawn, only a finally calmed remains, enlightened by the soft beams of the sun in this new day.

Honestly, I can't say I really like one thing better than the original. The first thing you notice on the new version is that the tempo is just a bit slower and the production is amped up which seems too beefy for some reason. The original version seemed to have more spontaneity and improvisation in the zaniness department. Absent are the blood-curdling screams and high pitched freakouts during frenzied time-outs from the main scheme of things. I actually really love the horn sections of the first two MAGMA albums and find that here Vander sounds like he is trying to MDK his earlier works. This just seems unnecessary to me as a fan, but as a man Christian Vander who has obviously been pining over re-releasing this for sometime just had to bring it to fruition. Now that he has I am dumbfounded by his decision to carry through when, to me at least, the original is the superior. I categorize this as indulgently unnecessary so I cannot give this the same five star rating that I gave the "1001 Degrees Centigrades" album, however this music even if inferior to the original is still completely enchanting and simply MAGMA-nanimous so to give it less than four stars would simply be a crime against humanity. I just hope this isn't the beginning of a trend to repackage the entire back catalog when MAGMA proves time and time again that as a musical outfit it is quite capable of releasing fresh and relevant music in the 21st century.

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 Rïah Sahïltaahk by MAGMA album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2014
3.93 | 18 ratings

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Rïah Sahïltaahk
Magma Zeuhl

Review by jazz2896

4 stars It pains me to give this album 4 stars, in my personal opinion this would easily be a 5 star release, but my opinion is not and should not be everyone's opinion, so hear me out. I am a die hard fan of Magma, there is not a single piece of recorded material from this band that has not reached my ears, and I find it all utterly fantastic, including this amazing new release by the band. Gone is the horn section and the fretless bass, and to replace them we get some heavy fuzz bass, gloriously pristine guitar, female vocals, and vibraphone. Of course this brings a completely different sound to the band, and it makes this version of the piece sound much more planned out and mature, as opposed to the original's more quirky, wild sound. This is what makes this album very worthwhile to the Magma fan, it shows Vander's maturity as a composer. His ability to take the original piece, change very few notes, and give the piece a completely different texture and atmosphere is where the magic lies on this album. Yet this is also why I am going to give this album 4 stars, it is completely essential for the Magma fan, for it's a great way to see how Vander's composing and arranging skills have grown throughout the years and his various projects, but to the general prog fan unfamiliar with this genius's work, this may be of less interest, and the original would probably be the best bet for the Magma newcomer.

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 1001° Centigrades by MAGMA album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.13 | 295 ratings

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1001° Centigrades
Magma Zeuhl

Review by siLLy puPPy
Prog Reviewer

5 stars The Kobaian zeuhl rhythms that came bursting forth on the debut album seem to have wrested control from the other jazz-fusion tendencies of Christian Vander and his strange new musical entity MAGMA. On their second album 1001 DEGREES CENTIGRADES, that zeuhl bursts onto the scene right away indicating that a transition was taking place from the all encompassing type of a fusion to a more focused one that was quickly establishing itself as an entirely separate subgenre within the progressive rock world. However despite the ongoing battle between the newly formed zeuhl sound and jazz, it is the jazz-fusion aspect of the music that ultimately dominates the soundscape as it still retains a horn dominated arrangement. The operatic Orff inspired female vocals haven't come to be yet and the band began the continued decline in band members due to disagreement in musical direction. On this album Claude Engel took off leaving one less guitarist two other band members left and were replaced.

I love this album a lot. It takes a lot of the zaniness of the debut but it is clearly more refined and focused. The zeuhl developments seem to add a stabilizing effect to the whole thing. The midway point between the full-on frenzy of anything goes jazz-fusion to the total loss of it is a successful formula that finds zeuhl rhythms accompanied by beautiful jazz tinged melodies that have beautiful horn passages, lovely flute and clarinet parts and of course, frantic and frenzied Kobaian language skills finding itself shouted, screeched, screamed and uttered in startling ways. This album like the debut is one of my favorite MAGMA albums and although I love their entire output it is these first two that I find the most exotic and adventurous and unpredictable. As Christian Vander kept pushing the band towards the fully fledged zeuhl that would come to be on "MDK" it caused a rift in the band and ultimately saxophonist Jeff Seffer and keyboardist Francois Cahen would leave to form Zao which would continue the musical style of the first two MAGMA releases.

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 Theusz Hamtaahk - Trilogie by MAGMA album cover Live, 2001
4.54 | 58 ratings

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Theusz Hamtaahk - Trilogie
Magma Zeuhl

Review by GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Whatever your opinion, not one can say that Magma treads a path travelled by many. In progressive rock there are many a genre and direction but, however, few bands can honestly claim to be all that unique. (By "unique" I mean a sound that is only yours and where similarities to others are in abscense.) Ideas and inspirations are traded frequently and that is good. Magma are, on the other hand, a band which (nigh on) never took the path down the more walked upon soil in the land of Prog. They have maintained their sound and identity through out the ages and continue to do so. There is really no other band like them. That can be for better or worse but at least they are intriguing and genuinely groundbreaking.

My first venture into Magma was by way of their first, the self-titled one from 1970. Now there was something of a shock. I had never really heard anything like it but I loved it nevertheless. The rest is history, really. I cannot claim to have been able to squeeze myself into all of the music in the way I have done with some other bands. To enjoy Magma you need to give it time. This is not Music for the faint hearted. The chanting and terrifying (I cannot describe it in any other fashion) musical landscape can be frightening but all the more rewarding therefore.

This box is a collection of Three suites recorded in the year of 2000, though written way back in the early 70's. The first suite, Theusz Hamtaahk, is a really stripped down performance. The bass is in the foreground, as often with Magma, along with Vander's Amazing drumming. At times one do understand the power of chanting in what we like to call "primitive" cultures, being the gateway to connecting with the gods. It is really out of this World.

The second disc is a rendition of Würdah Ïtah. Again, so well played and conducted. Just like with Theusz Hamtaahk the songs blend into one Another making it a really long piece of Music, flowing seamlessly together.

The third disc is probably Magma's most famous work: Mëkanik Dëstruktiw Kömmandöh. Again, this was recorded way back in 1973 but the live version on this box is really outstanding. I have Always loved MDK, hailing it as one of prog's greatest efforts. Though I am not normally partial to live renditions, I have to say that this is magnificent and a real treat. There are certainly othe live offerings of this suite but I think this just a tiny bit more interesting, It sounds different and why shouldn't it? Nigh on 30 years after the album was released, why wouldn't it sound slightly altered? Again, Magma is an entity of it's own and though basking in their own sun of Zeuhl they do transform within their own universe.

When all is said and done, how am I going to rate this box, then? I guess for newcomers this box could be a good place to start but I would recommend the original MDK from 1973. On the other hand this album shows off Magma's larger than life persona in the grandest of ways. I hold this box as something of a favorite in the canon of Magma and it showcases the band at it's best. (It's peak would be almost insane to write since they've almost been at the peak all through their career. I will not mention Merci in this Review, though I just did.) So, based on the sum of Everything I have to give this box four stars. It is brilliant, challenging and utterly rewarding. Great progressive music from the masters of Zeuhl.

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 K.A by MAGMA album cover Studio Album, 2004
4.29 | 449 ratings

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K.A
Magma Zeuhl

Review by admireArt

4 stars Not out of this earth!

Everybody kind of got the picture that there are some "prog sub-genres" which were actually fashioned to fit the "untaggable" or the "new" or the "yet to come", progressive bands. The ZEUHL's category obviously was designed for MAGMA. Kind of a privilege if you come to terms with the idea.

Music wise or composition wise, ZEUHL's rootings are Neoclassic, Romantic, , Modern and Fusion (which means modern Jazz). And I will add "Opera and Operetta" as in MAGMA's "K.A." , 2004.

The material was in large part, originally composed by drummer Christian Vander during 1973-1974. Aside from Christian Vander's made up spoken "language", K.A. is really not that extreme or obscure. Opposite to that, it is quiet friendly for anyone used to RiO or AV's plasticity in musical languages.

As far as "K.A.", which was released like 30 years later, continuing MAGMA''s undisputable legacy, the 3 musical movements or "acts" (they are not exactly songs) are composition wise "flawless" and yet stuck in time by its own date of composition and influences.

So it is not actually a 2004 MAGMA project. It sounds like an un-released 70's project, and some of its then "modern" Classical music "likings and influences", have inevitably aged, therefore some of K.A.'s musical passages do not sound that "modern" or novel, nowadays. I do prefer the newest 2012 release, in that regard, but this one is good enough to hold on to.

****4 "for any progger who appreciated the genres mentioned above" PA stars.

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 Bourges 1979 by MAGMA album cover Live, 2008
4.10 | 24 ratings

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Bourges 1979
Magma Zeuhl

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars There doesn't seem to be a whole lot of love for this 1979 live release or the Bobino concert from 1981 I just recently reviewed, but as a MAGMA fan both are essential in my opinion. I do prefer this recording overall to the 1981 release but to be honest they almost seem like companions given this particular era of MAGMA which is more mainstream and at times funky when compared to their classic period. By the way this is a double album and that second disk is killer.

Disc one starts off with the short intro track "Entree En Scene" which is an audio of the crowd clapping and cheering as they anticipate MAGMA live. "Retrovision" is really the only track I struggle with as far as my enjoyment goes. The drums and bass are fantastic to start and when the Fender Rhodes comes in i'm smiling. Female vocals come in and this is where my enjoyment of the song plummets, and i'm talking about the chorus which is repeated many times. Everything else about the song is excellent especially the guitar after 7 minutes as the bass throbs. When the male vocals come in before 10 minutes it signals a change to a more intense soundscape. So good. Depite being tired of the chorus on this one there are so many impressive moments over the 16 1/2 minutes.

"The Last Seven Minutes" is an incredible track with the uptempo drumming as the bass growls and the Fender Rhodes comes and goes. Male vocals join in with female backing vocals as well. Instrumentally this one really is an outstanding listen. Check out the synths around 4 minutes in, what a display of talent right there as it goes on and on. Passionate female vocals when the synths stop around 6 minutes. Love the female backing vocals that eventually join in. The guitar becomes the focus after 8 1/2 minutes. "Urgon Gorgo" has some atmosphere to it to start before the drums and keyboards start to lead. Male vocals follow but they are brief, and man this sounds so good. It's intense late. "Korusz XXVI" is the over 21 minute closer to disc one as we get some tasty dissonant sax and drumming for several minutes before Christian offers up a prolonged drum solo including some scat singing. It actually works.

Disc two begins with a brief intro track of the crowd cheering before "Hhai" kicks in. A classic MAGMA track right here as Fender Rhodes and that familiar melody comes in with vocals in tow. This is such a transcendent song. The guitar comes in before 4 minutes and proceeds to rip it up along with the synths. Cool stuff. Love this one. "Nono" is catchy and dark as it builds. How good is this!? Man I love the sound here, in fact this is my favourite song on this recording. The intensity builds then some fairly raw sounding guitar arrives. The synths half way through impress but not as much as the various vocals do. This is like a religious experience I swear. "MDK" is up next and yes I used the short form but this epic 28 1/2 minute track ends the recording. No need(I don't think) to describe MAGMA's most well known composition i'm sure. Interesting to hear the guitar crying out early on then the bass absolutely shakes the foundations briefly. You can feel the anticipation of the audience here. It's after 2 1/2 minutes before that familiar groove kicks in and we get over 25 minutes of music left to enjoy.

Easily 4 stars and another top notch live recording from MAGMA.

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 Magma (Kobaïa) by MAGMA album cover Studio Album, 1970
4.04 | 310 ratings

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Magma (Kobaïa)
Magma Zeuhl

Review by siLLy puPPy
Prog Reviewer

5 stars After King Crimson opened the floodgates and allowed the big bang of progressive rock to explode its pyroclastic flows into the world it was a signal to the Kobaians that the Earth they had fled so long ago was ready to hear the strange music they had evolved on their adopted planet. This MAGMA flow was originally an eponymous release but immediately was tagged with the name of the first track which is indeed a planet out there in a galaxy far, far away. And subsequent releases have carried the title KOBAIA ever since. The year was 1970 and the world was treated a Close Encounter of the Musical Kind as the Kobaians released their strange otherworldly music to an unsuspecting human race. This debut album tells the tale of their decision to leave a world so plagued by hatred and violence and the journey involved in getting to their new chosen planet and the colonizing and evolving in a different direction. The dramatics are in the music for all lyrics are in their own invented Kobaian language.

This double album has the honor of being both accessible and truly bizarre at the same time. Using jazz-fusion as a template, MAGMA, led by the overtly ambitious drum machine Christian Vander leaves no jazz and rock stone left unturned. Whether it is a more traditional fusion typical of the late 60s that introduces the album on the first title track or a slow and pastoral type that is filled with pleasant flute melodies, one thing you can count on is the urge to morph the music into something completely unrelated in nature. For example on the title track we get pleasant jazz-fusion followed by a frenetic sax solo followed by another phrasing of jazz-fusion followed by a very strange guitar solo. The second track "Aina" starts off slow and somber but speeds up to a more brass rock type of sound followed by a flute solo which finally gets accompanied by heavy rockin' guitars. In addition we get countless other things going on like the flute giving way to a military march in "Sohia" to the piano, bass and jazzy drumming with dissonant piano and a capella Kobaian lyrics on "Sckxyss."

Although this debut album is considered to be strictly jazz-fusion in nature, the fact is that the Kobaian creation known as zeuhl actually makes its debut here as well. How very clever of them to ratchet the music up from one track to another showing us how to change familiar 60s style jazz-fusion into their trademark zeuhl laid out on a musical journey. It finds its first Earthly contact on track number six "Aurae" where the familiar by today's standard zeuhl rhythms come bubbling through in the form of the flute and drum interactions. Soon the whole band is playing in the newly born style as well. After the zeuhl rhythms have sunk in they pretty much continue on the second half of the double album finding a more frenetic pacing on "Thaud Zaia" which continues the unexpected time signatures interlaced with pleasant pastoral lulls and interesting musical developments.

As the album reaches its final destinations we are treated to the most terrifying of screams at the beginning of "Stoah" which usher in dissonant guitar chords and a zeuhl piano run. Whether it's the bluesy rock influence in the album's closer "Muh" which also ends with jingling bells and avant-garde Kobaian chanting or the Earthly ethnic influences ranging from African drumming to Gypsy swing, one thing is clear, the Kobaians have what it takes to weave their musical vision into a cohesive whole that flows effortlessly from beginning to end despite the staggering array of influences on board. The most successful of these hurdles comes in the complete fusion of the classical, jazz and rock worlds with smatterings of a gazillion other sounds making their appearances here and there. I can understand why some may regard this double album as one that is too long because there are parts that wander on for times that may be deemed a little too long but on my part I find the first two MAGMA albums to be the most exciting of the lot. All the sounds that came after make their debut here and later albums are basically stripped down approaches of the ambitiousness that is found on the very first album. This is a treasure trove of infinite musical variations all stuffed into one single release. I am extremely impressed by this musical extravaganza and find this one of my favorite ambitious musical projects ever. Can you tell I like this? A lot!

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