Friday, January 31, 2003


Magma played last night at London's Queen Elizabeth Hall. Sadly I couldn't make it, but hopefully a report will be forthcoming from Charles Imperatori. Most of the websites dedicated to this curious outfit seem rather dated, but the South Bank's programme note summarises them well:

"In 1969, a young French jazz drummer named Christian Vander reportedly became so disturbed by Earth's spiritual/ecological decline that he began composing a vast futuristic musical parable concerning this dilemma. When Vander recruited musicians to perform his ongoing masterwork, the legendary group Magma was born.

"Over the course of Magma's career, the high water mark of 1973's 'Mekanik Destruktiw Kommandoh' and some 50 participating musicians, Vander and company depicted the mythic, sometimes violent struggle between the occupants of Earth and a group of ex-Earthlings inhabiting the fictional planet Kobaia. Vander's daunting music - which featured lyrics sung in an invented Kobaian language - was a thoroughly unique idiom forged from John Coltrane-style jazz, the choral music of Carl Orff and Igor Stravinsky and highly dissonant jazz-rock fusion. Both in it's gigantic conceptual scope and it's utterly singular sound, Magma's music dwarfed that of numerous rock peers and stands as one of the most remarkable oeuvres in modern music." (c) SBC

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