- Magma Movies
- Anaid Eleven Years
- Les Voix
- The Music is so Strong pt II (Klaus Blasquiz & Andy Garibaldi)
- Ork! Update
2LP FR PHILIPS 6395 001/002 WING FLAPS & BLUE LABEL & MAGMA STICKER 1970
2LP FR PHILIPS 6311 193 WING FLAPS
2LP FR PHILIPS 6621 032 BLACK LABEL & WING FLAPS
2LP FR PHILIPS 6621 032 BLACK LABEL (WITHOUT WING FLAPS)
LP D PHILIPS 6332 SIDES A&B ONLY, G/F, WHITE LABEL
2CD FR SEVENTH REX IV/V 1988
KOBAÏA / MÜH
7″ FR PHILIPS 6009 059 BLACK & WHITE PIC SLEEVE 1970
2 (l00lº CENTIGRADES)
05-04-71 to 10-04-71
LP FR PHILIPS 6397 031 SILVER COVER (2) 1971
LP FR PHILIPS 6397 031 VOLCANO COVER 1971
LP D PHILIPS 6397 031 VOLCANO COVER 1971
LP FR PHILIPS 9101 286 VOLCANO COVER (PHONOGRAM) 1980
CD FR SEVENTH REX VI SILVER COVER 1988
HAMTAAK / TENDEÏ KOBAH
7″ FR PHILIPS 6009 145 BLACK, RED, ORANGE & WHITE PIC SLEEVE 1972
2LP FR PHILIPS 664 1037 MEKANÏK KOMMANDÖH – UNRELEASED LIVE VERSION 12/01/71
CD FR MUSEA PART OF THELEME BOX SET 08/01/93
23-08-71 to 29-08-71
LP FR THELEME 6332 501 GATEFOLD 01/01/72
LP FR CRYONIC MAD3017 SINGLE SLEEVE 10/01/86
CD FR MUSEA FGBG 4086 PART OF THELEME BOX SET 08/01/93
ALTCHERINGA / ÜNDÏA
7″ FR THELEME 6837 024 PROMO – NO SLEEVE – BLUE LABEL 1972
7″ FR THELEME 6837 024 PROMO – NO SLEEVE – ORANGE LABEL 1972
MEKANÏK KOMMANDO / KLAUS KÖMBÄLAD
7″ FR PHILIPS 6009 185 BLUE PIC SLEEVE (SERIE PARADE) 1971
THEATRE 140 – BRUXELLES
2CD FR AKT VIII VANDER ARCHIVES – LIVE CONCERT 1996
MUSIC IS MY HONEY
12-71 & 72
LP FR THELEME 6332 752 YELLOW COVER 1973
CD FR SEVENTH REX VIZ WITH CHOIR 1989
MEKANÏK DESTRUKTÏW KOMMANDÖH
LP FR VERTIGO 6499 729 GOLD LYRIC SHEET 12/01/73
LP US A&M AMLH SP-4397 WHITE LYRIC SHEET – PICTURE LABEL 24/08/73
K7 US A&M AMLH SP-4694
LP CAN A&M SP-4397 0598
LP US A&M AMLH ???? TEXTURED COVER
LP UK A&M AMLH 64397 WHITE LYRIC SHEET 12/01/73
LP JAP KING AML 193 LYRIC SHEET & JAPANESE INSERTS 1974
LP ESP A&M 879981 WHITE LYRIC SHEET 1974
LP FR LTM 1007 GOLD INNER FOLD – WHITE LABEL 1977
LP FR CELLULOID LTM 1007 WHITE INNER FOLD – WHITE LABEL
CD FR SEVENTH REX VII FROM VINYL + BONUS VERSION (Dist: Wotre Music) 1988
CD JAP A&M PCCY-10181 LYRIC SHEET (FROM ORIG. MASTERS) 1991
CD FR SEVENTH REX VII FROM ORIGINAL MASTERS (Dist: Harmonia Mundi) 12/01/92
VANDER TOP BLASQUIZ GARBER
CD FR AKT II VANDER ARCHIVES – THE MANOR, OXFORD 01/12/92
C. VANDER & F. RAHOLISON
FIESTA IN DRUMS
LP FR PALM 003 ORANGE PALM LABEL 1973
VHS FR VDE 056 WHITE VENDEMIAIRE LABEL (PAL)
C. VANDER & OTHERS
VANDER ET LES TROIS JEFS
6-69 & 6-73
LP FR PALM 006 CV ON FRONT COVER – ORANGE BANNER 1973
LP FR PALM 006 WHITE COVER – NO PICTURE – RED LABEL
RADIO BBC – LONDRES 1974
CD FR AKT XIII JOHN PEEL SESSIONS 1999
TRISTAN & YSEULT (WURDAH ÏTAH)
LP FR BARCLAY 80.528 FILM SCENE ON FRONT 06/01/74
LP FR EGG 90.171 PHOTO OF CV ON FRONT 04/01/78
LP JAP EGG GXH.2025 PHOTO OF CV ON FRONT 1980
CD FR SEVENTH REX IX BLUE COVER 1989
EGG SAMPLER 2
LP FR EGG H.S. 74 BLACK COVER, PROMO 1978
01-05-74 to 12-05-74
LP FR VERTIGO 6325 750 06/01/74
LP US A&M AMLS SP-3650 07/06/74
K7 US A&M AMLS SP-33703
LP CAN A&M SP-3650 0698
LP UK A&M AMLS 68260 07/06/74
LP FR LTM 606 1977
LP D ARIOLA 88 191 IT
LP FR CELLULOID LTM 6006 WHITE LABEL (SLEEVE SAYS LTM 1006)
LP FR CELLULOID LTM 1006 BLUE LABEL
CD FR SEVENTH REX VIII FROM VINYL WITH BONUS VERSION 1988
CD JAP A&M PCCY-10180 JAPANESE INSERT (FROM ORIGINAL MASTERS) 21/03/1991
MEKANÏK MACHINE / EXTRACTS FROM KÖHNTARKÖSZ
7″ FR VERTIGO 6061 800 RED / BLACK & YELLOW PIC SLEEVE 1974
7″ UK A&M ANS 7119 PLAIN BLACK SLEEVE – SILVER LABEL 1974
LIVE (HHAÏ / LIVE)
2LP US UTOPIA CYL2-1245 FULL COLOUR 1975
2LP FR UTOPIA CYL2-1245 FULL COLOUR 1975
2LP UK UTOPIA DUTS 001 1975
2K7 UK UTOPIA SPC 0002 1975
2K7 UK UTOPIA CYK ??? 1975
2LP US TOMATO TOM 2-7008 1978
2LP D JARO 4122/23 BLUE PHOTOS, RED LABEL 1985
LP FR BON IND. 240423 NO SLEEVE – TEST PRESSING 1985
2LP FR BON IND. 240423 BLUE PHOTOS 1985
K7 UK DECAL TC LIKD 31 1988
2LP UK DECAL LIKD 31 FULL COLOUR INNER & OUTER SLEEVE 09/01/88
CD UK CHARLY 118 DECAL DISC, NO PHOTOS 09/01/88
2LP D TOMATO 2696 081 FULL COLOUR, BLACK LABEL 1989
K7 NL TOMATO 2696 084 UNUSUAL INSERT 1989
CD NL TOMATO 2696 082 DIFFERENT BOOKLET 1989
2CD FR SEVENTH REX X/XI BONUS TRACK/REMIXED 1989
CD EEC CHARLY LIKD 75 DIFFERENT BOOKLET 1991
HHAÏ / LÏHNS (LA PLUIE)
7″ FR UTOPIA 42538 PROMO PIC SLEEVE 1975
THEATRE DU TAUR – TOULOUSE
2CD FR AKT IV VANDER ARCHIVES – LIVE CONCERT
OPERA DE REIMS – REIMS
3CD FR AKT IX VANDER ARCHIVES – LIVE CONCERT
LP FR UTOPIA FPL1 7332 VANDERTOP LOGO SLEEVE 15/10/1976
K7 FR UTOPIA FPK1 7332 VANDERTOP LOGO SLEEVE 1976
LP FR UTOPIA BUL1-1730 KLAUS BLASQUIZ SLEEVE 1976
K7 FR UTOPIA ? KLAUS BLASQUIZ SLEEVE 1976
LP US UTOPIA ? KLAUS BLASQUIZ SLEEVE 01/01/77
LP D UTOPIA FL 11 730 1977
LP US TOMATO TOM 6001 COPYRIGHT NOTICE IN ENGLISH 1977
LP CAN TOMATO TOM 9239 6001 COPYRIGHT NOTICE IN FRENCH 1977
LP UK DECAL LIK 18 RED PANEL ON BACK 1988
K7 UK DECAL TC LIK 18 1988
CD UK CHARLY 105 1988
CD P CHARLY 105
CD NL TOMATO 2696 582 DIFFERENT BOOKLET 1989
CD FR SEVENTH REX XII BONUS TRACK 1990
K7 FR SEVENTH REX XII 1990
THE TOMATO SAMPLER
2CD NL TOMATO 2696162 FEATURES ‘SOLEIL D’ORK’ 12/01/89
71 to 76
LP FR TAPIOCA TP 10 001 RED LABEL 1977
LP FR LTM 1001 GREY LABEL 1977
9-77 to 11-77
LP FR EURODISC 913 213 GREEN X-RAYS – ORIGINAL COVER 1978
K7 FR EURODISC 914 213 PALE BLUE COVER 1978
LP ESP ARIOLA 200 713 GREEN X-RAYS – ORIGINAL (EURODISC) COVER 1979
LP US TOMATO TOM 7021 BLACK LABEL – B&W X-RAYS – NEW SLEEVE
LP CAN TOMATO TOM 7021 BLACK LABEL – B&W X-RAYS – NEW SLEEVE
LP D ARIOLA 200 685 SILVER LABEL (COVER AS TOMATO DESIGN) 1987
LP UK DECAL LIK 26 1988
K7 UK DECAL TC LIK 26 1988
CD UK CHARLY 111 1988
CD NL TOMATO 2696 572 DIFFERENT BOOKLET 1989
CD FR SEVENTH REX XIII NEW BOOKLET 1990
K7 FR SEVENTH REX XIII CASSETTE # 557013 1990
THE LAST SEVEN MINUTES / SPIRITUAL (NEGRO SONG)
7″ FR ARABELLA 11 484 PROMO 1978
JMS 15e ANNIVERSAIRE
2CD FR JMS 056-2 FEATURES ‘OVERDRIVE’ 1991
RETROSPECTIVE VOLUME 3 (RETROSPEKTÏW III)
LP FR RCA PL 37481 PHOTO OF VANDER ON FRONT COVER 02/01/81
K7 FR RCA PK 37841 PHOTO OF VANDER ON INSERT 02/01/81
CD FR SEVENTH REX XV NEW COVER 04/01/92
RETROVISION / “LA” DAWOTSIN
7″ FR RCA DB 8678 EDITED VERSIONS 1981
RETROSPECTIVE VOLUMES 1 & 2 (RETROSPEKTÏW I & II)
2LP FR RCA PL 37497 06/01/81
K7 FR RCA 29738 06/01/81
CD FR SEVENTH REX XVI NEW COVER 1994
11-80 to 12-80
CD FR SEVENTH REX XVIII 1994
BOBINO – PARIS
27 & 30 May-81
2CD FR AKT V VANDER ARCHIVES – LIVE CONCERT 1995
LOCKWOOD / TOP / VANDER / WIDEMANN
LP FR JMS 2473 948 BROWN COVER 1981
K7 FR JMS BROWN INSERT 1981
LP FR JMS 015 YELLOW COVER (DIST. POLYDOR 2473 948 1982
K7 FR JMS YELLOW INSERT 1982
CD FR JMS 015.2 GREY COVER 04/01/91
LP FR MUSEA FGBG 2005 WITH LEAFLET 1987
CD FR MUSEA FGBG 4005 WITH BOOKLET 1990
6-82 to 10-84
LP D JARO 4120 1st (DEMO) VERSION 1984
LP FR BON IND. 2403371 RE-MIXED / NEW ARTWORK 1985
K7 FR BON IND. 2403374 PATHE MARCONI PM 403 (RE-MIX) 1985
LP FR SEVENTH REX III 1988
CD FR SEVENTH REX III 2nd VERSION – BLACK DISC WITH SILVER STRIP 1988
OOH, OOH, BABY (CALL FROM THE DARK) / OTIS
7″ D JARO 4195 B&W PIC SLEEVE OF CV SINGING 1985
7″ FR BON IND. 2006697 PROMO – NO LABEL – PROMO SHEET 1985
7″ FR BON IND. 2006697 COLOUR PIC SLEEVE – LIKE MERCI 1985
COFFRET (BOX SET OF ÜDÜ WÜDÜ / ATTAHK / MERCI)
76 to 84
3CD FR SEVENTH COF I REPRINTED BOOKLETS 08/01/92
MYTHES ET LEGENDES VOL. 1
4-70 to 9-85
LP FR BON IND. 2404411 NO SLEEVE – TEST PRESSING 1985
LP FR BON IND. 2404411 1985
CD FR SEVENTH REX XIV BONUS TRACK 11/01/90
K7 FR SEVENTH REX XIV 11/01/90
PART 1 – PART 2
9-85 to 9-86
2LP FR SEVENTH SEV A1/A2 GATEFOLD 1986
2LP D JARO 4129/30 GATEFOLD 1986
CD FR SEVENTH A1/A2 ”Magma Presents” (Dist. In GERMANY AS JARO 4129/30 1987
THEATRE DEJAZET – PARIS
5 & 16 May-87
2CD FR AKT XI VANDER ARCHIVES – LIVE CONCERT 1998
3-88 to 8-88
LP FR SEVENTH A3 ORIGINALLY HAD CV PHOT INSERT 1988
CD FR SEVENTH AIII 1st 1000 COPIES WERE AUTOGRAPHED 1988
CHRISTIAN VANDER TRIO
JOUR APRES JOUR
CD FR SEVENTH A IV 1990
K7 FR SEVENTH A IV CASSETTE # 557011 1990
III et IV
6-87 to 9-90
K7 FR SEVENTH A V – A VI 1990
CD FR SEVENTH A V – A VI 1990
CD FR SEVENTH A VII INSERT ONLY BY CV 1991
CD FR SEVENTH A VIII WITH LYRIC BOOKLET 01-10-92
K7 FR SEVENTH A VIII 10/01/91
MAGMA “LES VOIX”
CD FR AKT I VANDER ARCHIVES – LIVE CONCERT 01-10-92
CD UK AKT I VANDER ARCHIVES – LIVE CONCERT 01-12-92
MUSIQUES (LES VOYAGES DE CHRISTOPHE COLOMB)
CD FR AKT III VANDER ARCHIVES – REIMS STREET SPECTACLE 02-01-93
05-12-92 to 29-03-93
CD FR SEVENTH A IX 1993
CHRISTIAN VANDER TRIO
10-06-93 to 15-06-93
CD FR SEVENTH A X 1993
FLOE ESSI / EKTAH
01-09-98 & 11-11-98
CD FR SEVENTH CD SINGLE 1998
1972 to 14-03-00
2CD FR AKT XIV FOLD OUT POSTER – COLLAGE OF CV PHOTOS 2000
MAGMA – (BOOTLEG)
THEUSZ HAMTAAHK – PREMIERE PARTIE
CD D KISS 11 FOUR PAGE BOOKLET (UNAUTHORISED BOOTLEG) 09-01-92
There is only one official Video of Christian Vander, ‘UN HOMME… UNE BATTERIE’, normally only available in VHS SECAM format from Seventh Records, but they did make some official VHS PAL copies. This does not have an official Seventh “matrix no.”, but the Wotre Music code number is 43 3001 WM 574. Released in 1988 it does not feature MAGMA or OFFERING.
There are three feature films that contain music by MAGMA (not counting ‘THE EXORCIST’ which uses the main theme of ‘MDK’ poached from Christian Vander at the manor in 1973 by Mike Oldfield).
There are no official video releases of these at the moment but a movie distributor has recently obtained a copy of TRISTAN ET YSEULT.
MOI Y’EN VOULOIR DES SOUS – a 1972 film by Jean Yanne, this features rare footage of MAGMA (one of the early line-ups with Lasry, Seffer and J-P Lambert on bass, there is no guitarist, I deduce it must therefore be from September 1972). They play one unreleased song, title unknown.
VINGT-QUATRE HEURES SEULEMENT – a 1972 film concerning the Le Mans 24 Hours race? I heard that CV wrote the music then changed his mind and did not want it released, but the producer still went ahead. The music was taken from the Univerïa Zekt ‘Unnamables’ album. More details anyone?
TRISTAN ET YSEULT – a film made in 1972 by Yvan Lagrange, released in 1974 using a 1971 rehearsal audio tape of ‘Wurdah Ïtah’ and ‘Ündïa’. This is not the same music as released on the 1974 record. (See Ork Alarm! #10 for more information)
This was Lagrange’s tenth film, but it was his first commercial release. One reviewer said it was an experience ideally suited to insomniacs! Lagrange not only produced the film and wrote the script, but he also played the part of Tristan himself. Iseult was played by Claire Wauthion. The costumes were made by Gilles Duche and the helmets were made by Jacquet and Lagenie. It was a Pierre Cardin cinescope presentation in Eastmancolor, and the cine film was distributed in Europe by Davis Films (Paris). Because some of you may have been a little curious about the movie for the last eighteen years, this is the official press release:
A “cinematic opera” on the universal themes of fate, love, madness, death and eternity. Tristan struggles in the cold and icebergs, to win Iseult’s love, and death strikes for the first time. They escape together through the forest. For a long time, they are pursued by men who want to separate them. Then Tristan goes alone into the hottest deserts where he lives like an animal and encounters “madness “. And Iseult saves him from a second death. One day the men of the desert on their camels and all the horsemen meet on an endless beach. They go to war again and fight so bitterly that the sea is filled with their bowels and their hearts. Iseult wanders a long time amid the bodies and the blood and once again she finds Tristan. They lie down in the entrails of a skinned bull and go to sleep. The sea carries away their bodies and turns into an ocean of roses
1981 In their first year Anaïd played around a hundred cabaret shows in Brittany and Northern France. The original members of the band were Emmanuelle Lionet (a quite remarkable vocalist, who uses her voice as a solo instrument) and Jean-Max Delva (percussion and composer). In the beginning they were a trio with a pianist who also wrote one of the songs that was used much later on their first album, the mysterious C. Devallé. In the summer they played a few festivals with Sugar Blue…
1982 They toured Belgium, played the Jazz de Vannes festival and the Festival des Tombées de la Nuit in Rennes.
1983 The group principals were joined by a guitarist, Patrice Meyer and Patrick Morgenthaler on keyboards. They appeared at the Vermenthon festival and toured Yonne and Brittany again. Later in the year they had a gig in a women’s prison in Rennes! Also a festival with l’Orchestre Sympathique de Montreal.
1984 Worked with Didier Malherbe (GONG) amongst others, and were joined by the violinist Franck Cardon (ex-ART ZOYD) for a concert as a quintet in Lille.
1985 Anaïd quartet played small jazz clubs in and around Paris and made an appearance at the Festival l’Europe de la Musique with Phil Miller.
1986 March & April saw the recording of their first eponymous and self-produced cassette album with Sophia Domancich (who later joined PAZAPA) on piano. The bassist Hugh Hopper participated in the recordings and Patrick switched to synths. The original duo played over forty concerts with principally the amazing voice, and Jean-Max’s percussion and backing tapes.
1987 The trio line-up was born when Hugh Hopper joined them for a festival in the south of France and tours in the north. The Anaïd trio then went on to tour in Holland and played at the Jazz Valley festival.
1988 More tours and jazz clubs etc, during the year they became a sextet with the addition of the ZEFF TRIO comprised of Pierre-Michel Bonafos on sax, Christian Hossaine on drums and a second bassist Jean-Marc Houssépian. This line-up went into the studio in Montigny to record demos for the next album.
1989 Hugh Hopper had to stop touring with the band and was replaced by another “Canterbury” musician Rick Biddulph. The new sextet supported OFFERING on their French tours and CHRISTIAN VANDER was always in the wings watching their set. They also played the Jazz Valley Festival with the TRIO VANDER. Hugh Hopper rejoined them in the late autumn to record ‘BELLADONNA’ which is a masterpiece of ZEUHL music with some of the most exquisite vocals, producing a vibrant music swirling with sound and colour. Then Jean-Luc Ditsch met them (he had previously worked with Patrick Tilleman on his ‘Tillenco’ album) and replaced Houssépian on drums.
1990 The ‘BELLADONNA’ album was well received in the new music press (Emmanuelle was compared to STELLA VANDER and Kate Bush) and the band went on touring and recording throughout the year. The best works from 1986 – 1989 were selected and remixed for reissue as their next album.
1991 A new CD release entitled ‘FOUR YEARS’ was hailed in the press but not so easy to find in the shops. ‘FOUR YEARS’ has a fine clear production but personally I prefer to listen to the original ‘BELLADONNA’ recording, which seems to have an exceptional clarity, rarely found on vinyl. Perhaps it is just the different sequencing of the material, but the powerful Zeuhl influence on the music appears stronger as presented on their second album. The music this group have so carefully crafted is beautiful and almost unique. So if you cannot find the rare first release or the riveting ‘BELLADONNA’ you quite categorically must buy their CD.
“Anaïd, c’est une invitation au voyage.”
A new MAGMA album; but still not quite the line-up that so many of Vander’s fans would have preferred. However, Christian’s new record label AKT has been created to release a selection of performances from the official archives and future releases should keep the Electric Bass fetishists happy.
The “Les Voix” album, subtitled Douarnenez concert 1992, starts with the mid-70′s concert opener: ‘Ëmëhntëht-Rê’, led by the piano of Simon Goubert. But for the 1992 version all the original synthesizer parts are replaced by the choral octet, which includes Stella Vander and her daughter Julie, with Isabelle Feuillebois, Addie Deat and Benedicte Ragu.
The musicians feature on a ‘C’est pour nous’, which is an improvement on the OFFERING version thanks to the instrumental clarity, with just two keyboards and Christian on vocal gymnastics.
Next, the short Kobaïan extract of ‘Zëss’ that is in fact all that LES VOIX DE MAGMA have been performing so far in their special concerts from this classic MAGMA piece. ‘Zëss’ follows the compositional traditions of ‘MDK’, ‘Theusz Hamtaahk’ and ‘Makiavehlïk Sturme’ (aka ‘Aïma’ or ‘Machiavelique Storm’). This version lacks some of the power that a full electric MAGMA could bring to it, but the emotional intensity is still present as a choral work. My only reservation about this song is the peculiar gospel section towards the end, where I’d swear the choir are singing the Kobaïan equivalent of “Jesus needs us – Jesus Sanctus”. Personally I find this section irritating, but it usually is not too prolonged.
‘Wurdah Ïtah’. If you know and love the album (or film) then here at last is a third version for you to treasure. Christian drums occasionally, but mostly sings the vocals on this extract. Monsieur Goubert improvises (a little) the piano parts. It also features Philippe Dardelle hammering his upright bass to good effect, but way down in the mix, and working well with Pierre-Michel Sivadier’s subdued synths. The disconcerting part about this show (and the more recent ones) for me is that I have played the ‘Wurdah Ïtah’ album so much in the last seventeen years that I can detect every slight deviation from the original piano score and each one is like the twist of a knife. This new interpretation by Simon Goubert will take a few years to get used to, but these few flaws do not seriously mar the album. The vast majority is quite impressive with some novel variations added by Christian too. Of course, the main drawback to this version is that it is only an excerpt from the second half of the original album and does not include Zebëhn’s magical drum solo. However, the concept of AKT records allows for plenty of drum solos in the future releases.
THE MUSIC IS SO STRONG
AG: = ANDY GARIBALDI
KB: = KLAUS BLASQUIZ
Venue: Klaus’ apartment in Paris in April 1981.
In Ork Alarm! #10, Klaus talked to Andy about the early years, the significance of Uniwerïa Zekt and the importance of the MUSIC vs. the Instrumentation.
AG: How did Jannick Top come to join then?
KB: We had seen him in a club with Andre Ceccarelli (a very good drummer) in a band called TROC with Alex Ligertwood a singer and a very good keyboard player and then we knew that he was the bass player we needed. Jean-Pierre Lambert was in the band at that time and he said, “you must replace me”.
AG: Really, he was a bass player that appreciated that Top was out of this world.
KB: So strong, and then, because Christian was leaving. I decided to talk to him by myself, he did not talk much except “Yes” with his southern accent.
AG: Did he show much interest?
KB: Yes, but he was impressed because he had just come from the south and then asked to play with one of the best drummers. The best thing for him was coming to us to join the band. He saw MAGMA many times in the south of France and he never even had the chance to talk to us. Yes he was very interested. So I talked to him and he told me later that he was so impressed that he could not talk. Even though he is very strong.
AG: You must have been very surprised then that it was such an easy job to get him, you went and said “We’d like you to join” and he said, “I’ve wanted to join for a long time.”
KB: He said that later.
AG: He introduced what most people think was MAGMA’s finest hour – ‘Mekanïk’ – he very much contributed to that, the bass work on that is quite tremendous.
KB: Yes, the way he thinks is he feels he is IN the bass when he plays it.
AG: Did Christian have to say what music he wanted or did he say I want this general feeling.
KB: No, it was the first time that Christian had nothing to say. Just showing him the song, singing and playing piano. Then, after a bit of writing, they’d play and that was it.
AG: Jannick would just play along he would not have to be told.
KB: It’s a very great position – he is a freak, it’s incredible. Playing the right things in the right time at the right place. As with Claude Engel, Bernard Paganotti kept the same sound and then he was doing it by himself. Bernard’s sound is different from the Jannick sound but it started from the same concepts. MAGMA’s bass is a necessary feeling at first.
AG: So when Top left, did he leave to do other session work or was he unhappy with the group or what?
KB: He was angry with Giorgio Gomelsky and as a strange person there were a lot of things, but it was impossible to stay together.
KB: I can’t say about that based on the numbers. It’s a question of which LP I like. The one I like is the double Live because for me it is not only a souvenir but it has the most MAGMA sound. When I’m listening to the double, I feel MAGMA, very close. ‘MDK’ is different because it was realised under many different directions. Giorgio Gomelsky said “The sound is not strong enough, I can’t hear Jannick, I can’t hear Christian or the voices, it’s too low for that piece of music.”
AG: I have not seen the ‘Retrospektïw’ albums yet, is a version of ‘Mekanïk appearing?
KB: Yes, ‘Mekanïk’ and ‘Theusz Hamtaahk’ on #1 and #11 (it’s a double to be released in the summer) where I sing. But on this one, the new one (‘Retrospektïw III’) I was replaced. I was singing on stage but the voices are … That’s one of the reasons of my
AG: Oh! I see, who replaced you?
KB: A very good singer / keyboard player – Guy Khalifa. He was playing in a band I used to play with called ODEURS. Guy Khalifa was the keyboard player, singer and composer.
AG: Why was the decision made to remove your vocals?
KB: I was in London for a report and then they decided to change the voices. So they asked me to come back to do it and I said “O.K. I’ll come and do it”. I was very angry, because Christian did not do it, it’s only… I don’t want to talk about our problems. Stella Vander wants to keep the band for her, and I’m tired of that kind of progress, it’s so French! So ‘I love the French, we’re French’. I don’t want to stay as a French ridiculous amateur you know! I’m tired of it!
AG: That was something I was interested in; you brought it up there when you said about your vocals being taken off. On the ‘Live’ LPs Christian sang the ‘Lïhns’ track, was that the first thing he had actually sung on his own in MAGMA?
KB: No, from the very start he was always singing and still is, but onstage it was difficult for him, because playing drums there are P.A. problems and sound problems. But he decided with ‘Mekanïk Destruktïw Kommandöh’ to sing some pieces live. We can hear his voice on some pieces on ‘MAGMA 2′ and ‘Mekanïk Destruktïw Kommandöh’. But as a lead singer on the records, he started to do that on the ‘Live’ album, in a studio situation.
AG: ’Lïhns’ was redone or touched up in the studio?
KB: No, in the same place but without an audience, because the one we had done with the audience had a bad sound and rhythm and the little tunes had low noise, you know a very small label. We heard the audience very strong so the sound was bad, we decided to do it again.
AG: So you re-recorded it at the Hall? L’Olympia?
KB: No at the Taverne, it is another place, a kind of cellar.
AG: So you went down there and repeated the whole set, recorded it and that was the version’?
KB: Not the whole set, just ‘Kobah’, ‘Lïhns’ and ‘Hhaï’. (Ed: Klaus pronounces ‘Kobah’as ‘Kobaïa).
AG: How much then did Christian’s vocals affect you? Did you find you were singing less and less?
KB: He is doing more and more, he started singing part-time, he likes it and he sings very well. I was very angry at the time of the ‘Attahk’ record because Laurent Thibault was kind of half producer. I don’t trust Laurent Thibault, and he doesn’t trust me, so he decided to say to Christian “Why don’t you sing by yourself?” It was very kind of him! Actually, it’s nice, because he sings very well. So I only sang background vocals and I was very sad.
AG: You did not do any lead vocals at all on ‘Attahk’?
KB: Just a few. It was a question of time for Christian, but Laurent was very happy.
AG: ’Attahk’ came out with markings all over the cover like “MAGMA are back on a new set and new cycle” or “MAGMA are back in force again” And then suddenly nothing. What happened? You did a lot of touring but recording wise, nothing.
KB: I don’t think it was a step ahead. For me in the sense of priority or even in the sense of music, it was a step backwards.
AG: What musically? The actual music on the album?
KB: The sort of concept, because it was more improvised and not enough in the way Christian used to do it.
AG: The instrumentalists featured on the album were fairly new except for Benoît.
KB: Yes, that is the best part of the album, Benoît’s work on it is very strong.
AG: He has been a great asset over the years. When did he join, for the ‘Live’ album?
KB: Yes at the end of the ‘Live’ period he replaced a very good keyboard player but crazy guy, Jean-Pol Asseline. He really is crazy, mad, sick! It’s a shame, he’s a very kind person and intelligent and as a keyboard player he’s enormous. Patrick Gauthier had replaced him after the ‘Live’ album. Benoît’s was very young when I met him at Christian’s place. He was with a drummer who wanted to practise with Christian as a teacher. He was a little seventeen year old and to show how the drummer played they decided to play a MAGMA tune on Christian’s piano. He knew everything from the start to the end perfectly so some years later when he was nineteen or twenty, Michel Graillier had left and the job became open so we decided to ask him to try with us, he was a better player then.
AG: So Benoît joined like Patrick Gauthier joined in the latter part of 1975. It was the first time you had used electronic keyboards in MAGMA as far as I can see. Synthesizers and things like that had never been used much, or was it just not noticeable?
KB: No, with Michel Graillier and Gèrard Bikialo we used a Yamaha Organ, which is a kind of synthesizer, and Didier Lockwood played something, not on the album only onstage. Yes so in fact we started on stage with special parts for Patrick and Benoît. Patrick was a Moog player, Benoît was an ARP player, they were fighting for styles and sounds and that was very good.
AG: Right, around that time (certainly in concert) the keyboards were much more to the fore. They were replacing the traditional horns and violin.
KB: The violin came at the same time, so it was playing with equal importance.
AG: By the time Gauthier joined the violin had gone had it not’?
KB: Patrick was playing at the same time as Didier. The keyboard player at first was his brother Francis, but we decided Francis was not really ready or in the same spirit as us, so Benoît came and then Jean-Pol Asseline. But I think Michel Graillier had left but his equipment was still there so Jean-Pol was playing on Michel’s keyboard at the Chateau.
AG: So the electronic keyboards were used for quite a while before they appeared on record.
KB: We were the first to use the Fender electric piano in France, with Francois Cahen, before we had a Wurlitzer.
AG: François Cahen had a marvellous sound a distinctive style on the Fender; his solo piano albums are selling quite well. In Antoine De Caunes book you mention you were going to co-produce the music for the film Dune.
KB: Not co-produce, I was working on it as an artist, I was a fan of the comic strip style of drawing. I was often invited to artists parties and I met the film producer and I was asked to make some original music for the film it would have one of my pieces and one by HENRY COW and another track by a German synthesizer band and the fourth track was to be classical. The project started in Paris very slowly without money, but in six months they spent a lot of money but did not find enough to do the movie.
AG: How far did it get, did it just get to the planning stages?
KB: The money was really just enough to start production. They had done a lot, but not enough. So they sold all the work to the American company that made Star Wars and then Alien. Everybody who worked on the project was still employed on Dune, except us because we had not actually produced the music. We had decided to wait for the first rushes. I have heard that the producer has decided to stop the Dune project again.
AG: Frank Herbert’s book is an incredible work to try to capture on film. Anyway, getting back to the ‘Üdü Wüdü’ album, was all of it recorded in 1976 or was some of the album old tracks or new recordings of old tracks?
KB: It was all made in the same session period. It was not really new material we had played it onstage but the band was very undecided about this version. It was nice.
AG: There were various members on various tracks, was Jannick asked to join for ‘Üdü Wüdü’ or did he just appear?
KB: Both, he was not in the band any more but we decided to record ‘De Futura’ with Jannick because we had played it onstage for a year with him. We decided to put it on the record because it is a good tune.
AG: You still had Paganotti though? He was on part of the LP, was it a conscious decision not to use him for the ‘De Futura’ track?
KB: Yes, Bernard was in time band at that time but it was better to use the original bass played by the composer. So it was kind of us to ask him.
AG: Did Jannick Top compose it in MAGMA or was it a track he had that MAGMA adapted for themselves?
KB: He was in the band when he composed it, but he decided to write it for a big orchestra. He played ‘De Futura’ with another band with aggression but another kind of people. They only played once, at the Nancy festival, the band was called the UTOPIC SPORADIC ORCHESTRA. “UTOPIC” because of Giorgio Gomelsky and that is the reason why I was not there, because I was really fighting against Giorgio for six months.
AG: What role did Christian play on the ‘Üdü Wüdü’ album? Was he still the overlord of everything; because there are lots of different things happening on that album?
KB: No, Bernard Paganotti had written all the parts, even the drum parts of his tune ‘Weidorje’. I wrote the lyrics and I helped him to put it together and I found the title and did the drawings for it. We were playing ‘De Futura’ on stage, developing it for a long time because it is a good tune; it is very strong.
AG: So Jannick had written that actually in MAGMA and then he left but MAGMA continued to use it?
KB: That was the second time he was in the band, because Christian had decided to stop the Paganotti version and then to try it again with Jannick because he thought it was impossible to do better than Jannick. So he asked Jannick to come and do it.
AG: Did he then ask Jannick to stay on after the LP to continue playing in MAGMA?
KB: No no, he was in the band touring with us when ‘Üdü Wüdü’ was recorded.
AG: Oh! Because ‘Üdü Wüdü’ seems to come across as an LP that was recorded when no real band was in existence. When MAGMA did not actually exist as a touring outfit.
KB: It was at the very start of it.
AG: Because on subsequent tours you added Clement Bailly as the drummer.
KB: No, that was after; when Jannick had left again we decided to rebuild another band. So we had a second drummer, Guy Delacroix as the bass player, Jean De Antoni on guitar and Benoît Widemann again. Because that was the band, which besides Florence Bertaux, the drummer, bass player, keyboard player and guitar player were all in ALAN STIVELL’s band. So we decided to bring the whole lot into MAGMA. We tried it because we had got a lot of dates and we were in a hurry, we were rehearsing and they all knew each other.
AG: When Bernard went off to form WEIDORJE to what extent were you involved in that? I mean I know you designed the cover for his album.
KB: I had already decided to produce it and sing on it but they talked together and decided to sing by themselves because they thought I was in MAGMA. They were right because it was better for them to play by themselves, but I was very sad because I had known the tune. I wrote some lyrics but they did not use them on the record. You see ‘Attahk’ was realised and when on the last day we listened to the master tape, WEIDORJE came in the same studio, so we listened to the master tape with WEIDORJE in the studio. They had just started to record their album.
AG: When, in 1977 you had the line-up with Guy and Clement, from tapes I have heard and reports I have read, it seems to mark a fairly radical departure for you on stage. You started to perform on stage in a sense, to put a lot more into your image.
KB: Yes we started to change our image, I decided to groove, because I felt the music was not enough. The French people wanted to be able to enjoy themselves, dancing and so on. So I decided to perform.
AG: Was this largely because MAGMA was at that time getting an increasing following and you felt you owed the fans more than just standing there singing, you felt the live experience had to be there?
KB: Yes it was something very strange. From 1968 we had only seen young people at our gigs. But if they were always young they were not, the same people all the time, so it was possible to change. We thought: “where are the old fans, at home, watching TV?” If the old MAGMA fans were coming to see us it would be a lot of people. So we changed it. We were their band but from twenty-five onwards they stopped coming.
AG: In Britain that does not happen a great deal, a band tends to keep it’s following in Britain. The more conventional bands – like you can almost guess how long the band has been going by looking at the age of the audiences. Because very often a band that has been going a long time does not draw too many new fans in, certainly in the rock scene. At this time you were also introducing new material, previously unreleased things on stage. One marvellous piece was ‘Morrison in the storm’ which was homage to Jim Morrison on behalf of Christian.
KB: He never listened to much of the DOORS, he only knew one tune, ‘Riders on the storm’. Which is very very good, he was very impressed by that. I think he listened to it at my home because I have all their records and then we decided to get in this kind of groove. The tune was very different to the DOORS tune.
AG: Was it just written for stage performance?
KB: Well, always they are for stage and recordings, but we have got a lot of problems with the record companies.
AG: Do you record a lot of your concerts?
KB: Yes, I have a lot of tapes; I have got a hundred or so cassettes. We used to record all the concerts from the ’73 to the ’76 bands.
AG: Is it true that you were doing rock’n'roll stuff in the middle of various MAGMA tunes; in the book it says you played ‘Long Tall Sally’.
KB: NO! Not with MAGMA. We played things that seemed like a rock’n'roll tune to the MAGMA fan but not actually ‘Long Tall Sally’.
AG: Oh I’m with you; I don’t think the book comes across particularly well with that. Antoine seems to write as if you were actually singing those onstage, which I thought was odd, I’m glad I cleared that up. It must be my lousy translating of the French actually. The ‘Inedits’ album, was that released with the approval of the group?
KB: We needed the money at this period, somebody else had some original tapes which were really good tapes. And then I stupidly gave some cassettes and tapes for money. And then he asked me to realise the covers, one day I decided to use some nice pictures I had got and wrote something to put in and then I gave it to the guy, but that’s all.
AG: Ah, that was not wise. He wanted the tapes with a view to making the album obviously. You were selling him the tapes knowing that an album was going to come from it.
KB: Yes. I am not very proud of that. It was not supposed to be released as a record, just documents. It featured line-ups that had not appeared on record before and the music was very interesting. I was listening to the ‘Sowiloï’ tape a lot, so for me I think it was necessary to do it, but I am not very proud of the way it was done. It could have had some good colour covers. I regret doing it because it was possible to do it well.
AG: But the LP has largely been forgotten about now anyway, I mean it was on Tapioca. Just out of interest, have you ever had any contacts with GONG?
KB: Not really, not close, we were on tour together and now the crew we have is the crew that was with GONG. Bernard Szajner was doing the lasers with them and then I met him and asked him to do some laser work for us. He worked with us for two years. He was not really musical, but he has very nice concepts, he is very intelligent.
AG: Yes, he said in an interview that the music came later. You were on his ‘Visions of Dune’ album. Tell me about ‘Ourgon and Gorgo’.
KB: On the album they were played by Guy Delacroix, the original concept was of two bassists, one nice and one not. Then it was realised on stage with Jean-Luc Chevalier as Gorgo and Michel Hervé as Ourgon. Benoît Widemann was the keyboard player on the ‘Attahk’ album but onstage it was Andre Hervé. Andre and Michel came from a band called ZOU (previously ZOO).
AG: Did Christian at that time have a concept or a story, or was the Ourgon and Gorgo thing the main part’?
KB: We thought a lot about the concept, much more than the music. We decided to go a step ahead, we decided to change clothing from black to red (white dresses for the girls) and to include some choreography and things like that, which resulted in a good show.
AG: You have done a lot of touring with that band in the last couple of years haven’t you, a huge number of concerts.
KB: That is part of the reason why I am leaving, I am not tired of touring but I’m tired of touring for nothing. Not even in the sense of money really, the money from the tours is not good, we don’t sell more records as a result of concerts. We are not more famous.
AG: No, you find that in France that is not happening, you are touring but you are not getting that many new fans to the music. The people who already buy the records are the people who are going to continue buying the records.
KB: I don’t know what is happening but it seems to me like the same story for years and years. I don’t want that. So I am tired of France and the French concept of the ridiculous amateur, really the un-professionalism of MAGMA from the music to the organisation, many things must be professional but they are not.
AG: But there are not enough of those people around are there?
KB: Yes, we were looking for agents and road crew and musicians and a record company, but we did not find them. I know it is possible to find them but I don’t have the time to do it. I have many things to do, I am starting to do new things in France writing articles because I know my subject, but it does not change my life. If I want to stop, I will stop tomorrow, or yesterday! I am preparing myself to go to the United States to produce LPs, I have started to produce music but there is no market. I even tried to do something very funny, I presented a tape to a record company in France and in the middle of some things I had produced I put the CRUSADERS. And the record company said there was no market for it! So I decided it was no joke for me, I was not very happy about it so I decided to stop. I have produced some things for other people where I sing a bit and that is all.
AG: You have done a few things outside MAGMA, for example the Francois Bréant ‘Voyeur Extra-lucide’ album track, which I told him would make a marvellous single.
KB: I have not got a copy of that; I will have to buy it. I don’t have all MAGMA’s records, I have all thealbums though.
AG: What do you actually listen to; do you have a big collection?
KB: I went to California last summer because I was impressed by the Californian music, Doobie Brothers, Toto, Steely Dan. And ZZ-TOP, they are not Californian but I think the same feel of American rock’n'roll. And I used to listen to the rhythm’n'blues sound and soul music and things like that and a lot of very eclectic Jazz. I am now very close to the Doobie Brothers, I went to their homes and I saw them yesterday in their hotel in Paris. And I like to contact American or English musicians, John Wetton is a friend of mine, he is producing an LP in France, singing and playing bass. I have met WEATHER REPORT and have pictures of the band.
AG: Did Francois Bréant approach you and tell you what he would like you to do?
KB: Yes, I have known him for a long time; he is a very kind person.
AG: Then you went on to do Ramon Pipin’s ODEURS album. It must have been quite a departure for you.
KB: Have you heard about the Au bonheur des dames album? It was a band a little bit like SHA NA NA; they have had hits. It’s a kind of rock’n'roll revival with jokes, and the guitar player, Ramon Pipimi was a MAGMA fan from the beginning. I had seen him many times in the halls with his wooden leg, so I recognised him easily but I did not know he was a guitar player. One day I met him in the street and he said “Come and see us we have built a studio called Ramses and it is a very close by”. So one day I went and they were doing the first session for their first LP, they were looking for a backing vocalist so I decided to do it for free, as a friend. So I was on the first ODEURS album in the chorus. Then they decided to make a big TV show and on just one occasion they put together some musicians from the first LP to form a band. About thirty of us practised for that, it was a large part of MAGMA, I was very happy. On stage it was a very visual thing. I don’t like their first two LPs but we are now finishing the third, which is more like something between the TUBES and ZAPPA and the Rocky Horror Show. I am really enjoying doing this album, because at first I was just a guest to sing in the background, but later they gave me a song to sing. Then they asked me to join the band. The choir was Stella Vander and Liza so we decided to do it together with a lot of MAGMA musicians. The third album should be issued in a month or two, and then ODEURS are doing a big concert at L’Olympia in June.
AG: I’d like to come over for that, and the concert that Didier Lockwood is doing later on this month with Christian, Jannick and others.
KB: It was two months ago; I recorded it.
AG: Oh, it’s been on, because in Best magazine, it is scheduled for this month in Paris?
KB: I don’t know, I have lost contact with them, I was so angry. They have started to go on stage again and I haven’t seen them. Not because of Christian himself. I am angry because it is so bad for him, it’s a shame after ten or twelve years to do that, it’s terrible.
AG: Well I have almost come to the end of my questions. One point I have always been interested in is that MAGMA have always had a lot of musicians from Jazz backgrounds like Yochk’o Seffer, Didier Lockwood, Benoît Widemann recording all their solo stuff. How much of an influence do you think MAGMA has had on those musicians? Do you think they and you would be doing what you are doing now if MAGMA had not existed?
KB: Well it would be impossible, MAGMA was too important to every musician in Paris not just in the sense of music but he helped us to create something because Vander is so strong. And I felt it was never in the audience because the music that the other musicians played was so different to the music of MAGMA. That’s different to sounds or things like that, so that’s music. Before MAGMA there was no audience, ergo no musicians. After, there were sonic musicians and they called it Jazz-Rock. But that was jazz-rock before Jazz-Rock existed.
AG: Obviously I can’t ask him, but for Christian is MAGMA entirely his life, he has never really played with anyone else.
KB: No, not really apart from the new Patrick Gauthier LP which Patrick asked him to do. But you know MAGMA is Christian and Christian is MAGMA. So he does not need to do anything else and he can’t because if Christian does not know the music he can’t make a decision, so it takes hours and hours because he doesn’t understand how to do it, because it is another universe for him. He can do it technically, but if there is no spirit he can’t, we tried it many times but…
ed: Andy concluded the interview by finishing off his family tree.
KB: MAGMA #21 ! It’s MAGMA #22 now, the new line-up. Maria ? Ah yes, Popkiewicz she’s gone. MAGMA Re-signed to Philips in 1980? No, that’s not true. We were supposed to re-sign.
AG: That was from a report in Best magazine about the time of time Retrospektïw concerts.
KB: Ah what’s this? An album with Christian and René Garber? That was not MAGMA.
AG: Yes again that is from a French music magazine report that Christian had recorded an album with René Garber for release, what was that then?
KB: Yes but it was not on record and it was not Christian and René, just Christian.
AG: Whatever happened to it?
KB: I don’t know. He must have lost it. So this is wrong.
AG: Because I was just going to publish this tree as a supplement to the Faceout magazine.
KB: No we have not toured with Top and Paganotti together. The ‘Üdü Wüdü’ line-up did not actually tour. Ourgon and Gorgo on the album were both Guy Delacroix. Jean-Luc Chevalier was Gorgo on the tour but did not play on the album.
AG: Because you had the concept of the two basses on the album, the earth bass and the air bass, but Guy Delacroix played all the parts on the album.
KB: That’s right…I was at art school from 1964.
AG: Did you get any qualifications?
KB: Yes, I am an art teacher.
AG: Do you wish you had devoted more to art than to music?
KB: At first, that was my first job, but I started music at the same time but music was stronger. I was doing a lot of work and concerts at night.
AG: I know you have done a marvellous portrait of Christian Vander, you even got the eyes perfect.
KB: MAGMA #22 should include the two horn players from WEIDORJE, Alain and Yvon Guillard, I think Christian was a little surprised at my departure and so he decided to have some fresh air.
AG: How did the Retrospektï? concerts come about, was it Christian’s idea?
KB: It’s a long story; we decided to do it before GONG did theirs. That was our idea and they copied it, because they were not touring a lot, so we waited until we had a good enough band to do it and it happened last June. But it was planned one and a half years before. And we planned too, to go to the United States for a short visit as soon as we had a proper band we would tour again and then do the Retrospektïw. But the tour was so badly organised, I decided not to do it. They asked me to do the Retrospektïw concerts for three weeks and finally I agreed but I regret it, I did it for the people and it was very emotional so I don’t regret all of it, but it was badly organised. So afterwards I decided to stop. Christian did too, but recently he decided to tour again.
AG: Because there was originally a tour scheduled for Germany, Italy and Scandinavia last summer, that never happened?
KB: No, because of the bad organisation. It’s a long story; I don’t want to say any more but that will be MAGMA’s death, the organisation. The music is so strong that this is stupid.
Andy’s interview terminated after exactly two hours at that point when his tapes ran out. Thank you immensely to Klaus for granting us this rare insight into the story of MAGMA in English.
Next issue: Review of ZAO ‘SHEKINA’ CD… Interview with Christian Vander… Feature on Univers Zero… Review of Laurent Thibault’s CD… and more Zeuhl stuff.
CHRISTIAN VANDER TRIO
06-11-92 Villebonte sur Yvette 10-11-92 La Louvière, Belgian Jazz Festival 18-11-92 Le Sunset, 60 rue des Lombards, 75001 Paris 19-11-92 Le Sunset, Paris 20-11-92 Le Sunset, Paris 21-11-92 Le Sunset, Paris 18-12-92 Drancy 15-01-93 Meaux 29-01-93 Salle Le Royal, Pessac-Bordeaux 30-01-93 Pessac-Bordeaux 12-02-93 Issoudun
LES VOIX DE MAGMA – Special Concerts
29-04-93 Palais des Congrés, Le Mans (Europa Jazz Festival du Mans) 06-05-93 Bordeaux (to be confirmed)
ZEUHL / JAZZ – Concerts
??-01-93 XAAL (supporting IQ) London (to be confirmed) 12-11-92 Simon Goubert Duc des Lombards, Paris. 13-11-92 Simon Goubert Duc des Lombards, Paris. 14-11-92 Simon Goubert Duc des Lombards, Paris.
DOUARNENEZ CONCERT 02-08-92
Pierre de Ramefort supplies the following full track list for the 02-08-92 Douarnenez concert mentioned last issue: ‘Ëmëhntëht-Rê opening’, ‘To Love’, ‘I Must Return’, ‘C’est pour nous’, ‘Tous Ensemble (All Together)’, ‘Zëss’, ‘Ronde de Nuit’, ‘Theusz Hamtaahk’, ‘Wurdah Ïtah (2nd part)’, ‘Mekanïk Destruktïw Kommandöh (2nd part)’, ‘La Marche Celeste’. The next OFFERING album is expected to be a studio album that will include ‘La Marche Celeste’.
Jean-Christophe Alluin did a long interview with Klaus Blasquiz and Bernard Paganotti after a concert by their group (PAGA) in Brittany in September. Claude Salmieri (drums) has left PAGA GROUP. He was replaced by François Laizeau. Their current record project is a little behind schedule.
CHRISTIAN VANDER – Christopher Colombus
Christian Vander composed the music for a street “son et lumiêre” spectacular about Christopher Colombus in the city of Reims – He played keyboards and also narrated the story. Part of this music was presented in the intro tapes at the start of the recent concerts in Paris.
Patrick Gauthier replaced Pierre-Michel Sivadier for the October concerts by LES VOIX DE MAGMA in Paris. Patrick has formed his own group with Julie Vander, Antoine Paganotti (Bernard’s son) on drums, and Bénédicte Ragu. They are already planning to record a new album for Seventh Records too.
KISS BOOTLEG CD
Last September saw the release on the Kiss label of a bootleg CD called ‘Theusz Hamtaahk – Premier Mouvement’ taken from a high quality 150 minute audio of a concert at L’Opera in Reims (supposedly on 2nd March 1976). The sound quality is almost excellent, but with too much treble, and a lack of bass or general presence. Otherwise it is a genuine live sound and brilliant music. The tracks are 1. ‘Köhntarkösz’ (33:32) and 2. ‘Theusz Hamtaahk’ (33:34). The booklet has some original drawings of Christian in action. I presume the actual source of this was a fine concert in Reims on 1-3-76 that featured the ‘Hhaï / Live’ line-up with Bernard Paganotti on bass, Didier Lockwood on Violin and Gabriel Federow on guitar. This same line-up later played MAGMA’s last gig in the UK at the New Victoria. The concert in Reims featured ‘Köhntarkösz’ (32:50) leading into ‘De Futura’ (14:20) then ‘Theusz Hamtaahk’ (34:45). The concert finale was a long ‘Mekanïk Destruktïw Kommandöh’, which started fairly faithful to the 4-73 recording but after a few guitar excursions broke into ‘Mekanïk Zaïn’ with another soaring Violin solo. Unfortunately the keyboard backing was a bit lame towards the end of the piece, as if their fingers got stuck. There are rumours of two similar CDs on the Wildbird label due to emerge from Italy soon.
In the first week of September 1992, M6 (French TV) re-broadcast their Paris Premiere show of an OFFERING concert at MJC d’Orgemont, Epinay-sur-Seine. This concert was recorded on 20-12-89 and the original transmission was about 65 minutes long including twenty minutes of the encore by the Christian Vander Trio. This was not an especially exciting concert but it was well filmed and at least means that some good picture quality videos are in circulation…. unlike the psychedelic washed-out Chorus TV tapes…. Has anyone seen a broadcast of the Christian Vander Trio in Pernes Les Fontaines (July 1991)? That was a stunning show that deserves worldwide TV exposure.
MAGMA TV REUNION!
ARTE (Franco-German cultural TV) recorded a Didier Lockwood TV special in the week ending 26-09-92 for transmission on 19th December 1992. Didier performed with various group line-ups from his eighteen year career, one of which he insisted had to be a reformation of MAGMA. Christian Vander, Klaus Blasquiz, Bernard Paganotti, Patrick Gauthier and Stella agreed, and they played a version of ‘Mekanïk’ in the TV studio. Gabriel Federow was invited to play guitar too but he had stopped performing music, so did not appear.
Seventh have regained the rights to the masters of ‘MDK’, which is now available in true CD quality.
In order to fight against bootleggers (see above) Zebëhn has founded a new record label called AKT which will release Live material by opening the Vander archives!. AKT I was of course the “Les Voix” album discussed elsewhere. The third album may be a recording from Toulouse 24-09-75. The current release date is February 1993 to tie in with the delayed release of ‘Retrospektïw I et II’. Future “official bootleg” releases are planned especially with unreleased material featuring Jannick Top. For example the latest release, any day now, is strange recording of René Garber, Jannick Top, Klaus Blasquiz and Christian Vander in a mad jam session from 1973, recorded at the Manor in Oxford on the night alter the recording of ‘MDK’, this improvisational album is called “NËHÈH”, yet also referred to as “SONS”.
CHRISTIAN VANDER – JOHN COLTRANE
Christian Vander said he has recorded an interview for a French TV show about John Coltrane, to be broadcast on the 2nd of January 1993 on the satellite TV channel CANAL+.
Look out for a new project in 1993 by PHILIPPE CAUVIN, he made two marvellous Zeuhl solo albums in the early 80′s ‘Memento’ and particularly ‘Climage’ and some fine music with his group – UPPSALA.
LE GRAND BLUES BAND
The first album by LE GRAND BLUES BAND will be released in November or December on the New Rose label and it features Klaus Blasquiz.
Daniel Denis (ex-UNIVERS ZERO) has started recording a new album for 1993 release, co-produced by Musea and he is also searching for a new manager and venues for a possible tour.