Ork Alarm! # 22

August 1994

CONTENTS

  • Klaus Blasquiz Raconteur
  • Magma The Formations (Andy Garibaldi)
  • Zeuhl Harmonies
  • Mekanïk Grafik Expo ’94 – (André Liedet, Vincent Sauvion, Thierry Moreau)
  • Ork! Update

Klaus Blasquiz

Raconteur – Paris 3-5-94

Paul Mummery

When Andy Garibaldi interviewed Klaus (‘Ork Alarm! #10 & #11), he covered a large part of the story from 1969 to 1980. Thierry asked about the graphic art side of his career in OA #20. Since Klaus has his new Magma book project in his computer, let’s fill in some of the gaps, those mysterious missing links. It would be very intriguing if he could tell us some exotic stories about Magma as well….

PM:     You were in a band called STUFF before you met Christian in 1969?

KB:     Yes, first there was BLUES MAKERS then BLUES CONVENTION then Richard Pinhas and I left Blues Convention and we both joined STUFF. I first actually met Christian and Zabu at a studio on the 25th of July 1969. I may have seen him that spring, but I’m not sure. I remember we had just arrived with STUFF; they were late of course… We could hear them from upstairs, but when we arrived to set up to rehearse it was a one-room studio so we waited in the same room for them to finish. I was so impressed, they had no p.a. system, I saw this guy with a blue shirt, which was as wet as hell and he had such a small drum. Our drummer was terrible, no rebound, no swing, nothing. This guy impressed me but the rest of the band were terrible, Laurent Thibault, Zabu and I think Francis Moze was on organ. I have this image of Christian, very clean but in a tight shirt soaked in sweat, and tight pants. He was clean and unfashionable at that time. I also met René Morizur (the saxophonist who used to be with Johnny Halliday) he was in the first band before Magma, you know MAGMA COMPOSEDRA ARGUEZDRA. The Stuff band split up, then in September Claude Engel took me to the pre-Magma band rehearsal at Les Studio Pathé Marconi in Pont de Sévres near Paris. I met Christian again; they recorded a session (which we hear may come out on an AKT CD – Ed.). I was not in the band then, but that was the real beginning. I saw what I was looking for, people doing modern things not stupid Rock’n'Roll things.

PM:     Do you recall the album Gilles Elbaz and Siegfried Kessler recorded with some of Magma in 1972? Were you involved and who were the musicians?

KB:     Giles Elbaz? We should ask the machine (Klaus interrogates his computer). ’72? It sounds familiar; we also recorded with Eddy Mitchell very early in the Magma story (‘Zig Zag’ by Eddy Mitchell, March 1972 – Ed.). I remember we took this picture for a magazine. It was a session where we were not paid as Magma, but as a band of musicians who played together. Anyway, let’s search for Elbaz, no it’s not here, in ’72 we did some TV sessions and I was working on the book about Kobaïa.

PM:     What happened to that book?

KB:     It was never finished; I was supposed to leave the band at that time (laughs).

PM:     Looking at your agenda for 1972, I’m surprised that there were so many TV appearances. Do you or Christian have any of these on tape?

KB:     No, not on video.

(Klaus continued to search through his Macintosh computer for interesting anecdotes concerning 1972).

KB:     We signed the contract with Kigali (set up by Giorgio Gomelsky after months of “floating” association with Magma) and then we were trapped. All the money went to him and never came back (laughs). We had an Australian roadie called Peter who I remember was tall and he would eat all the food off the table, he was very nice but a strain because of all the beer he’d drink. We did a session with Barre Phillips trying out for time band.

PM:     What happened in Bilzen on August the 19th, 1972?

KB:     Ah, the infamous Bilzen gig, a big festival in Belgium where Christian was hit by the road manager of STREAK, a British band. He had to have surgery (Klaus indicated a broken cheek bone – Ed.). We had been playing for fifteen minutes then everything stopped. It all began with an argument we had with the organisers, we were supposed to play at 17h00, but when the time came there were still three bands to play. So we decided not to play at all. They were a little upset because we were more famous in Belgium than Streak. But Streak were supposed to be “the stars” and playing after us, because they were British, clever and organised, and we weren’t. So we had decided not to play because the organisation was a mess, and then the organisers decided to switch the bands around – a big mistake. So we played after all. Then while Christian was playing, a guy from Streak came up with a big ring on his finger and thumped him. It was like being hit with a hammer, could you imagine? While playing! Then Loulou, our road manager who is a big guy, threw him ten metres into the audience. Their road manager ended up in hospital.

PM:     Between 1972 and 1973, did Magma play concerts with an orchestra? I have a cheesy cassette where it sounds like the orchestra are playing ‘Carmina Burana’ along with the band performing part of ‘Mekanïk’. Can you tell us about that period?

KB:     No way! We did play with a classical choir, but never with a symphony orchestra. The conductor was a very nice guy, in between these three worlds of Rock’n'Roll, Jazz and Classical. I think he put the choir on especially for the occasion because we had to decide which one was able to do the thing, and even then it was not sufficient. It was a very heavy thing to carry. Every bar was a fight; just listen to the demo (‘Mekanïk Kommandöh’ Seventh VI Z). We did not use the choir for ‘MDK’, I did the choir parts for that with the girls, because we had this problem. It is very common with French musicians, that they are not able to work together as a team. So it does not sound like a band, it sounds like musicians who have just been put together to sing.

PM:     I thought perhaps the problem was that they could not pronounce the Kobaïan language.

KB:     No, the main problem was rhythm and then the sound. Because we needed a choir that sounded like a choir – not a pile of musicians; French amateurs. So it was nice for a demo and for the two concerts that we did in Bordeaux (I think), but not enough for us to bring all this to England. And I think it sounds more like a choir with Christian, Stella and I, rather than the original choir. I don’t remember the exact number of singers; there were more than twenty-five for sure, but less than fifty.

PM:     It was better with just Stella and yourself.

KB:     Much better, because we were used to sounding like a choir, just taking the most essential parts and making it sound choral. Sometimes on stage I sang the old parts like ‘Mekanïk’ all the way through on my own, because Stella was not there all the time and Christian was playing drums, except for a few bars. So that’s how I was obliged to learn how to sound like a choir. Furthermore the band’s style of playing was changed, instead of just playing their instruments they were playing like an orchestra – it was quite new. For Janik and Mickey all the parts were massive, heavy and essential. That’s why we had two keyboards at the time, so many parts to play.

PM:     Can you tell us about the UK tours? I remember the first time you were at the Marquee in ’73, you did not sit in the dressing room before the gig. You sat next to the stage, almost amongst the audience.

KB:     Maybe because it was so small. I have some special memories of this tour, the people we met in the UK were nice people, nice musicians and also there was a live recording of ‘Mekanïk’ on the Rolling Stone Mobile… No that was later in ’75 at the Roundhouse, we played so many times at the Roundhouse I know it by heart. I remember in ’74 at the Marquee, the ambience in the dressing room was like a garbage can with writing and drawings on the wall, and I remember not feeling very good. Then when we were on stage Christian played too loud and Janik turned his amp up to maximum volume. It was like a musical fight, it was like an earthquake. But the audience loved it because the music was great, and the sound! You can imagine! I had very little fold back and I was used to not being able to hear myself.

PM:     That 1974 line-up had a terrific sound.

KB:     Yeah, and all the guys involved will remember well the last concert we did with Janik, Gerard, Christian and me in Colmar. And Gorutz (Gabriel Federow) was playing in the support band that day, in a strange jazz trio – he remembers too. Janik was playing all the cello parts on bass because there was only one keyboard and it was not a synthesizer, it was just a Fender Rhodes. Can you imagine? Just five fingers on each hand, playing a million parts (Klaus then hums the tunes). I’m learning how to play Janik’s parts on bass, it’s terrible just twisting your fingers, because he also used a different type of tuning and everything is so strange. This is the strongest memory I have of a concert, which was supposed to be hard to play… I can go on forever.

PM:     By the way, what is the correct spelling of “Jannick”?

KB:     J-A-N-I-K.

PM:     Do you know anything about a live solo album by Janik Top, which was supposedly recorded in 1975?

KB:     It’s funny you should ask. It was supposed to be released, but I was not in the band. They were called UTOPIC SPORADIC ORCHESTRA and yesterday I saw the guy who was responsible for the sound for their three rehearsals and the concert in Nancy. I had to test some p.a. systems at Alain Francais’ company yesterday and he surprised me with a tape of the show (Klaus hums the introduction to ‘De Futura Hiroshima’). I said, “Ah, I know what that is”. But I was not there, I was not invited, there was something strange between me and Janik as usual. I was the only one in Magma who was not playing in this band.

PM:     Was that their only concert? I know someone who claims to have a test pressing of something like this.

KB:     Only one concert, but it was recorded. They played the same tune three times, perhaps because of sound problems. Alain told me they played for maybe seventeen minutes, then the people asked for more so they played it a second time. Then for an encore they played it a third time. If a white label exists it is a bootleg. It was never mixed, although we expected it to be done. I’m not even sure that there are multi-track tapes.

“There were a lot of demos…”
PM:     Did Magma record anything in the studio that was not released?

KB:     No, not very much. There were a lot of demos and concerts of course.

PM:     No complete albums? I’m thinking of ‘Ëmëhntëht-Rê’, a 3LP set that Christian spoke about in 1976.

KB:     No, generally it was too expensive to record. But there are most definitely tapes at Christian’s house, which were never released. Either rehearsal tapes, or just demos of Christian on piano and voice. There are thousands of hours of these. And he has to make the decision whether to release them. I know the music of ‘Ëmëhntëht-Rê’ but I don’t know what’s on the tapes, or even the concept of the records. Perhaps it was ten pieces or elements. It was all just an idea. Sometimes it’s just a question of talking, and he does what he says, but it’s not always possible. As I used to say about my solo album – it’s on tape but there is no definite form. Unless I’m convinced it is time to release something I’m not going to work on it, I have so many things to do. But if something happens I’m always ready.

PM:     That would mean the only studio track still to be released on CD is ‘Mekanïk Machine’.

KB:     Yes, but we are looking for radio shows like the BBC and Radio Bremen ones, I can’t speak for Christian, but I’m quite interested in tracing this kind of recording. Because I’m sure there are surprises, tunes never recorded and now forgotten. And even Musicians too, for example Jean-Pierre Lambert and Jean-Luc Chevalier played with the band for quite a while and they didn’t record a lot.

PM:     I remember that the way you used to sing ‘Köhntarkösz’ in ’74 was very different to the album version. For example you used to sing “Hallelujah” a lot at the beginning or sometimes the end.

KB:     Yes it was quite different when ‘Köhntarkösz’ was new. There were different versions; we re-arranged it a lot. And also without preparing anything, things happened on stage, especially with Janik and Christian together, we were never sure what was happening.

PM:     You did some artwork for the ‘Ptäh’ album project, were there any drawings for ‘Ëmëhntëht-Rê’?

KB:     Yes I had sketches and drawings; the main idea was of a big hand with two thumbs, flying towards you. The hand of Ptäh (pronounced TAH! -Ed.). The design for the back cover of ‘Ptäh’ was a sacrophage in space, a rock coffin for Ëmëhntëht-Rê floating in space. It was a big, engraved stone with Egyptian symbols and everything. In place of the sun was Magma’s logo. The front cover was an ancient stone monolith, with a grey-greenish tone, with stars in the background. It was photographed at the final mock-up stage. The originals were destroyed or disappeared somewhere in New York, as were tile Üdü Wüdü drawings!

“I came back for the Retrospektïw”
PM:     It seems like Magma fell apart in 1979, then you returned for the Retrospektïw gigs. Then you left the band, we know why you left and how disappointed you were at the time, but thinking back now, do you regret leaving?

KB:     No I don’t regret it because it was going down and down. I was not the only reason why the band was not okay. It was not like it was before, so I decided to stay for a while to help, but not for pleasure because it was a mess, organisational hell. The band composition was not good and also I had money problems. I was involved in various projects and I was in a serious situation, so continuing to take risks like that was ridiculous. I’m still ready to take chances but I have some experience now, I know how many chances I can take and what results I can expect. If it doesn’t balance completely I may take the chance, but if it’s like the things I have learned for years… We have an expression in France “A scalded cat is frightened by boiling water”. So now when I see people putting their hands in boiling water, I say, “don’t do that!” So I won’t do it again unless I have to save somebody. I knew at the time it was not necessary to continue with this experience. I stayed for twelve years, it was all right – I think. I left in 1980 and I came back for the Retrospektïw just because Christian called me for three or four hours a day and sometimes in the middle of the night. “Klaus you can’t do that, you should leave with prestige.” Imagine; I was sure it would be a mess, I would not get paid enough, I would have to organise everything. Why!? Eventually I said yes and it was a mess and then I wasn’t paid. It was for the same reason as I said before; because this guy put his hand in the boiling water, so I had to pay for him to go to the hospital. That was the last time I was trapped.

PM:     You returned as a guest for the ‘MERCI’ album, what do you think of that album?

KB:     Well, I don’t like it at all, but I was gone for two or three years, I lived in Los Angeles for a while and came back and forth. I was still involved in the ODEURS band who recorded at the Ramses studio. I’d got off the plane and went to Ramses and going down the stairs to the studio I met the jazz-rock-blues guitar player Jean-Michel Kajdan and he said to me “Hello Klaus, I’m going to an audition for Christian’s next album, right now.” So I said “Wait for me one minute, until I’ve done my bit and then I’ll come to the studio with you.” His audition took five hours, he was playing bass, not guitar. Then he tried guitar parts, I don’t think it worked too well. But Christian took me to one side with Stella and said, “Would you like to sing on this? I’d like you to hear every tune we have made….” Okay, so it got to midnight, three hours later and he was saying, “Listen to this,” “Where is the tape?” “Where’s the right version?” You know – a right mess, so I was trapped. It was an experience like in a movie, an earthquake but I was not in danger, so okay, I listened and then I heard this R’n'B tune which sounded quite good; ‘I Must Return’. A guy was singing the base demo for it – just for the musicians to understand what was happening with the lead vocal. And they said, “You should sing this.” I hadn’t sung in English for years, and I liked it and then he said “Okay I’ll set up a session for you and I’ll call you.” It was six in the morning, so I left and they were still working… crazy. They had the studio for three or four days at a very cheap price.

Then three weeks later I had a call from Christian on my answering machine that said “Will you be ready to come for a session next Wednesday?” I said that I could. It was like ten o’clock in the evening, and they were late, of course. At two o’clock I said, “let me hear the tune again”, because I did not have a tape, it was a mess as usual. I learned the lyrics and everything and then at three o’clock I tried the first take, just once through with many mistakes. So I said, “it’s not too bad, but I want to do it again”. We made a second take without erasing time first one. Then it was 4 or 5am, so I said “Okay I’ll take a tape of it and I’ll work on it and you can call me back when the next session is fixed up and I’ll be ready, I’ll do it perfectly, I’ll improvise if you want.” Two takes and then after that no news at all, until I received the record six months later. So what you hear is my first two attempts. So he made a choice between those two takes. I made mistakes like it’s “the night we died” and I sang “the night when we died”, which doesn’t sound right in English, but I made that mistake on the second take and I didn’t do it on the first. But they chose that part, and it was done (Klaus sings) “The night we died, the night when we died”. There was another, I don’t remember the lyrics but it was bear something and on the tape it sounds like beer and it’s there on the record forever. Because of this mess! It was a nice experience, but it confirmed that I wasn’t able to work seriously with Christian any more – in the way it was organised. But I really appreciate the way he keeps his things together, having three bands. It’s still a mess I know.

PM:     But he survives.

KB:     Yeah, and that’s the way he is, but again I can’t work like that any more. And he does not need me, I mean if he needs me then he needs Janik too. But now it’s not MAGMA any more, it’s Christian. If I go to see Les Voix de Magma, and Christian is not there, I’m not interested. If he appears, there is something happening – even if it’s the worst – there is something strong. I’m interested as a spectator. And I’m still ready as a musician to be involved in it, but punctually. If Janik decided, like three years ago, to reform a sporadic Magma just for a tour and a record, I’m ready. Even though I know we will have problems, because we had the Mekanïk tour in 1990. One night I didn’t have a room reserved, so at three in the morning I had to look for a hotel. And I wasn’t paid until three months afterwards. Things like that are ridiculous. I didn’t ask for the money, I asked for respect.

PM:     How did that 1990 tour come about? Did he just phone you up one day?

KB:     It was like ten years after the Retrospektïw, ten years after I left the band, so I said “Okay, how many?” and he said “Five concerts, three days of rehearsal and you know ‘Mekanïk’ by heart so it will be okay.” And La Cigale (22-2-90) was fabulous. I was touched; my heart was broken. Afterwards we were in tears, it was very nice. But then concert after concert, the lack of respect and the organisation was useless. You know, once again the boiling water. I said “For sure it’s going to be a problem if you don’t reserve the… ” and he said “Don’t worry, there’s someone working on it.” You know, but I’m not Christian; so these guys work for Christian they don’t work for me, so I decided after five gigs not to continue. Like in December, Christian rang me and he said “We are going to have more and more concerts” I said “No, I won’t do that, I tell you.” So you understand I’m strong enough to make the balance between things, but it was too much and he was upset. But I said, “the next time I perform ‘Mekanïk’, it’s going to be a MAGMA, not this band of musicians and this organisation.” I was a guest – but not a real guest, I was not invited you know. So I’m not really happy about it and I know the audience was terrific. But also the problem was that they called it a Magma concert, but it was not a MAGMA concert, it was Christian Vander, it was just ‘Mekanïk Kommandöh’ with the Offering band and the Offering concert and the Trio concert too. But at the time Offering were terrible, especially in Elancourt where it was too long. Now it’s okay, some of the tunes are very nice. But at that time it was a long improvisation. So all the things together made me worried about the future of this formula.

PM:     But even with these problems, if he said “Klaus, come back”…

KB:     I won’t come back, I’ll be available for special events but I won’t come back. I’m not available, for the reasons I’ve mentioned.

PM:     Suppose there was a twenty-fifth anniversary concert this year?

KB:     I’ll be there; I’m still ready. I love this music; I love the guy. You know there is nothing forever. You can’t say I’ll never do that again. But I’m sure I won’t be the leader of the band as I was, I mean organiser, accountant and everything, and technician as well. I was doing everything, even the drawings – I loved it but I had to redo everything that was not initially done by me. It was too much, I was organising the rehearsal time, the travel, the tours. Even with managers I had to organise it.

PM:     Looking at your book project, I can see you even paid the musicians salaries.

KB:     Yes I was the accountant, I even paid Giorgio sometimes.

PM:     Let’s talk about PAGA GROUP. What are the chances of Paga coming to the UK for a tour?

KB:     We have concerts in ’94 and we are supposed to have a tour and another record next year. But it’s up to you whether we can come to England, because it is already hard to organise rehearsals and tours in France. Concerts are okay because we can play from time to time. That’s the main problem; it’s a full circle. If we’re not available we cannot rehearse or play. But if we don’t play, we can’t be available because we have to do other things. If we do other things, we are not going to be available for the band. And also the money is a problem, we have spent a lot of money on this band and we need more money. It takes time to get the money and this time is not used for the band. It’s a full circle.

PM:     I have a video of your first concert together at the New Morning, do you think Bernard would consider releasing an official video? Since there is a worldwide audience, who may not have a chance to see this line-up.

KB:     It’s an obvious project if we want to prepare for trips abroad, even as close as the UK. So we have to prepare this, maybe we have to wait for the next album when we have a big company working on it. But this type of music is out-of-time and then we arrive in a country where nobody knows about us… Even in France we are playing in places organised by our fans, so even here we do not know when and where we are rehearsing until two days before. We should not think too much about it. I think we have to act. The next concerts may give an answer to that question.

The professional video of our first two concerts at the New Morning was with the first band, without Eric and Francois. So it’s not a good indication of what we are doing now. We have to make another one, but things happen in the meantime. And music is coming out. You know, it reminds me of when we put out each of Magma’s records; the fans were disappointed. “This is not Magma music” – you know, ‘Magma 2′. And then “Oh, there’s no more guitar, it’s not Magma” or “There’s no horns, it’s not Magma.” “Oh, Janik Top is not Francis Moze, it’s ridiculous, it’s not Magma!” (laughs). And then “The second Paga album is not Paga”, for them. But for me it’s the same, it just sounds different.

PM:     Yes, every album, whether it be Magma or Paga, each record is very different from the last one, but the spirit of the music is the same.

KB:     I think so, but music is not material, spirit is even less material than music. Understand how the architects have conceived the building. You don’t have a good idea of the picture of it. Even if you live in it, you can understand things from the surface. But the spirit; the mind; the conceptions? Even if you look at a map, or plan or sketches you just have an image of it. And music sometimes is just the image of the spirit that is behind it, giving life to it. You know, it’s like the difference between a real woman (with blood, bones and skin) and a blow-up doll. If you look at them, they look alive but when you touch a woman you know there is life in her. But if you stick a pin in the doll it bursts and then there is no structure, no tension, no life, nothing more than the skin. And the skin of music is part of the music, but it’s not at all a good image of what is inside, which is more than blood and bones. So the spirit is the same, but if there is no image for the spirit you cannot say, “This is the spirit.” What is the spirit? You can’t explain with words. That’s why we’re playing music, because the magic, you know the spiritual part of it is inexplicable.

PM:     It seems to me that this spirit comes through more in concert than it does on record.

KB:     It shouldn’t.

PM:     It’s partly the visual aspect, but the albums seem slightly more sterile than even concert tapes.

KB:     Yes, because there is also a Time factor, and also the Audience factor which is very important for the musicians. There is also the Trance factor. Because the way we used to record for twenty years is not wrong, but it is so different from the live conception of playing music. The time is destroyed and even the natural balance of playing together is different, so that means we have to discover. We are like explorers in a native jungle. It is marvellous, it’s beautiful, and we have to find a clear place and then meet together and live with one another. That’s the place for concerts. But we have to look for this place, we can’t live just playing in front of people, we have to mark things (Klaus raps on the table). We improvise and then we keep the things we like, we make a choice. But to make a choice we have to keep the things, not to let it go always too far. A musician if he is too generous will die poor. He will not die poor and old; he is dying right away! So he has to share things, not to give everything. That is why we have to write it down. That’s the main difference. But the magic could be behind the surface of the message in the record. The same. The spirit is there too, even if the approach is different.

PM:     Why are the lyrics for Paga’s songs in English?

KB:     Why not? There is nothing fixed about it, we tried two songs in French for the last album. We were ready to do so without any questions about “Oh it’s not good to sing in French.” But I don’t know, either the quality of the lyrics or the swing of the lyrics. It is possible to sing and swing in French. So either it’s the voice or me. We encountered a mass of problems, so it was not possible. Carol Rowley wrote English lyrics (used on the record) for a tune originally written in French by Ronnie Bird that was eventually not “acceptable” in French. She did it in a hurry, and it was okay. It’s ‘Coup de Blues’. By the way, she lives in London and is very active in the music business. Maybe we have to work again on this concept, but as I say it is not fixed. But, it is not a commercial decision. If it sounds good and it’s also good for export, okay. But if we sing in French and if it’s good, okay. If it is not good for export, it will still be okay. Bernard also had a Japanese song on the first album, so it’s not a fixation or a blocked concept. It’s open.

PM:     Speaking of Japan, there seems to be a growing market over there for this music.

KB:     Yeah, we are selling more of Paga’s records in Japan than anywhere, and I’m sorry to say this, but if we have to leave France for an experience in the real sense, I think we should go to Japan. We have good contacts there. Bernard just came back from Japan and King Records are ready to work on the next album and distribute the first three (the two with the band and the solo). You know the Japanese magazine Marquee? They are crazy! I just met the guy like I met you and they worked a lot. They made mistakes but you know they worked hard, which is great.

PM:     Apart from Marquee magazine, they have four or five bands who are playing Zeuhl music now, like HAPPY FAMILY and RUINS.

KB:     Oh yeah? I don’t know these bands. When I was in Japan I was curious, so I went to the clubs, concerts and I was invited to the Yamaha schools too. But what I saw did not interest me at all. I’m surprised that you say there are four or five bands like this.

PM:     Maybe they like this music because it is so different in style to the traditional stuff?

KB:     I suppose it could happen anywhere in the world, even in the States or Russia. I know we have fans in the USSR but it is so difficult for them. I know there are bands in Germany and even in England, but their situation is so different, and also they have the power. And it is so far from Europe, it’s new and also underground, so they keep it as their secret band; a precious unknown underground – it’s a cult. Which is okay, but it only leaves room for five bands. A New Wave should have space for millions of musicians. Which is not the case, the music situation is terrible. It’s not just a question of making a choice of what to hear, we can’t make any choices now, and we have to look for things like traditional music. That is why I’m going to South America or Africa. Because it is my food, I don’t like this burger they are giving everybody, so l’m leaving. I play in a percussion ensemble every year in Rio for the big carnival. I need it, instead of this out-of-tune music with no spirit. It’s a really terrible era for music; it never was really good but… I don’t mean in France especially, France is terrible for music, of course, but it’s not perfect anywhere.

PM:     What do you do in-between concerts?

KB:     I am a vocal coach, a vocal teacher. I was in Cannes last week for that and I played with Le Grand Blues Band while I was there. I do sessions, master classes and teaching as well. I’m writing my method and books and articles too. So that’s why I travel for reports and shows in Amsterdam, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and so on. So iIt makes me a living, not comfortable but it’s enough not to die.

PM:     Do you review music?

KB:     No, I don’t review a lot, because there is no music, so I don’t review. In the eighties, I wrote about UZEB and TOTO and Ry Cooder, but this is not new music. It’s not research and findings, it’s traditional, beautifully played, it’s essential, but give me research too. Fresh air.

PM:     You are interested in two completely different styles, the old R’n'B approach and this research, this experimentation.

KB:     Well, when I say research I mean finding things, I’m interested in the way we research. But if there are no results, there is no interest. I like to find things.

PM:     Moving forward to 1995, do you think the next Paga album will take a new direction?

KB:     Yes, mainly because of the musicians and also I’m going to write some tunes and maybe Eric Séva will too. He is a beautiful musician; he is able to do some beautiful things. And I think François Laizeau is going to influence the band a lot. His playing is so different from the terrible drumming we hear these days.

PM:     Have you seen Julie Vander’s band HAMTAI / ZUKUNFT? The Magma cover band who play ‘Köhntarkösz’ etc.

KB:     No, but it’s great that they do that. Julie told me about them, but she is too shy, she remembers that I know her from long ago, but she won’t speak to me direct, she’s lovely.

PM:     What do you think of the concept of a Magma cover band?

KB:     I think it is a good thing for her and young guys to try and have experiences, it’s very nice. And it’s nice if they try to do their own thing. Like I do with Le Grand Blues Band. But giving too much time to trying to cover is wasting time.

PM:     As I see it, ultimately they can’t go anywhere unless they start writing their own songs. They could perhaps release one album of cover tunes – it’s a dead end.

KB:     Yeah, it is. But it could be nice if they find a strange or funny way to do it. Find French words or translations or jokes or maybe trying to imitate the look and sound so perfectly that it becomes an art. But to cover is always a little sad, it’s never as good as the original. That’s why Bernard was so strong, because he did not like to cover Janik. From an outside point of view it appears that they sound alike when they play Zeuhl Music, but it’s easy for me to recognize the differences, even when they play the same parts. Same songs, even almost the same bass but they are so different. But I have heard two or three bands trying to cover Magma and playing exactly the same parts. It’s a little bit like that with Les Voix de Magma, except it’s nice. Yet most of my parts were improvised, I did them and they have taken everything. Sometimes I did it only once and they keep it, which is strange.

PM:     Basically a cover band can only copy the version on the album, just one performance…

KB:     Which in time is just one second, sometimes less than that, and they use it forever. It’s okay if it’s a record, but if it’s a band and they rehearse it, I’m not so sure. Maybe it will become a tradition one day, it’s not now. So it’s not playing traditional music, it’s covering. Just the surface.

PM:     Throughout our conversation this afternoon, we have been referring to the draft notes of your book about Magma that you have with you today. What can you tell us about it, and how can we help?

KB:     These guys came to a Paga concert with document and photograph lists, and said, “Which year are you interested in?” I told them 1975 and whoosh – they had everything. They were looking for specific information which I had sleeping in my diaries, waiting to be awoken. So I started to do so, it’s quite a lot of work. I have one year, I think it’s 1985, where I hope to find traces of information, but now it is blank. The idea is to write a book with these notes and a lot of pictures, because I shot a lot of photographs too. So with the pictures I can bring it all together. I’m sure we can make a beautiful, if not especially historical document. But sufficiently interesting for all kinds of readers, specialized or not. If we find the right kind of balance it would be great to get it published. So YOU (the Ork Alarm! readers) can help. First I am going to print it and spend a weekend at Christian’s trying to check information and then with Bernard and Janik too. I have the main frame of the story and sometimes I’m very precise on some details that nobody else knows, because I was responsible from the inside. I think it would be a couple of years before it could be published, but it might be ready before the end of this year.

PM:     You have a passion for collecting musical instruments and sound equipment, which will lead to exhibitions at your museum in Alfortville. It seems unusual that you collect these things; guitars and microphones etc, but not records. Do you just prefer memories of music?

KB:     No, I have a lot of records, but I don’t collect them. Because I can’t do everything at the same time, it costs a lot of money. So I have all the Coltrane and Miles Davis records and a lot of classical – Bartok, Stravinsky and the French school – but I’m not a collector in the sense that I look for “the blue one” or “the American issue”. Some friends of mine are like that. I prefer to have a CD if I want to listen to music.

PM:     Who is your favourite vocalist?

KB:     Oh! Frank Sinatra.

PM:     And finally, Female singer?

KB:     Sarah Vaughan, I think. Maybe also Billie Holiday and Aretha Franklin. Now I’m rediscovering Nat King Cole, I don’t like very much of the new era. Frank Sinatra’s phrasing is special, but I don’t listen specifically to singers; I listen to bass players, drummers, orchestras and music. But I don’t see any current French singers I like, except maybe Maurane, she is very nice. She sings in tune, she swings, the music is not so good but she sings perfectly. She is the best by far. But Frank Sinatra is the master, for many things; singing in tune, tone, timbre even, swing, and the spirit. Because the spirit behind this is so strong, I don’t care if they say he is a Mafioso or whatever. And very unknown people that I like very much; Donny Hathaway was a master, Sam Cook, Otis Redding, James Brown… Sting is a very nice musician, but the master is Frank Sinatra.

PM:     Okay Klaus, now lets start again. What have you got in your computer for June 1950? … (laughs).


MAGMA

THE FORMATIONS

(recently updated September 2003)

Andy Garibaldi / Paul Mummery (e&oe)

With Addition from Denis Desassis

Magma # 1 - July 1969

Christian Vander – Drums (previously with Chinese)
Laurent Thibault – Bass (previously with Zorgones)
Francis Moze – Keyboards (previously with Zorgones)
Lucien Zabuski aka “Zabu” – Vocals (previously with Zorgones)
Jean Jaques Ferry – Guitar (previously with Chinese)
Jean Goger – ?

Strictly speaking this was most definitely pre-Magma! They played a short tour billed as the CARNABY STREET SWINGERS, during which time they developed the use of their onomatopoeic language, and most importantly they performed ‘Kobaïa’ for the first time. From an historical point of view, this can therefore be considered the true starting point, since Christian’s work prior to this line-up was either Jazz or R’n'B.

Magma # 2 - August ’69 to September ’69

Christian Vander – Drums
Laurent Thibault – Bass
Francis Moze – Keyboards
Rene Garber – Bass Clarinet
Eddy Rabin – Keyboards
Claude Engel – Guitar (previously with Omega Plus)
Lucien Zabuski aka “Zabu” (went solo)

Still pre-Magma as such, the expanded line-up was known as Uniwerïa Zekt Magma Composedra Arguezdra. Some sources claim that Uniwerïa Zekt was conceived by Garber. During constant rehearsals and an early studio recording they met Klaus Blasquiz. Material recorded around this time still exists in Vander’s archives awaiting “documentation” on the AKT label.

Magma # 3 - October ’69 to January ’70

Christian Vander – Drums
Laurent Thibault (left to produce)
Francis Moze – Bass
Rene Garber – Bass Clarinet
François (Faten) Cahen – Keyboards (previously with Mal Waldron)
Paco Charlery – Trumpet
Claude Engel – Guitar
Richard Raux – Saxophone, Flute
Jacky Vidal – Contrebass (left)
Klaus Blasquiz – Vocals (previously with Stuff)

The group composition altered a lot in the early days, (by the way, “e&oe” means “errors and omissions excepted” – just my little joke – Ed.) this is the generally accepted core of the group.

Magma # 4 - January ’70

Christian Vander – Drums
Francis Moze – Bass
Teddy Lasry – Clarinet
François Cahen – Keyboards
Paco Charlery – Trumpet
Claude Engel – Guitar
Richard Raux – Sax, Flute
Klaus Blasquiz – Vocals

Magma # 5 - February ’70 to December ’70

Christian Vander – Drums
Francis Moze – Bass
Teddy Lasry – Clarinet
François Cahen – Keyboards
Claude Engel – Guitar
Paco Charlery – Trumpet (left at start of ’1001 degrees’ rehearsals)
Richard Raux – Saxophone, Flute (left at same time as Charlery)

Magma signed with Philips on April 1st and rehearsed for the ‘Magma Kobaïa’ album which was completed on May 6th, actually there were only three days of recording! Toured in the autumn. Transition December ’70 Christian Vander, Francis Moze, Teddy Lasry, François Cahen, Claude Engel. This jazz combo supported and embarrassed Deep Purple.

2 x LP - Magma - “Kobaïa” (01 to 06-04-70)

Christian Vander – Drums, Vocals
Claude Engel – Guitar, Flute, Vocals
Francis Moze – Electric Bass, Contrabasse
François Cahen – Piano
Teddy Lasry – Soprano Sax, Flute
Richard Raux – Alto and Tenor Sax, Flute
Alain ‘paco’ Charlery – Trumpet, Percussion
Klaus Basquiz – Vocals

Track List:

1. Kobaïa (Christian Vander) 10:09
2. Aina (Christian Vander) 6:15
3. Malaria Christian Vander) 4:20
4. Sohia (Teddy.Lasry) 7:41
5. Sckxyss (François.Cahen) 2:47
6. Aurae (Christian.Vander 10:52
7. Thaud Zaia Claude Engel) 7:00
8. Nau Ektila (Laurent Thibault) 12:55
9. Stoah (Christian.Vander) 8:08
10. Muh (Christian Vander) 11:17

Mgma # 6 - January ’71 to August ’72

Christian Vander – Drums
Francis Moze – Bass (left and joined Gong in December)
Teddy Lasry – Clarinet (Started doing session work)
François Cahen – Keyboards
Claude Engel – Guitar
Klaus Blasquiz – Vocals (Started writing a book about Kobaïa)
Jeff ‘Yochko’ Seffer – Saxophone (previously with Perception, Worked with Paganotti then formed ZAO)
Louis Toesca – Trumpet (Left mid ’71, to rejoin Eddy Mitchell)

Recorded ’1001°C’, then in August ’71, recorded ‘The Unnamables’ using the name UNIVERÏA ZEKT. Magma also recorded the first version of ‘Mekanïk’ for Thélème and later a single version for Philips. Recorded as a session band with Eddy Mitchell and Gilles Elbaz. After a tour (including some gigs with a thirty-voice choir), funds ran out and the group broke up.

Various Artists LP – Puissance 13 + 2 - Magma - Mekanïk Kommandöh (12-01-71)

Klaus Basquiz – Lead Vocals, Percussion
François Cahen – Electric Piano
Francis Moze – Electric Bass
Christian Vander – Drums, Vocals
Teddy Lasry – Saxophone
Jeff Seffer – Saxophone
Louis Toesca – Trumpet

Track:
Mekanïk Kommandöh (Christian Vander) 6:00
Probably the earliest recorded version of Mekanïk Kommandöh.

LP - Magma - 1001° Centigrades (05-04-71 to 10-04-71)

Christian Vander – Drums, Percussion, Vocals
Klaus Basquiz – Vocals, Percussion
François Cahen – Piano, Electric Piano
Francis Moze – Electric Bass
Teddy Lasry – Clarinet, Sax, Flute, Vocals
Jeff Seffer – Sax, Bass Clarinet
Louis Toesca – Trumpet

Track List:

1. Riah Sahiltaahk (Christian Vander) 21:51
2. “Iss” Lansei Doia (Teddy.Lasry) 11:46
3. Ki Iahl O Liahk (François.Cahen) 8:20

LP – Uniwerïa Zekt – The Unnamables (23-08-71 to 29-08-71)

Christian Vander – Drums, Percussion, Vocals (6)
Klaus Blasquiz – Vocals (4,7), Percussion
François Cahen – Pianos
Francis Moze – Bass, Organ
Teddy Lasry – Saxes, Flute, Organ
Jeff Seffer – Saxes
Tito Puentes – Trumpet
Claude Engel – Electric & Acoustic Guitar
Zabu – Vocals (2)
Lionel Ledissez – Vocals (4)

Lionel Ledissez was vocalist with ERGO SUM

Track List:

1. You Speak and Speak Colegram (Teddy Lasry) 2:10
2. Altcheringa (François Cahen, Zabu) 3:27
3. Clementine (Teddy Lasry) 3:00
4. Something’s Cast A Spell (Teddy Lasry, Lionel Ledissez) 4:16
5. Ourania (Christian Vander) 4:23
6. Africa Anteria (Christian Vander) 11:30
7. Undia (Christian Vander) 4:47

CD – Magma – “Bruxelles 1971- Théâtre 140″ (12-11-71)

Klaus Basquiz – Lead Vocals, Percussion
François Cahen – Piano
Francis Moze – Bass
Christian Vander – Drums, Vocals
Teddy Lasry – Soprano Saxophone, Flute
Jeff Seffer – Tenor Saxophone
Louis Toesca – Trumpet

Set List:

Stoah (Christian Vander) 5:23
Kobaïa (Christian Vander) 7:24
Aïna (Christian Vander) 6:17
Riah Sahiltaahk (Christian Vander) 19:09
“Iss” Lanseï Doïa (Teddy Lasry) 11:20
Ki Ïahl Ö Lïahk (François Cahen) 9:36
Sowiloï (Soï Soï) (Christian Vander) 6:58
Mekanïk Kommandöh (Christian Vander) 17:19

This was the first public outing for Mekanïk Kommandöh

Magma # 6.5 - December ’71

Christian Vander – Drums
Klaus Blasquiz – Vocals
Jean-Peirre Lambert – Bass
Teddy Lasry – Clarinet
François Cahen – Keyboards
Jeff Seffer – Saxophone

Magma #7 - September ’72

Christian Vander – Drums
Klaus Blasquiz – Vocals
Jean-Luc Manderlier – Keyboards (previously with Arkham)
Jean-Peirre Lambert – Bass
Rene Garber – Woodwind
Teddy Lasry – Clarinet
François Cahen – Keyboards

Recorded a Teddy Lasry composition for Jean Yanne’s “Moi y’en a vouloir des sous” movie, the soundtrack album of which (Barclay 80 487) is wholly by Michel Magne.

Magma # 8 - September ’72 to November ’72

Christian Vander – Drums
Klaus Blasquiz – Vocals
Jean-Luc Manderlier – Keyboards
Jean-Peirre Lambert – Bass
Rene Garber – Woodwind
Michel Graillier – Keyboards (Disliked touring and left for a while)
Teddy Lasry – Clarinet (Left in October)
François Cahen – Keyboards (Formed ZAO)

Extensive touring including a Belgian concert where the equipment was sabotaged and they were forced to play ‘Mekanïk’ with only vocals and piano.

Magma #9 - November ’72 to March ’73

Christian Vander – Drums, Vocals
Klaus Blasquiz – Vocals
Jean-Luc Manderlier – Keyboards
Jean-Peirre Lambert – Bass (left)
Rene Garber – Bass Clarinet
Gerard Bikialo (previously with Tempest, left when group toured outside France)
Mark Fosset – Guitar (Left in December)
Stella Vander – Vocals (Previously the lighting operator)

The “Demo” version of ‘Mekanïk Kommandöh’ was recorded with the Storchhaus choir in Paris in January. Gomelsky was about to become a millionaire…

CD - Magma - “Mekanïk Kommandöh” (Jan 1973)

Christian Vander – Drums, Vocals, Organ, Percussion
Jean Pierre Lambert – Bass
Klaus Basquiz – Vocals, Percussion
Jean Luc Manderlier – Piano, Organ
Rene Garber – Bass Clarinet, Vocals
Stella Vander – Vocals, Choir Leader
Choirs De La Stochhaus – Choir

Track List:
Mekanïk Kommandöh (Christian Vander) 38:47

Magma #10 - March ’73 to March ’74

Christian Vander – Drums, Vocals
Klaus Blasquiz – Vocals
Janik Top – Bass (previously with Troc)
Jean-Luc Manderlier – Keyboards (Left)
Rene Garber – Bass Clarinet (Left)
Teddy Lasry – Saxophone, Flute (Left after MDK)
Michel Graillier – Keyboards (previously with B. Willen)
Claude Olmos – Guitar (previously with Coeur Magique / alice)
Stella Vander – Vocals

Recorded their third album ‘M.D.K.’. René Garber returned to production but kept in touch with Magma.

LP – Magma – Mekanïk Destruktïw Kommandöh (16-04-73)

Christian Vander – Drums, Vocals, Organ, Percussion
Jannik Top – Bass
Klaus Basquiz – Vocals, Percussion
Jean Luc Manderlier – Piano, Organ
Rene Garber – Bass Clarinet, Vocals
Claude Olmos – Guitar
Stella Vander – Vocals
Muriel Streisfield – Vocals
Evelyne Razymovski – Vocals
Michele Saulnier – Vocals
Doris Reinhardt – Vocals
Teddy Lasry – Brass, Flute

Track List:

1. Hortz Fur Dehn Stekehn West C.Vander 9:36
2. Ima Suri Dondai C.Vander 4:30
3. Kobaïa Is De Hundin C.Vander 3:33
4. Da Zeuhl Wortz Mekanïk C.Vander 7:30
5. Nebehr Gudahtt C.Vander 6:03
6. Mekanïk Kommandöh C.Vander 4:09
7. Kreuhn Kohrmahn Iss De Hundin C.Vander 3:13
8. M.D.K. – Alt.Version (*) C.Vander 34:35

Note: (*) Available on early versions of the Seventh CD only.

CD - Magma - “BBC 1974 Londres” (14-03-74)

Christian Vander – Drums, Vocals
Klaus Blasquiz – Vocals, Percussion
Jannik Top – Bass
Gerard Bikialo – Fender Piano
Michel Graillier – Fender Piano, Claviers
Claude Olmos – Guitar

Set List:

1. Theusz Hamtaahk (Christian Vander) 29:59
2: Köhntarkösz (Christian Vander) 27:26

Magma # 11 - April ’74

Christian Vander – Drums, Vocals
Klaus Blasquiz – Vocals
Janik Top – Bass
Gerard Bikialo – Keyboards
Michel Graillier – Keyboards
Claude Olmos – Guitar
Stella Vander – Vocals

In April, Christian, Janik, Klaus and Stella re-recorded the ‘Tristan et Yseult’ soundtrack (originally a demo from 1971) in three afternoons of recording and three hours of mixing, which just goes to show that the best albums are the ones that are documented when they are fresh…

LP – Magma – “Wurdah Ïtah ” (4-5-8 April-74)

Christian Vander – Drums, Vocals, Piano, Keyboards
Klaus Blasquiz – Vocals, Percussion
Stella Vander – Vocals
Janik Top – Bass

Track List:

1. Malawelakaahm (ChristianVander) 3:37
2. Bradia Da Zimehn Iegah (ChristianVander) 2:17
3. Maneh Fur Da Zëss (ChristianVander) 1:37
4. Fur Dihhel Kobaïa (ChristianVander) 4:55
5. Blum Tendiwa (ChristianVander) 3:25
6. Wohldunt Miem Deweless (ChristianVander) 3:31
7. Wainsaht !!! (ChristianVander) 2:29
8. Wlasik Steuhn Kobaïa (ChristianVander) 2:47
9. Sehnnteht Dros Wurdah Sums (ChristianVander) 3:25
10. C’est La Vie Qui Les A Menes La (ChristianVander) 5:00
11. Ek Sun Da Zëss (ChristianVander) 2:16
12. De Zeuhl Undazir (ChristianVander) 2:41

Magma # 12 May ’74 to September ’74

Christian Vander – Drums, Vocals
Klaus Blasquiz – Vocals
Janik Top – Bass
Gerard Bikialo – Keyboards
Michel Graillier – Keyboards
Brian Godding – Guitarist (previously with Blossom Toes)
Stella Vander – Vocals

Recorded ‘Köhntarkösz’ in 2nd half of May, having spent the first half touring England and Germany. After the recording, a bad tour of Spain took place, resulting in a mass split with Top, Bikialo, Graillier and Godding leaving. Godding had been pulled in at the last minute because Olmos had quit just as the band were going to England, however Brian is not sure why he left, he says he wanted to stay.

LP – Magma -”Köhntarkösz ” – (01-05-74 to 12-05-74)

Christian Vander – Drums, Vocals, Piano, Percussion
Jannick Top – Bass, Cello, Vocals, Piano
Klaus Basquiz – Vocals, Percussion
Gerard Bikialo – Pianos, Yamaha Organ
Michel Graillier – Pianos, Clavinet
Stella Vander – Vocals
Brian Godding – Guitar

1. Köhntarkösz (Part I) C.Vander 15:22
2. Köhntarkösz (Part II) C.Vander 15:55
3. Ork Alarm! J.Top 5:28
4. Köhntarkösz – Version 2 (*) C.Vander 29:50
5. Coltrane Sundia C.Vander 4:11

Notes: (*) Available on early versions of the Seventh CD only. (C.Olmos may be featured on “Köhntarkösz – Version 2″)

Magma #13 - September ’74 to October ’74

Christian Vander – Drums, Vocals
Klaus Blasquiz – Vocals
Janik Top – Bass
Gerard Bikialo – Keyboards

This line-up played a “final” concert in Colmar on the 5th of October 1974, apparently this was one of their truly majestic gigs. Magma split up, but Vander almost immediately assembled a new group. Janik spent a couple of years refining his technique…

Magma # 14 - November ’74 to September ’75

Christian Vander – Drums, Vocals
Klaus Blasquiz – Vocals
Didier Lockwood – Violin (previously with Visitors)
Jean-Pol Asseline – Keyboards (previously with Rhesus O)
Benoît Widemann – Keyboards
Bernard Paganotti – Bass (Had played with CV in the 60′s in Crusiferus)
Gabriel Federow – Guitar (ex Asthme Congelator)
Stella Vander – Vocals (Part-time)

Incessant touring band from which the superb ‘Hhaï/Live’ and ‘Théâtre du Taur’ albums arose.

LP / CD - Magma ”Live / Hhaï” (June 75)

Christian Vander – Drums, Vocals
Klaus Basquiz – Vocals
Stella Vander – Vocals
Bernard Paganotti – Bass
Gabriel Federow – Guitar
Didier Lockwood – Violin
Benoit Widemann – Keyboards
Jean Pol Asseline – Keyboards

Track List:

1. Kohntark (Part 1) (Christian Vander)15:44
2. Kohntark (Part 2) (Christian Vander) 16:16
3. Ëmëhntëht-Rê (Christian Vander) 8:07
4. Hhaï (Christian Vander) 8:41
5. Kobah (Christian Vander) 6:23
6. Lihns (Christian Vander) 5:51
7. Da Zeuhl Wortz Mekanïk (Christian Vander) 6:25
8. Mekanïk Zain (Christian Vander) 19:17

Tracks 3 and 7 were not on the original vinyl release.
This is a 2CD set. A U.S. CD release on the Tomato Label exists (1CD) butthe sound quality is poor and does not feature extra tracks.

CD - Magma ”Théâtre du Taur – Concert 1975 Toulouse” (24-09-75)

Klaus Blasquiz – Vocals & Percussion
Stella Vander – Vocals
Didier Lockwood – Violin
Gabriel Federow – Guitar
Benoit Widemann -Keyboards
Patrick Gauthier – Keyboards
Bernard Paganotti – Bass
Christian Vander – Drums, Vocals

Set List:

1. Köhntarkösz 32:29
2. Hhaï 11:18
3. Kobaïa 11:49
4. Mekanïk Destruktïw Kommandöh 38:15

CD - Magma ”Concert 1976 Opéra de Reims” (02-03-76)

Christian Vander – Drums, Vocals
Klaus Blasquiz – Vocals, Percussion
Bernard Paganotti – Bass
Benoit Widemann – Keyboards
Patrick Gauthier – Keyboards
Gabriel Federow – Guitar
Didier Lockwood – Violin
Stella Vander – Vocals

Set List:

1. De Futura (Jannick Top) 25:00
2. Sons et Chorus de Batterie (Christian Vander) 27:00
3. Köhntarkösz (Christian Vander) 33:32
4. Theusz Hamtaahk (1st Movement) (Christian Vander) 33:34
5: Mekanïk Destruktïw Kommandöh (Christian Vander) 42:00

Magma # 15 - September ’75 to August ’76

Christian Vander – Drums, Vocals
Klaus Blasquiz – Vocals
Didier Lockwood – Violin (Joined ZAO, formed SURYA)
Patrick Gauthier – Keyboards (previously with Heldon, Formed WEIDORJE)
Benoît Widemann – Keyboards (Went solo)
Bernard Paganotti – Bass (Formed WEIDORJE)
Gabriel Federow – Guitar
Janik Top – Bass (Part-time)

Toured, recorded ‘Üdü Wüdü’ in May ’76 with Top on the album only, After a successful reunion, Top and Lockwood were persuaded to stay, premiered ‘De Futura’ at Le Castellet on 25-7-76. Graillier returned in July too.

Addition from Denis Desassis:

Nancy in June 18th, 1976
They played : “Theusz Hamtaahk”, “De Futura”, “Hhaï” and “MDK”.

Christian VANDER : drums, vocals
Klaus BLASQUIZ : vocals, percussions
Bernard PAGANOTTI : bass
Benoît WIDEMANN : keyboards
Patrick GAUTHIER : keyboards
Didier LOCKWOOD : violin

LP / CD - Magma ”Üdü Wüdü” (May-June 76)

Janik Top – Bass (1,3,6), Fret Cello, Bass Synth,
Keyboards
Christian Vander – Drums, Percussion, Keyboards, Vocals
Bernard Paganotti – Bass, Vocals (2)
Klaus Basquiz – Vocals & Percussion
Michel Graillier – Piano (1)
Stella Vander – Vocals (1)
Lucille Cullaz – Vocals (1)
Lisa Deluxe – Vocals (1)
Catherine Szpira – Vocals (1)
Pierre Dutour – Trumpets on (1)
Alain Hatot – Saxes and Flute
Patrick Gauthier – Piano, Synthesizer (2)

Track List:

1. Udu Wüdü (Christian Vander) 4:10
2. Weidorje – (Bernard Paganotti, Klaus Blasquiz) 4:30
3. Troller Tanz (Ghost Dance) (Christian Vander) 4:30
4. Soleil D’Ork (Ork’s Sun) (Jannick Top) 3:50
5. Zombies (Ghost Dance) (Christian Vander) 4:10
6. De Futura (JannickTop) 18:00
7. Ementeht Re (extrait no.2) (Christian Vander) 3:12

Track #7 was not on the original (vinyl) release.
Charly (UK) and Tomato (USA) CDs exist, but are poor
quality transfers from vinyl.

Magma # 16 - October ’76 to December ’76

Christian Vander – Drums, Vocals
Klaus Blasquiz – Vocals
Didier Lockwood – Violin (Last concerts with Magma)
Michel Graillier – Keyboards
Gabriel Federow – Guitar
Janik Top – Bass

‘Üdü Wüdü’ issued as an LP by VanderTop in October 1976. Vander and Top played one gig as UTOPIC SPORADIC ORCHESTRA with other musicians (including Didier Lockwood and Stella Vander). Magma toured, then fell apart when Top and Federow eventually left. But Christian reformed Magma on 15-12-76.

Magma #17 - December ’76 to Spring ’77

Christian Vander – Drums, Vocals, Keyboards
Klaus Blasquiz – Vocals
Benoît Widemann – Keyboards
Clement Bailly – Drums (2nd Drummer, previously with Tryptique)
Guy Delacroix – Bass (ex STIVELL)
Jaen De Antoni – Guitar (ex STIVELL and PATRICK MORAZ groups)
Florence Bertaux – vocals (Left)

Christian had played with Clement Bailly several years earlier, having spotted him when his group supported Magma at the Gaité Lynque in May 1970. This line-up rehearsed for a month before touring, they were supposed to tour Britain too but the promoter cancelled the gigs. The addition of a second drummer was praised as it gave Vander more room for vocals and piano.

Magma #18 - Spring ’77 to July ’77

Christian Vander – Drums, Vocals, Keyboards
Klaus Blasquiz – Vocals
Benoît Widemann – Keyboards
Clement Bailly – Drums
Guy Delacroix – Bass
Jean De Antoni – Guitar
E. Bois (Liza Deluxe) – Vocals
Stella Vander – Vocals

More attention was given to stage presentation, and the music too became more rock orientated, as shown by a Vander composition ‘Morrison in the Storm’ which was dedicated to Jim Morrison. Around this time ‘Inedits’ was released. The group split and Magma was not heard from again until April 1978.

Magma #19 - Late ’77 to May ’78

Christian Vander – Drums, Vocals, Keyboards
Klaus Blasquiz – Vocals
Benoît Widemann – Keyboards
Stella Vander – Vocals
Rene Garber – Bass Clarinet
Guy Delacroix – Bass
Lisa Deluxe – Vocals

Unknown to many, Vander had reformed Magma and spent several months at the end of 1977 recording a new album. This was announced in April 1978 and ‘Attahk’ was released in May. A tour of France scheduled for June failed to materialise, but two isolated concerts were played in May 1978.

LP – Magma “Attahk” (September to November 1977)

Christian Vander – Vocals, Drums, Percussion, Piano, Rhodes, Chamberlin
Rene Garber – Bass Clarinet, Vocals (?)
Guy Delacroix – Earth Bass
Guy Delacroix – Air Bass
Klaus Blasquiz – Vocals, Percussion
Benoît Widemann – Grand Piano, Rhodes, Mini-Moog, Oberheim
Stella Vander – Vocals
Liza Deluxe – Vocals
Tony Russo – Trumpet
Jacques Bolognesi – Trombone

Track List:

1. The Last Seven Minutes (Christian Vander) 7:00
2. Spiritual (Negro Song) (Christian Vander) 3:17
3. Rind-e (Eastern Song) (Christian Vander) 3:07
4. Liriik Necronomicus Kahnt (Christian Vander) 4:59
5. Maahnt (Wizard’s Fight vs.The Devil) (Christian Vander) 5:29
6. Dondai (To An Eternal Love) (Christian Vander) 7:59
7. Nono (Christian Vander) 6:17

For the recording sessions, Guy Delacroix was both Ourgon and Gorgo, but Jean-Luc Chevalier became Gorgo by the time touring began.
Also note that (for the first time) Christian Vander is the lead vocalist and Klaus Blasquiz is a backing vocalist.

Magma #20 - August ’78 to September ’78

Christian Vander – Drums, Vocals, Keyboards
Stella Vander – Vocals
Rene Garber – Bass Clarinet
Michael Herve – Bass (ex ZOO)
Lisa Deluxe – Vocals

In August 1978 there was a story that this line-up had made a record to be called ‘Dëhrstün-Stündëhr’ which they planned to release on the Freebird label in September. In fact it was never released and it was meant to be a solo album by René Garber, not a Magma album (see Ork! Update – Ed.). Klaus started trying to organise a series of reunion concerts, an idea that eventually led to the ‘Retrospektïw’ albums.

Magma #21 - October ’78 to June ’79

Christian Vander – Drums, Vocals, Keyboards
Stella Vander – Vocals
Klaus Blasquiz – Vocals (Left)
Rene Garber – Bass Clarinet
Michael Herve – Bass
Andre Herve – Keyboards
Jean-Luc Chevalier – Bass (previously with Zig Zag)
Lisa Deluxe – Vocals
Maria Popkiewicz – Vocals (previously with Zoo)

Extensive touring in France with a new, magnificent stage show, old and new material, three pieces in particular were ‘Why this Man?’ a homage to Coltrane, ‘Attahk’ which was later recorded as ‘Retrovision’ and ‘Otis’. Klaus was getting disenchanted with the lack of proper organisation and management, some accounts relate that he effectively left the band in June ’79 and the planned tour of Scandinavia was cancelled. Magma had almost a year without any concerts. Vander played several concerts with his jazz group ALIEN QUINTET.

Magma #22 - March ’80 to January ’81

Christian Vander – Drums, Vocals, Keyboards
Stella Vander – Vocals
Klaus Blasquiz – Vocals (Left)
Guy Khalifa – Vocals
Dominique Bertram – Bass (previously with Alien)
Jean-Luc Chevalier – Guitar
Benoît Widemann – Keyboards (previously with Alien)
Lisa Deluxe – Vocals
Maria Popkiewicz – Vocal

Magma looked set to re-sign for the Phonogram label in March, and due to his disenchantment Klaus almost did not take part in the three concerts in Paris in June. These shows each lasted six hours and featured reformations of the line-ups from ’71, ’75 and ’80. All the musicians took part in the grand finale of ‘MDK’. The Philips record deal never occurred and the ‘Retrospektïw’ LP’s were eventually released on RCA with some of Klaus’ vocals overdubbed by Guy Khalifa.

LP - Magma ”Retrospektïw I – II” and “Retrospektïw III” (9,10,11-06-80)

Klaus Blasquiz – Vocals (1,2)
Stella Vander – Vocals (1,2)
Liza Deluxe – Vocals (1,2)
Claire Laborde – Vocals (2)
Maria Popkiewicz – Vocals (2)
Didier Lockwood – Violin
Gabriel Federow – Guitar (1,2)
Jean-Luc Chevalier – Guitar (2,3,4), Bass (5)
Patrick Gauthier – Keyboards (1,2)
Benoit Widemann – Keyboards
Bernard Paganotti – Bass (1,2,4,5)
Christian Vander – Drums, Keyboards, Piano (5), Vocals (1,2,4)
Rene Garber – Vocals?
Guy Khalifa – Vocals (3,5)
Jean Pierre Foquey – Fender Piano (3,4)
François Laizeau – Percussion (3,4)
Dominique Bertram – Bass (3)
Teddy Lasry – Not featured on Albums
Claude Engel – Not featured on Albums
Francis Moze – Not featured on Albums
Yochk’o Seffer – Not featured on Albums
François Cahen – Not featured on Albums
Louis Toesca – Not featured on Albums

Track List:

1. Theusz Hamtaahk (ChristianVander) 36:05
2. Mekanïk Destruktïw Kommandöh (ChristianVander) 40:04
3. Retrovision (ChristianVander) 18:13
4. Hhaï (version integrale) (ChristianVander) 13:23
5. “La” Dawotsin (ChristianVander) 4:10

Magma #23 - February ’81 to September ’81

Christian Vander – Drums, Vocals, Keyboards
Stella Vander – Vocals
Doudou Weiss – Drums -
Guy Khalifa – Vocals
Dominique Bertram – Bass (Left)
Jean-Luc Chevalier – Gutar
Benoît Widemann – Keyboards (Left)
Lisa Deluxe – Vocals
Alain Guillard – Woodwind, Horns
Yvon Guillard – Horns

Only live activity; no recordings. Gigs included a three week residency at the Bobino in Paris performing songs like ‘Makiavelïk Stürme’, ‘Otis’, ‘Funky Devil’, ‘Who’s my Love?’ and ‘Zëss’.

CD / VHS – Magma “Bobino – Concert 1981 Paris” (27 and 30-05-81)

Christian Vander – Drums, Vocals
Stella Vander – Vocals
Doudou Weiss – Drums
Guy Khalifa – Keyboards, Vocals
Jean-Luc Chevalier – Air Bass
Lisa Deluxe – Vocals
Alain Guillard – Trumpet
Yvon Guillard – Saxophone
Benoît Widemann – Keyboards
Dominique Bertram – Earth Bass

Set List:

1. Zain (Christian Vander) 7:39
2. Hhaï (Christian Vander) 12:52
3. Ürgon Gorgo (Christian Vander) 6:04
4. Retrovision (Attahk) (Christian Vander) 19:48
5. Who’s my love (Christian Vander) 7:07
6. Otis (Christian Vander) 12:48
7. Zëss (Extrait) (Christian Vander) 30:19
8: You (Christian Vander) 10:10

Magma #24 - September ’81 to October ’81

Christian Vander – Drums, Vocals, Keyboards
Stella Vander – Vocals
Doudou Weiss – Drums (Left)
Guy Khalifa – Vocals
Marc Eliard – Bass
Jean-Luc Chevalier – Guitar
Jean-Pierre Fouquey – Keyboards
Lisa Deluxe – Vocals
Alain Guillard – Woodwind, Horns
Yvon Guillard – Horns

Magma #25 - October ’81

Christian Vander – Drums, Vocals, Keyboards
Stella Vander – Vocals
Moerlen – Drums, Percussion (From GONG)
Guy Khalifa – Vocals
Marc Eliard – Bass
Jean-Luc Chevalier – Guitar
Jean-Pierre Fouquey – Keyboards
Lisa Deluxe – Vocals
Alain Guillard – Woodwind, Horns
Yvon Guillard – Horns

They played a few concerts including Annonay 6-10-81 (of which tapes exist), remarkable for featuring probably France’s two greatest percussionists in one line-up. They began playing ‘Opus’ by McCoy Tyner at this stage.

Magma #26 - October ’81 to February ’82

Christian Vander – Drums, Vocals, Keyboards
Stella Vander – Vocals
Francis Laizeau – Percussion
Guy Khalifa – Vocals
Marc Eliard – Bass
Jean-Luc Chevalier – Guitar
Jean-Pierre Fouquey – Keyboards
Alain Guillard – Woodwind, Horns
Yvon Guillard – Horns

Magma # 27 - February ’82 to October ’82

Christian Vander – Drums, Vocals, Keyboards
Stella Vander – Vocals
Francis Laizeau – Percussion
Guy Khalifa – Vocals
Marc Eliard – Bass
Jean-Luc Chevalier – Guitar
Jean-Pierre Fouquey – Keyboards (Left)
Alain Guillard – Woodwind, Horns
Yvon Guillard – Horns
Nanou – (Vocals)
François Kokelaere – Percussion

The largest line-up for years, they played very few concerts but began to include new songs such as ‘Another Day’, ‘Le Chant du Sorcier’ (which eventually became ‘Joïa’) and ‘Do the Music’. In May and June news was revealed that an LP and an EP were due to be recorded by the above line-up but with Bertram and Widemann replacing Eliard and Fouquey, and without percussionists Laizeau and Kokelacre. As ever these plans came to nothing.

Magma #28 - October ’82 to October ’83

Christian Vander – Drums, Vocals, Keyboards
Stella Vander – Vocals
Francis Laizeau – Percussion
Guy Khalifa – Vocals
Marc Eliard – Bass
Jean-Luc Chevalier – Guitar
Patrick Gauthier – Keyboards
Alain Guillard – Woodwind, Horns
Yvon Guillard – Horns
Nanou (Vocals)
François Kokelaere – Percussion
Guida De Palma – Vocals

It gets bigger! In February, news came of a new Magma LP due for release soon, recorded by Christian, Stella, Liza Deluxe, Khalifa, Eliard, Chevalier (Gorgo), Fouquey and Gauthier. This project was to include ‘Another Day’ (which was a much shorter piece based on Coltrane’s ‘Love Supreme’ in those days), ‘Le Chant du Sorcier’, ‘Otis’, ‘Do the Music’, ‘Funky Devil’ and ‘Makiavelïk Stürme’. No exact release date was given and none came. Then in July / August we were told that the new group were in the studio doing the new LP, to include ‘Otis (Kobaïan version)’, ‘Le Chant du Sorcier’, ‘Do the Music’, ‘I Must Return (English version)’ and others. There was also to be an E.P. of ‘Otis (French version)’ and ‘Funky Devil’. Guess what? Yep, nothing happened. On July 23rd, Vander’s offshoot group ALIEN QUARTET played at the Antibes Festival du Jazz with Christian on drums, Alby Cullaz on bass, Jean-Pierre Fouquey (keyboards) and Michel Graillier (piano). ALIEN performed Tyner / Coltrane pieces among others.  Then some say that Magma disbanded, but actually they still played the odd concert here and there with billing as Magma, (in particular in England and Germany. – Ed.)

LP - Magma ”Merci” (6-82 to 10-84)

Christian Vander – Vocals, Piano, Celeste, Keyboards,
Percussion
Stella Vander – Vocals
Guy Khalifa – Vocals
Benoit Widemann – Synthesizer
Simon Goubert – Synthesizer (1,3)
Fracois Laizeau – Drums, Drum Programming
Marc Eliard – Bass
Phillipe Slominski – Trumpet (1,3,4)
Christian Martinez – Trumpet (1,4)
Michel Goldberg – Saxophone (1,3)
Liza Deluxe – Backing Vocals
Jean Pierre Foquey – Rhodes Piano (2)
Michel Gaucher – Saxophone (2)
Freddy Opsepian – Trumpet (2)
Christian Guizen – Trombone (2)
Alex Ferrand – Vocals (3)
Jean-Luc Chevalier – Guitar (3)
Patrick Gauthier – Synthesizer (3)
Paul Bayle – Saxophone (3)
Denis LeLoup – Trombone (3,4)
Arrigo Lorenzi – Soprano Sax on (3)
Maria Popkiewicz – Backing Vocals on (4)
Jerome Naulay – Trombone on (4)
Zaka – Percussion (4)
Michel Graillier – Rhodes Piano (5)

1. Call From The Dark (Ooh Ooh Baby) (Christian Vander, J.& R. Dassin) 7:20
2. Otis (Christian Vander) 5:20
3. Do The Music (Christian Vander) 4:25
4. Otis (Ending) (Christian Vander) 1:32
5. I Must Return (Christian Vander, J.& R.Dassin) 6:32
6. Elephas Levi (Rene Garber) 11:15
7. The Night We Died (Christian Vander) 3:40

Offering #1 - October ’83 to October ’84

Christian Vander – Piano, Vocals, Percussion
Stella Vander – Piano, Vocals, Percussion
Guy Khalifa – Piano, Vocals
Simon Goubert – Piano, Vocals
Sidney Thiam – Percussion, Vocals
Abdou M’Boup – Percussion

Boom! On the 6th, 7th and 8th of October 1983, Christian Vander revealed his new main group to the world. For a year, primarily a live outfit playing Magma tracks and new pieces while sounding and feeling like the classic group of the old days, then in September ’84 it was announced that Magma had signed to Exil Records in Germany and were to release an LP in October. Although the name Magma was to be used, the line-up would essentially be the OFFERING band. After Offering’s debut at the Théâtre du Forum des Halles in Paris, they went on to do a further twelve consecutive dates at the same venue in May.

Offering - 13-09-84

Christian Vander – Drums, Piano, Vocals
Pierre Marcault – Drums, Percussion
Guy Khalifa – Fender Piano, Synthesiser, Vocals
Simon Goubert – Piano, Synthesiser
Francis Moze -Bass, Piano
Stella Vander -: Vocals, Piano

NOTES: This Offering concert in Romans was broadcasted on french radio “France Musique”.

2LP – Offering “Part 1/2 (9-85 to 9-86)

Christian Vander – Lead Vocals, Piano, Rhodes, Drums, Bells
Stella Vander – Lead Vocals, Maracas, Bells
Guy Khalifa – Vocals, Flute, Rhodes, Piano
Simon Goubert – Rhodes, Piano
Pierre Marcault – Percussion
J.Marc Jafet – Bass (2)
Marc Delouya – Drums (2)
C.Martinez – Trumpet
J.Bolognesi – Trombone

1. Offering (Part One) (Christian Vander) 7:57
2. Earth (Christian Vander) 10:29
3. Joia (Christian Vander) 18:00
4. C’est Pour Nous (Christian Vander) 8:05
5. Love In The Darkness (Christian Vander) 10:39
6. Tilim M’Dohm (Christian Vander) 2:34
7. Mazur Kujiawiaki Oberek (Milosz Magin) 4:56
8. Solitude (Christian Vander) 4:07
9. Uguma Ma Melimeh Gingeh (Christian Vander) 3:44

CD – Offering “Paris – Théâtre Dejazet 1987″ (5 and 16-05-87)

Christian Vander – Drums (12,15), ( Piano (5,6 Vocals (4,5,6,7,11,12), Tambourine (11,12), Flute (Bois) (12)
Stella Vander – Vocals (2,3,4,5,6,7,8,11,12,15), Keyboards (6,9), Percussion (11,12)
Guy Khalifa – Vocals (2,4,7,10,11,12,15), Flute (2,4,5,11), Fender Piano (12)
Isabelle Feuillebois – Vocals (2,3,4,7,12,15), Percussion (11)
Emmanuel Borghi – Piano (2,3,4,8,9,10,15), Fender Piano (7,11), Keyboards (12)
Sangrine Fougeres – Vocals (2,4,7,12,15)
Simon Goubert – Fender Piano (2,15), Piano (11,12), Keyboards (3,4,5,7,8,9), Drums (10), Vocals (11)
Frederique Briet – Contrebasse (2,4,9,10,11,12,15)
Jean Marc Jafet – Bass (2,4,11,12,15)
Pierre Marcault – Percussions (2,3,4,5,9,11,12,15)
Marc Delouya – Percussion (2,3,10,11,12,15), Vocals (3,11)
Jean Claude Buire – Drums (2,4,11,12), Percussion (3,5,9,15)

Set List:

1. Lohengrin (Prelude) (Richard Wagner) 8:25
2. Olé (John Coltrane) 5:30
3. Cosmos (Christian Vander) 2:15
4. A Fiïèh (Christian Vander) 8:40
5. Les Anges (Christian Vander) 11:30
6. Les Cygnes (Christian Vander) 5:17
7. Solitude (Christian Vander) 4:05
8. La Nuit du Chasseur (Walter Schuman) 1:46
9. Les Vagues (Simon Goubert) 2:17
10. Lush Life (Billy Strayhorn) 5:01
11. Joïa (Christian Vander) 22:21
12. Another Day (Christian Vander) 47:20
13. Anta (Pierre Marcault) 7:43
14. Chorus de Batterie (Intro to “You Gotta Have Freedom”) 14:26
15. You’ve Gotta Have Freedom (Pharoah Sanders) 5:56

Offering - June 87

Christian Vander – Vocals, Drums, Percussion, Piano, Flute
Stella Vander – Vocals, Percussion
Guy Khalifa – Vocals, Flute
Isabelle Feuillebois – Vocals
Alex Ferrand – Vocals
Simon Goubert – Vocals, Electric Piano
Pierre Marcault – Percussion
Frederic Briet – Contrebasse

Recorded the Studio Version of “Ehn Deiss” for inclusion on the CD Offering “III – IV” (CD Seventh AV – AVI)

Offering - 16-01-88 – London – Bloomsbury Théâtre :

Stella Vander – Vocals
Emmanuel borghi – Piano
Pierre Michel Sivadier – Keyboards
Jean Claude Buire – Drums
Jean Marc Jafet – Contrebasse
Isabelle Feuillebois – Vocals
Marc Delouya – Drums
Frederic Briet – Contrebasse
Guy Khalifa – Vocals, Flute, Keyboards
Pierre Marcault – Percussions
Christian Vander – Drums, Piano, Vocals

Set List:

Offering (part one),Joia, La nuit du chasseur, Another Day, A Fiïèh, Zëss , Percussion and drums solo, Mazur Kujiawiak Oberek, Band Introduction, Tilim M’Dohm, Ehn Deiss, The night we died (intro)

Offering - 27-01-89- Concert – Aubagne

Christian Vander – Piano, Vocals, Percussion
Guy Khalifa – Piano, Synthesiser, Vocals
Stella Vander – Vocals, Synthesiser
Simon Goubert – Piano, Vocals
Pierre Marcault – Drums, Percussion

Set list:
Les Cygnes (25’00), You can be a river (17’00), Love in the Darkness (9’00), A Fiïèh (10’30), Les Corbeaux (20’00), La Cathedrale Engloutie Claude Debussy (5’30), Another Day (39’00), Tilim M’Dohm (4’00)

Offering - 01-05-90 to 05-08-90

Christian Vander – Vocals, Drums, Percussion, Piano, Flute
Stella Vander – Vocals, Percussion
Guy Khalifa -Vocals, Flute
Isabelle Feuillebois – Vocals
Emmanuel Borghi -Piano
Phillipe Dardelle – Contrebasse
Jean Claude Buire – Drums
Pierre Michel Sivadier – Keyboards

Recorded the Studio Version of “Another Day” for inclusion on the CD “Offering III – IV” (CD Seventh AV – AVI)

CD - Offering ”III et IV” (6-87 to 9-90)

Christian Vander – Vocals, Drums, Percussion, Piano, Flute
Stella Vander – Vocals, Percussion
Guy Khalifa – Vocals, Flute
Isabelle Feuillebois – Vocals
Emmanuel Borghi – Piano (1)
Phillipe Dardelle – Contrebasse (1)
Jean Claude Buire – Drums (1)
Pierre Michel Sivadier – Keyboards (1)
Alex Ferrand – Vocals (2)
Simon Goubert – Vocals, Electric Piano (2)
Pierre Marcault – Percussion (2)
Frederic Briet – Contrebasse (2)

Track List:

1. Another Day (Christian Vander) 44:03
2. Ehn Deiss (Christian Vander) 5:10
3. Offering (2) (Christian Vander) 2:07

CD - Magma “Les Voix” Concert – Douarnenez (02-08-92)

Christian Vander – Vocals, Piano, Drums
Stella Vander – Vocals
Simon Goubert – Piano, Claviers
Pierre Michael Sivadier – Claviers
Philippe Dardelle – Contrebasse
Alex Ferrand – Vocals
Jean-Christophe Gamet – Vocals
Julie Vander – Vocals
Isabelle Feuillebois – Vocals
Addie Deat – Vocals
Benedicte Ragu – Vocals
Jean François Deat – Vocals

Set List:
1. Ëmëhntëht-Rê
2. C’est Pour Nous
3. Zëss (extrait)
4: Wurdah Ïtah (extrait)

The Douarnenez Concert – CD AKT 1 – The return of Magma!?

15 to 18-10-92

Christian Vander – Drums, Piano (“To Love”), Toy Keyboards (Casio?) on ‘Tous Ensemble’
Stella Vander -
Patrick Gauthier -
Jean­François Deat – handled most of the lead male vocalist chores
Simon Goubert – Piano
Philippe Dardelle – Contrebasse
Julie Vander – Vocals
Isabelle Feuillebois – Vocals
Addie Deat – Vocals
Benedicte Ragu – Vocals
Jean-Christophe Gamet – Vocals
Alex Ferrand – Vocals

CD - Offering ”A Fiïèh” (05-12-92 to 29-03-93)

Christian Vander – Keyboards, Piano, Glockenspiel, Vocals, Percussion
Stella Vander – Vocals
Isabelle Feullebois – Vocals
Emmanuel Borghi – Piano (2,3)
Pierre Michel Sivadier – Keyboards
Pierre Marcault – Percussion (2,3)
Marc Delouya – Percussion (2,3), Drums (6,7)
Jean-Claude Buire – Percussion (2,3)
Julie Vander – Vocals (4)
Benedicte Ragu – Vocals (4)
Addie Deat – Vocals (4)
Jean Christophe Gamet – Vocals (4)
Philippe Dardelle – Contrabass (4,6,7)
Ogun – Percussion (6,7)

1. Hymne Kobaien (variation improvisée) 4:30
2. Cosmos 5:20
3. A Fiïèh 10:26
4. La Marche Celeste 5:28
5. Magnifi 3:43
6. Purificatem (accord des instruments) 4:17
7. Purificatem 26:20

Le Mans - 29-04-93

Christian Vander – Piano, Vocals
Simon Goubert – Piano
Pierre-Michel Sivadier – Synthesiser

12 strong – Patrick Gauthier had left the group again

les Voix - Concert – 09-07-93 Lons-Le-Saunier

Christian Vander – Vocals
Stella Vander – Vocals
Alex Ferrand -
Jean-Christophe Gamet -
Philippe Dardelle -
Simon Goubert – Piano, Glockenspiel, Vocals
Patrick Gauthier’s – Electronic Keyboards, Vocals
Philippe Dardelle – Contrebasse, Vocals
Benedicte Ragu – Vocals
Julie Vander – Vocals
Isabelle Feuillebois
Addie Deat – Vocals
Jean-Christophe Gamet – Vocals (the principal male vocalist on ‘MDK’)
Jean-François Deat – Vocals

Magma – “Les Voix” / Offering - 04-05-94 – Concert THÉÂTRE FEMINA – Bordeaux.

Les Voix:
Christian Vander – Keyboards
Addie Deat – Vocals
Jean François Deat – Keyboards
Pierre-Michel Sivadier – Keyboards (accompanied the choral announcement of ‘Ëmëhntëht-Rê’)
Jean-Christophe Gamet
Alex Ferrand
Philippe Dardelle
Simon Goubert – Piano

Before the event, whispers spread that Magma “Les Voix” would have a support act. When the lights dimmed, crimson smoke billowed as an ethereal voice intoned: “La musique préservée…” Responding to the sonic signal, they took magnificently to the stage

Offering:
Christian Vander – Piano, Vocals
Stella Vander – Vocals
Lydia Domancich – Claviers
Julie Vander – Vocals
Wokëhl Zekzïon ?
“Zab”?
Bénédicte Ragu – Vocals
Alex Ferrand – Saxophone, Vocals
Pierre Michel Sivadier – DX7, Electric Keyboards
Philippe Dardelle – Contrebass
Marc – Drums
Jean-Claude – Drums

This Concert was at the THÉÂTRE FEMINA -Bordeaux.

Magma – “Les Voix” - 05-02-94

Christian Vander – Piano
Stella Vander – Vocals
Julie Vander – Vocals
Isabelle Feullibois – Vocals
Simon Goubert – Piano, Electric Keyboards, Vocals
Jean-François Deat – Electric Keyboards
Pierre-Michel Sivadier – Rhodes and DX7
Philippe Bussonet – Double bass

Salle Pablo Neruda – Bobigny

Offering - 03-03-95 – Théâtre 71 – Malakoff

Christian Vander – Vocals
Marc Delouya -
Alex Ferrand – Saxophone
Isabelle Feuilllbois – Vocals
Julie Vander – Vocals
Lydia Domancich – keyboards, Drums?
Buire -
Pierre-Michel Sivadier – Keyboards

Magma - 1996

Christian VANDER – Drums, Vocals
Franck VEDEL – Guitar
Philippe BUSSONNET – Bass
Simon GOUBERT – Keyboards
Jean-François DEAT – Keyboards
Stella VANDER – Vocals, Keyboards, Percussion
Isabelle FEUILLEBOIS – Vocals
Bertrand CARDIET – Vocals

NB : Mezzo TV broadcasted parts of a concert in Paris (December 12th) in March 1997, with “Kobaïa”, “De Futura”, “Hhaï” and “Köhntarkösz”. At that time, the band also played “MDK”.

Magma - 1997

Christian VANDER – Drums, Vocals
Franck VEDEL – Guitar
Philippe BUSSONNET – Bass
Pierre-Michel SIVADIER – Keyboards
Jean-François DEAT – Keyboards
Stella VANDER – Vocals, Keyboards, Percussion
Isabelle FEUILLEBOIS – Vocals
Bertrand CARDIET – Vocals

Magma - 1998

Christian VANDER – Drums, Vocals
James MAC GAW – Guitar
Philippe BUSSONNET – Bass
Emmanuel BORGHI – Keyboards
Stella VANDER – Vocals, Keyboards, Percussion
Isabelle FEUILLEBOIS – Vocals
Bertrand CARDIET – Vocals

Magma - 31/05/99 – Concert – Martyrs – Chicago

Christian Vander – Drums, Vocals
Stella Vander – Vocals
Antoine Paganotti – Vocals
Isabelle Feuillebois – Vocals
James MacGaw – Guitar
Emmanuel Borghi – Piano
Philippe Bussonnet – Electric Bass

Magma - 1999 – 2001

Christian VANDER – ‘Zebehn Strain de Geustaah’ – Drums, Vocals
James MAC GAW – ‘Staiiss Esslehnt’ – Guitar
Philippe BUSSONNET – ‘Gehnohr Dugohnn’ – Bass
Emmanuel BORGHI – ‘Iusz deh Dzeuhr Emehnett’ – Keyboards
Stella VANDER – ‘Tauhd Zaia’ – Vocals, Keyboards, Percussion
Isabelle FEUILLEBOIS – ‘Enor Zanhka’ – Vocals
Antoine PAGANOTTI – ‘Woss Kemkah’ – Vocals
Jean-Christophe GAMET – ‘Maahn Gehehrn’ – Vocals

3CD/DVD - Magma ”Theusz Hamtaahk Trilogie” Concert – Le Trianon, Paris (13 and 14-05-00)

Christian Vander -
Stella Vander -
Isabelle Feuillebois -
Emanuelle Borghi -
James MaGaw -
Antoine Paganotti -
Jean-Christophe Gamet -
Phillipe Bussonet -
Claude Lamamy -
Benoit Gaudiche -
Yannick Neveu -
Fred Burgazzi -
Ronan Simon -

A truly memorable and emotional experience. The Trilogie was presented on stage as originally intended. It had been 30 years in creation. Pandemonium hit the Trianon. Where could they go from here?

Magma - 2002

Christian VANDER – Drums, vocals
James MAC GAW – Guitar
Philippe BUSSONNET – Bass
Emmanuel BORGHI – Keyboards
Stella VANDER – Vocals, Keyboards, Percussion
Isabelle FEUILLEBOIS – Vocals
Antoine PAGANOTTI – Vocals
Himiko PAGANOTTI – Vocals

Magma - November 2002 – Present Day

Christian VANDER – Drums, Vocals
James MAC GAW – Guitar
Philippe BUSSONNET – Bass
Emmanuel BORGHI – Keyboards
Fred D’OELSNITZ – Keyboards
Stella VANDER – Vocals, Keyboards, Percussion
Isabelle FEUILLEBOIS – Vocals
Antoine PAGANOTTI – Vocals
Himiko PAGANOTTI – Vocals

…… to be updated and corrected at a later date …..


Zeuhl Harmonies

When asked what makes Zeuhl-music so special, one can find a lot of more or less good reasons. A rather holistic answer could refer to the unique combination of different musical elements or to the spirit of it as a whole entity. But looking at some specific elements can also give you a good portion of thrill and a satisfying feeling of explanation why things are great, which is not so easy in rock – as Chris Cutler once said, musicians (as fans, I think) are afraid that a thing disappears when it gets analysed. Hoping that Zeuhl-music will not disappear whilst I’m analysing it, here’s some thoughts about one of the things in Zeuhl-music I like most: the harmonic structures.

What does one have to take care of in terms of harmony if he/she wants to write a Zeuhl-song?

- Most important: never (!) use two normal major or minor chords in a row; if you do this you’ve arrived in progressive rock à la Yes or Genesis, which is not necessarily bad, but it’s not Zeuhl-music; at least you have to change the bass note;

- Looking at the scales that are used in Zeuhl-music, we can find two main directions:

1. most important is the use of scales that contain as their most unusual element the flattening of the second note: for example Theusz Hamtaahk, De Futura (as most of ÜDÜ WÜDÜ), most of the music of ART ZOYD and UNI-VERS ZÉRO contain this really important flattened second, (mostly together with the diminishing of the fifth note of the scale; this diminished fifth can not be viewed as a blue note in the sense of black american music, because the way it is used derives from white european stuff, but that’s a really difficult area…). It’s one of the most peculiar characteristics of many bass lines in Zeuhl-music and seems to come from expressionistic music since the beginning of our century (Schönberg, Stravinsky, but I’m not too sure about this, as I don’t know this music well enough);
2. Also important – mainly in Magma – is the use of different modes of the major scale, often the Dorian mode (most of Mekanïk , all of A Fiièh, part of La Dawotsin) and sometimes the other modes; here we have a relationship to the use of scales by John Coltrane who also played these different modes extensively during his modal period (1960 to 1964/65); In OFFERING these scales finally get more important than the “diminished” scales;

- What chords are played in Zeuhl-Music? Often chords that contain as intervalls a minor second or a diminished fifth; often the same type of chord is shifted up and down while the bass pattern stays the same (for example the beginning of The last seven minutes);

- In groups like ART ZOYD, we sometimes have different tonalities at the same time, especially in their older works; these different tonalities are often represented by different instruments or groups of instruments to avoid an impression of chaos – each instrument’s tonality can be clearly located, what seems a great deal to me;

- in my opinion, many magical moments in the music of MAGMA deal with the change from dissonant chords to consonant chords within the context of a major scale (or a mode thereof): The change in the middle of Theusz Hamtaahk just before Vander’s falsetto solo starts is such a moment; of the same type is the change from Cosmos to A Fiièh – in both pieces the result of this change from discordant to concordant playing is a great release of tension (and a rebuilding of this harmonic tension, when it’s changing again into a diminished scale).

That, I think, is a more or less small part of the harmonic foundations of Zeuhl-music as I understand them. As I’m not an educated musician, I hope there are not to many mistakes and this stuff stays understandable. I always think it fascinating to “resolve the resolvable” and see what stays as the real mystery. Much more would be to say about the changing of scales in special pieces and polytonality, but that’s one of the resolvable mysteries that will have to stay unresolved for this time…


Mekanïk Grafïk Expo ’94

André Liedet with illustrations by Vincent Sauvion

Between Tuesday the 14th and Saturday the 18th of June 1994 there was an exhibition of artwork inspired by Vander’s music, in the auditorium of Fnac Forum (a large audio/video entertainment store in the Les Halles district of Paris). The first special event was the expo’s vernissage at 12h30 on the 14th. Christian Vander was due to be there but he was ill (suffering from hay fever), however he was expected to show up later in the week. Among the celebrities at the preview were Stella Vander, Isabelle Feuillebois, Bernard Paganotti, Patrick Gauthier, Stündëhr and Klaus Blasquiz.

On show were twenty-two paintings and drawings, which included three by Philippe Druillet, two from Moebius and two from Klaus Blasquiz. Furthermore there were two works in bas-relief, three little sculptures and two panels with tens of small drawings and paintings. These two panels included experimentations for the Magma logo and variations in calligraphy for the bands name, also alternative versions of the cover for their first album. Half the paintings and sculptures were really about Magma, the remainder being mostly science fiction inspired, for example those of Druillet and Moebius. Some of the “Magma” paintings were terrific. Obviously some of the artists were present too, as was Jad Ayache from XAAL. On the Friday they had planned to have a mini-concert by the Christian Vander Trio but this had to be cancelled, however the other special event, a live set by XAAL went ahead as promised. There were a lot of people in the small auditorium (about 150), Xaal played for seventy-five minutes, performing seven pieces from their CD and three others (possibly new material) that featured more percussion.

CD: Corinne Dupont – Mekanïk Grafïk Organiser
TM: Thierry Moreau

TM:     Could you tell us about the origins of the Mekanïk Grafïk exhibition?

CD:     I’m part of an association called FORMAT GRAND AIGLE. The idea came to us after a Les Voix de Magma concert. We already had many paintings that were more or less inspired by Magma’s music and we were certain that there were others like us. We already knew the masters such as Druillet, Moebius, Sole and Gotlib. Starting from there, the idea came to us to contact the others, less well-known painters. After a year and a half of distributing leaflets at each concert, we met a lot of people.

TM:     What sort of problems have you encountered in staging this exhibition?

CD:     The major problem was to find all the people here, because sometimes we had contacts just at concerts. Quite paradoxically, we had fewer problems with folks like Philippe Druillet and Moebius.

TM:     Are you a graphic artist yourself?

CD:     I paint but I don’t exhibit. I’m working on it.

TM:     Will this exhibition be a springboard for other things?

CD:     I’m a fan of Druillet, Moebius, Bilal and I want to try to promote the young unknowns.

TM:     How did you discover Magma’s music?

CD:     I was 16 or 17 years old and a friend bought a Ferrari from Christian Vander. He made me listen to the ‘Merci’ album. It’s the most accessible. Then I continued. It’s an endless discovery.

TM:     Of the artists on show here, which ones do you prefer?

CD:     I don’t like to criticise, but apart from the big names, I like Vincent Sauvion a lot. I think he does some very fine things. I also like Stephan Helouin, Janick Dupont and Thierry Moreau (laughs). I have some plans for things with Laurent Thibault, I like to organise things…


Ork! Update

CONCERTS

CHRISTIAN VANDER TRIO

20-09-94     Petit Journal Montparnasse, Paris 
21-09-94     Petit Journal Montparnasse, 13 rue du Commandant Mouchotte, 
18-10-94     Petit Opportun, 15 rue des Lavandiêres-Ste. Opportune, Paris 
19-10-94     Petit Opportun, 15 rue des Lavandiêres-Ste. Opportune, Paris
20-10-94     Petit Opportun, 15 rue des Lavandiêres-Ste. Opportune, Paris
21-10-94     Petit Opportun, 15 rue des Lavandiêres-Ste. Opportune, Paris
22-10-94     Petit Opportun, 15 rue des Lavandiêres-Ste. Opportune, Paris

OFFERING

11-11-94     Festival Jazz-Velanet, Lavelanet (Between Toulouse & Perpignan)

WELCOME

08-12-94     Paris 
09-12-94     Reims

GONG

(Twenty-fifth birthday party 12 hour shows, with the trilogy line-up, except for Hillage)

09-10-94     Forum, Kentish Town, London (12am to 12pm)

JAPANESE DELETIONS

The Japanese CDs of ‘Mekanïk Destruktïw Kommandöh’ and ‘Köhntarkösz’ on A&M have been deleted.

STELLA INTERVIEW

In a recent interview (in Marquee Magazine) Stella Vander shed some light on the long-standing mystery about whether or not Magma will ever release their 1977 album entitled ‘Inedits’. For many years we have been told either that Christian does not want to release it or that Seventh do not intend to reissue it on CD. Our persistent friends at Marquee magazine asked the question again and were told that this album fits better into the plans of AKT Records, and that it could not be remixed because the original tapes were only two-track stereo. At last we have an answer that explains some of the contradictions and gives hope for the fans who have been campaigning for this memento. The full interview with Stella appears in Marquee Magazine # 54 for those who can read Japanese, meanwhile Ork Alarm! will to try to get permission to reprint this interview.

MAGMA ARTICLE

CRYSTAL INFOS the French music magazine has a special feature on Magma in their October issue, which includes interviews with Christian, Stella and Klaus

THEUSZ HAMTAAHK

Christian Vander’s plans to perform ‘Zëss’ and ‘Les Cygnes et les Corbeaux’ with a symphony orchestra have changed (again). They now intend to perform the ‘Theusz Hamtaahk’ trilogy instead.

TAPE NEWS

A thirty- One minute tape of the infamous ‘Dëhrstün-Stündëhr’ has surfaced in the collectors network, identified as a demo by René Garber entitled ‘Heart Music’. One of the cuts is an early version of ‘Eliphas Levi’ and the main theme is the ‘Wisëhndöh’ part of ‘The Night we died’. This acetate is the link between ‘Attahk’ and ‘Merci’ featuring some Kobaïan vocal choruses from René. It might be Christian drumming on the start of the fifth track. I would guess that the line-up could be Garber: sax and vocals, C. Vander & C. Bailly: drums, B. Widemann: synths and piano, Michel Hervé: bass, Liza Deluxe (and possibly Stella Vander): vocals.

OSIRIS

ZAO’s second album, will be their next release on MUSEA with a new mix and bonus tracks from studio sessions, but even more exciting is the confirmation that work progresses on the 1994 studio reformation of the band. Seffer, Cahen, Truong, Bertram and Tilleman are recording a new album called ‘Akhenaton’ for release later this year. Apparently their musical spirit remains intact after all these years, but will they tour? If so I hope they give us some advance warning…

VINCENT SAUVION

One of the Zeuhl-inspired artists exhibiting at the Mekanïk Grafïk event was Vincent Sauvion, he has a 48 page album of his texts and miniature drawings available called ‘UN POEME’. Vincent has several other projects on the boil, including ‘UTOPIC ORGANIC GROUPE KTÔNE’ which is a growing consortium of artists; painters, sculptors, and photographers. As I said long ago in OA!, I have no personal inclination towards things Chthonien, but as far I can tell their common theme is a ritualistic / magical one of dragons, devils, gargoyles etc. Perhaps it’s something to do with the door between heaven and hell? If space permits we may feature some of his work in future editions of Ork Alarm! Vincent would like anyone interested in joining ‘U.O.G.K.’ to contact him. Another of Vincent’s projects is to produce a sort of album of artwork / texts in fanzine format – the unique aspect of this is that all the words will be in Kobaïan (or pseudo-Kobaïan), you can be sure that we will inform you when this is available. In the meantime, ‘Un Poême’ is available now from L’ACAMAC.

RUINS

The new album by RUINS should be out by now, hopefully featuring John. Zorn on sax. Another of the Japanese Zeuhl bands, KOUENJI HYAKKEI are scheduled to release an album soon.

MICHAEL ROTHER

MICHAEL ROTHER has all his solo albums re-released on CD, including the first four classics: ‘Flammende Herzen’, ‘Sterntaler’, ‘Katzenmusik’ and ‘Fernwärme’. These reissues on the Random Records label all include bonus tracks which make them especially enchanting. You will probably recall that I frequently mention Rother… I rate ‘Flammende Herzen’ and many of the themes from ‘Sterntaler’ and ‘Fernwärme’ as some of the most joyously inspirational music ever recorded (I would have to include one of these in my ‘desert island discs’). We also hear that after years of refusing to consider reissuing the NEU! albums, Rother has at last been persuaded to give it serious consideration.

SIMON STEENSLAND

We might have an exposé of this one next time: ‘The Simon Lonesome Combat Ensemble’ by SIMON STEENSLAND (Musea Parallele MP 3013.AR). A Swedish composer with a guest list featuring ex-members of ZAPPSTEETOOT (the Zappa covers band), their music has been compared to Univers Zero, Art Zoyd (and some say Magma) – with a dash of FZ and Steve Reich too, yet it still retains its own identity.

SEVENTH

Seventh Records current release plans: ‘Retrospektïw I et II’, Patrick Gauthier’s ‘Bébé Godzilla’, a new album by Gorgo (Jean-Luc Chevalier) and then Christian’s album for children which features ‘A la claire fontaine’, ‘Dodo l’enfant do’, ‘J’ai du bon tabac’ and others…

TOP DISCOGRAPHY

When Olivier Fromentin compiled his Jannick Top discography for the last issue, we debated whether or not to include an album called ‘Simple Mortel’ that may or may not exist. Now we know there definitely is a second TOP/PERATHONER album on Sysmo Records. Expect a review of that from Olivier and perhaps some more minor additions to the discography in a future issue.


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