Ork Alarm! # 23

October 1994

CONTENTS

  • Stuff out of the depths of the earth in molten form (Manfred Gillig)
  • Stella Vander Just for you (Shuichi Matsumoto)
  • The Long March (Benoît Feller / Stéphane Rousset)
  • Magma Retrospektïw I – II (Ehn Aïmaah)
  • Zamla Mammas Manna (John Gill)
  • Art Zoyd Nosferatu in New York – (Allan Kozinn)
  • Richard Pinhas Rhizosphere / Live Paris 1982 (Peter Thelen)
  • Simon Steensland ‘The Simon Lonesome Combat Ensemble’ (Peter Thelen)
  • Ork! Update

MAGMA

STUFF OUT OF THE DEPTHS OF THE EARTH IN MOLTEN FORM

Geological summary, volume one
Roland Brinkmann – 10th revised edition

MANFRED GILLIG – Translation: ANITA ZOLLER & STEPHAN WATZINGER

It was a sunny Sunday morning in late summer, very idyllic with peals of bells and mild air and swallows in front of the window. A Sunday morning to sizzle up an egg in the pan in the kitchen, with plenty of sunlight and to turn on the radio. What was aired sounded solemn, but it was no worship. Orffian chorus and brisk brass-riffs with plenty of rhythm and conjuring magic formulae in an incomprehensible language, formal strict ways of composing, bursting vitality and avant-garde excursions. This music was uncompromising, full of energy; it was new for me and mystical. This music was ‘Mekanïk Destruktïw Kommandöh’, Magma’s third LP, as I learned later.

This LP was also a first peak in the development of the group and it might be one of the best records of Magma. Brought into being by drummer Christian Vander in autumn 1969, on their first two records Magma’s playing was very much Jazz orientated and also very much indigestible and fragmentary music. On ‘Mekanïk Destruktïw Kommandöh’ the pieces of the mosaic fitted together for the first time in a complex and harmonic unit; not just appealing to extreme Magma freaks. Jazz – above all Coltrane who was a big example and idol for Vander – Bartok, Orff, Stravinsky, Slavonic folk music, and, of course, rock; these were the tesseras for this mosaic, a music always moving around on the narrow ridge between formal strictness, intellectual calculation and seemingly uncontrolled eruptions of sheer energy.

The tesseras for this mosaic were there, right from the start and each new record seemed to be just a further step to perfect the basic idea. And from the beginning it was very hard to express this basic idea in words, it was the listening experience that was essential for this music, a music of its own kind in terms of eccentricity. Klaus Blasquiz, the singer, who was with the group from the beginning, says: “Listening to a concert or a record of the group, to feel it, to describe the emotions, to experience all in common, that is MAGMA.”

All those attributes predestined Magma to become a cult-band: One either had never heard about them, or was an enthusiastic fan. “Zeuhl”, the symbol of the group was, especially in France, the identification of the Kobaïan ­fans. 1974 seemed to be the year for the international breakthrough. All pre-requisites appeared to be there. Giorgio Gomelsky looked after the band and provided them an international record contract with A&M. The Kobaïan story was intended to be published by 1977 in a nine-part cycle in which every three records were to form a chapter. The first chapter was closed with the first peak, with ‘Mekanïk Destruktïw Kommandöh’, the first A&M release at the end of 1973. In 1974 the start of the second chapter was published with the LP ‘Köhntarkösz’, another milestone in the history of the group. ‘Köhntarkösz’ was a balanced and peaceful composition with stately piano and a lot of bass and organ-tendrils, a mystic-beautiful piece of music in two parts with a dramatic intensification. The response to ‘Köhntarkösz’ was minimal.

A&M overestimated the potential commercial success of Magma and after the flop ‘Köhntarkösz’, was not willing to continue the ambitious venture of a nine-record-cycle about Kobaïa. There were problems with the company, which soon led to a split-up, and also motivating MAGMA to turn away from the Kobaïa-cycle; it was a question of financial survival – as it seemed afterwards – regrettable but inevitable. Gomelsky stayed with Magma and the group got its own UTOPIA label on which the double album ‘Magma Live’ was released in 1975. The album caught very representatively the energy of a Magma concert. A further answer to the question “What is MAGMA?” can be found on the cover: “The music of Magma is like a mirror where everyone can see a reflection of who he is.”

‘Magma Live’ seemed to become the last legacy of a disbanded group. Magma were almost nonexistent in 1976. Nevertheless the LP ‘Üdü Wüdü’ was produced at the end of 1976 “It was an interim solution”, Vander says today. “There was actually no group when we recorded it. We produced it to get a new start. It is an extract of various pieces of music without a proper conclusion and it is also not typical for Magma. Besides, the sound is not satisfying. We had mixing problems. It is bass stressed, not enough melody is coming through. It was an album by Jannick Top, the bass player, rather than a MAGMA record “. There is nothing to add.

So, ‘Üdü Wüdü’ was a temporary solution and not representative for the newly formed group, which became a big line-up at the end of 1976. They toured France in January 1977 and on the 14th of May that year they played a triumphant concert in front of eight thousand people at the Hippodrome in Paris. Klaus Blasquiz said after the concert that now at last the same feeling as five years ago was back again, that Magma were back but now with more experience and a more confident background. And Vander characterizes: “In the past there were the big exciting enterprises which were important to Magma, but nowadays it’s rather the ordinary things of life, the reliable detailed work.” Actually, the Paris concert was one of those rare magical evenings that one would not forget so soon. Even the preparations were magical: The Hippodrome was a huge big top with a ring and all the trappings that go with it. A handcart in the centre, scope for a theatre-group acting with gestures and acrobatics to supply the visual components of the concert. Magma were playing in a big line-up: Clement Bailly (from Alan Stivell’s group) and Christian Vander as drummers, Benoît Widemann (keyboards), Jean de Antoni, who had previously been playing with Patrick Moraz among others (guitar), Guy Delacroix (bass), Klaus Blasquiz, Stella Vander, Catherine Szpira, Lisa Bois (vocals) – a line-up like on the earlier LP’s.

From the very first minutes of the evening there is concentrated suspense: The girls sing a formal strict, nearly classical intro to a long puristic and more and more insistent yet relatively restrained version of ‘Köhntark’. The energy breaks through in some shorter titles, among them Jannick Top’s ‘De Futura’ from ‘Üdü Wüdü’, which was more convincing here than on the LP. The first hour is more impressive; it is powerful and sovereign, but not enough to make you leap out of your chair. The intermission is bridged by presentations of the theatre-group; it is almost unnoticed that the members of Magma take their instruments, one by one, and at first only provide the background for the theatre. The theatre-group concludes its performance and only now does one become aware that the musicians up there are already playing like hell. Suddenly a fire-eater goes into action and is taken over by trapeze artists beneath the roof of the big top. Then, the theatre-group again with a rock-performance – and with all this corresponding to the happenings in the big-top, a hypnotising fascinating music, striking, rousing, sensitising for the happening which is a psychedelic attack on the senses, like in the good old days. Magma played for almost four hours, and I regretted that it was already long after midnight.

The routine of more than 800 concerts (500 of them in France) during the first seven years seemed not to have had a negative impact, quite the contrary. The intensity of the concert did impress me even more as I learned that all this evenings compositions were rigidly fixed, that they played without any free improvisations (Klaus Blasquiz calls that “masturbation”), with total concentration. And once again Klaus: ‘Magma were always the same and will always be the same, although each LP was different.” Christian Vander: “It is always a different picture but the story is the same.”

The newly formed group had proved in Paris that Magma were as vital and fascinating as ever. In spite of that, there remained a lot of questions. France became too small; still it does not offer any perspectives. (“Meanwhile we played in every conceivable village”) The group would attempt to realise future record projects independently from big record companies and to gain a foothold abroad, especially Germany. That is not easy and the group is well aware of that; there was a lot of nervous tension at our second meeting in Essen, where Magma were to play at the big Juso-Festival after Volker Kriegel, Embryo and RMO. This gig, planned for 10:00pm, fell through, due to difficulties in organisation. Volker Kriegel’s set lasted until 3:30 am. I did not like this very much since I had come to Essen especially for Magma. At least the interview in the afternoon worked out, even under aggravated circumstances: my poor knowledge of the French language and a helpful interpreter from the fashion branch of our journal.

We talked amongst other things about the latest LP from Magma, a cross-section of live music through different periods of creation of the group, amateurishly recorded, a collection of samples and try-outs which was deliberately not issued until 1977, interesting only for the really confirmed and archivist fans. Christian explains: “Inedits’ is a pirate with old material.” So, was it a stopgap after all? Yes, but in Germany ‘Inedits’ would probably not be released anyway, but soon there would appear a really new album with new music. Until then the gourmet had to be patient but he could try to shorten the waiting period by attempting to get a copy of two very beautiful, although a little eccentric Magma records: ‘Tristan et Yseult’, a movie soundtrack and a jazz-rock album which was issued as UNIVERÏA ZEKT.

By the way, Christian Vander thinks the German audience was better than the French and he explains thus: “It is more flexible, not so fixed on categories; it is open for folk and jazz and rock and classical, and this is important to Magma because we are playing a mixture of all this.” Hopefully, Mr. Vander is not too optimistic! But, how did he say? “We have a strong will for conquering!” And finally: ‘Magma are for the life, for the death and for after the death. You have to watch the restless nights”.


Stella Vander

Just for you

Shuichi Matsumoto – February 94 – Marquee # 54

Shuichi:     When did you start your musical career and what gave you the opportunity for this?

Stella:     I was thirteen years old. I discovered Jazz music when I was eight through an uncle who played guitar and composed music. We wrote songs together and I recorded my first album at the beginning of December 1963: Two months later I went onstage for my first “concert”; I sang two songs! I had a lot of fun.

Shuichi:     In the early period of Magma, before you started to sing with the group, you took a management role, how was the situation at that time?

Stella:     I was doing the internal management for the group because in general I was a little more organised than the musicians, but I was not really the manager, rather the “spokesman” for the band, I did the stage lighting too.

Shuichi:     How did the air of 70′s (vogues or politics…) affect Magma’s activity?

Stella:     Magma were not concerned with politics, nor anything else apart from the Music. At that time the public was very open to new things, and they were not blasé like they are today. There was no circuit for rock concerts so we participated very heavily in the creation of a circuit and we were very active – playing in the MJC’s.

Shuichi:     Seventh Records released the CD ‘Mekanïk Kommandöh’ in 1989. Was this original version supposed to be released by Virgin Records? Was the release related to ‘MDK’ being re-visited on stage in 1990 with Klaus Blasquiz?

Stella:     This was a demo tape recorded early in 1973 with a classical choir, it was never intended for release by Virgin Records, the tape belonged to Christian and it was remixed by Seventh Records a long time before we performed ‘MDK’ again on stage with Klaus.

Shuichi:     Around the time you started to sing with Magma, Giorgio Gomelsky came and took over the managing job. How did it happen and how did he behave? What were his advantages and disadvantages and how did this affect the group?

Stella:     As I have already said, I was not “the manager” and after a long search we meet Giorgio. He had a lot of contacts, spoke many languages and was very charming! He did a good management job with regard to public relations, and he did a lot to make us well known. He also negotiated some very good record contracts but all the money passed to him and was not always used well… A lot of money was never distributed to the group and even today those discs (Charly, Tomato etc) are sold all over the world but Christian does not get any of the royalties… All the money goes to a company controlled by Giorgio.

Shuichi:     ”Utopia” was not just the name of the record label; it was also regarded as a main goal for Magma’s compositions. Did this situation lead to misunderstanding or criticism?

Stella:     Utopia was just the name of Giorgio’s label; we had nothing to do with the choice of this name.

Shuichi:     According to Gomelsky’s note for Nico’s cassette release in 1980, Magma and Nico travelled together in the mid 70′s. What was your impression of her? Did Magma and Nico play on stage at the same time? He mentioned that the van carrying Magma and Nico crashed off the road while travelling towards southern France? Were you there too?

Stella:     Magma and Nico often travelled together, and she was the opening act. She was a very sensitive musician and some of her pieces were very nice; it was not always easy for her, alone on the stage, in front of an audience who were impatient to see Magma. Luckily I was not there on the day the van got involved in an accident, because everyone in it was slightly injured.

Shuichi:     Do you have any plans for re-releasing or remixing the ‘Inedits’ album, and publishing unrecorded songs and old live tapes?

Stella:     We want to re-release it, but we can’t do a re-mix because the original tapes were recorded live in just 2-track stereo from the soundboard. We have created the AKT label especially for releasing these old documents.

Shuichi:     Is there any possibility that the series of Ëmëhntëht-Rê, including ‘Ptäh’ will be published?

Stella:     ’Ptäh’ was never recorded in a definitive version but we might release a concert version among an album composed uniquely of drum solos from different eras.

Shuichi:     Before releasing the album ‘Üdü Wüdü’, the stage version of ‘De Futura’ was called ‘De Futura Hiroshima’, was there any relation with the name of the city in Japan that was destroyed by the Atomic bomb during the Second World War?

Stella:     That is a question for Jannick.

Shuichi:     The album ‘Attahk’ was not only innovative musically but had a hidden meaning to the story. Could you explain the roles of Ourgon and Gorgo?

Stella:     In this album, for the first time we recorded two different parts for the bass, in opposition and complementary. Ourgon was the “Earth” bassist, much like the vertebral column of the ensemble and Gorgo was the “Air” bassist, very light and swift.

Shuichi:     What was the difference between the Kobaïan gods, Kreühn Köhrmahn and ZI?

Stella:     ZI is not a god, but the master of the SPIRIT.

Shuichi:     Around the time of ‘Attahk’ onwards, Magma took more interest in R&B or the Tamla Motown sound rather than traditional European music. Could you give us the names of artists that enlightened you? What were the R&B songs which were played on stage by Magma, for instance at the Retrospektïw concerts in 1980?

Stella:     I like and listen to a lot of the music of the 60′s (as does Christian). Above all Otis Redding, James Brown, Sam & Dave, Edwin Starr, Carla Thomas, Junior Walker, The Supremes, Martha and the Vandellas, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye and many others who are not so famous. We have not played the material from that era with Magma, just original compositions inspired by the spirit of that music.

Shuichi:     Could you roughly explain to us the “six tales about death” of the ‘Merci’ album?

Stella:     When the recording of MERCI was nearly finished, we noticed that the lyrics of each of the songs were related to death or approaching death. So we subtitled it SIX TALES ABOUT DEATH, but we never expected that at the beginning.

Shuichi:     The latest Offering album has got the title ‘A Fiïèh’. What does it mean?

Stella:     This title expresses the emotion that connects to the lower position yet thinking of time higher position at the same time. Not to forget the high when one is low, not to forget the low when one is high.

Shuichi:     ’Wurdah Ïtah’ has recently been performed lots of times with Les Voix de Magma, but it seemed that when the ‘Tristan et Iseult’ album was originally released, it was not performed often. Why was that so?

Stella:     During ’72 and ’73 we played it a lot. This is a good song for performance by “Les Voix” who express the real colour of the song.

Shuichi:     Are there any plans to combine your music with ballet, theatre, or other kinds of performance?

Stella:     We will play ‘Zëss’ and ‘Les Cygnes et les Corbeaux’ with a symphony (fifty-five people) and maybe together with a ballet too.

Shuichi:     Christian’s “Un homme, une batterie” is the only video from Seventh Records. Do you have any other films of Magma or Offering, and will you release any of these in the future? What is your minimum order of cassettes, since there is great demand in Japan (and USA) for NTSC recording system releases as well as in PAL and SECAM?

Stella:     Two hundred and fifty is the minimum number for releasing a NTSC format video.

Shuichi:     Please tell us about your participation in projects outside of Magma and Offering.

Stella:     I participate in the production of. all tih albums on Seventh. In the capacity of a musician, the most recent album to which I contributed is: ‘Chamber 13′ by Lydia Domancich, released by Gimini Records.

Shuichi:     Your first solo album has a rather peaceful tendency as opposed to rhythmic. Is this your current preference?

Stella:     It’s not a preference, but this is an aspect of my personality that until now, has remained unknown to the fans of Magma and Offering.

Shuichi:     What is your approach towards Jazz music?

Stella:     Since I was eight years old, I have listened to Jazz and always found new things each time. I love singing this music very much and I sing standards at home, for my personal pleasure.

Shuichi:     Regarding Classical music, which composers do you prefer?

Stella:     I like Bach, Stravinsky, Ravel, Debussy, Chopin and Wagner, tremendously.

Shuichi:     Are you interested in any contemporary musicians?

Stella:     I am not very keen on contemporary music, if that is what you mean. But I like some pieces by Messiaen, Luciano Berio and I enjoy the music of Leonard Bernstein very much.

Shuichi:     Do you plan to make second solo album? If yes, how is it going on?

Stella:     I will probably make a second album but we have other projects to realise before that.

Shuichi:     What is the significance of live performance for you?

Stella:     Concerts are absolutely indispensable for searching music. This is a moment that we need to seize and then to put into it all the emotion and energy possible every time. It is there that one needs to attempt things, to try to put your ideas into shape, before being able to keep the essentials to engrave on an album. The contact with an audience gives the musician energy; I could not work solely in a studio (which I adore!) and I pity those musicians who never play live…

Shuichi:     ’Les Cygnes et les Corbeaux’: This song has already been played for many years and I heard it will be included on the new Offering album. This does not sound like a typical Offering song, but it seems to be related to Magma too. In which position does this song exist?

Stella:     This is simply Christian’s music. For me it is not important to categorise his music as either a “Magma” piece or an “Offering” one; it’s a composer’s music. For example, a composer like Stravinsky wrote very different music during his lifetime, a painter like Picasso (for another example) had a “blue” period, then a pink period. It just happens that Christian started his career by giving a name to a group of which he was the leader. He could have called the group simply CHRISTIAN VANDER from the start, and today you would just be talking about Christian Vander’s music.

Shuichi:     Seventh Records has already existed for seven years. What is the management situation now? Is there any legal relationship between Seventh and Charly Records in the UK?

Stella:     Seventh constantly progresses thanks to the hard work of people who give it all their hearts and energy. There is no relationship between Charly and Seventh, Charly are only interested in making money for themselves, without any respect for Magma and they pay no royalties to Christian, neither do Tomato or A&M…

Shuichi:     You recently staged Seventh Records’ 7th anniversary concert. How did it happen?

Stella:     We had the festival for the 7th anniversary of Seventh as a series of three concerts in Paris, at the Bataclan and all the groups on the label performed, almost six hours of non-stop music each night.

Shuichi:     I heard that some of the Japanese record companies contacted you a few years ago. Is there any progress?

Stella:     Before the birth of Seventh, we contacted King records about re-issuing many Magma albums in Japan. We reached an agreement, but we suddenly heard nothing more from them despite several attempts to re-establish contact. It’s a shame that our albums are not distributed properly in Japan and I understand that they are not easy to find there.

Shuichi:     Les Voix de Magma has existed for several years. With this band, do you aim to increase the role of Magma’s harmonies?

Stella:     Les Voix de Magma has existed since 1992. It’s a group that I love very much, because it permits us to play Christian’s music with the basic elements that he used in composition: the voice and the piano. It displays the purity of this music and proves that you do not need the rhythmic elements to make powerful music.

Shuichi:     Is the New Magma different from Les Voix de Magma? Will ‘Zëss’ be included on the new Magma album or will it be all new songs?

Stella:     I don’t know what you mean by “New Magma”. It is not a group in any case. There will be a new album under the name Magma in due course, which is not comprised of new compositions. But once again, it is important to remember… It is always the music of Christian Vander.

Shuichi:     Do you have plans to come to Japan in the near future? I am very sure that many fans in Japan would welcome Magma.

Stella:     We are currently trying to make contacts to arrange to play in Japan. It is a project that we hold very dear to our hearts. Christian does not like travelling by air, but he says that travelling to Japan would not be a problem! It will not be easy and we will need the support of our fans to make this happen. We would like to meet a Japanese concert promoter. We would be very happy to play in Japan and we would like to say “thank you” to those who might come to see us in concert, in advance!


The Long March

Benoît Feller – Rock & Folk #100 1975

Translation: Stéphane Rousset 1994

Perfection, are you of this world?
Another Magma, still Vander, The same thirst for the absolute.

BF:     Magma is formed of entirely new musicians…

CV:     ”One thing is essential: before they entered the band, some of these musicians were playing Magma music. Thus, Bernard, the bass player, was with Cruciferius Lobonz, a band of which I was part. We had set up pieces that were similar to Magma’s and we were singing in another language. Benoît Widemann comes from a very similar school too. It is a whole new generation of musicians, which doesn’t come from Jazz like that of yesteryear, and which goes much farther. I hope that the band will last. Everyone is putting in maximum energy. Incidentally, I can’t dwell on this topic: let the musicians work silently. It is through their deeds that they will get talked about. I know that they have faith.”

BF:     Many people have gone through Magma…

CV:     ”I do not demand any discipline from the band members, but I know that, without discipline, they won’t be able to stay. I didn’t create Magma – let me use vulgar terms on purpose – to “have a good time”, and I don’t hate anything more than these musicians for whom music is a first-degree physical discharge. And who fulfil the exact job that the audience is requesting from them. It’s very hard to admit that one has nothing to say. Now many people who played Magma’s music thought that they were composers, creators, just because they were part of Magma. Unfortunately, in their private life, they weren’t the same as on stage. For my part I don’t change, because the thing is neither theatre nor cinema. Music is life. Once they’ve left the stage, some are jolly good fellows. For me, it is for life and for death, I already said it, even on the record. I was however pleasantly surprised by people like René Garber, Faton and Jeff Seffer, who persevered and of whom I sincerely thought that they would drop it after Magma. Same thing for Teddy. As to Jannick Top, it isn’t just faith that propels him, it is Life. And few people live… I’m making music because there’s something wrong on Earth. However, music itself is nothing in comparison to the motivation that breeds it. If Earth were spinning the way it should, I wouldn’t be making music; there would be no need for it. I had a very tough childhood. If I were talking about my life, about my life only, my music would be sad: it would evoke my suffering, which isn’t yours or that of the others. One would listen to me with a trifle of compassion, as if to say “My poor fellow, you’ve been unhappy…” But it wouldn’t go any farther as far as fulfilment is concerned. Therefore, if you must talk, evoke not YOUR life, but LIFE, and why it must be the way you imagine it. Talk about absolute suffering. As far as you’re concerned, you have nothing to say, and if you talk about yourself, you will remain in the dimension that you gave to yourself. Start from the notion of nothingness, you are NOTHING. There only, you can get access to the BEING, become a small fragment of infinite greatness. One must be the instrument of the universe and put oneself in receiving state. The little that it will entrust you to transmit will be so huge in comparison with the nothingness of everyday life, that music will be transfigured. Music remains vulgar as long as it is full of your own self. Magma’s art isn’t perfect: the least beautiful things are those that I added. Thinking for instance that two more notes here and there would improve the general effect. Now this is wrong.

BF:     Eh???

CV:     This means that music must be weeded out to extremes. Each note weighs twenty tons. Why billions of notes? Most guitar players play fifty of them in order to convey two. But if they channelled the energy in these fifty notes so as to crystallize it into two, music would have a huge weight. People go and see clowns on stage, whom they boo if they aren’t satisfied, holding months of work in contempt with a laugh. For the musician who puts all his life into his music, it’s very tough.

BF:     Did you often see that?

CV:     Often, yes. Nevertheless, even a Saturday night drunkard can be touched by supreme beauty, even if it seems to be inhuman, because everyone has the same heart. By giving out the energy that you must give out, you can touch everybody. And if we don’t currently manage to do it, it’s because we aren’t ready. We applied ourselves to the extremely difficult task of creating total music. I very well conceive that listening to Magma requires a huge effort, taking into account the brainwashing to which people are submitted everyday. But the facts are here: at this moment, many people come to see the bass player’s socks. And some musicians enter this process, which takes away from the public the “spirit” of what music could be and of the essential thing for which one is on stage.

BF:     Not only some musicians. Everything else…

CV:     I’m not tackling the remainder for the time being, only my domain. There are however people whom I can’t touch through music. So, only my “counterpart” in another part, theatre for instance, will be able to venture to thrash theatre hypocrites like I pester musicians to death. The main point is to have a speciality, to push it to the limit. One can’t cultivate two practices simultaneously; it’s ludicrous. Having a hobby, maybe yes. Leonardo da Vinci devoted himself to sciences, but what one remembers from him is of course his painting. Thus I can study mathematics to take some rest, but I’ll never go and talk with Einstein. Well, in my art, maybe one day I’ll be the Einstein of drums?

BF:     Are you reproaching the audience who have just watched the bass player’s socks, to be the way it is?

CV:     This is the big problem. If that audience could, thanks to a concert by Magma, become aware of its condition, then I would have accomplished a billion steps. Anyway, I believe that there’s a stage where one lives so intensely that it gets projected onto people. One example: if we put on helmets for the concert, and a member of the audience approaches and notices that said helmets weigh thirty kilos, then he will sound himself out, he will say to himself: “So, this isn’t theatre, they really bear their burden…” In a theatre play that I saw one day, an actor was pricking himself with needles and was bleeding. Usually, theatre props are coarse; knives are made of plastic. Well, there, he was really bleeding and he was drinking his blood afterwards. The intensity of the climate… French musicians are parasites who are killing music. You just have to look at the names of those who were there five years ago and who were supposedly “living” their music, like Bob Brault of Martin Circus. All or nearly all have disappeared; have cracked up because they had nothing to say. And naming names doesn’t scare me. Of course, the others, the true musicians, are more interesting. Thus we play in Lyons on the 8th of April with a band the name of which I unfortunately don’t remember, but which I believe has the spirit. Without any doubt, a few guys are acting in their own field, but nevertheless I know virtually nobody. And above all let’s not talk about dead people… French musicians have been very tough with me, except a few like Doudou Weiss. They are shop girls. They are NOT, they are NOTHING. Or clowns who only think about making some dough and who “make commercial trash” when things are getting bad. That is the true problem. I can’t understand how one can compare music to clownery. Whenever a musician works unceasingly, he is taken to task for becoming sophisticated, and if he goes beyond some primary degree, he is taken to task for creating elite music. One can’t owe true musicians a grudge for loving their instrument to the point of working it all day long in order to give the best. But people like what’s most accessible to them, who are unable to close their eyes and to listen to the music for what it is, and to try to become pervaded with the feeling that it wanted to give out, with all the difficulties that this represents.

BF:     Nevertheless some types of three-chord music are able to touch deeply; blues for instance.

CV:     The guy who plays the blues talks about himself, about his suffering, and he will only touch people to a certain degree.

BF:     Are you satisfied with your work with Giorgio Gomelsky?

CV:     OK. To begin with, we should have done in two years everything that we did in five, in a normal country in front of people with average sensitivity. The level and the musical culture in France are absolutely null. Five years to get there! Giorgio did a good job in creating this circuit with us. Unfortunately, this very circuit which we forged through a thousand bad scenes today serves to present bands which kill our basic motivation: we created this parallel itinerary in order to defend true music, that of ZAO for instance. Now I notice this: our work is being spoiled by bunches of formless bands, after we’ve sweated blood for years. Those who are playing at this moment must feel alluded to. Save Magma and ZAO, nothing bears the shock. We are nevertheless responsible for this state of fact, to some degree. In order to withstand the shock, the circuit couldn’t comprise Magma ONLY, of course. Other bands were needed, of similar quality, and since they were impossible to find, one went down into the worst debility, into kinds of music that we had fought. (I’m talking here about the professionals, the known people.) We struggled for a music that could go out of Europe, without being influenced by Anglo-American music. Americans and Britons laugh whole-heartedly when they listen to a French band, and I agree with them: these people play Anglo-American music, but they feel it less since it isn’t theirs; furthermore, such a process pertains not to single copying, but to double copying. Americans know folklore thoroughly, much better than Frenchmen themselves. Thus Zappa fetched harmonies in Bartok and Stravinsky and he didn’t invent anything. But we don’t even know our own music!

BF:     Magma has many new pieces: ‘Rain’ (“La Pluie” – Ed.) for instance, which one could hear at the Roundhouse in London.

BF:     ’Rain’ – Lïhns in Kobaïan – is a piece of everyday life, a piece with a “normal” dimension, different from big creations like ‘Mekanïk’, which evoke extreme joy or pain. I am looking for immortality and I am working up to perfection. I improvise the thread on piano, and when I’m in a receiving state, it comes. Sometimes a few vulgarities remain, which take days to eliminate. When I decree that the piece is finished, it’s because I estimate that it isn’t vulgar any more. However, six months later I’ve still covered more (spiritual) way and I notice new impurities. Then I correct again. Thus I’m still working ‘Köhntarkösz’ even though it’s finished; I’m trying to improve ‘Ptäh’ too. I have to tell the story of Köhntarkösz. It is merely the introduction to a piece which will cover three albums and which will be called ‘Ëmëhntëht-Rê’. It is the story of a man who discovers the tomb of Ëmëhntëht-Rê. He goes down into the tomb, arrives in front of the door, and hears the singing of the angels for the deceased. He opens the door, raises the dust of the tomb, untouched for millenniums, which enters him through all pores. He receives the visions of Ëmëhntëht-Rê’s life, a total vision. He faints, and Ëmëhntëht-Rê’s’ whole life is revealed to him. (We are spectators. Two pianos play alone, without or almost without drums; it’s the moment of initiation.) When the man wakes up, he only remembers fragments which he holds in disorder and which he tries to join together. He will need a whole life to reach the stage where Ëmëhntëht-Rê was, who nearly let Ptäh come to life again, i.e. to make him appear materially. For the latter had a mission to accomplish on Earth, but people who didn’t want to see him reach his end murdered Ëmëhntëht-Rê. Ptäh was therefore not awoken and he is still sleeping in the universe, until somebody again discovers the formula to wake him up. Ëmëhntëht-Rê had almost succeeded. Köhntarkösz has a whole life to try in his turn. This non-symbolical story is identical to that which we lead in parallel with Magma.

BF:     Will one succeed in awaking Ptäh? Is this the ultimate goal?

CV:     It’s the penultimate. Ptäh will decide on the ultimate one, starting from the principle that I already know his decision.

BF:     What will it be?

CV:     I can’t say anything. Everyone must discover it. Then one will be very close to awaking him. For my part, I am aware that we must awake Ptäh, and my goal in Magma is to prepare people. I also have compositions ready for four years from now. Within three years people will be able to “receive” them. This will correspond to the time when we’ll be able to further widen the music, thanks to more elaborate stage work. I have ideas on this, of which I can’t talk for fear of seeing them copied and vulgarised towards different ends. The plans are rather extraordinary. And if we aren’t doing anything at the moment, it’s because I don’t want it to possibly resemble theatre. I will also have accomplished a spiritual work on myself; I’ll be ready. For five years, only the embryo of Magma has been in existence. Maybe today Magma will build itself up in the bosom of this new band. For the moment Magma has only defined the necessity of its own existence. In two or three years, people will understand better and better, and within five years they will be ready to start work themselves. Then they won’t only come to listen to music. They will come partly for the music and partly for a rite. After that, there will only be the rite, we will make a temple out of each place where we’ll be playing, where the men and women (can one still talk about audience?) will come in procession. There will be concrete work to do. We will ask such or such to pronounce such word in order to provoke such reaction. I won’t be alone. Uniwerïa Zekt will undertake the same thing in all domains. After coming to a concert, people will experience the irresistible need to go back there, and not only for the music. Without knowing why, they will already be in it. FOR LIFE, FOR EVER.


Retrospektïw I – II

Seventh Rex XVI-XVII

Recorded June 1980 – 76m 09s

Ehn Aïmaah

A glorious ‘Theusz Hamtaahk’, a so-so ‘MDK’ and a pretty nifty ‘Mekanïk Zaïn’. Ork Alarm rarely praises this particular live set! Yet for this metallized incarnation one must re-assess ones feelings somewhat. Essential just for ‘Theusz Hamtaahk’; so far the only official version of that opus – although the BBC recording from 1974 was superb – even this line-up could not go far wrong with the old material. Klaus, Christian & Stella’s vocals are wicked and Paganotti’s bass work is apocalyptic. You won’t like to read the following, but in the early 80′s I think Vander’s music was better represented by ALIEN QUINTET & then FUSION, than by this dispirited version of ‘MDK’ (Choke, splutter, gasp – Ed.). Thankfully Didier’s scorching solo redeems it.

Conclusion: An excellent recording of savage, pulsating Zeuhl music and ephemeral harmonious beauty, though crucially weak in the keyboards and guitar domains. Anyway, as “Ed.” says: “ignore our reviews and just listen to Vander’s music”. Most of you already know the album; now listen to these CDs on some good headphones.


Samla Mammas Manna

Are we not RIO?

John Gill

Rock In Opposition…
Opposing what?

Opposing the Machine, prefabricated taste, barriers. Opposing the blindness that shot bands like the Residents, Pere Ubu, Devo and Suicide to legendary status while ignoring bands whose backgrounds didn’t allow the construction of bizarre sales images.

The sweet smell of success became that of industrial effluent and the stars became faceless beings in radiation suits scurrying deviously through automated industrial landscapes. The UK Music Press was guilty of building up the image-appeal of those shining android mechanics from Akron / Cleveland / wherever, while remaining self-contained and unaware of alternative music from less photogenic origins. Cybernetic chic ruled, okay?

RIO was started by veteran outcasts, Henry Cow. Dismayed by the lack of awareness / interest shown towards new European music in this country, they organised a tour for five European bands and distributed records from alternative sources in Europe. All five bands, Cow included, worked in unusual areas of rock.

STORMY SIX, from Italy, were a strongly political band using folk instrumentation alongside heavy-duty gear. UNIVERS ZERO, Belgians, used violins, cello and bassoon and had similarities with MAGMA. SAMLA MAMMAS MANNA, from Sweden, a conventional quartet of bass, drums, guitar and keyboards who produced a very unconventional blend of improvised and structured rock. ETRON FOU LELOUBLAN (translation: ‘Mad Shit’), from France, were a trio of bass, drums and sax performing very hard, complex rhythms, with nods in the direction of early Beefheart. Lastly came our own HENRY COW, whose improvisation / free rock shouldn’t need an intro.

The first RIO gig was at the North London Poly in Islington, an adventurous piece of booking that went wrong. Twenty-five people had trudged through a miserable rainy evening (in 1978) to cluster in a large hall and hear Samla Mammas Manna and Etron Fou Leloublan. If it had been those mythic mysteriosos, THE RESIDENTS, on stage, they’d have been rioting at the doors to get in.  Etron Fou played a steamroller set. Underpinned by maniac drummer, Guigou, who thundered around his drums and empty paint cans, Ferdinand rumbled along on bass and Francis ranged around the sax and harmonica. The Samla’s emerged from the darkness improvising somewhere between Henry Cow and Can; formless guitar playing and dark roars of organ arranged around an axis of heavy drumming. The set progressed into a more constructed area (they called it “Legomusic”), discarding growling improvisation for an offbeat rhythmical style.

A forcibly brief chat with Guigou and Francis from Etron Fou elicited the facts that they lived on a self-built farm in Southern France, that the gig scene in France was sparse and that they didn’t like the Pompidou Centre (a symbol of the bourgeois art they violently opposed). Their mastery of English was scant and, my French being non-existent, conversation was limited to monosyllables.

Hasse Bruniusson, drummer, and Lasse Holmer, keyboards, from Samla Mammas Manna are as fluent as the presumptuous Pom can expect. The Samlas come from Uppsala, a university town 60km north of Stockholm. Like here, the commercial and ‘art’ music scenes lived a wary co-existence.

“Our stars are not ‘stars’ like yours in England. Except Abba, of course. The so-called non-commercial scene is very strong in Sweden. There are seventy-two places around Sweden presenting this music. Not clubs, more like art centres with left-wing politics.”

“We come from a typical university town, it’s like Oxford. It’s mostly people between 20 and 30. I don’t really know what the young people are doing these days. They’re probably more interested in the Abba scene.”

“We don’t have many music papers. We have Power Of Music that is a promising music paper. Some of the technical papers, which write about amplifiers and such, also write about progressive music.”

“The scene in England isn’t interested in Scandinavian music. It’s very hard to get contacts here. You have to go through the management. Henry Cow is a unique thing in Europe because they’re doing their own thing.”

Some history, sill vooz plate.

“We started playing when Miles Davis’ ‘Bitches Brew’ came out in ’69. We had listened to Zappa, too. But we are more influenced by the English music like henry Cow and Robert Wyatt. We are listening to German free jazz now, but we’re not a jazz group. We are a free-form rock group. There aren’t many free-form rock groups around. King Crimson was a big influence. That kind of romantic thing they got into, we have it too. We have some Swedish folk music in us, too.”

All the RIO bands are political to varying degrees. English kids took TRB or The Clash as the ultimate in rock polemics, whereas “Sur Le Continong” many bands are strongly revolutionary. Does it work out?

“Now we have an employment crisis in Sweden and the money is worth less. Some groups are working for art’s sake and others want to turn more socialistic. They are taking traditional folk with rock and putting in socialist lyrics. It sounds like Abba if you don’t listen to the lyrics.”

Sweden isn’t as liberal (either sexually or musically) as you might imagine, and alternative music still has the same battle to survive as elsewhere. Politicised, like Stormy Six, and based similarly in native folk, the Samlas took a different course to the ten-a-penny politico-folkies and introduced – gasp! – Electricity and then Improvisation into their music. Their live concerts included improvisation alongside their quirky, almost twee chamber rock.

But it was not until their fourth album, ‘Schlagerns Mystik’ (Silence Records SRSCD 3610) that they included both on record. Even then, it was in the form of a double album – one record formal, one improvised, and with a dotted line down the spine of the double sleeve implying you should treat the two as separate albums.

“Before 1977, we were playing constructed material. In 1977 we changed. We played a series of totally improvised concerts and the public reaction was quite aggressive. They hadn’t heard this sort of thing before. We are trying to find a level between the two now. We have recorded a double album in Sweden. One record is improvised live and the other is short songs, almost pop music … Edith Piaf a little SLAPP HAPPY, too.”

In the formal area, they exude a mild, offbeat personality, but in their improvised pieces they really do a Jekyll and Hyde number; clattering rhythms, swirling, spontaneous themes and a maelstrom of other instruments.

Texturally akin to Henry Cow (as are, incidentally, Univers Zero), the Samlas’ wide-ranging improvisations give testimony to a diverse and exciting side to Swedish music.

Most music reaches you via an army of corporation dummies who mould your tastes. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t still like the RIO bands, except that the Machine doesn’t want you to. “Rock In Opposition” as a concert/promotional organisation no longer exists, but the Samlas have reformed and most of the RIO albums are still available.


Nosferatu in New York

Alice Tully Hall – 21-07-91

Allan Kozinn – New York Times

Théâtre organists, pianists and orchestras have accompanied silent films, so why not high-tech rock bands? Gérard Hourbette and Thierry Zaboitzeff, members of the French band ART ZOYD, have composed a vivid sound track for Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau’s silent horror classic “Nosferatu”, and when they appeared at the Alice Tully Hall, the group accompanied a clean print of the 1922 film as part of the Serious Fun festival.

Art Zoyd are a quartet, but their instrumental arsenal yields a sound with an orchestral heft. The group’s main components are electronic, and include synthesizers, samplers, tape machines, keyboards, percussion and bass. But there are also parts for amplified violin, viola, two cellos and saxophone interspersed throughout the score.

Like any good silent-film soundtrack, the Hourbette-Zaboitzeff score moves with the screen action. There was not much subtlety in it; the scene that introduces Dracula’s eventual victims, the Harkers, has a gentle music-box quality; morning scenes draw on either the tintinabulations of church bells or layers of bird calls; country scenes are set to a bagpipe timbre, and of course, scenes that show or even allude to Count Dracula have music that is hazy, bass-heavy and ominous. The sounds of wind and distant howling figure prominently in the blend.

Beneath the obvious colouration, the music brings together a standard Minimalist vocabulary of repeated melodic figures and a strong rhythmic pulse, and the crunching, mildly dissonant textures of industrial rock. It suited the film as well as, and often better than, a conventionally melodramatic organ score might, and in its best moments it gave an extra sense of eerie dimension to Max Schreck’s marvellously decrepit, zombie-like portrayal of the vampire.

The band’s members were:
Patricia Dallio – Keyboards
André Mergenthaler – Cello, Saxophonist
Gerard. Hourbette and Thierry. Zaboitzeff – who divide the rest of the instruments between them.


Richard Pinhas

‘Rhizosphere – Live Paris 1982′ – (Cuneiform Rune 61 – 1977 / 1994)

Peter Thelen (Exposé #3)

At last, a reissue of Pinhas’ first and certainly most purely electronic album recorded under his own name. It also marks a time when this was the distinction between Pinhas’ solo material and that of the more aggressive guitar oriented work of his alter-ego HELDON, a distinction that in later years became blurred although that didn’t hurt the music of either. Here, Pinhas plays all synthesizers (Arp 2600 and Moog 55) and no guitars and with the exception of the title track, which is enhanced by François Auger’s drums, this is entirely a solo album in the true sense. Rhythmic pulsating electronic frames with bubbling effects over the top, repetitive yet constantly evolving; very compelling and hypnotic.

Now on to the second half of the disc – five tracks recorded live, at the Bobino, Paris in 1982, with an impressive line-up featuring Clement Bailly on drums, Bernard Paganotti on bass and Patrick Gauthier on minimoog, with Pinhas on guitars, synths and electronics. As one might expect from this line-up, the sound at times approaches a cross between Heldon and Weidorje, especially on ‘Toward Belfast’ and ‘Last Coda from the Western Wail’, where Paganotti’s bottom riffing nearly steals the show. There’s plenty of Pinhas’ trademark guitar here as well. The complete version of this Bobino show has been circulating as a bootleg for many years, so it’s good to finally hear some of the best tracks here without the hiss, audience chatter and dropouts; this is a much better recording than I had suspected, and in short is worth the price of the CD by itself.


Simon Steensland

‘The Simon Lonesome Combat Ensemble’
(Musea Parallele MP3013.AR 1994)

Peter Thelen – Exposé #3

Cutting edge, unpretentious and imaginative are three words that describe this offering by Swedish multi-instrumentalist and composer Simon Steensland. Mixing elements of rock, neoclassical, jazz, some folk and sensible sonic experimentation, Steensland has created a purely instrumental album of great depth and emotion, yet it maintains a sensibility of variety throughout – an album that would seem more at home on the Cuneiform label. Any general comparisons are not easy, as the music keeps taking different turns in many directions: On most tracks, Steensland plays percussion and keyboards and mallets (or samples thereof, plus occasional cello, fuzzbass, accordion, berimbau and other exotics. He is joined by a rotating guest list providing additional keyboards, guitar, bass, violin, cello and accordion.

The album opens with ‘Mandrill’, a high-tension track dominated by drums, synth and mallets, one that may recall the recent work of Daniel Denis. Then on to ‘Antischnurvewicklungsperre’ – imagine Art Zoyd with a drummer, and then throw a searing guitar solo on top of it all. Other standout tracks include ‘Nightingirl’, where hard hitting fuzzbass and synth-bells paint a menacing Zeuhl styled backdrop for a powerful and intense melodic build-up, leading to Morgan Agren’s “electric chainsaw” solo, and ‘Doctor Locton’, a mechanized orgy for offbeat percussion, electric bass, and synths. ‘Only in France’ features a lonely frippian guitar lead over dissonant accordion chords; ‘Alexandra’, a solo piece for keyboards and marimba may remind of Kit Watkins’ ‘Spring 1980′. Some of the tracks here have a more programmed feel, akin to Thierry Zaboitzeff’s ‘Dr.Zab’ – two tracks in this category, ‘The Shadow of a Dog’ and ‘The Hunchback’s Dance’ stand out with a dark, foreboding starkness that makes for some fairly challenging listening. Wisely, the more abstract material has been pushed out towards the last half of the disc. In all, this is excellent music that will appeal to the discriminating listener. If you are looking for the next Marillion, then Steensland’s ensemble may not be for you.


ORK! UPDATE

CONCERTS

Christian Vander

Special Concerts to promote the next Christian Vander ‘childrens album’

21-12-94        Espace Kiron, Paris
22-12-94        Espace Kiron, Paris
23-12-94        Espace Kiron, Paris
24-12-94        Espace Kiron, Paris
25-12-94        Espace Kiron, Paris

28-12-94        Espace Kiron, Paris
29-12-94        Espace Kiron, Paris
30-12-94        Espace Kiron, Paris
31-12-94        Espace Kiron, Paris
01-01-95        Espace Kiron, Paris
02-01-95        Espace Kiron, Paris
03-01-95        Espace Kiron, Paris
04-01-95        Espace Kiron, Paris
05-01-95        Espace Kiron, Paris
06-01-95        Espace Kiron, Paris
07-01-95        Espace Kiron, Paris
08-01-95        Espace Kiron, Paris

PATRICK GAUTHIER SEPTET / XAAL

29-10-94        Le Caes, 1 rue Edmond Bonté, Ris-Orangis (near Paris)

ART ZOYD

in conjunction with F.W. Murnau’s film ‘Faust’.

24-11-94        Queen Elizabeth Hall, South Bank, London
29-11-94        Le Parvis, route de Pau - Centre Le Méridien, BP 20, 65420 Ibos

WELCOME

(Vander/Goubert Septet)

08-12-94        New Morning, Paris 
09-12-94        Reims 
10-12-94        Sarreguemines, France

POESIE TERRESTRE

POESIE TERRESTRE is a 36-page A5 format magazine by poets and artists who are inspired by the music of Christian Vander. The revue contains mainly French poetry with some Zeuhl album reviews. Written entirely in French, issues 1 & 2 are available.

OFFERING

There is a rumour that the OFFERING concert scheduled for 11-11-94 at the Jazz ‘Velanet Festival, at the Marché Couvert, Lavelanet (between Toulouse and Perpignan in the Pyrénées) has been deferred until Spring 1995. However, the Vander info Hotline still refers to this concert as imminent.

FAUST

FAUST are still performing, they popped up in San Francisco at the beginning of June and have just released ‘The Faust Concerts, Vol. 1′ (Prinzenbar, Hamburg 1990) and ‘Vol. 2′ (Marquee, London 1992) as the start of a series of five live CDs on the Table of the Elements label. These are incredibly expensive limited editions, available from RéR Megacorp.

LA DISCOGRAPHIE DU ROCK FRANCAIS

You must Buy: The 1994 edition of La Discographie du Rock Francais, due to last minute additions the book has been delayed. The section of the draft version that I have received is all in French, so I’m not sure if this edition will have the English translations that featured in the previous editions. It’s still the only document that collectors of French Rock / Zeuhl / Progressive etc. absolutely must have.

BBC SESSION

There is a book by Ken Gamer (about BBC Radio 1) called ‘In Session Tonight’ which gives these details about the Magma session; recorded at Langham Studio One on the 14th March 74, broadcast 21-3-74, producer: Tony Wilson, engineered by: Dave Dade and Bill Aitken.

MAGAZINE ARTICLES

Wire magazine issue 126 (August 1994) featured a small advert for Magma’s new album, AKT IV. And the September issue of Tower Records own in-shop magazine (TOP) had a reasonable article summarising Magma’s history, which was written (but not spell-checked) by Edwin Pouncey. The November 94 issue of Q magazine had a favourable review of AKT IV. And the latest Ptolemaic Terrascope has an interview with Brian Godding in which he mentions his work with Magma – who he recorded with but says he did not actually join, (he wanted to, but perhaps it was too far to commute to France). Meanwhile, in Japan, Marquee magazine have been running a series of features on Magma including contributions from Christian Vander, Patrick Gauthier and Bernard Paganotti – great work guys, and for those who can’t decipher the Japanese squiggles, the photos from Alex, Klaus and others are excellent. I hear that we should also look out for a feature in Modern Dance magazine (no relation – Ed.).

BREMEN TAPES

The master tapes of the session that Magma recorded for Studio F in Bremen on the 6th of February 1974 have been located; they are still in the vaults at the studio in Bremen if anyone from AKT records would care to follow this little hint…

DAEVID ALLEN

Daevid Allen has published an A4 format 130-page book. This is part one of the alien’s private and public autobiography with his own unique view of the psychedelic revolution from within the Soft Machine to the creation of Gong. ‘Gong Dreaming book 1′ (subtitled: ‘Oft so Machine: The secret visions behind Soft Machine & Gong, 1966-69′). Book Two is due out in 1995 and this will cover the period from 1969 to 1975, when Gong and Magma were often in close proximity. We know that Daevid has many tales to relate about his memories of Christian and Co. You can get Book One now. Also of slight curiosity value is Gilli Smyth’s latest book (Gas Books), which briefly mentions Magma from time to time. I recall one passage (circa ’72) when Gilli implies that Gong changed to a feminine direction at the same time as Magma took a Masculine path. Could one view Canterbury versus Zeuhl that simplistically? Discuss!

MAGMA GIG?

Harmonia Mundi (UK) are looking into the possibility of bringing Magma to England for a gig. Don’t hold your breath, there are all sorts of obvious obstacles to be overcome. However they are consulting with certain like-minded individuals and one possibility that has been mooted is a double bill of Magma and Amon Düül II.

MAGMA VIDEO?

An English video company has expressed an interest in producing a commercial video of Magma – the easy option could be to buy the rights to the Bataclan 1994 concert footage. Does anyone know who owns those rights?

MALOMBRA

MALOMBRA (a new name to me too!) have a CD on the Italian Black Widow label which is reputedly like Magma meets Black Sabbath with references to Van der Graaf, King Crimson and Hawkwind. The mind boggles! Does anyone cognisant with Zeuhl Musique know the album? Start scribbling those reviews please.

SEVENTH RELEASES

Seventh Records released the double CD ‘Retrospektïw’ I – II’ on the 7th September. This was an advance mail order release date; it was released to the shops on the 17th September.
In October, Seventh assure us that they will re-release Patrick Gauthier’s first album ‘Bébé Godzilla’ and also Jean-Luc ‘Gorgo’ Chevalier’s new one ‘Km 5 à Bangui’ and finally on the 22nd of December, Christian Vander’s new album which he recorded this September, and which he will be promoting in Paris at the end of the year.

NEW ZAO

ZAO’s new recording ‘Ahkenaton’ was released by Musea this autumn, but we still have not heard it so perhaps someone would like to review it for the next issue.

MAGMA ON TOUR

Ork Alarm! has ‘a work in progress’ entitled MAGMA – ON TOUR. Legal / Ethical / Copyright complications may cause this to be set aside, but the concept is simply a list of every known concert date that Mr Vander performed and where possible a guide to what material was performed and who his accomplices were. Boring stuff? Mais Oui!

PATRICK GAUTHIER SEPTET

The line-up of the PATRICK GAUTHIER SEPTET at Le Caes, Ris-Orangis on the 29th of October will be Patrick Gauthier – piano & electronics, Himiko Paganotti and Dalhia Bellaiche – vocals, Pierre Marcault -percussion, Alain Bellaiche – vocals & guitar, Philippe Bussonet – bass, Antoine Paganotti – drums & vocals.

SIMON GOUBERT QUINTET

The SIMON GOUBERT QUINTET are playing at Au Duc des Lombards, Paris on the 11th & 12th November.

MORE MAGAZINE ARTICLES

Oriental readers may be interested to know that our interview with Klaus Blasquiz (Ork Alarm! #22) will be translated into Japanese for a future edition of Marquee Magazine, this is a small planet and one of the fundamental aims of OA! has always been to break down the stupid barriers between us earthlings. Long may the music, ‘documents’ and information flow freely between all of us!
The summer 1994 edition of i/e magazine has Michael Draine’s excellent ‘Chants d’un autre monde’ article about the music of Christian Vander that we brought you in OA #19.

KLAUS BLASQUIZ

Klaus Blasquiz spent September at La Saline les Bains in the beautiful tropical (yet French) Île de la Réunion giving vocal and stage performance lessons. Okay so we’re struggling for news in this issue!


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