About Ork Alarm!

25 editions of the fanzine Ork Alarm! was the legacy Paul Mummery left to Magma and Zeuhl aficionados when he died prematurely in March 1998. Paul’s musical tastes ranged from Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart, Peter Hammill and Van der Graaf Generator, through to Krautrock and French Prog. But his number one passion was the inspirational Zeuhl music of Christian Vander, Magma and many of the offshoot bands that they spawned.

Paul first witnessed “The Greatest band on Kobaïa” in London back in the early Seventies. I’m sure, like me, he was overwhelmed by the experience and his love affair with the group began. Today, a new worldwide generation of alternative music fans have discovered the talents of Christian Vander et al, sadly, Paul is not here to witness this “Second Coming” of Magma.

Ork Alarm! # 1 was issued in September 1990. It was announced as an “Irregular bulletin for Zeuhl fanatics”. Initially Ork Alarm! concentrated on Magma and their constantly changing line-up of musicians. In later issues Paul incorporated articles on other Zeuhl style artists, occasionally straying into other related genres. With the help of other experts in the field at the time, Paul built up as comprehensive a history of Zeuhl music (outside of France) as was humanly possible at a time before the internet spread like wildfire.

The Ork Alarm! fanzine inspired me to return to Magma’s music as well as seek out related artists, and after re-reading them, two things struck me. Firstly, how Paul would have loved the current resurgance and incarnation of Magma. And secondly, that the fanzine was becoming dated. If nothing else, I decided that Ork Alarm! deserved a retrospective presence on the web and perhaps I could add the occasional update or two as well.

I had kept in contact with Paul’s father after his death so I obtained permission from him to publish Ork Alarm! online. I’m sure this is something Paul would have done anyway. No doubt this venture breaches some copyright controls, (please contact me if you have any complaints or objections) but hopefully it will be viewed upon favourably as an attempt to continue to spread the Zeuhl gospel and also as an appreciation of the efforts of Paul Mummery and the 25 issues of his “Inspirational” Zeuhl music publication, Ork Alarm!

“Zeuhl” music has produced some of the most original and astonishing modern day music ever heard. Once bitten, (and after picking themselves off the floor) the listener will usually seek out more of the same. Whilst it is doubtful whether any of the bands mentioned above (with the exception of Christian Vander’s various formations) consider themselves to be “Zeuhl” artists, it is very likely that fans of one band will gravitate towards others featured within this website.

This website is currently presented (with the odd bit of tidying up) as the original subscriber would have received the fanzines. Each Issue has been separated into individual web pages. A few articles (in French and German) from early issues have been omitted.

2 thoughts on “About Ork Alarm!

  1. Simon Mummery

    Hi, I’m Paul’s nephew (his older brother’s son). Thanks for your work to keep this going, I’m sure he would be very proud.

    Paul’s father lives in Canada now and he has Magma and Zappa artwork in his flat in Paul’s memory!



  2. Alan Freeman

    I just posted this query on the Zeuhl/RIO Facebook group. Maybe you can help?

    Anyone know exactly when the debut cassette of Shub Niggurath was released? The CD reissue “Introduction” has it as 1982, which we know is wrong as the band weren’t formed until late 1983. The earliest review I know is in Eurock 3/1985. I recall seeing an Andy Gee review before that (maybe a Lotus catalogue or advert?). I assume it will be 1984. Any Shub Niggurath members on this group?


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