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Magma – Retrospektïẁ Volume I + II and III

Southern Lord

Magma - Retrospektiw I + II and IIIRetrospektïẁ I, II and III are the crown jewels of the Magma empire. You’ll get told elsewhere that those jewels are located in the 1970s studio albums by Magma. You will get told that by people who cannot tell you why Christian Vander waited until 1980 to bring the key players of Magma back together at Olympia to record “Theusz Hamthaak”.

If you don’t understand why “Theusz Hamthaak”, and a full-spectrum revitalised version of “Mekanik Destruktiw Kommandoh” on Retrospektïẁ I & II, is not the most fundamental set that Magma can play in 1980, you need to go back and immerse yourself in the Magma canon and then come back to this review. It’s okay, it’ll be worth it.

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Magma (live at Cadogan Hall)

Magma live London May 2015London 8 May 2015

I remember quite a few years back after a Magma show, a friend of mine turning to me and saying, “That was like being on another planet for two hours”. And he was right, very few bands make you transcend to another realm but Magma has the capacity to do this.

Maybe it’s because the songs are sung Kobaïan, a language invented by band leader Christian Vander, that gives the songs an off-world feel. Or maybe it’s the majestic music filled with grandeur that feels like the aural equivalent of The Lord of the Rings meets Frank Herbert’s Dune. It’s probably a combination of the two, but one thing’s for certain: nothing is quite like experiencing Magma live.

According to

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Magma – Šlag Tanz

Jazz Village

(Before we go any further, a word about the title: you saw the caron on the s, didn’t you? Yes, of course you did. And that immediately suggested to you that Šlag Tanz is pronounced Schlag Tanz and you didn’t have a silly schoolboy [or girl] moment, did you? Good, and furthermore you get the Germanic sense of the word that indicates something like Shock Dance, so we don’t need to waste any further time on this now, do we? Good.)

Magma - Šlag TanzThere are two things immediately noticeable about Magma’s Šlag Tanz. Actually maybe there are three: the first being its relative brevity, what the label describes as a mini-album, but perhaps that is not to the point: Šlag Tanz is a single piece of music. If you are unfortunate

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Magma – Epok 5: Mythes & Legendes


Magma - Epok 5: Mythes & LegendesFive DVDs into Magma‘s series of live sessions at Le Triton,we find the pioneers of Zeuhl way out there beyond the Theusz Hamtaahk trilogy and exploring some of the stranger byways of their œuvre along with some dazzling new material. The entire programme runs to about two hours. There are a few interludes during which audience members, including Steve Davis, are interviewed about their relationship to the Magma legend, but mostly what you get is an all you can eat feast of pitch-perfect Magma.

There are two numbers from 1978’s Attahk album, “Dondai” and Maahnt,” as well as an opener entitled “Attahk (Retrovision)” which was not actually part of that album but is a composition from the same period. Digging further back there is “Rïah Sahïltaahk” from the 1001° Centigrade album from 1971, and

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Magma – Félicité Thösz


In a time when most CD albums stretch beyond the 60 minute mark, to receive an album with only two tracks that lasts a mere 32 minutes seems rather odd. But what we have to remember here is that this is not any ordinary 32 minutes, it is 32 minutes of Magma, which is the equivalent to 70 by a lot of other artists. From its opening you soon realise that you are going to be transported to another planet for the next half an hour.

Félicité Thösz is a 28 minute epic split into ten parts that presents Magma at their most monumentally cosmic. “Ëkmah” opens with ethereal vocals chords before the drums and voices hit in to make you jump from

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