Sunday, November 29, 2009

Video - Neom - May 1 2009

My vote for the best album of 2009.

Magma - February 1974 - Eglise Saint-Rémi d'Ecaussines, Belgium

Thanks to Mr. Akoustikus. I am not sure of what "Extra Belgique" is, but this refers to a concert in February of 1974 in Eglise Saint-Rémi d'Ecaussines, Belgium. According to Ork Alarm, in 1974, Magma toured Belgium from February 11 to 19.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Video - Magma - Nancy - October 15, 2003

The Yo-Cats blog has posted a DVD video of Magma at the Nancy Jazz Pulsations, October 15, 2003.

Thanks to Lamar for the link.

Update: This looks like it is the same video as the one taken by Robert Guillerault of the Magma Web PressBook.

Magma - Arles - August 6, 1976

Another photo from Henry via Korrigan. This was was taken in the south of France in 1976. as you can see, it is a poster publicizing a Magma concert in Arles on August 6, 1976.

According to Ork Alarm:

C & S Vander, Blasquiz, Federow, Widemann, Lockwood
Paganotti had left to form Weidorje, but there were still some important festivals booked.
1976-08-06 Forum Musical, Arènes, Arles (Festival des Arènes) (+ Zao)

Best No. 51 - Magma Chateauvallon 1972

This article comes to us through Mr. Korrigan, whose father-in-law Henry is a huge Magma fan since the early days. Henry has a lot of old documents, and I will try to reprint some of them here (with Korrigan's permission, of course).

This article is about Magma's appearance at the Chateauvallon Jazz festival in 1972.

The Google Translation follows.

The fourth day of the festival was my last, because I returned to Paris the next day and the best fit for what Magma that evening far surpassed anything we could expect. The first part of the evening was long. On stage a dozen musicians belonging to the stable CTI played music variety without interest. This was all the more lamentable that the musicians in question were called Freddie Hubbard, Ron Carter, Stanley Turrentine and Jack DeJohnette and they intend (or intended) of the most gifted of their generation. This C.T.I. show was the finest example of recovery of jazz by the "turners" style Norman Granz. No doubt that these gentlemen will do fine evenings the next twenty years, Carnegie Hall and other places dead.

It was half past two in the morning when magma could take possession of the stage because in addition to having nothing to say CTI said slowly. Magma begins to play and two hours sweeping and ridicules everything that had been previously submitted to and Châteauvallon. The outstanding musician, a remarkable singer, all led by a crazy drummer who knows what he wants and what he can get, as this is Magma which confirmed what we already believed, namely that they are the best European group and they may arise in the face of monsters equal Anglo-Saxon. The atmosphere and the climate created by Magma are not unlike those of James Brown, that the hypnotic rhythm crushes everything in its path and hungry machine that swallows you whole if you happen to take leave your finger. Faced with this demonic rhythmic change of high-class musicians like Francois Cahen, whose piano solo was reminiscent of Keith Jarrett. It should also emphasize the virtuosity of the singer Klaus, he would name them one by one as all are outstanding, but above all Magma is a group and certainly the largest that we had in France. The ovation they gathered was the most enormous sounds in the pines festival Châteauvallon and the last image I retain is that of three thousand people standing, screaming, asking over at half past four in the morning.


Friday, November 27, 2009

Magma - December 18, 2009 - Rennes

A Response from Olvator

Dear Isabelle ( I assume that the “female member of the group” must be you) and dear other members of MAGMA…

I cannot begin to tell you how disappointed I am about your recent statements concerning the accusations that have been made.

Understandably, you have come forward with statements that defend yourselves. This is your given right, and you should do so, because you were never meant to be attacked personally. I am also unhappy about the fact that the discussion has turned towards the music itself or other members of Magma personally. Which is something that at least I have never wanted to happen.

I want to start off with telling you, very honestly, how important Magma has been to me in my life. Being a musician, the experience of Magma´s music has totally changed my life. It was a revelation, in all kinds of ways, musically, philosophically, and spiritually. I would not be the person I am today, be it not for the knowledge of Magma, and that is something I cannot erase from my life, I don´t want to erase it, I am thankful for it and I will carry it inside me for the rest of my life . So many things that Christian has said, especially about music and about "the Earth" are just so precious and very valid. All of your (and any ex-member of Magma´s) dedication to the music and the amount of energy and time you put into it is indisputable and that deserves to be respected. It is not what I talk about.

First off, this very statement of mine is also NOT about the accusations made by Manu, they were really only the tip of the iceberg. It is not that I don´t believe him, but his accusations are not relevant concerning what I want to say to you.

There are two things, which have repeatedly turned up during the recent “witch hunt” as you call it, that just cannot, I repeat, CANNOT be ignored. These are facts, and there is just no other way to look at them: first the citation of Joseph Goebbels (on both the first edition of the Trianon DVD and the MDK score) and secondly the use of a picture on the Bobino cover that is equivalent to the “Deutsches Stadion” (German Stadium) designed by Nazi chief architect Albert Speer. I was the one who first brought up the J.G. problem publicly on the Magma Yahoo forum as early as 2003. And it was not an easy decision to do so. Let us only talk about these two things, OK?
I want to know: how can you say that these things are lies and baseless? What proof do you still need that J.G. is Goebbels and that the picture in the Bobino cover is a reproduction of the "German stadium"? How can you close your eyes to the fact that these two things have sadly found their way into Magma´s history?
I just cannot accept that.

You might have said that you did really not know yourselves who J.G. was, or that the Bobino cover was a suggestion by some graphic designer and you just liked it without knowing where it came from. And you might have said that if so, "you are SORRY that it happened and apologize if it hurt anyone and will make sure that such things will not happen again"...but nothing. You don´t mention these things with ONE word, while at the same time you talk about spirituality, the pain of life, the struggle to keep up with it and the sadness of seeing the planet go down into ruins.

Now, maybe it is not such a big thing in France , I don´t know, and you might call it a “certain dose of provocation”, but I am from Germany , I have had to face my own people´s history and crimes throughout my whole life, and it is a very sensitive and problematic topic for me. One of my grandmothers and some more uncles & aunts were massacred by Nazis just for thinking differently, by the same people that have been singing the “Horst Wessel Lied” (the basis for the J.G. quote) while marching through the streets of German cities in the 30ties.

You say that it is "jealousy" or "lack of a life" which is the basis for speaking up. But you are completely wrong. The basis for speaking up is being severely hurt emotionally. And I ask you to respect that instead of trying to make me look like the idiot who only wants to harm Christian´s and Magma´s legacy out of boredom. This is not a "witch hunt" to destroy Magma. The opposite is the case. It is an attempt to SAVE Magma and to clarify what Magma stands for.

But you don´t say yes, and you don´t say no. Your statements are all valid, but not in any way taking positions about the actual debate. Of course you are hurt as well, I understand that and I am sad about it.

But it was my duty to speak up. I owe it to my relatives, I owe it to the millions of people that have been slaughtered because of a propaganda machine established by Goebbels and I owe it to myself and I even owe it to Magma and to what Magma means to thousands of people on this shattered planet.

Think about it. Why is this planet going down into ashes, why is money taking over everything and why is our struggle so tough? Because too many people choose to remain silent and to not speak up.

That is is why I did, and do now. If any of you want to get in touch with me, I am sure you can get my contacts from the admin of this blog. And as along as I do not get an excuse or an explanation of what has happened, I will quite naturally have to terminate my relationship with Magma. And I will, of course, continue to speak up! If that also causes you to label me as "your enemy", I am ready for it.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Something to Lighten the Mood

This was sent to me by an anonymous Magma fan from France. I don't know who Big Jim is, but this seems to be pretty funny.

Comments are turned off for a day or two

I have disabled comments while people consider the past three posts. Comments will return in a day or two.

Another Comment From A Member of Magma

This is the second of two comments that Stella has sent me. This was written by one member of Magma, but speaks for the entire group (and thus is signed "Magma" at the bottom).

The criticisms of Magma, and, by dint of association, the members of the group, made by Emmanuel Borghi are baseless and empty. It rests on opinions, vagaries and soul-searching (supposedly qualified as 'facts' by the authors) which are amalgamated with the music itself, the band, and their private lives. This method of manipulating public opinion is well known to, and widely used by, tabloid newspapers, politicians and other propagandists seeking to discredit their enemies.

It turns out that Emmanuel Borghi, in the guise of 'transparency' and 'truth', has chosen to attack Magma by discrediting its leader. In spite of the fact that he is only one to have an interest in doing so, he has decided by himself to act as an enemy. No member of Magma has ever acted in this way towards him and even so we will not reveal to the public the wrong and deficiencies which he himself may have had.

Let artists have the right to be humans. The beauty of the poetic work of Magma also originates in the fact that it is a human endeavour, the result of the efforts of men and women - weak and struggling with their weaknesses, like all of us - and not by the Gods. To ask artists to live up the image one has of them is a useless form of violence and borders on delusion and madness. It is a projection upon them of one's own inner deficiencies. Magma is a group, a history, an artwork, but certainly not a political party. Magma is apolitical and its message is poetic and human.

Those who think they can judge a work of art by first putting the character of its author on trial, will judge everyone that way. Their world will only be infected with ruin, dullness and misery. We want to feel life through music. To give in to endless arguments, based on personal prejudices about the right to existence of this artist or that artist, will not detain us from this task.


La polémique déclenchée par Emmanuel Borghi autour de Magma, et donc de ses membres, est stérile et sans fondement.

Elle s'appuie sur des opinions, des approximations et des états d'âmes (qualifiés de "faits" par leurs auteurs), et l'amalgame entre l'oeuvre, le groupe et la vie privée.

C'est la base de la manipulation de l'opinion, principe bien connu des tabloïds et des politiques cherchant à discréditer leurs ennemis.

Il s'avère que E. Borghi, sous couvert de transparence et de vérité, a choisi d'attaquer Magma en discréditant son leader. Il a décidé unilatéralement d'agir en ennemi.Il est le seul a y voir un intérêt.

Aucun des membres de Magma n'a jamais agi de la sorte envers lui, et cette fois encore nous n'exposerons pas sur la place publique les torts qu'il a pu avoir.

Laissons aux artistes le droit d'être des humains. La beauté de la démarche poétique de Magma vient aussi du fait qu'elle est tentée par des hommes et des femmes- faillibles et luttant avec leurs défauts, comme nous tous- et non pas par des dieux. Demander aux artistes qu'on admire d'exister selon l'image que l'on a d'eux est une violence inutile, et une forme de folie.

Magma est un groupe, une histoire, une oeuvre, mais certainement pas une formation politique.

Magma est apolitique et son message est poétique et humain.

Que ceux qui pensent devoir juger d'une oeuvre par le procès préalable de son auteur, l'appliquent à tous. Leur monde ne sera bientôt plus que ruine et grisaille.

Nous cherchons à faire ressentir la vie, en musique. Se livrer à des discussions sans fin, conformément aux idées reçues, sur le droit à l'existence de tel ou tel artiste ne nous concerne pas.


An Angry (Female) Kobaian Member of Magma Speaks

This is one comment from a (female) member of Magma. Stella sent this to me, so I can verify its authenticity. The comment is first presented in English, and then in its native French. Stella gave me the English version, so we do not have any of the misinterpretations that might be caused by using Google Translator or Babelfish.

Let's put a stop to all this gossip, some people need to get a life !

I've had it with the witch hunt, based on nothing, like all witch hunts are.

It's sad to think that some people's lives are so empty that they need to fill it and nurture it with hate. Jealousy makes you stupid and mean, but thankfully, a little ship's boy's bitterness about not being the captain, is not enough to sink a boat that's been facing polluted winds and riptides for 40 years!

I'd like to remind you of what might actually be worth talking about when it comes to MAGMA. And that's life. Life is what is at the heart of Christian's music. It might be worth it to discuss the determination of a man wounded by life, named Christian Vander, revulsed by human cupidity, by men's lack of respect for their Earth and the energy they spend destroying it. Life is a struggle if you want to stand strong, and Christian has chosen Music, instead of weapons, despite the temptation in the face of a weighing inertia only awakened by money, just like certain musicians who, since then, have become useless and lifeless. Yes, MAGMA is a war chant, and you'd have to be deaf not to hear that, but it supports a new kind of war, as new as MAGMA's music, a spiritual war. MAGMA doesn't serve reheated versions of what already is! And no interpretation by so and so or what's his name is going to decrypt this music, because so and so don't speak Kobaian anymore than you do. So trust your heart and your feelings, they can be trusted, since you are touched and moved by the Music, since it speaks to you directly, since you're on a quest for something new that's never existed.

I'll conclude my letter the way I started it: Let's put a stop to all this gossip, some people need to get a life !

An angry Kobaian.

STOP aux ragots de "bonnes femmes" désoeuvrées!

Il y en a marre de la chasse aux sorcières car les sorcières ne sont pas toujours celles que l'on croit...

Certaines personnes doivent avoir une vie bien désertique pour qu'il n'y ait ou qu'il n'y reste que de la haine. La jalousie rend bête et méchant et heureusement ce n'est pas un petit moussaillon aigri de ne pas être le capitaine qui coulera un navire qui se bat contre vents pollués et marées noires depuis 40 ans!
Vous voulez que je vous dise de quoi il serait intelligent de parler au sujet de MAGMA? et bien il serait intelligent de parler de la vie car c'est de ça dont Christian parle en musique. Il faudrait aussi parler de la détermination irréversible d'un homme blessé par la vie qui s'appelle Christian Vander, révulsé par la cupidité humaine, par le manque de respect de l'homme envers sa Terre qu'il détruit tant qu'il peut. La vie est une lutte si on ne veut pas se laisser bouffer et Christian a choisi la Musique et pas les armes même si parfois ça démange face à une inertie pesante que seul le pognon réveille, comme certains musiciens d'ailleurs devenus inutiles, voire ratés! Oui MAGMA est une musique guerrière et il faudrait être sourd pour ne pas l'entendre, mais attention il ne s'agit pas d'une guerre ayant déjà existé, NON, c'est une guerre d'un genre nouveau, comme MAGMA, une guerre spirituelle! car MAGMA n'a pas l'habitude des redites! Et vous n'avez pas besoin de l'interprétation de "Machin" ou de "Bidule" pour décrypter cette musique car "Machin" et "Bidule" ne parlent pas plus Kobaien que vous! Faites donc confiance à votre coeur et à vos émotions cela est bien plus sûr et si vous êtes touchés par cette musique c'est que tout cela vous concerne et que vous êtes à la recherche d'une chose nouvelle n'ayant jamais existé...

Je finirai donc ma lettre comme je l'ai commencé : STOP aux ragots de "bonnes femmes" désoeuvrées par pitié!!!!!!!

Une Kobaïenne en colère

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Magma Speaks !!!!

Imagine my surprise when Steve Davis told me that Stella Vander had asked for my email address. And, another person told me that Stella had read each and every comment on this blog having to do with the interesting conversation that went on about Christian Vander and his alleged ideologies.

Stella would like me to keep the actual contents of her email private. Nevertheless, she made a very passionate argument in favor of Christian. She said emphatically that Christian was not a racist, nor harbored anti-Semitic feelings. Many people expressed the opinion that Stella would never comment on this recent controversy, but obviously, she felt the need to address this topic at this time. Still, there are some questions that remain unanswered, and I am hopeful that Stella will continue this productive dialog.

Stella also sent me comments/editorials that were written by various members of Magma. One was written by a female member of the current incarnation of Magma, and the other was written by one of the musicians, but echoing the feelings of the other members of the group. I am also expecting one or two other comments from musicians who are very close to the band.

I will post these comments in the next few days, and then I will close off comments to the blog for a day or two so that people can formulate intelligent and well-thought-out responses instead of reacting impulsively. As you know, the comments on this blog are moderated, and I might feel the need to be a little more strict on my moderation policies over the next few days.

Emmanuel Borghi has made his statements. The musicians of Magma have made theirs. There is much to consider.

After this, we will make no more mention of this topic on the Kohntarkosz blog, unless Stella or Christian themselves want to issue a public comment through this blog.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Tarkus Magazine No. 15 - Magma Interviews in Norwegian

Thanks to our friend Bernard, here is a link to a PDF from the Norwegian Progressive Music magazine, Tarkus. This PDF is a copy of issue Number 15 from 2000, and features stories and interviews with Magma.

Our friend Trond from Panzaerpappa has something to do with this magazine as well .....

Magma in Oslo, Dember 2009

The actual link is here.

Friday, November 20, 2009

De Futura Sporadik Orkhestra

Our friends Barfix and Fanny were part of a one-off group called De Futura Sporadik Orkhestra that played at a festival at Le Triton in Paris this past June. The one song that played, of course, was De Futura. And, they did a great job on it.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Guitarist Magazine - Hhai Guitar Part

Thanks to our friend Korrigan. And, of course, the transcriber, jean-Luc Chevalier.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Vander Interview - London, Oct 2009

Right before the show at the Barbican in London in October 2009, there was an interview with ChristianVander, and the English-language transcript is here. The two-part interview was by David McKenna and Ludovic Merle.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Klaus Blasquiz - Grau du Roi - September 5, 1970 ????

From the blog of somebody named Jean-Claude, we have a link to one of his photos. (Thanks Olvator).

Jean-Claude labeled this "1971? arenes du Grau du Roi". Any more info would be appreciated. Ork Alarm has the following information listed about a venue called Grau du Roi.

1970-09-05 Le Grau-du-Roi, "Belin Biscuits" Contest

There is also another photo from Jean-Claude from this concert. It's a photo of Jean-Luc Ponty, and the caption says that JLP was a guest of Magma at this concert.

Update: Our friend Akoutikus sends proof of this concert in the two scans below:

Magma - January 29, 1976 - Salle Roger Salengro, Lille

Thanks to our friend Hanwaker for a link to some photos of Magma from a concert on January 29, 1976 in Lille. Ork Alarm says that this concert was actually on January 25.

This Picassa viewer actually links to the Picassa site of Magma fan John Sousmarin.

Also, Magma fan Philippe Andrieu has more info about this concert here.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Emmanuel Borghi Posts a Comment

Read Emmanuel Borghi's comments here.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Score of MDK Available for Download

Thanks to Epanou, Rodolphe, Evelyne, and ...... Stella Vander!

You can download the score from here.

Truly a group effort. Rodolphe uploaded, Evelyne asked Stella if it was OK, and Stella said yes.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Photos from Magma's Studio in Epinay sur Seine - 1982

Thanks to our good friend, Barfix, for these photos of Magma at their home studio in Epinay sur Scene in 1982. Barfix says that the name of the photographer was "Christian", but he does not remember the last name.

E-R - The Album - about 7 minutes of Zombies

Some Words About the Recent Controversy With Vander and His Beliefs

First, let me say that it is my goal to keep this blog very simple. Think of this blog as my personal archive of Magma photos, scans, clippings, and links, and that I am using this blog (and the underlying Google storage) to organize and store souvenirs about Magma, and that I am sharing it with all Magma fans on the Internet. I post a photo, and I give it a minimum of commentary.

So, I don't want to post my personal opinions about this recent controversy that came up involving Christian Vander and confirmation of his distasteful beliefs. I don't want to be bombarded with hate mail like our friend Epanou was on the Zeuhl and Beyond blog. I am going to post some facts, some links, and I will leave it to others to discuss. I already discussed this topic enough on the French Magma forum.

I have gotten several emails from people asking me what the controversy was all about. And, I feel that, as part of Magma's legacy and as part of our deep involvement with the music and the band, all pertinent facts must be disseminated, even if these facts lead us to some conclusions that are unpleasant.

Fact: There was a transcript of a Facebook chat from several months ago that is being shared amongst several Magma fans. This chat involved a Magma fan and Emmanuel Borghi, the former keyboard player from Magma. In this chat, Emmanuel related several incidents and stories that seemed to confirm the general impression that Magma's music was somehow tied to Nazi philosophy.

Among the many assertions that were made:

  • In the credits of some albums, when you see "Thank you to our Uncle", the "Uncle" being referred to is Adolf Hitler.
  • The speech is Zess in Kobaîen is phonetically excerpts from a speech from Hitler.
  • In MDK, "Fuhl mehn Fuhl ehndoh litaah" actually means "für mein Führer Adolf Hitler".

Some people were wondering why someone does not go up to Christian or Stella and ask them directly.

Fact: Here is the transcript of an old interview between Denis Desassis and Stella Vander. The Google translation of one of the questions is:

DD: In a recent interview (1997), Christian spoke of a "conspiracy", even speaking of "falsifying history". He also said to be reached, since 1987 and some "revelation" to "untie the thread." Such statements are historically very bad connotation because they have already been held by unsavory characters and have often led to bloodshed and genocide. I understand that you do not share his point of view: is it possible to speak with him and, if so, have you ever been able to influence his positions?

SV: I think I am one of those rare Christian who trusted and who can find the arguments that led him to ask some questions. I do not want to talk about all this, I do not want to, and not Christian, addressing a subject that can lead to confrontation. There's too much love and affection between us. Anyway each of us remained in our positions. So ... As I said a little further, what I can see is that he continues to call every day to play ... If one day he began to harangue the crowds, I fainted in space ... But it will not.There is a good dose of provocation in this.

So, it seems that even Stella does not want to directly address these accusations. However, she did not deny them.

Fact: Read the last message here.

I was in 1971 if I remember well the year at a concert MAGMA, in Montauban, in a tiny room. It would be thirty and they received after the show for all payments: a basket of sausage, cheese and other bread.

At the end of the concert, a dozen spectators, convinced of having witnessed a great moment of music, stayed to talk with them.

The first quarter of an hour was very nice but suddenly changed to Vander tone to explain unambiguously the three or four remaining what sense and why he gave his music and how much for him, "the only one who was right was Hitler "! The rest of his pro-Nazi speech made me leave the room with a terrible feeling sick and yet their music is beautiful!

Some people wonder if Vander still has racist attitudes.

Fact: After the last concert of the series of Magma concerts at Le Triton in June 2009, there was an incident between the wife of the owner of the club and Vander, where Vander said some extremely unpleasant things about Black people (cit: Helene C). I was not there, but this story has been confirmed by a number of people who were at the club and witnessed the incident.

There are many contradictions. Vander was married to a Jewish woman (Stella) and had several great Jewish musicians in his band (Seffer, Lasry, Cahen). Vander loves black music (Coltrane, Motown), and was great friends with Elvin Jones.

These contradictions will always remain a mystery unless Stella or Christian address them directly. But, nobody is expecting this to happen. There is an ecosystem that surrounds Magma and Christian, and this ecosystem provides financial support for a number of people.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Magma - Bourges - January 4, 1986

Magma - Paris1981

Two photos from Alex Kraus.

Eclipsed Magazine - January 2008

Another set of scans from the collection of Alex Kraus.

Eclipsed Magazine - March 2005

From the collection of Alex Kraus ... from the German music magazine, Eclipsed.

Magma - Covent Garden, Dortmund, Germany - November 7, 1975

Another photo from Alex Kraus.

C & S Vander, Blasquiz, Federow, Paganotti, Gauthier, Widemann, Lockwood
Recognizable pieces played included: MDK, Ptäh, Theusz Hamtaahk and Hhaï.

Magma - Bordeaux - 1975 or 1976

Two more photos from the Alex Kraus collection. He did not know whether these were from 1975 or 1976. Also, who was the original photographer?

Magma On Tour - Download the PDF File

Our friend Akoustikus has been working on a bunch of corrections to the Magma Gig List that is available on Ork Alarm. He has graciously given us a copy of a PDF file, which everyone can feel free to download.

The document can be downloaded from here.

If anyone has any other corrections or additions, please let us know.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Magma - Bordeaux - November 25, 1972

Here are some amazing photos from the Alex Kraus collection. These photos were originally taken by French fan Pierre de Ramefort Patrick Veyssière .

Ork Alarm describes this concert as:

C & S Vander, Blasquiz, Garber, Lambert, Manderlier, G. Bikialo, M. Fosset
Palais des Sports, Bordeaux (Sigma 8 Festival) (with Storchhaus choir) (onstage at midnight)

It's fantastic to be able to show these rare photos from the very early period of Magma. Thanks to Alex and Pierre and Patrick.