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Customer Reviews

Flagship of an obscure movement

The French band Magma was/is pretty unique. Not quite progrock, not quite jazz-rock, not quite space rock, not quite psychedelic or acid rock, definitely not kraut rock despite the sonic similarities, but some of all that. Long, spacey songs sung in an invented language, futuro-tribal chants, minimalist repetitions a la Glass and Steve Reich, choral chants a la Carl Orff, some disturbing fascisto-Nazi imagery yet with some hippie-trippiness… Best reference points are Gong, Soft Machine, Can and maybe a bit of Mahavishnu. (Interestingly, those groups were all managed and/or highly influenced by the visionary Giorgio Gomelsky, who also had a big hand in shaping the early Stones and Yardbirds.) There was a big spacey-arty-prog scene in France in the 70s that flew pretty entirely under the radar in the US and UK. Magma was the flagship, and MDK is maybe the best intro to their work -- although it's said that no studio recordings match their live shows, with could stretch to five hours with, um, hour-long drum solos!

Buzzahr Anhd Beyuttifuhl

Imagine a blend of King Crimson, Carl Orff and Gong, and you might just have the picture. There are certainly elements of progressive rock and jazz-rock fusion to be found here. However, perhaps appropriately for a band that sings in an invented language, there are no words that can truly convey a description that does this band justice. Rather than try to categorize this band, it is better to just dive right in.

If you have an open mind and can handle bands such as Area International POPular Group, Soft Machine and Gong, you will find this recording to be a real treat. If you find that you enjoy current pop radio and think that Coldplay is edgy and progressive (sorry, no insult meant towards Coldplay because I do enjoy some of their stuff), then you may want to skip this one. If you (like myself) have explored all of the more well-known prog-rock bands, it may be time to investigate Magma. If you are budget conscious, "Magma Live" for $3.99 on iTunes is also a great place to start.

make that M.F.M.D.K.!!

This is it... Where the Soul of Man Never Dies.


Formed: 1970 in Paris, France

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Led by classically trained drummer Christian Vander, the Paris-based Magma have been, in their way, perhaps the ultimate progressive rock group; while other artists have achieved greater commercial success and critical acclaim, Magma have typified the many ambitions and excesses of the genre that won them as many detractors as fans, even going so far as to invent their own lyrical and musical language in order to bring their unique vision to life. The son of a jazz pianist, Vander initially followed...
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