This 2LP documents a live performance recorded at Magma's first concert in Germany on February 6th This live recording, which took place in June of '75 at the Olympia Tavern, captures Christian Vander at the top of his artistic game and features a mind-blowing performance from Didier Lockwood, whose violin adds an extra dimension to the profound originality of this superb double album. The group's sound blended diverse influences from Bach to Coltrane to produce a brand new musical style.
While the instruments were familiar, they were used in unconventional ways, and the vocals, which called on an invented language, only heightened the otherworldly affect of this revolutionary band. Dominated by the celestial voice of Stella Vander, it was the band's first studio album since they re-formed in the early part of the century. Powerful, hypnotic, and unclassifiable, there has been absolutely nothing like Magma in the last fifty years.
Includes download code. Slag Tanz. Suffice it to say, few bands could get away with introducing so little new material yet still interest me.
Perhaps it's the slight variations, such as the frequent tempo teases, or the unique combination of fuzz organ and bass rips underlying the soft "ooh-aahh" chants. Regardless, it's mesmerizing and unique. Then, after a slightly pleasant break, we build, slowly but surely, into the phantasmagoric, chant-tastic finale. It never gets ahead of itself, yet somehow stays interesting, and then simply dies into slow bass drones. There's really nothing like it. For that it gets major points.
It's also deceptively simple, when I really think about it seriously, thus taking it out of masterpiece territory. Regardless, it's a creative, unique, and enjoyable album, and I find it to be more consistent and restrained than much of Magma's other works. It's a very interesting side of the band, and I, like most proggers, am quite pleased they decided to show it! All of the same ingredients are here - the dark, brooding sound, the monstrous bass and drumming, and the chant-like vocals courtesy of Klaus and Stella.
Something, though, just doesn't feel right on this Maybe I'm just spoiled by the other incredible epics the band has released, I don't know. The vocals on this album are more toned down and spaced out than on the last two - for some this is a blessing, for others, it's a curse.
Me, I tend to enjoy the vocals on Magma albums very much. The music itself is still very good on the album. Ork Alarm is a very interesting piece with Jannick on cello and bass, maybe? For fans of Magma or Zeuhl in general this is of course recommended. It isn't a great starting point for their music however, and it isn't as good as several other albums, so I feel like three stars is fair.
The album is basically a minute piece entitled "Kohntarkosz". It was split in two and two somewhat unrelated songs were put on the album. That 30 or so minutes deserves 5 stars alone. I think it's the greatest Magma epic, with "Theusz Hamtaahk" a close second.
I don't like describing very long songs because they usually change so much. You can listen to the first part of "Kohntarkosz" here on PA, and I encourage those who have never heard this band before to do so. It's some of the best music this band has done.
Having said that, I like Part 2 more. Part 1 has a grandiose beginning. It settles down into a mellow groove for awhile. Slowly it builds and the tempo speeds up. It ends with female vocals and a lovely piano part. Part 2 starts with that piano part but without vocals and it is now played on a Fender Rhodes. The trademark distorted and chunky Zeuhl bass sound is more prominent on Part 2. There is maybe a bit more vocals than Part 1 and they are slightly crazier too.
Over halfway thru the second part the music goes into a punk rock level of intensity. The vocals almost sound like scat singing here. It settles back down again.
Christian's drumming is excellent throughout the piece there are no drums on the other two songs. The music almost revolves around what he is playing. Lots of piano and organ. There is guitar but it could easily be mistaken for Canterbury-style fuzz organ. One of my favourite parts on the album is the guitar "solo" on Part 2; it sounds like someone keeps hitting the 'pause' button while the guitarist plays.
But he really is trying to sound like that on purpose! No riffs or traditional guitar solos here. The last song "Coltrane Sundia" is just piano and electric guitar. Nice but nothing special. It's basically Jannick Top on cello and bass with clavinets going back and forth. Some chant- like vocals. A bit of guitar near the end. Strange sounds bouncing back and forth in the stereo spectrum ends it. Magma was certainly an influence on both. Most CD versions have the "Kohntarkosz" epic together as one minute piece as a bonus track.
One of the better Magma albums for sure. Only "Coltrane Sundia" and to a lesser extent "Ork Alarm" prevent me from giving this 5 stars. So 4 stars it is. The 2 track title-suite is a big miss for me. I've acknowledged that a lot of the transitions between passages and the passages themselves are executed very professionally, and they sound perfect, and it's all wonderfully written, but the only part of this suite that I actually found to be interesting and able to stick with me is the bass groove at around 3 minutes into the first half of the epic "Kohntarkosz".
That passage only lasts for about a minute, and enjoying 1 minute out of a 32 minute epic isn't a good sign for me. The rest of the epic, even the more energetic second half, is just so boring. Everything moves so slowly without creating any atmosphere or memorable motifs, or emotion even. I've never been a fan of the Magma operatic vocals, because they always sound unemotional and the vibrato sounds terrible, in my opinion.
I just think other zeuhl bands do everything better than Magma, which is odd to say. The last two tracks are still bland and boring tracks with no development. I want to like Magma, and I've always tried to like Magma, but most of their work is just boring. Definitely theatrical and dramatic, but it just isn't interesting. Great musicians, bizarre music with no emotion. Less than what I've come to expect in the usually know-your-socks-off world of Zeuhl.
Classical strings arrangement, clavinet, piccolo bass, and lone male vocal provide most of the delivery of this drawn out, monotonous song. In the fifth minute drums and keys build in intesity before the lead saw-synth gives way to solo female soprano singing her wordless vocalise. At the very end of the sixth minute bass and Klaus serve notice to ramp things up so that by the middle of the seventh minute a quicker, more insistent almost urgent pace has been established.
At the end of the twelfth minute the guitar has settled into the background, the drums, bass, and choir driving the music into dangerous abandon--further evidenced by rogue voices sneaking off into tangential ejaculations.
At the twelve minute mark full speed has been achieved, everything is cruising along, when Klaus enters to begin his operatic narration. I like cheese and I like metal! This is one of his best early career song imho. Every Crucis song that doesn't feature Gustavo Montesano's voice.
Split Enz - Pioneer 7. Zargus wrote: Toccata! Micky will love you for that It's his favourite ELP track! Where is the singing?
OK, back to my own preferences This album is definitely a classic. Pulsar — Halloween Pulsar came from the Pink Floydian school of languid, spacy progressive music complete with hazy, ethereal synths and gentle guitar soloing. So their first two albums are quite pleasant in that regard.
This album is not perfect; sometimes it meanders a bit, but the general mood is disquietingly autumnal, quiet but sorrowful and dark. Of all the bands sometimes disparagingly called Floyd clones, this is the one that really went in its own direction and came up with a distinct, moving sound of its own.
You should not miss this beautiful album. Arachnoid — Arachnoid Then things get really scary as the singer starts freaking out in a most over-the-top fashion that puts the rest of these French dramatists to shame. The vocals are totally outta control, which seems to be a hallmark of the French scene! I imagine the band scared itself so badly that it had to break up. In any case, a fine album well worth searching out. Eskaton — 4 Visions With added edgy guitar soloing to boot.
So basically this album is four straight tracks of this stuff! If you like this kind of punishment, this is heaven. Good zeuhl induces something of an ecstatic state in the listener who is receptive to it. But heck, have you heard some of the bad European Floyd and Genesis imitations from that period? Like, almost copycat stuff and done poorly. Well, not almost — definitely.
And yes, really dramatic storytelling, and rather nutty vocals natch! Atoll — Tertio Atoll is another band with an intense, dramatic vocalist. Like new. The vinyl retains its original gloss, and the jacket is clean with no wear nor marks on the label. May have a few scuffs or very light scratches which do not affect its playability. May have some minor rubs on the label or spindle.
May have some writing on the label which will be noted. May have some slight wear on the jacket but no splits! This is the desirable grade for most collectors. The vinyl and cover has light general wear including scratches may be audible , small splits on the jacket, and some label wear including writing.Includes "Coltrane Sündia" ("C gram vinyl. Originally released in , Köhntarkösz is the second chapter of Magma's Köhntarkösz trilogy, which also includes Köhntarkösz Anteria and Ëmëhntëhtt Ré.