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Paris (Le Triton), 27 January 2018: Christian Vander’s band came across as a really tight septet (no vibraphone) of superb musicians. A war machine roaring around the possessed drummer. The long introduction to ‘Mekanïk Destruktïw Kommandöh’ allowed Vander to chant like a shaman. Hammered out by Jérôme Martineau on the electric piano. The familiar, obsessive theme calls to mind the Fela Afrobeat trance. Magma, incandescent, inextinguishable, turns on the lights inside and plunges into darkness. The ‘Zombies’ and ‘Da Futura’ themes are delivered in a barbed funk style, obsessively, to the point of implosion. As if the New JB’s were sitting on the electric chair, with Coltrane for the last Meditations. And while Tyson from Nogent-sur-Marne is pulverising his cymbals, Magma 2018 is still not laughing, forty-eight years after Kobaïa (1970)! It strings together elegiac movements (the voices of Stella Vander, Isabelle Feuillebois and Hervé Aknin) and sudden volcanic eruptions, and advances through ruptures in the wake of Šlaǧ Tanƶ (2015). This is only the thirteenth studio album (as opposed to fifteen live recordings) by Magma, the subject of a recent film by director Laurent Goldstein: The Music of Magma. The documentary Nihao Hamtaï, charts Magma’s first ever tour in China during the winter of 2016. Is Magma still molten? Zeuhl!

Line-up : Christian Vander (dms, voc), Stella Vander (voc), Isabelle Feuillebois (voc), Hervé Aknin (voc), Jérôme Martineau (p), Benoit Alziary (vb), Rudy Blas (g), Philippe Bussonnet (b), Avec la participation de Pierre Latute (tb), Paul Antoine Roubet (s), Illyes Ferrera (s), David Mimey (s), Julien Buros (s)

Photo : © Jean-Baptiste Millot

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