Magma 2: 1001° Centigrade
01. Rïah Sahïltaahk (21:45)
02. "Iss" Lanseï Doïa (11:46)
03. Ki Ïahl Ö Lïahk (8:23)
- Christian Vander / vocals, drums, percussion
- Klaus Blasquiz / vocals, percussion
- François Cahen / acoustic & electric pianos
- Francis Moze / bass
- Teddy Lasry / clarinet, sax, flute, voice
- Jeff Seffer / sax, bass clarinet
- Louis Toesca / trumpet
As much as I enjoyed their debut I think this one's better. Claude Engel's leaving is the most significant lineup change for this record, although the guitarist would return for their next one under the band name UNIVERIA ZEKT. Perhaps Jeff Seffer's arrival is even more significant, what a talent ! Ted Lasry stays but the other two horn players left allowing Seffer and Louis Toesca to join. Their style has changed from their debut. And it's the vocals that are the most significant change and they clearly are Zeuhl now. This is heard on the first and third tracks here.That vocal Zeuhl style would come on even stronger on "MDK". So I think it would be fair to call this album MAGMA's first real Zeuhl record. The next one under the name UNIVERIA ZEKT is a little different for the first half of the album, but the second half returns to the MAGMA sound of the first two records. Interesting that on the back of this album it says "Magma 2", and then near the bottom, under the song titles and band members' list it says "Univeria Zekt".
"Riah Sahiltaahk" is a side long suite composed by Vander. Vocals, bass, percussion, sax? and drums start us off with piano joining the melody 2 minutes in. This is a great uptempo section. The song changes before 3 minutes as it slows right down and then theatrical vocals arrive. A sax melody 5 minutes in with fast paced vocals reminds me of Zappa for some reason. The drumming is prominant 6 minutes in and a great section follows a minute later as the tempo picks up the pace. The song slows down briefly with theatrical vocals and the speeds up again as we are cooking now. The tempo shifts often and themes keep returning. Some screaming sax after 11 minutes as flute,vocal melodies, a great horn section, and then heavy drums follow as the song continues to change so quickly and often. Drums, vocals, horns and throbbing bass dominate to almost the end of the song before it ends with gentle piano. The trip is over and I can breathe now.
"Iss Lansei Doia" is a Teddy Lasry composition. These last two songs are more Jazz influenced and less experimental than the first track. This one opens with a nice sound of vocal melodies, bass, percussion and horns. Some dissonant horns 3 minutes in as drums and bass continue. A good pastoral sound follows. The electric piano and bass is to die for people ! Check out the sound 6 minutes in ! Strange vocals come and go. There is an amazing 4 minutes of music until the song calms down 10 minutes in with piano and vocals. The clock is ticking to end it. Time is up. "Ki Iahl O Liahk" is a Cahen composition and my favourite. I can't wait to review ZAO, a band Cahen and Seffer started after the UNIVERIA ZEKT album. This song flows so well, and it's just a cool tune. Bass, horns, cymbals to open with piano then vocals joining in this relaxing soundscape. The song speeds up briefly 4 minutes in with liquid sounding keys coming in right after this as drums pound away.The horns are fantastic with piano, drums and bass filling out the melody. It's almost haunting and experimental before 12 minutes then the electric piano, a beat and sax come in tastefully joined by vocals as it builds. Amazing stuff !
A top three MAGMA album for me. And don't let the ("duct tape" grey) cover put you off, it's what's inside that counts.