Friday, April 3, 2015

Magma - 1977 - Inedits


01. Sowiloï + KMX - E XII - (Opus 3) (13:45)
02. KMX - BXII - (Opus 7) (6:13)
03. Om Zanka (5:30)
04. Gamma (4:00)
05. Terrien si je t'ai convoqué (4:10)
06. Gamma Anteria (7:45)

- Gerard Bikialko / keyboards (1,2,4,6)
- Micky Grailler / keyboards (1,2,4)
- Benoit Widemann / keyboards (3)
- Francois Cahen / keyboards (5)
- Jean Luc Manderlier / keyboards (5,6)
- Francis Moze / bass (5)
- Jean-Pierre Lambert / bass (6)
- Janik Top / bass (1,2,4)
- Bernard Paganotti / bass (3)
- Claude Olmos / guitar (1,4)
- Marc Fosset / guitar (6)
- Gabriel Federow / guitar (3)
- Didier Lockwood / violin (3)
- Klaus Basquiz / vocals & percussion
- Rene Garber / vocals, bass clarinet (5,6)
- Teddy Lasry / saxes (5)
- Jeff Seffer / saxes (5)
- Louis Toesca / trumpet (5)
- Christian Vander / drums

"Opus 3" sets the standard with its cosmic electric keys and jazzy zeuhl rock variations with Jannick Top doing an extended bass solo, so this is obviously a required recording for us maniacal born-again Kobaians. Although these songs were performed between '72 and '75, I have to say that they all remind me strongly of the main "Kohntarkosz" theme, what with steady yet subtle rhythm work holding around one chord and those unique funeral jazz moments. (Still, it's been said that Kohntarkosz Anteria was written in '72 - and indeed, memorable snatches of the epic do appear on Inedits - so perhaps a lot of what we have here was contemporary with it, possibly to be included in Ementhet-Re? If so, they'll have to cut back on all this relentless improvisation - seeing a musician's talent expand across the stage is wonderful in a live setting but I'd prefer my studio slices of zeuhl to be much more tightly regimented.)

I'll highlight my favourite moment - the third track, "Om Zanka" is flowing piece of 7/8 jazz mood management with Vander soloing against the amazing Benoit Widemann, and neither buries the other. Frustratingly, the quality of the production is most punishing here. Once the duel is over (assumedly called as a draw owing to exhaustion) the traditional Kobaian choirs enter to weave in and out of Lockwood's violin melodies. It's stunning and frankly over far too quickly, although I have a feeling that this piece reemerges on "K.A."

Don't pick this one up first, but if you come under Magma's spell, don't disregard Inedits merely because it's not studio work. Magma fanatics should head here because it'll help them to come to terms with bootleg quality, and to put names to the songs on the ones they've already heard!

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