Friday, April 3, 2015

Magma - 2014 - Rïah Sahïltaahk

Rïah Sahïltaahk

01. Watsei kobaia (4:40)
02. Di mahnter sahiltaahk (3:00)
03. Suri si toido (3:31)
04. Un zoin glao (3:10)
05. Iss walomehn dom (2:25)
06. Bradia etnah (2:24)
07. Mom loile (3:45)
08. Wolei (1:29)

Stella Vander: vocals
Isabelle Feuillebois: vocals
Hervé Aknin: vocals
Benoît Alziary: vibraphone
James Mac Gawguitar
Jérémie Ternoy: piano
Philippe Bussonnet: bass
Christian Vander: drums, vocals, piano, composer, lyricist

Magma is no stranger to the phenomenon of older bands doing re-recordings of their earlier work. Whether it is an attempt to better the older versions, or an attempt to regain copyright over works that were signed away to some record label or another, Magma is there alongside Tangerine Dream, Banco, PFM, Camel and a host of others in the release of such recordings.

"Rïah Sahïltaahk" was originally released in 1971 as side one of 1001° Centigrades. Besides the obligatory CD release, the new version was released in 2014 by Harmonia Mundi as a beautiful 180 gram vinyl pressing, complete with Kobaïan lyric sheet and download card which entitles the buyer to a lossless file of this largely overlooked piece of Magma's rather unorthodox repertoire.

Like many other re-recordings of this ilk, "Rïah Sahïltaahk" initially seems to lack the urgency and energy of the original, but the new version does have its charms. In 1971 Magma employed a small but extremely potent brass section; that is missing on the 2014 version, which instead contains a more fully-implemented chorus featuring Stella Vander and Isabelle Feuillebois.

Of course, Christian Vander's drumming and overall vision still drive Magma, all these years later. Even if the mad passion of youth is gone from the old man, the fire of artistry is still apparently burning brightly. This version of "Rïah Sahïltaahk" is but a reminder of how special Magma is, and how lucky the band's fans have been to have them around for almost half a century.

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