Friday, April 3, 2015

Offering - 1986 - I - II

I - II

01. Offering (Part One) (7:57)
02. Earth (10:29)
03. Joia (18:00)
04. C'est Pour Nous (8:05)
05. Love In The Darkness (10:39)
06. Tilim M'Dohm (2:34)
07. Mazur Kujiawiaki Oberek (4:56)
08. Solitude (4:07)
09. Uguma Ma Melimeh Gingeh (3:44)

- Christian Vander / lead vocals, piano, Rhodes, drums, bells
- Stella Vander / lead vocals, maracas & bells
- Guy Khalifa / vocals, flute, Rhodes, piano
- Simon Goubert / Rhodes & piano
- Pierre Marcault / percussion
- J.Marc Jafet / bass (2)
- Marc Delouya / drums (2)
- C.Martinez / trumpet
- J.Bolognesi / trombone

Offering came to the world as one of Christian Vander's post Magma projects, functioning throughout the later half of the 80s up till the early 90s Offering ventures into territory where only Magma's 'Merci' dared the tread. While the 70s Magma revolved around a more classical interpretation, Offering shows Vander's fascination with Coltrane's acoustic inspired Jazz blossom into full realization. Offering is sited by many as Christian Vander's most praised post-Magma project.
Offering takes a step aside from Magma's tight formulas, introducing compositions of a much looser, improvisational design. Vander's drumming expertises sadly take to the bench, while focusing more specifically on vocal experimentations alongside his wife Stella. We hear an evolution of the soul-scat vocals utilized throughout Magma's 1984 album 'Merci'. Offering went on to record 3 albums, which hold many draw backs for most listeners. Much of the time the musical insights become quite unfocused and produces a patchy final product
Their latest recording 'A Fiieh' is their most concise document; bring in a full line-up including the likes of Isabelle Feullebois, Philippe Dardelle and Emmanuel Borghi. The usually suspect are augmented by four other percussionist, four vocalist and one Keyboardist. The style becomes dark, minimalist and even a little more symphonic. While the epic 'Purificatem' reverts back into the familiar vibe of the two prior albums.
Boasting as one of Vander's most accomplished post-Magma projects, this will appease Christian Vander fans, but could still facilitate your average listener's enjoyment.

A tremendous double album from Magma legend Christian Vander where zeuhl mixes with jazz with a splattering of madness added to the mix.

The opening track is out there in the dark walking the fine line between the demented wailings of the asylum inmates and raging winds. Not for the faint-hearted. But before we run away screaming Stella Vander's vocal relaxes into a more smooth gentle and playful jazzy tone. The Lovecraft nightmare vista melts away to be replaced by a smokey relaxed basement bar filled with afficionades (not my cup of tea but there's no pleasing everyone)... then a real Magma zeuhl feel takes over. Christian Vander brings us Earth. This is what I was hoping for. Delight for Zeuhl fans. The intensity and passion is striking. Always the pulsing bass riff and precussion keep order. the vocal becomes more aggressive at one point joining the pulstaing rhythms with several of those deep funky choral soul brother Huhs that proliferated in the late 70s.

The second side is dedicated to one track: Joia. it opens with Incredible vocals: zeuhl to the fore once more. the minor(?) chords on the piano beat out time. Christian breaks into a couple of ines of English : i Give my Love to God. The beat picks up, subtly. Tremendous rhythm, restrained and toe tappingly catchy, but over it we have the shackled madness and bridled passion of zeuhl. There's more of an exotic overtone here perhaps. Love it. Guy Khalifa lets rip with the flute. Still the chords on the piano keeps the heartbeat steady. I am not sure what th term is but Vander wavers his voice at times a bit like Feargal Sharkey (only better, sorry Feargal). The piano breaks stride and provides the lead into side 3.

C'est per nous: trumpets fill in like the brass section in Kid Creole. it's more upbeat. well happy. christian and stella sing together. it's a melodic machine gun performance from CV. i give my love, i give my soul. great stuff but find yourselves a room! This is a happy and fun as Steve Wilson and PT is miserable. I cant's help listen to this track without imaginging a cartoon where there are hifis in a room Steve Wilson is whining about how miserable he is and how his last girlfrined wasnt' nice through one (as the room at that end turns grey), while Christian and Stella sing out sheer bliss from the other (sgt pepper like flowers and rainbows springing from the hifi at that end).

Anyway, enough of my delusions. ... Nah. Just as the grey wave of despondency seems to be winning, Oh Oh Baby comes on. A Tsunami of feelgood love-in sweeps the nasty grey gremlins away. hey, vander almost sounds like an early robert plant at some points: make that misty mountain hop. Tilim M'Dohm is a short track showing off the precise vocals of Stella.

Mazur Kujiawiaki Oberek shows off an interesting meter and phrasing. I reckon the name of the song gives a bit of the game away: we get three different polish (?) folk themes. Different.

Solitude swings us back deeply into jazz-zeuhl territory. It is somewhat disconcerting being able to listen to and understand english lyrics. it takes away form the experience for me, but musn't grumble: Oh Coltrane I can wait for you night and day

Uguma Ma Melimeh Gingeh is just a laid back chill out to end the journey.



  2. muchas gracias, amigo Drago, feliz fin de semana