Christian Vander — Wurdah Ïtah
(Seventh Records 274 1704, 1974/2009, CD)
by Rob Walker, Published 1995-11-01
Originally released as a film soundtrack credited solely to Christian Vander, Wurdah Ïtah was recorded by a quartet extracted from the 1974 lineup; one of the smallest incarnations of Magma ever. Aside from Jannik Top's bass, Vander plays all the instruments and carries his share of the vocals. Though indexed into 12 sections, the music flows together into one seamless piece that is similar in both style and effect to "Mekanïk Destruktïw Kommandöh." The same dark, ominous, and somewhat mechanical atmosphere permeates the music and betrays the emotional context of the incomprehensible lyrics. Vander's improving compositional hand continues to stress vocals and repetition, but with some important developments. In the continuing evolution of vocals as the main instrument, Wurdah Ïtah sees the first appearance of wordless vocals; use of the voice for its sound alone, devoid of any lyrical message. Additionally, the incessant chanting of "Mekanïk Destruktïw Kommandöh" is mostly gone, and with it some of the repetitiveness in the vocal melodies. What repetition remains, however, is subject to much more variation. Layers of motifs, stated both by the voices and the piano, move through different rhythmic and harmonic settings, lending a new complexity to the music which would be greatly expanded on the ensuing album.
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more