Magma — Concert - Bobino 1981
(Seventh Records AKT V, 1981/1995, 2CD)
by Rob Walker, Published 1995-11-01
The latest release on Vander's AKT label is a two CD set featuring live material from 1981. The band at this point was fairly versatile, with multi-keyboards and horns joining the multi-vocal, bass, and drum lineup. Thus the song renditions presented here are generally full and lush, and bear some resemblance to the sound of late 70s fusion groups like Return to Forever. The selection of pieces on this set, though, is sort of a mixed bag. The version of "Hhaï" is as strong as the one on RetrospektÏw III, and features guitarist Jean-Luc Chevalier trading furious solos with Benoit Widemann on synth. Chevalier also contributes outstanding solos on an extended "Retrovision" as well as on the highlight of the set, a 30 minute previously unreleased "Zess." This Vander composition is in the classic Magma style, beginning with a long, mysterious choral incantation and concluding with a slow, dramatic crescendo to the finale of the piece. Aside from a very fusionish "Zaïn," the remaining tracks are rather weak, and tend more towards the style of Magma's next studio album, Merci.
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more