Magma — "Les Voix" - Concert 1992 Douarnenez
(Seventh Records AKT I, 1992, CD)
by Peter Thelen, 1993-10-01:
Magma's Christian Vander has decided to follow in the footsteps of Frank Zappa, Andy Latimer, and others in an effort to fight the bootleggers, and has started his own record label AKT to release live shows and other special material from his own personal archives. Les Voix is the first release on this label, recorded at the Douarnenez concert, August 2, 1992. The lineup at this point featured Christian (vocals, piano & drums), Simon Goubert (piano, keys), Pierre Michel Sivadier (keys), Philippe Dardelle (contrabass), and in keeping with the title ("The Voices"), Stella Vander and seven other vocalists grace this show with a constant flow of high energy choral work. As might be expected from this mostly acoustic lineup, the musical style here is more in keeping with the recent Offering
albums than the early Magma of the 70's; drums are used only sparingly.The album's four tracks include three from the vintage years: "Ëmëhntëht-Rê," "Zëss" and a sixteen minute version of "Wurdah Ïtah"; in each case the chorus has been used to implement the parts originally done by guitars and synthesizer. The end result is nothing short of stunning. The recording quality is superb, it's easy to forget this is a live one!
by Dan Casey, 1995-11-01:
Not so much a true Magma album as it is a choral interpretation of some old Magma music. With no less than nine vocalists (led by Christian and Stella Vander), the choir (about half male, half female) is lightly backed by two pianists / keyboardists (Pierre Sivadier and Simon Goubert), Philippe Dardelle (contrabass, from the Christian Vamder Trio and Offering albums too) and Vander himself (drums, piano) in what is a very acoustic, very airy-sounding set. The bootleg quality sound grows a bit tiresome, but the highlights of the four tracks included make it worth the money for the diehard Magma fan. Those highlights are the excerpt from "Zess" and the short (well, fifteen minutes) summary of "Wurdah Itah." The sparse instrumental backing paired with the dense vocal arrangements will take some getting used to. The real thrill is the apparent interest Vander still has for this music in the 90s.
by Rob Walker, 1995-11-01:
Les Voix was the debut release on Christian Vander's AKT label, created in order to make available various live Magma recordings that had been gathering dust in Vander's archives. This was a bit of an odd one to start with, considering it hails from a 1992 concert which featured an almost exclusively vocal lineup and no electric instruments. The performance, however, is stunning, and this rather delicate lineup still imbues the music with Magma's characteristic emotional intensity. The CD opens with "Emehnteht-Re," a mysterious, ethereal piece performed by a choral octet accompanied by a lone piano. The cheerful second track, "C'est Pour Nous," comes from one of Vander's Offering albums, and gives him a chance to show off his vocal skills. The final pair of tracks, each around 16-17 minutes long, present excerpts from two of Magma's longer pieces, "Zess" and "Wurdah Itah." These haunting acoustic versions are deceptively restrained, revealing an expressiveness and power equal to any of Magma's electric lineups. Recorded straight to digital at the concert, the sound quality on this disc is superb.
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more
Birdsongs of the Mesozoic with Oral Moses - Extreme Spirituals – This album is likely to split Birdsongs fans. Some might consider it a brave creative statement while others may see it as a failed experiment. I’m in the first category and in my opinion albums... (2008) » Read more