Exposé Online banner

Magma — Mekanïk Zeuhl Wortz
(KISS 30, 1976/1994, 2CD)

by Peter Thelen, 1994-08-01:

Mekanïk Zeuhl Wortz Cover art

Here's one of those unbelievably powerful Magma concerts that's been circulating on cassette for years, finally cleaned up and transferred to CD. Hallelujah! This is one of the best live shows around, recorded March 2, 1976 at the Opera, Reims, France. In addition to Zebehn Strain De Geustaah (Christian) and Tauhd Zaia (Stella), the lineup at that point in time included Klotsz (Klaus Blasquiz) on vocals, Didier Lockwood on violin, the dual keyboards of Benoit Widemann and Patrick Gauthier, Gabriel Federow on guitar, and bass-monster Bernard Paganotti who stole the show on almost every track that night. This is a 2CD set, the first disc containing a 42 minute (and unfortunately prematurely truncated) version of "Mekanïk Destruktïw Kommandöh." This is perhaps one of the most gripping versions of this track I've heard, at least equal to the version on the Retrospektiw 1 & 2 album; Wurd (Paganotti) begins showing off his chops about halfway through in an apocalyptic duel with Federow, gradually increasing the speed and tension in a fight to the finish that ends in pure chaotic madness. The track fades at 42:00, a couple minutes short of the applause, presumably because the tape ran out. Still, this one's a stunner. Those who enjoyed "De Futura" on Üdü Wüdü, but wished for more - well, here's the more: disc two opens with "De Futura Hiroshima," a full twenty-five minutes of it, this time with Paganotti instead of Janik Top. Needless to say this one is a smoker as well, as one might well imagine - more of the Paganotti-Vander-Federow rave-ups, and plenty of support from the others. Disc two closes with "Ëmëhntëht - Ptâh" which, after the short intro, turns into a legthy 20+ minute drum solo by Zebehn himself, and I believe the first time the whole thing has been captured on record or CD. If you enjoy a great drum solo you’re bound to enjoy this; if not, consider it a bonus track, as the other two alone are certainly worth the cost of this set. A must have for all Magma fans.


by Rob Walker, 1995-11-01:

A two CD set, this contains the second half of the concert begun on Theusz Hamtaahk. The first disc features a stunning and powerful rendition of "Mekanïk Destruktïw Kommandöh," which unfortunately fades out several minutes before the end of the piece is reached. Still, this is in the running for the best version ever released. Paganotti's heavy bass gives the piece a relentless momentum, and his overwhelming solo continues for more than 11 minutes before giving way to Didier Lockwood's violin. The second disc contains lengthy versions of "De Futura Hiroshima," a Jannik Top piece to appear on Üdü Wüdü, and "Ëmëhntëht-Ptâh," an extended Christian Vander drum solo. While 25 minutes of drum soloing may get a bit tiresome, this is a welcome inclusion as the only Vander drum feature ever released. The sound quality on both Theusz Hamtaahk and Mekanïk Zeuhl Wortz is quite good, especially considering the age and the source of the recordings.


Filed under: New releases , Issue 8 , 1994 releases, 1976 releases

Related artist(s): Magma, Stella Vander, Christian Vander / Offering, Patrick Gauthier, Bernard Paganotti, Didier Lockwood

More info

Latest news

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more

2019-02-21
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more

2019-01-31
Keyboardist Ingo Bischof R.I.P. – Keyboard player Ingo Bischof, best known as the longtime keyboard player of German band Kraan, passed away on January 29th, 2019. Bischof was born January 2, 1951 in Berlin-Kreuzberg and joined Kraan in 1975. » Read more

2019-01-11
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


Previously in Exposé...

Omnia Opera - Omnia Opera – From the first few power chords at the beginning of "Space Bastard" it becomes fairly obvious that this British six-piece have Hawkwind as one of their major influences, yet they seem to be capable of...  (1994) » Read more

Pink Floyd - The Division Bell – Eight years since their last studio release, Floyd have come forward with another fine collection of songs, with no real surprises — their timeless style intact — this could just as easily...  (1994) » Read more

Gentle Giant - Artistically Cryme, The Missing Face & Playing the Cleveland – Gentle Giant’s headlining and support tours are further documented in three more marginal bootleg renditions from Voiceprint in the UK. Artistically Cryme is the first release, and a complete two...  (2004) » Read more

Sophia Domancich & Simon Goubert - Treize Lunes & Couleurs de Peaux – Jazz. For some reason, this genre of music tends to send many "prog" fans screaming for cover. I've always found this strange considering a lot of jazz (especially from the 60s) was a...  (1996) » Read more

Various Artists - Steinway to Heaven – Yup. A full album of rock keyboard gods performing straight ahead (almost) classical pieces on piano, totally solo, sink or swim. Indeed this is proof positive that the likes of Emerson, Wakeman,...  (1997) » Read more



Listen & discover

Exclusive Premier of a New Cheer-Accident Track

Cheer-Accident adSKiN GRAFT Records’ Mark Fischer states that “The Chicago vs New York compilation is an album in its own right… and not just some sort of a label sampler. Most of the songs on the compilation are exclusive to it." Thymme Jones of Cheer-Accident says of "War Is a Warrior," " It’s definitely not going to be on the next Cheerax album.”

We'll have a review of Chicago vs New York in the coming weeks, so keep your eyes out for that.



Print issues