Magma — Slag Tanz
(Jazz Village JV570051, 2015, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2015-04-08
Finally we get some more new music from one of the finest bands from any planet anywhere in the known universe, this time released on the Jazz Village label instead of their usual Seventh Records (as was the Rïah Sahïltaahk re-recording, reviewed here a couple weeks ago). The official description of Slag Tanz says that it’s a “...masterpiece of symphonic metal...” Symphonic Metal ?!?! Gimme a break. This is classic Magma: intense and hypnotic cosmic jazz of the highest order, bristling with power and lush vocal arrangements that suit the pace of the music perfectly – not unlike recent studio releases like Féliceté Thösz, or classic material like Köhntarkösz or the 1975 live album Hhai. The crew for this flight includes drummer, vocalist and bandleader Christian Vander, longtime members Isabelle Feuillebois and Stella Vander on vocals, along with vocalist Hervé Aknin, bassist Philippe Bussonnet, guitarist James Mac Gaw, Jérémie Ternoy on piano and Fender Rhodes, and vibraphonist Benoît Alziary, which is nearly the same as the recent live performance of this piece on the Mythes et Légendes Epok V DVD from 2013 – Ternoy replaces previous keyboardist Bruno Ruder, which explains the similarities between the two versions, this one clocking in at a few more minutes (nearly 21 minutes) for some great additional bass and drum interplay. This is the classic Magma style beginning to end, with the ever throbbing bass, menacing progressions, manic but meticulously arranged interlocking vocals, and the blistering intensities alternating with gentle repose led by the ever-changing pace set by Vander’s drumming. The liner notes list eight distinct movements (and there are eight index points as the disc plays), but there are no breaks between any of them, so it’s really just one continuous piece as far as a listener is concerned. For the long time fan, this is about all one could hope for in a new Magma studio release; for anyone who has never heard the band (is there anyone out there?), this would be a fine place to start. Now available on LP also.
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more
Adelbert von Deyen RIP – Word reaches us that German electronic musician Adelbert von Deyen has died. His recorded legacy reaches back to 1978, when Sky Records released Sternzeit. Von Deyen, who was born October 25, 1953 in Süderbrarup, was also known as a painter and graphic artist. » Read more
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more
10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more