Exposé Online banner

Magma — Théâtre du Taur - Concert 1975 - Toulouse
(Seventh Records AKT IV, 1975/1996, 2CD)

by Peter Thelen, 1994-10-01:

Théâtre du Taur - Concert 1975 - Toulouse Cover art

The long awaited fourth release on Christian Vander's AKT label is a legendary concert from September 24th, 1975 in Toulouse. The lineup here includes Christian and Stella Vander on drums and vocals respectively (of course), Klaus Blasquiz (voc), Benoit Widemann and Patrick Gauthier (keys), Bernard Paganotti (bass), Gabriel Federow (guitar) and Didier Lockwood (violin) — which places the recording somewhere between the Live album and Udu Wudu. The first disc opens with a haunting and powerful rendition of "Köhntarkösz" — unique in its guitar prominence, followed by an equally riveting eleven minute version of "Hhaï" and perhaps the best live version of "Kobaïa" I've heard, featuring outstanding performance by Lockwood. Disc two is a single complete 38 minute rendition of "Mekanïk Destruktïw Kommandöh," full of the same fire that made the Live album so special. For the uninitiated, a more descriptive account of Magma's sound can be found in the review of Retrospektiw I-II in the reissues section of this issue. The Live sound quality is quite decent, especially considering this was never originally intended for release. There are occasional split-second drops in level (especially on "Köhntarkösz"), but nothing that should bother any true fan, for whom this outstanding 2CD set is a definite must-have.

by Mike McLatchey, 2018-02-15:

By the early 90s, Seventh Records had showed up, started reissuing the original Magma albums along with some offshoots, and began to open Magma's considerable live vaults. The Théâtre du Taur show appears to be out of print now but it was one a lot of Magmaphiles celebrated in 1996, despite its somewhat B-grade sound quality (that is you could hear it all no problem, but it was a bit faded and didn't have much in the way of presence). But it was from 1975 and thus a close cousin to the Hhaï / Live album, which meant that you were going to hear "Köhntakösz," "Hhaï," "Kobaïa," and "Mëkanïk Dëstruktïw Kömmandöh." And while they deliver great versions of all this material — nothing unusual for 1975 — the "MDK" is something uniquely special on his album. It hits the pavement on all cylinders and drives forward with ferocity and completely takes to the air by the time it gets to the jamming with Didier Lockwood, who delivers a solo for the ages. It's so kinetic that you feel like everybody's instruments have caught fire. As great as the band could be through their whole career, I think it would be hard to argue that this still wasn't their best, most fluid line up, and they had gotten to a point where it seemed like playing these compositions was utterly effortless. Maybe the best "MDK" of all time, although perhaps not the clearest.

by Rob Walker, 1995-11-01:

Recorded in Toulouse roughly three months after the concerts from which Live were taken, this two CD set was released for the first time in 1994 on Christian Vander's AKT label. The band is identical to the lineup on Live except for the replacement of keyboardist Jean Pierre Asseline with Patrick Gauthier. This concert features fantastic performances of "Köhntarkösz," "Hhaï," "Kobaïa," and "Mekanïk Destruktïw Kommandöh," with slightly different arrangements from the Live album. "Kobaïa" is extended to nearly twice its earlier length to make room for a Gabriel Federow guitar solo. "Hhaï" is also extended a few minutes, and "Mekanïk Destruktïw Kommandöh" is presented in its entirety, not abridged as on Live. A bright soundboard recording, the sound quality is excellent, and does justice to these wonderful performances.

Filed under: New releases , Issue 8 , 1996 releases, 1975 releases

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

More info

Latest news

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

Tom Rapp RIP – Singer / songwriter Tom Rapp, best known with the band Pearls Before Swine, passed away on February 12, at the age of 70, after a battle with cancer. » Read more

Previously in Exposé...

Various Artists - Psychedelic Underground 11 - 15 – Beginning with its first year of operations, Garden of Delights has released a yearly limited edition Psychedelic Underground sampler containing the best track from each of their 9 reissues for that...  (2011) » Read more

Kit Watkins - Labyrinth & Frames of Mind – Finally Watkins' first two post-Happy the Man/Camel solo albums have received the proper digital treatment. These are two very formative albums that offer a logical bridge between the music of the...  (1996) » Read more

Tim Hodgkinson - Sang – Henry Cow fans looking for jagged, experimental rock will likely be disappointed by Tim Hodgkinson's new CD. This is very experimental stuff, lacking many of the qualities often regarded as...  (2000) » Read more

Tel Basta - Lickerish – I really like this CD. Musically it's very simple. I am reminded of early Cure and Joy Division music. Progressive? Well, not as I call progressive. The promo statement for the band read...  (1996) » Read more

Sleepytime Gorilla Museum - Of Natural History – Sleepytime Gorilla Museum's entire character is represented well by the opening track "A Hymn to the Morning Star." The song opens ominously with a growling dog then transforms into an...  (2005) » Read more

Listen & discover

Print issues