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

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

2019-01-02
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

2018-12-23
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

2018-11-16
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

2018-11-02
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


Previously in Exposé...

Monolith - Monolith – At first listen this k/b/d band delivers up derivative progressive rock of the highest order. However, I discovered that a good chunk of this was written in 1977, nearly predating the sound they lean...  (1999) » Read more

Ryuichi Sakamoto - Playing the Piano / Out of Noise – Some thirty-five years ago Japanese rock music was still an unknown subject, the only exception being percussionist Stomu Yamash’ta. Then came the Yellow Magic Orchestra, which marked the beginning...  (2010) » Read more

Mangala Vallis - Lycanthrope – From the opening rip of “Watcher of the Skies,” Mangala Vallis is here to tell you they are back and have been listening to their favorite prog albums again. With all the classic sounds...  (2006) » Read more

Steve Howe Trio - Travelling – Steve Howe’s jazzy organ trio plays with the entire groove that this traditional jazz configuration demands, and then some. Together with his oldest son Dylan on drums and Ross Stanley on...  (2011) » Read more

Hawkwind - Love in Space – A live album from the Alien 4 tour, featuring Dave, Alan, Richard. and Ron Tree. Judging from the photos in this neat little package, the tour props were pretty good. A Terminator like skeleton, alien...  (1998) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues