Exposé Online banner

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

by Rob Walker, 1995-11-01:

Théâtre du Taur - Concert 1975 - Toulouse Cover art

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.


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 Peter Thelen, 1994-10-01:

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.


Filed under: New releases , Issue 5 , 1996 releases, 1975 releases

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

More info

Latest news

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more

2020-03-17
Cruise to the Edge and Seaprog 2020 Festivals Postponed – The worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus has started to produce casualties in the music festival world, and music festivals are not immune. We've had word that both the Cruise to the Edge (originally slated for March 27 - April 1) and Seaprog (originally June 5-7) have been postponed to later dates, with those dates to be announced. » Read more

2020-03-06
McCoy Typer RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of one of the most influential pianists in the history of jazz, McCoy Tyner. His tenure with John Coltrane in the early 60s includes some of the most treasured recordings of the era, including My Favorite Things and A Love Supreme. After leaving Coltrane's group, he had a long and successful solo career. He was 81. » Read more

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Release Music Orchestra - Bremen 1978 – Judging by the number of excellent recent releases, Radio Bremen must have been quite a treasure for European music lovers back in the 70s. This CD is a prime example. I’m not familiar with the band...  (2005) » Read more

Strawbs - Déjà Fou – Ghosts was the first Strawbs record I ever heard, and I seem to remember liking it immensely from the first play; the band quickly became one of my favorites, a position they’ve held for thirty...  (2005) » Read more

Ron Boots - Acoustic Shadows – Boots loves to do albums with themes – here he has tried to capture the atmosphere of the battlefield. It’s a darker album than one is used too, but of course Boots’s optimism...  (2007) » Read more

Renaissant - South of Winter – Here’s another branch of the Renaissance tree, this one under the stewardship of longtime drummer Terrence Sullivan, along with what appears to be numerous Sullivan family members (Lee,...  (2007) » Read more

Cos - Viva Boma – The first Cos album, Postaeolian Train Robbery, was rereleased by Musea several years back. With its zeuhl-inspired sound, offbeat jazz sensibility, and the amazing vocal talents of Pascale Son, it is...  (1997) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues