Exposé Online banner

Magma — Wurdah Ïtah (Expanded)
(Seventh Records Rex IX, 1974/2017, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2017-10-05

Wurdah Ïtah (Expanded) Cover art

This stone classic of the Magma canon was originally released in 1974 as a Christian Vander solo album, with members of Magma participating, as a soundtrack for the Yves Lagrange film Tristan & Yseult. One day I hope to actually see the picture; with a soundtrack like this I can only imagine how strange it must be. But back to the music at hand… This is classic Magma even if it only involves a small set of players, and fits nicely between the more robustly arranged MDK and Kohntarkosz, which bookend it chronologically. It is in fact, Magma at its essence. The twelve tracks here are organized into two lengthy suites, and offer the listener all the rhythms, melodies, and repetitions of the classic zeuhl style using only drums and piano (Vander), bass (Jannick Top), and percussion (Klaus Blasquiz), along with the powerful and rhythmic voices, harmonies, and choruses (with Christian Vander, Stella Vander, and Klaus Blasquiz all participating). The overall sound throughout is a bit more gentle, melodic, and harmonically complex than earlier Magma releases, as well as being a bit more rhythmically challenging, shifting around with regularity, and the leaner lineup only accentuates the beauty of the band's core sound. In this new expanded edition, we get an early alternate version of the epic, Wurdah Ïtah in its infancy, recorded in January 1972 by a slightly different lineup, with Rene “Stundehr” Garber singing in lieu of Stella, and Jean Pierre Lembert on bass instead of Top. It’s somewhat shorter, at only 25 minutes, and a bit more vocally manic, but it’s all there (some of the Kobaïan lyrics vary slightly from the definitive version), and it’s clearly an important and immensely enjoyable recording that I’m happy was included in this latest reissue. And, of course, it is finally officially a Magma album.


Filed under: Reissues, 2017 releases, 1974 recordings

Related artist(s): Magma, Jannick Top, Stella Vander, Christian Vander / Offering

Latest news

2020-11-20
25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Nick Kizirnis - Into the Loud – If you ever wondered what's up in Dayton, Ohio, Nick Kizirnis may be able to offer some clues with his first solo release Into the Loud. A veteran of numerous other Dayton area bands (Cage,...  (2007) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues