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May 28, 2010 9:11 AM   Subscribe

Magma perform a tribute to Otis Redding, 28/7/81 Not sure what Christian Vander is singing? Don't worry, he's singing in Kobaian.
posted by mippy (16 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
Man, oh man, do I love Magma. I also love that clip, and it's been making the rounds back & forth among a close group of friends.

I remember when I first heard about Magma, too. A trip to my favorite record store in the world (in Tempe, AZ, of all places), I had a conversation with J. (who works there), and set a record for the amount of times my contribution to the conversation was "What?" It went a little something like this:

J.: So, I think I'm gonna go ahead and get that Magma tattoo I've been considering.

Me: What?

J.: Yeah, you know Magma, right? They're a prog rock band from France. Imagine if Wagner, Alice Coltrane, and Yes started jamming together.

Me: What??

J.: They're awesome. All the albums have this sci-fi "Battlestar Galactica" type theme about space travelers looking for a new planet to inhabit, after they'd used up all the resources of their own. Except the one album that's also, for some reason, an elegy for John Coltrane-- I think.

Me: What???

J.: I'm not totally sure, because they didn't think the French language suitably complimented their music, so they just invented a new one. I think it's called Kobaian. It makes no sense, really. But it's supposedly consistent from record to record.

Me: What????

J.: They've just packaged two of their albums into a single domestic release. You need to get this.

Me: What?????

Despite all that, for some reason, I took his advice and bought the record. Basically everything Joe said was spot-on. It was a fantastic record, and before long I bought a bunch more Magma records. They're great. But they still sort-of crack me up.

(Also: Magma previously on Metafilter)
posted by .kobayashi. at 9:21 AM on May 28, 2010 [7 favorites]


fantastically ridiculous, or is it ridiculously fantastic? i adore them.
posted by peterkins at 9:24 AM on May 28, 2010


I was worried Kobaïan was some dark joke on Kurt Cobain's vocal style. This is most definitely not the case. Instead it sounds like a French proto-version of Vonlenska, or Hopelandic.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:25 AM on May 28, 2010


I was just listening to Magma Live the other day and really digging it. I need to get more of their stuff.
posted by anazgnos at 9:31 AM on May 28, 2010


easily one of the best magma related videos of all time - Jade chante Magma
posted by pziemba at 9:33 AM on May 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


Wow. Never seen Christian out front like that, I don't think.

Here he is ten years earlier behind the kit.
posted by stinkycheese at 9:40 AM on May 28, 2010


As far as I can tell, Kobaian is just what German sounds like to a buncha stoned French dudes.

Or at least, it sounds to this particular American like it must be what German sounds like to a buncha stoned French dudes.
posted by nebulawindphone at 9:57 AM on May 28, 2010


Man I love Magma. I also love seeing this clip on the front page. Thank you.

For those that don't know, Attakh and Udu Wudu are two of the greatest prog rock albums around.
posted by eraserhed at 10:08 AM on May 28, 2010


pziemba: Whoa! If Magma is what forms the basis for your understanding of what music is when you're a child, I can't even imagine what this little girl will be writing and performing in 20 years. Consider me her biggest fan already!
posted by Saxon Kane at 10:17 AM on May 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Thank you for this. I love Magma- there's an intangible life-affirming quality I find in most of their work.

Attakh and Udu Wudu are two of the greatest prog rock albums around.

Repeated for emphasis.
posted by Dr-Baa at 10:18 AM on May 28, 2010


Reminds me of Hhai.

Magma seem to have a rule only to play on London shortly before I find out about it, so the last time I saw them was about ten years ago, playing the whole Theusz Hamtaahk trilogy, which left me grinning very widely. The thing I like most about prog is that the best bands in the genre are actually unique, and that's true of Magma with heavy underlining and many exclamation marks.

I find they go very well with Philippe Druillet
posted by Grangousier at 10:41 AM on May 28, 2010


How exactly is it a tribute to Otis Redding? It seems more like a tribute to The Commodores.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:41 AM on May 28, 2010


Brain. Just exploded. No really.
posted by jokeefe at 4:59 PM on May 28, 2010


I was just listening to Magma Live the other day and really digging it. I need to get more of their stuff.

Magma Live is just fantastic. I'd give my right arm to see them play...
posted by jokeefe at 5:02 PM on May 28, 2010


Attakh and Udu Wudu are two of the greatest prog rock albums around.

Repeated for falsity. Not even two of the greatest Magma albums around.

Üdü Wüdü has "De Futura" going for it—which is quite something. (But if that's what you're after, the Utopic Sporadic Orchestra album Nancy 75, or Vander/Top's Paris 76, might be yet better. And Attakh is simply not good.

I am qualified to make these pronouncements because I have listened to a LOT of Magma and a lot of other progressive rock.
posted by kenko at 9:31 PM on May 28, 2010


I must say that when Köhntarkösz showed up in the mail, out of the blue, for me to review back in ’74, it went completely over my head. Not sure I've caught up yet, either, but now I'm worrying about something else — why is that tribute video called "Otis, the Big Chessboard?" (Could it be because Otis was black, Magma white, and I’m square?)
posted by LeLiLo at 1:21 AM on May 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


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