Search - Magma :: Live

  •  Track Listings (5) - Disc #1

Limited Edition Japanese pressing of this album comes housed in a miniature LP sleeve. Victor. 2006.


CD Details

All Artists: Magma
Title: Live
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Release Date: 1/20/2004
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 766482240647


Album Description
Limited Edition Japanese pressing of this album comes housed in a miniature LP sleeve. Victor. 2006.

CD Reviews

Kobaia iss de hundin
relayer66 | FPO, AE United States | 01/27/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"One of Magma's best recordings. The production and sound quality are very good, and the versions of the songs have more energy and sound better than the studio versions, and they have been liberal in their re-arrangement of their songs. In this regard, it is comparable to Gentle Giant's "Live-Playing the Fool", another of the greatest live abums of all time. Also the versions of the songs seem more fusion-inspired than their studio counterparts, which make them more accessible. For this reason, it is true that this album is a good introduction to Magma. The song Kohntarkosz is an obsession for me, and I cannot get enough of it. The riffs are so simple, yet so powerful and haunting. The version of Kohntarkosz Part 1 is the best I have heard so far, but I somewhat prefer the studio version of Part 2 which is more pounding and unrelenting. The song Hhai is absolutely beautiful, and reminiscent of Gayle Moran-era Mahavishnu Orchestra. Stella Vander's soprano voice is beautiful. The song Kobaia starts funky and upbeat, then slowly disintegrates into darkness and dissonance, until the trademark Magma chanting in its most gorgeous form...then in an incredible odd-metered jerk it throws you back into the funk realm. Amazing! The version of Mekanik, though incomplete, sounds better than the original, which is somewhat tinny and the drums are buried in the mix. The live version rocks hard until the final mind-boggling riffs which close the album. Overall, the drumming, bass playing and singing are incredible. But the inspired violin playing sets this apart from other Magma albums. If you like interesting and original progressive rock and fusion, you really should open your mind to Magma Live."
Hypnotic Fusion: Live
Samhot | Star Land | 12/20/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"French band Magma - for better or worse - have quite a reputation in the progressive rock world. Lead by composer, drummer and lyricist/conceptualist Christian Vander, he sought to tell a story over several albums, dealing with people (known as Kobaians), and their respective behaviours and going-on's of their planet, Kobaia, as well as them traveling to Earth, and such. I don't know the story in full, so I'm tempted to leave the conceptual ideas alone for the rest of this review. But, perhaps, the most noticeable figure to many in Magma's output is the made-up language referred to as Kobaian. As far as I know, there are no translations available to decipher what any of the lyrics mean, but perhaps, it was never intended for us to decipher the meanings of the lyrics.

But, more importantly, Magma's sound is very distinctive, and hard to categorize. I simply refer to them as avant-progressive rock -- quite a lazy description on my part, but pretty accurate. Let me elaborate -- their music is usually operatically-inclined, but, saying Magma are *operatic* is almost like saying a green bean casserole is made up of only green beans. They've also specialized in blending rock with 20th Century classical attributes, fusion, funk, jazz, R&B and others, but once again, in a very distinctive fashion. It must be mentioned that they pioneered a genre which is referred to as *Zeuhl* -- a genre which is possibly an amalgamation of everything listed above, or simply, music that is Magmaesque in scope.

On this outing, entitled LIVE-KOHNTARK (though in other places, it's called "Live" or "Live/Hhai") (1975), Magma performs a few of their classics from earlier albums, as well as a few tracks that are not found on their studio albums. Studio albums like MEKANIK DESTRUKTIW KOMMANDOH (1973) and KOHNTARKOSZ (1974) are, more or less, dense and fully-textured in production -- whether it be the massive choral voices, or oceanic synthesizers highlighting this. However, on this live performance, the lavishness in production is nowhere to be found, and replaced, with a leaner, stripped-down, in-your-face exhibition. The massive Wagnerian choral mannerisms have evaporated, if not disappeared altogether, into the background of the fiery playing, but vocal harmonies are still present. Instead, we get Magma's own distinctive fusion performances in the vein of early Mahavishnu Orchestra, or '73-era King Crimson -- violin virtuosism included. But, Magma does not sound *like* Mahavishnu or King Crimson -- much stranger, to say the least.

These performances are full of fire, intensity and vigor -- I'm even inclined to say that these live versions of the studio cuts sound much livelier than the studio versions. The album starts off with a phenomenal version of the title track to KOHNTARKOSZ. Hypnotic repetitive rhythms, slithering vocal chants, and other things are in place. In the second half, the band lets loose with this intense jam, which replaces most of the vocals found on the studio version. It all ends with an R&B/funk-rock jam with improvised vocal chants, so high in authenticity, conviction, energy and taste, George Clinton and Earth, Wind & Fire would be impressed. The next track called "Emehnteht-Rë" (the title, in which bears part of the concept of the previous track) is a near-minimalist study in repetition. The majestic opening reminds me of some ancient people living in a tomb, gathering in line, walking slowly to a casket with a corpse, and mourning their loss, or something of the like. The repetitive bassline which follows makes me think that the person who wrote the score for 1990's fantasy/action film TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES was a Magma fan - the bassline heard in the opening section of the film sounds eerily similar to this. This repetitive bassline runs throughout the remainder of the track. Elsewhere, there's a stripped down version of MEKANIK DESTRUKTIW KOMMANDOH, which is quite excellent as well, and sits nicely with the studio version.

There are more tracks on here that I didn't mention, simply because the 1,000 word limit would be surpassed. This album is considered Magma's most accessible, but it's not necessarily the most accessible music in general. More importantly, if you have interest in this outing, *this* 2CD version is the one to get, as two tracks on here are not featured on the single-disc version."