722 College St. W
Toronto, Ontario, M6G 1C5
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Watch & Listen
It would be futile, at this point in time, to sing the praises of MAGMA; it has become a legend. In forming MAGMA in 1969, Christian VANDER initiated one of the richest creative efforts of the last 40 years. The group became successful in France very quickly and this fame soon spread abroad. One can ascribe this universality to the innate expressive force of MAGMA's music and to the successive waves of exceptional personalities who brought so much to the endeavour...beginning with Christian VANDER, recognized worldwide as a 'drum hero' and as a composer of the utmost originality and expressive force.
Christian VANDER was born on the 21st February 1948.
From an early age his mother introduced him to the company of famous jazzmen such as Elvin JONES and Kenny CLARKE. Indeed, Chet BAKER gave him his first drum kit.
He listened to all the greats of jazz and especially John Coltrane, whom he had the chance to meet was only once. He also listened to composers such as WAGNER, STRAVINSKY, BACH and many rhythm'n blues bands and singers.
He formed his first group, the WURDALAKS, in 1966 and wrote his first themes at that time. Following the death in 1967 of John COLTRANE, which had a profound affect on him, he left for Italy where he played in the clubs with jazz and ríníb groups.
In 1969 he founded MAGMA.
Between 1969 and 1984 about 50 players trod the boards with MAGMA, many of them destined to become musicians of great renown: Didier LOCKWOOD, Jannick TOP, Michel GRAILLIER....
MAGMA quickly gained an international reputation, notably following their appearance at the NEWPORT JAZZ FESTIVAL in 1973, where the band was joined by the Brecker Brothers.
At the present time a total of 20 MAGMA albums have been released.
In 1979 Christian VANDER formed a parallel, complimentary group to MAGMA, the ALIEN Quartet. This group was followed by the TRIO. Three trio albums were recorded., Completed nowadays by Emmanuel GRIMONPREZ on double bass, Jean‐Michel COUCHET on saxophone and Laurent FICKELSON on piano, this band appears regularly in France and the rest of Europe.
In 1983 a new, complementary MAGMA line‐up with a largely acoustic slant was created, being based on voices, keyboards and percussion.
Three albums, OFFERING 1 & 2 , OFFERING 3 & 4, and AFFIEH came out in 1986 ,1990 and 1993.
Between 1992 and 1995 Christian VANDER directed the group LES VOIX DE MAGMA, comprised of a dozen musicians and singers.
The repertoire, largely inspired by the main MAGMA themes, put a new perspective on the vocal aspect of Christian VANDER is compositions.
Since 1996 MAGMA has returned to the stage with a group of talented young musicians, playing the mythic works of the 70s repertoire, as well as new material, to an audience mainly comprised of young people. In 2005 is published K.A.
The hypnotic tension, the explosive climaxes, the fantastic pyrotechnic drumming, the massive and intricate vocal arrangements, the gut‐wrenching bass lines and the classical pomposity fused with almost jungle‐ strength R n' B ‐ all the hallmarks of Christian Vander's special genius are found here intact
Emëhntëhtt‐Ré» was released Novembre 2009. Initiated in 1975, its composition beholds its whole fulfillment after more than three decades. It is the testimony of an unwaveringly timeless inspiration, of which the expectant present asserts itself beyond history.
A new album « Félicité Thösz » is released in June 2012. Already aired in concert and well‐attended by legions of the band's fans, the piece is dominated by the celestial voice of Stella Vander and is a formidable mix of all the sonic colours which has made this cult band absolutely uncategorizable!
Powerful, hypnotic, unclassifiable, incomparables. MAGMA are in a class of their own. Finally, music to set the cat among the pigeons... Magma are the dynamite that will explode the conventions of a music scene that is becoming rather too self-satisfied with its own beauty... Magma are unlike anything that has gone before...
So people were saying in 1970.
In 2015, nearly half a century later, this is truer than ever and the new mini-album Slag Tanz (pronounced schlag tanz), this veritable symphony of jazz metal that has erupted from nowhere, radiates with all Magma s singular intensity!