(Thanks to Nadir for this one. And thanks to Hamtaahk for the translation to English)
This is from "Basler Zeitung" from October 12, 2009.
BOILING BATH OF SOUND
Magma in the Grand Casino Basel
On Friday evening, Magma made the Grand Casino shake. The French cult prog-rock band overwhelmed fans and newbies alike in an eruption lasting two hours.
Not two minutes after opening the doors, the small concert club on the 2nd floor of the Grand Casino Basel is filled. The majority of the visitors is male, middle-aged, and wearing a black t-shirt with a red logo symbolizing flowing lava. When the eight musicians of Magma enter the instrument-filled stage, the 250 seats have become devotionally quiet. The calm before the storm.
Drummer and band leader Christian Vander (61) quickly counts in, then it erupts over the audience - this viscous musical mass made from repetitive unisons (e-bass and vibraphone), which carries bulky pieces of dissonant chords (guitar and Rhodes piano) and shoots fountains into airy heights (male and especially the two female vocals).
From time to time you think to recognize some familiar ingredients in this jingling primordial soup, like a swinging jazz cymbal, a rocking, driving, growling bass, sometimes a simple triad in major. But this boiling bath of sound can only be enjoyed by those who do not stick to listening habits, but who let themselves be driven and carried along.
For three pieces and roughly 45 minutes, there is nothing familiar: although Vander and Co. could make use of a repertoire from 40 years of band history, they open the two-hour concert with unpublished compositions from the album "Emehnteht-Re" announced for the end of this year.
SLOW-BURNER. This incarnation of Magma has existed for 13 years with almost no changes in cast -- longer than all predecessors -- and it amazes how well-rehearsed and interlocked the octet can play. When Vander plays his drums against his troops, insisting on a skewed rhythm, or when his wife Stella together with Isabelle Feuillebois and Herve Aknin sound a brightly shining chord over the turmoil, then you get the musical perfection often missing from the loud genres. But since Magma don't trap themselves into celebrating their own virtuosity (except for a too-long Rhodes solo), we can hope that this volcano won't go out for a long time.
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