Sunday, November 8, 2009

Some Words About the Recent Controversy With Vander and His Beliefs

First, let me say that it is my goal to keep this blog very simple. Think of this blog as my personal archive of Magma photos, scans, clippings, and links, and that I am using this blog (and the underlying Google storage) to organize and store souvenirs about Magma, and that I am sharing it with all Magma fans on the Internet. I post a photo, and I give it a minimum of commentary.

So, I don't want to post my personal opinions about this recent controversy that came up involving Christian Vander and confirmation of his distasteful beliefs. I don't want to be bombarded with hate mail like our friend Epanou was on the Zeuhl and Beyond blog. I am going to post some facts, some links, and I will leave it to others to discuss. I already discussed this topic enough on the French Magma forum.

I have gotten several emails from people asking me what the controversy was all about. And, I feel that, as part of Magma's legacy and as part of our deep involvement with the music and the band, all pertinent facts must be disseminated, even if these facts lead us to some conclusions that are unpleasant.


Fact: There was a transcript of a Facebook chat from several months ago that is being shared amongst several Magma fans. This chat involved a Magma fan and Emmanuel Borghi, the former keyboard player from Magma. In this chat, Emmanuel related several incidents and stories that seemed to confirm the general impression that Magma's music was somehow tied to Nazi philosophy.

Among the many assertions that were made:


  • In the credits of some albums, when you see "Thank you to our Uncle", the "Uncle" being referred to is Adolf Hitler.
  • The speech is Zess in Kobaîen is phonetically excerpts from a speech from Hitler.
  • In MDK, "Fuhl mehn Fuhl ehndoh litaah" actually means "für mein Führer Adolf Hitler".

Some people were wondering why someone does not go up to Christian or Stella and ask them directly.

Fact: Here is the transcript of an old interview between Denis Desassis and Stella Vander. The Google translation of one of the questions is:

DD: In a recent interview (1997), Christian spoke of a "conspiracy", even speaking of "falsifying history". He also said to be reached, since 1987 and some "revelation" to "untie the thread." Such statements are historically very bad connotation because they have already been held by unsavory characters and have often led to bloodshed and genocide. I understand that you do not share his point of view: is it possible to speak with him and, if so, have you ever been able to influence his positions?

SV: I think I am one of those rare Christian who trusted and who can find the arguments that led him to ask some questions. I do not want to talk about all this, I do not want to, and not Christian, addressing a subject that can lead to confrontation. There's too much love and affection between us. Anyway each of us remained in our positions. So ... As I said a little further, what I can see is that he continues to call every day to play ... If one day he began to harangue the crowds, I fainted in space ... But it will not.There is a good dose of provocation in this.


So, it seems that even Stella does not want to directly address these accusations. However, she did not deny them.


Fact: Read the last message here.

I was in 1971 if I remember well the year at a concert MAGMA, in Montauban, in a tiny room. It would be thirty and they received after the show for all payments: a basket of sausage, cheese and other bread.

At the end of the concert, a dozen spectators, convinced of having witnessed a great moment of music, stayed to talk with them.

The first quarter of an hour was very nice but suddenly changed to Vander tone to explain unambiguously the three or four remaining what sense and why he gave his music and how much for him, "the only one who was right was Hitler "! The rest of his pro-Nazi speech made me leave the room with a terrible feeling sick and yet their music is beautiful!


Some people wonder if Vander still has racist attitudes.

Fact: After the last concert of the series of Magma concerts at Le Triton in June 2009, there was an incident between the wife of the owner of the club and Vander, where Vander said some extremely unpleasant things about Black people (cit: Helene C). I was not there, but this story has been confirmed by a number of people who were at the club and witnessed the incident.


There are many contradictions. Vander was married to a Jewish woman (Stella) and had several great Jewish musicians in his band (Seffer, Lasry, Cahen). Vander loves black music (Coltrane, Motown), and was great friends with Elvin Jones.

These contradictions will always remain a mystery unless Stella or Christian address them directly. But, nobody is expecting this to happen. There is an ecosystem that surrounds Magma and Christian, and this ecosystem provides financial support for a number of people.

186 comments:

  1. Thanks for the informative post, and for presenting the facts like they are. Maybe a french-speaker could do a human translation of the interview between Denis Desassis and Stella Vander. There seems to be a lot of context lost in the machine translation, but it seems very interesting.

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  2. Hi Marc,

    thanks a lot for the info. I'm just wondering if it would not be better to discuss things like that in an (English) Magma forum... As you mentioned this wonderful blog in the first place seems to be a place to gather Magma photos, articles etc. Unfortunately I don't know how to set up a forum - but maybe someone else does. It would be also a good place I guess to discuss Magma's music, concerts etc. in a more structured way. What do you think?

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  3. There is an English section on the French forum. Unfortunately, Olvator and I seem to be the only non-native French speakers who are on the forum. So, I encourage more of you to join.

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  4. "Well, why not ask Christian or Stella themselves?"

    I don't doubt that by now, someone close to the organization has made C.V. aware of the discussion taking place here.

    At this point in time, maybe the wisest thing for C.V. to do is to keep his mouth SHUT and watch what he says in the future, especially when he's drinking.

    Damage Control: Damned if you do, Damned if you don't.

    He also said to be reached, since 1987 and some "revelation" to "untie the son."

    Babelfish must have really mauled that line!

    What does "untie the son" mean?

    P.S. - I've listened to several versions of Hhai to see if I hear "sturmen werden" after C.V. shouts "MANTER KREUSZ!"

    All that I've heard is some variation on what sounds like "Di Zain De Zilness/Zebehn(?)"

    Version/Date and counter position where I can hear this, please. Same for whatever is supposedly in Retrovision.

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    1. The right translation is :
      "untie the threads"
      Denis D

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  5. Jason,

    I am sure that Stella knows, because I know that Francis Linon (Stella's husband) has read this blog before. And, I have invited Marcus Linon to come here (Francis and Stella's son). So, there are some very responsible people who know that these stories are being discussed. And, from what I heard, Christian himself was angry when the Facebook chat leaked out several months ago.

    So, after 40 years, I doubt if Christian feels the need to suddenly address these sensitive topics.

    Nevertheless, I would hope that both Christiana and Stella would want to leave a great legacy behind them. So, I think that it would be in their best interest to "come clean" one of these days, maybe at a point where Christian finally retires (it can't be more than 10 years away).

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  6. I wonder if we can separate the racism from the anti-semitism. No one has ever accused Vander of being a racist; that is, of hating blacks for being black. This is about him potentialy hating Jews, a different matter. Sure, he can love Coltrane, but hate Jews.

    However this is, it has forever altered my love for this band. Given what I have read, this seems an undeniable fact. If Vander cares at all, if he is aware of this issue, he should act. If he does not act, but is aware, that will be extremely telling. Thus, if someone can verify that Vander is indeed aware, and he then fails to assure fans that he is not as described, I would consider that proof- I do not subscribe to damned if you do, damned if you don't. In this case, in this day, to allow anti-semitic attitudes to fester is to see your life's work thrown away. ANd to become the joke that for so long so many have felt about the band. It will be only a short time before this leaks out of this small community into the larger music world. Vander cannot win that battle when it happens be doing nothing. Whether he wishes to acknowledge this or not, he faces a crisis. What he does will tell the tale.

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  7. • In the credits of some albums, when you see "Thank you to our Uncle", the "Uncle" being referred to is Adolf Hitler.
    • The speech is Zess in Kobaîen is phonetically excerpts from a speech from Hitler.
    • In MDK, "Fuhl mehn Fuhl ehndoh litaah" actually means "für mein Führer Adolf Hitler".
    Hello,

    We have to be very careful concerning those facts. First, the fact that Borghi said these things doesn’t necessarily mean they are true. Don’t take me wrong, I’m not pro or anti-Vander, I was just thinking that we need to know from where do those “facts” come. If it comes from Vander’s mouth, ok, he’s a weirdo. If it’s a rumour with no source, that can mean something different (like people inventing some urban legends).

    1) Who said that in the booklet of “Merci” the “uncle” was Hitler ? Did Vander told someone ? Or did some people interpreted that in a nazi form ? It could also be Coltrane since Vander always says that Coltrane has always be a “father” for him, but since his father didn’t car for him, Coltrane could have take the place of his “uncle”, no ?

    2) If the Zess speech in Kobaian is from one of Hitler’s speeches, do you imagine the work it would take to adapt the speech to Hitler’s “phrasing” ? I can’t imagine Vander sitting on his table, listening to one of Hitler’s speech, and thinking “Ok, I’m going to adapt this speech in kobaian words”. It’s just to weird. And even if it’s true, it’s not a big deal for me since in the end of Zëss, everyone dies, no ?

    3) In MDK, how can we be 100% sure it means that ? Since Borghi and Vander’s relationship has always been tense, I can’t imagine Vander telling that to Borghi (but I may be wrong since Vander openly told Borghi to “watch out for some people” (I won’t say it here) when his daughter was born…). So someone must have told Borghi, and if it’s true, when did he know, and who told him ? And how can we be sure it’s the truth ? It could be a weird interpretation of Vander’s “lyrics”. I mean, Vander has told everyone since the dawn of time that the words come together with the music when he composes. I can’t imagine he magically came up with something like “Fuhl mehn Fuhl ehndoh litaah” meaning in fact “für mein Führer Adolf Hitler”… No ? :-/

    In the end, I will say that I am able to separate a man from his work. Vander’s music is too beautiful to be canalised to some obscure nazi symbolism. Nazi is an old dead ideology leading to death, hate etc. Vander’s music has open my mind, take my do splendid landscapes and given me the strength to accomplish many things. If Vander’s “plan” is to use his music to express his beliefs, I can tell you he has EPIC failed ! :o) Long live this beautiful music !

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    1. Perhaps I can be of some assistance. I have appreciated the musicianship and creativity of mainly Magma and a host of other bands in this genre. I have also studied the occult extensively and have no opinion on whether these allegations are true or false with regard to Christian. Some background and observations about Magma, after this..

      Firstly, Nazism is hardly dead, it has been re branded. I can tell you with certainty that Theosophy and Crowley are both esoteric offering which take on amongst other things a quasi Qabbalistic philosophy and this involves morality which is not in accordance with the Ten Commandments or Christianity, which SOME of our social laws are built on. Hitler was empowered prior to his leadership by Vril, Thule and a host of esoteric teachings. These teachings are imbedded in the modern Agnostic, New Age and even athiest concepts dominating most of the globe, either consciously or by subconscious action. According to concepts in Theosophy and some postulate Qabbalah, if good and evil (Ying yang, swans and crows) are both represented in God, then it changes the moral representation of committing evil acts such as "purifying the root race." This is interesting because it is also forbidden in society, (which is a veiled esoteric one) for someone who is Caucasian to wish out loud to preserve his heritage, because of prior incidents such as Nazism. Here is a quick look at some material on Theosophy and occult and an exhaustive look at occult morality through a Christians eyes.
      http://www.conspiracyarchive.com/NewAge/Lucis_Trust.htm

      http://ia700603.us.archive.org/19/items/APlannedDeception-StagingOfANewAgeMessiahleMessie/APlannedDeception.pdf


      Second, back to Magma. If you look at covers like Udu Wudu (Bamphomet), the apparent or accidental reference to Thelema (Crowley), Songs (Eliphas Levi), and a host of other occult communications (which are obvious and I won't list ad nauseum) from the Magma artist one could make the observation these are occult themes. Again, I have no opinion of whether someone is racist or not, however we should keep in mind that our moral outlooks can become "expanded" to believe things which are shocking to others.
      I am not racist and have enjoyed my esoteric studies, and I would not brand anyone who studies the occult a racist. There is some evidence however that in some hierarchies of secret societies racism is rampant although this appears to be in part due to being usurped by money power fascism. Its also difficult to see where Satanism, Luciferianism, and dark occultism are separate from virtuous advanced ideals. I consider Viktor Schauberger to be an example of the later.
      Its up for each person to decide for themselves. If this is defamation its too bad, but make no mistake, your natural detraction for racism is founded on strong footing. The only hope for humanity is live the 10 Commandments and the "Word made flesh" as most people cannot handle the temptations and flattery of daemons. Just look for yourself.

      Delete
  8. Yes, Tim.... we must be very careful.

    I first wrote to Borghi to make sure that this Facebook chat was authentic, and he confirmed that it was.

    I tend to believe Emmanuel. I think that Borghi has a lot to lose by making this public. First, in the United States (I am not sure about France), someone can be sued in a court of law for making false and injurious statements about another person. Second, Borghi can possibly lose his reputation as a musician, and other musicians would not want to perform with him anymore. So, I think that Borghi had absolute proof about these things.

    It is very easy for Christian and Stella to come out with a definitive statement. They can say "These assertions by Emmanuel are false.". It's very simple. However, why is Seventh being silent on this topic?

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  9. I think Seventh won’t say anything about this topic. I think they know that if they say “no” or “yes”, it would be considered like they actually caring about Borghi’s sayings, and I can’t imagine Seventh would want people to think they give a *** about a private conversation gone public. Magma is an underground group. This is an underground conversation. It will stay underground. No one has any interest for the affair growing bigger. It will stayed buried like E-Ré’s tomb :o)

    I tend to think Borghi speaks the truth, but since there are too many whereabouts about what he knows, how he knows it, who told him etc I don’t want to think “yes” or “no” about this affair. I want to know better, butif I know we won’t know any more from this since Vander is angry about it. Or until another musician quits the group for the same reasons as Borghi. Borghi says James and Bubu “take on them” (don’t know how to say it in English but it’s like they “know” but don’t show it and simply play the music) so maybe they know the same thing, but who knows ? No one is sure of nothing, and as I said before, it doesn’t change for me the love I have for this music.

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  10. @rodriguez...

    why not start with the newest version of Hhai on ER, it is the most up to date one, and also on the best audible "stürmen werden" examples...
    otherwise check out most of the newer versions from 98-onwards. he did not do it in the 70ties...

    About the "NS Stürmer", I am sorry, I don´have the disc here on CD, but you just have to open your ears, it is no EVERY version of it. It is very clearly audible, whether you take Bobino, or Reims 78...it is when the drums go to a halftime groove after the first round of "je suis revenue de l´univers" choruses

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  11. Marc, I can't read all the comments here, but you really must do something about the awful, incomprehensible translation from the French, you OWE it to these people!

    Also, I was there at le Triton during the confrontation with Anna, and not a word was said that precise evening about Jewish people. The obscenities and extreme racist comments referred to Black people.

    Thirdly, Vander being very much the antisemit is a well-known fact here in France. It's been hushed for decades, that's all. And now Manu has let the cat out of the bag as others have... before the Internet was all-powerful!

    Last but not least, it doesn't take a PhD in German civ & language to sense the fascination for all things German in the rather transparent lyrics.

    But maybe we can still enjoy the music. And convince ourselves that the guy doesn't really believe in all this shit... and has certainly never acted upon it.

    How much bullshit can we all take from people whose work we are otherwise taken in by?

    H

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  12. Helene,

    Correction made regarding the target of the rant.

    I posted links to the original French articles, so if someone wants to give a better translation, I will certainly post them here.

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  13. Olvator,
    Couple of questions about these lyrical references:
    "Sturmen werden": Surely with the Kobaian saga involving tales of interplanetary conflict, militaristic terms are bound to be used?
    It's "Manter Kruesz....will storm"
    Not for example "Hitler and the SS will storm"
    "NS Sturmer": I know the part you mean, but are you seriously saying the actual lyrics contain "NS" as in "National Socialist" ?
    (apologies if i misunderstand).
    Are you maybe not over analysing and hearing what you want (or rather don't want) to hear?
    Could it not more likely be words like "Ehn Ess" or something (I made those "Kobaian words" up, but you see where I'm coming from....)
    As for the "Zess" speech, yes, I agree it could definitely be similar to Hitler speeches phonetically. But this doesn't necessarly imply any direct comparison in content, only that the aggression / passion involved in the delivery suit well for that section of the (fictional) story. Although as only really Christian knows what he is on about I guess maybe we'll never know....
    I know this is a sensitive issue, and I'm not trying to bury my head in the sand - just playing "devil's advocate"....for me, these particular examples prove nothing. If there were deliberatly inserted references to the world war two, would they have been made so obvious? And would the rest of the (diverse group of) musicians have knowingly gone along with them? The "NS" reference in retrovision especially doesn't seem plausible to me - when you watch Bobino 81 DVD, it just doesn't look like they are singing a song glorifying the third reich....
    Best,
    Anon

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  14. If Seventh knows about this and does nothing, I would assume this is true. And it won't stop here. The word viral comes to mind. Vander faces a crisis. All his work will be subject to a new analysis and he will be vilified. And he ain't Mel Gibson.

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  15. 1. If CV is a closet antisemite, there IS a problem with enjoying the music for its own sake.

    2. If the music of Magma promotes Nazi ideology, then there is even more of a problem with enjoying the music for its own sake. In that case you'd need to be very worried about what you were enjoying. And one would not be able to separate out his excellent drumming from the music, as he would be making you move to the same rhythm.

    The basic question is whether either of these things are true in the first place.

    With regard to the second question, I can't see an alternative to an analysis of the music and its narrative. Now that ER is out, there should be enough material to reconstruct the narratives of the two trilogies, and to identify which passages contain allusions to Nazism and to try to explain why they do.

    This is an unavoidable task. My own feeling is that CV was deeply affected by the Nazi episode in his childhood, and that he cannot erase it from his music or his sense of history. If it resurfaces in Magma (in the cosmic and historical narratives), that could be because the whole Nazi episode is the most extreme blot or scar on human civilization, and it took place relatively recently, so that CV's generation had parents and family involved in it. Vander's music is unlike anything else, so it is necessary to dig deeper into its surrounding historical context.

    Chris

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  16. @anon...

    you are mixing a few things up I think. I don´t blame you for that, as you are understandably upset about all this. I was upset as well when i was first made aware about a few things already ten years ago.
    Let us please stay precise. Being "anti-semitic" or fascinated by Hitler or certain aspects of the Nazi period in Germany does not automatically mean that you are glorifying the 2nd WW. If Christian has those tendencies it also does not not mean that the group members have them, or as you say "they are glorifying the Third Reich when they sing a song. This is important.
    For instance, Manu has mentioned that Himiko was disgusted when she found out about the "Fuhl mehn Fuhl ENdoh Litah" passage, and very shocked because she had sung that passage for years with all her heart, of course not awawre of what it might mean. No, the group is not part of the debate here. They might be at a further point maybe, but not in this discussion.

    on to your questions...
    <<<"Couple of questions about these lyrical references:
    "Sturmen werden": Surely with the Kobaian saga involving tales of interplanetary conflict, militaristic terms are bound to be used?"
    It's "Manter Kruesz....will storm"
    Not for example "Hitler and the SS will storm">>>>

    these references to lyrics I have made are not to proove anything. They are just the "cream on the cake". The actual "proofs" if you can say so have been made elsewhere already, for example by the Gobbells quote on the Trianon DVD. I mean, who in the world would use a Goebbels quote on his product, even signed as being from J.G. if he didn´t want it like that? And what does it mean if you use such quotes, what do you think about that?
    Of course CV can use militaristic phrases, but why in German, and why with a gruelling rolling "R" and an obvious Htler imitation?

    >>>"NS Sturmer": I know the part you mean, but are you seriously saying the actual lyrics contain "NS" as in "National Socialist" ?
    (apologies if i misunderstand). >>>

    yes I woud thing so. If you use NS and Stürmer together following each other, they are supposed to be combined with each other aren´t they? Of course, maybe CV will come up and say that Enn ESS Stürmer actually is Kobaian for "little kids like liquorice", but that won´t convince me, sorry. "Der Stürmer", by the way, was an antisemitic nazi propaganda newspaper in Germany, and it was commonly referred to as the "NS Stürmer"...The graphics looked a lot like the MZ fanzine....which brings me to another point no one has ever really mentioned, why are all those people using the old 30ties/40ties lettering??? but that just on a side note.

    And finally, another thing most people don´t know, and again, this is not to ptoove anything anymore, it is just an eyeopener: look at the cover of the Bobino disc. You see that stadium, don´t you? Now look at this:
    http://www.csu-lichtenhof.de/stadio1.jpg

    or this:

    http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deutsches_Stadion_(Nürnberg)

    it is pretty much an exact copy, customized for Magma (with the claws on the towers) of the Deutsches Stadion, based on the plans of Albert Speer, the main Nazi architect, it was never built because of the war, but was part of the greater plan for germanistic restructuring of German cities.
    Probably just another provocation which does not mean anything....

    Folks, don´t get me wrong. I am just as sad and shocked about these things as anyone else. You all know how much I love Magma, and how I have been spreading literally hundreds of Magma tapes among the fans who love Magma. I am not on a mission to destroy them, ok?

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  17. Chris said : 1. If CV is a closet antisemite, there IS a problem with enjoying the music for its own sake.

    Not for me, as I know to separate the man and his music. You can’t deny you loved a music only because the guy who wrote it is strange. Love is love, you have to admit it.

    Chris said : 2. If the music of Magma promotes Nazi ideology, then there is even more of a problem with enjoying the music for its own sake. In that case you'd need to be very worried about what you were enjoying. And one would not be able to separate out his excellent drumming from the music, as he would be making you move to the same rhythm.

    I have no problem at all loving this music even it’s supposedly meant to mean this or that. I make my own emotions with this music. Let’s admit Vander wants to promote Nazi ideology: I’m listenin to Magma since 1998, and guess what ? I didn’t became a nazi ! Ant not only me, but you too, Marc, Olvator, Epanou, everyone here ! :o) Only one word comes to me regarding Vander’s (supposed) plan : FAIL. Epic Fail would be more precise since Magma’s music is epic most of the time. People here have to realize that the nazi references we’re talking about are only in the lyrics. The music is intact. It’s so beautiful that it can’t be a vehicule to some obscure dead ideology. It can’t be reduced to one ideology or one man. Magma’s music is the music of the forces of the universe. Vander keeps saying in interviews that he only “receives” the music. He’s a receptor.

    If there are nazi references, they are in the Teusz Hamtaahk trilogy since Vander was into that sort of things in the early 70’s (remember the opening speech in Stoah ?).

    E-Ré’s trilogy is intact. E-Ré is about Egypt. John Coltrane is Ptah etc. The only part in E-Ré where you could dig some things are in Hhaï’s speech, but Vander said in an interview that Hhaï means “alive” and that the song is about a man who knows he’s going to die from a disease, so he struggles by singing for his life. Do I think Vander speaks the truth in this interview ? YES, because E-Ré then dies, becomes a zombie etc.

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  18. If NS doesn't mean "national socialist", what does it stand for ? Nicolas Sarkozy ? WTF ?! ;o)

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  19. Come on lets be generous to his crazyness Christian Vander, and not put him on a holy pedestal. I am basicly with Tim here.

    Imagine someone told me, that he had overheard someone say, that "Stravinsky" said he hated Jehovas witnesses, and that he found that people from the Faroe-islands were ridiculous & ugly, or that "Ligety" thought Scientology would take over the world, and also (when he was drunk) claimed that Stalin had good sides too (great statesmanship and nice to kids and old people, maybe even to dogs). And that the quotes presented as 'evidence' for these statements were translated with google from hungarian and russian . . . and that the other 'evidence' was an intuitive 'translation' of a selfinvented language with no grammar, words that alone mostly has a musical meaning, words that occasionally changes from performance to performance.

    Would I then stop listening to Stravinsky and Ligetis music?

    Later "Stravinsky" got cross with this man from the faroeislands who used to write & discuss scores for him, and they fell out and spoke badly of each other...and the man from the faroeislands told everyone that "Stravinsky" hates islanders...

    Its not, that it isn't interesting at some level. Its just that it doesnt affect my interest and love for Magma's music. I cant see how anybody seriously can read nazism into CV's art. The funny readings of kobaian as Hitler-salutes is to me speculation & postulates. - Untill CV eventually should verifiy it.

    Christian Vander is a fantastic drummer, composer, musician - but he is not our uncle, our philosofical life guidance person, or a profet or anything - just an artist, probably a little crazy, how else would anybody be able to make such incredible music.

    *IF* he has a crush on aspects of the 3. reich, he wouldn't be the first or last artist. Kraftwerk, Laibach... controlling the masses, building a world, must be fascinating (as such).

    *IF* he really adores and admires Adolf's politics and his views on human mankind, then CV seriously need his antenna adjusted, he needs information about the real world. But *IF* he really is that stupid, I can live with it, as long as he concentrates on doing what he is a genius at.
    And so it seems - at least I cant see nazism reflected or propagated in Magma's art in any way.
    Unless you think that an apparent wish for having a huge audience in trance, saluting back to the musicians, is nazism.

    Lets hear what CV says before we make judgements. If you then (eventually) thinks he is an asshole, and if that feeling contributes more to the overall picture than his music does, so be it.
    But maybe even CV himself doesnt have a clear idea about this, that can be explained to us logically - who knows how crazy he is? Lets be generous to madmen artist. They give us so much!

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  20. I would be happy to hear what CV has to say. But for me this is a simple matter; if he is antisemitic, that affects me personally since I am Jewish and since my family lost people in the Shoah. It is facile to say, hey, he makes beautiful music so I can excuse all the rest. I can't and I won't, and I guarantee I will not be the only one. And I have said that I am a known lover of Magma's music, so I say none of this easily. Anyone espousing antisemitic attitudes contributes to an environment where others can do so as well, and when it is a "leader" that makes it worse. I am telling you Vander's future is threatened right now and I hope he understands it.
    Dana

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  21. Michael I found your comment to be very articulate, and you expressed my thoughts on the subject better than I could have hoped to! You would be hard-pressed to find an artist that doesn't harbor some irrational beliefs that might be considered insane by the rest of us.

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  22. My parents were young Germans at the end of WW2, and I can tell you their family & future were destroyed in the aftermath (they were in the east), so it is a sensitive issue for many.

    I like to think I can divorce the issue from the music. I'd like to. But I'm not so sure that will happen. Everytime I put the music on, I think I will think of this issue, and it will interrupt the thought process/vibe I once had.

    I hope that CV's "fascination" is equivalent to some redneck shooting his mouth off after drinking. I might let that pass. Who among us, haven't heard, laughed, or told, an off-color or racist joke? Does that make us racists? Are there degrees that can be "acceptable"?

    As for Magma, if this continues to get buzz, they may find themselves on the end of unwanted attention from the real deal: unapolegtic nazi groups and similar hate groups. Then they will be forced to act. I hope they offer a response as a pre-emptive measure.

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  23. I remember reading that vander himself is part gypsy. It wouldn't really make sense being part gypsy and a nazi now would it? And this is only one out fo the many contradictions. I highly doubt vander is a racist, it just doesn't add it up.

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  24. Dana, you have to separate the man from the composer. It’s hard at first, but the first time I heard about the Borghi discussion, the day after I listened to Kohntarkosz and I couldn’t help but admit it : I still like the music. I have found a way to still like the music : I think Vander’s music is ahead from him. It’s too powerful, too big, too majestic, it won’t let itself become a vehicule for some obscure ideology. Vander keeps saying he only receives the music, and he’s only a receptor. I’ll take his word and say he delivers the music beautifully : I love it. But the political aspects he may try to put in it enters in my right ear, and goes out from my left :o)

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  25. I would say that, for me, it is difficult to separate the man, the music, and the ideology. Composers take into account their beliefs and life experiences when composing a piece of music. Perhaps certain music of Magma is so powerful precisely because of the fact that Vander was enthralled by German militaristic marches, that Vander had certain images in his head when composing the music.

    And, if we admit to ourselves that we have enjoyed this music (for me, it's been 35 years), that what could this say about ourselves? It's very difficult to look in the mirror sometimes.

    I found myself unable to listen to Magma for about 2 weeks after this Facebook chat was revealed. I am slowly starting to listen to the music again. The music is just too powerful to ignore. But, I find that now I need to skip past certain sections of MDK, including one of my favorite parts that features the word "incinerator" (about 7:45' into the piece). I'm sorry, but if what Borghi says is true about MDK, then the appearence word "incinerator" could not be a coincidence.

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  26. Tim- no, I don't.

    Dana

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  27. Hi there,

    just found an interview with Daevid Allen where he is talking about his relationship to Giorgio Gomelsky.

    Here is an exerpt:

    The fact that Christian Vander had swastika flags all over his bedroom and pictures of Hitler and would leap up and do kind of imitation Hitler speeches in the middle of his drum solo didn't seem to faze him all that much. It fazed everybody else. But Giorgio just loved the music, and loved the cultural impact of the music.

    Here you can read the whole text:

    http://www.richieunterberger.com/allen.html

    ...i´m a little shocked at the moment and don´t know what to think !!

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  28. Just a little point pro-CV that I don't think has been mentioned above:

    On the front of the first Magma album is an illustration that I always took to symbolise as the ultimate decay of humanity...the digusting state of mankind that the Kobaians are desperate to escape from in their spaceship. And of course, clearly shown within this picture are two Swastikas. So I always saw it as the ultimate representation of the worst that mankind has to offer, and thus why Kobaia was necessary.

    Not sure what any else makes of that?

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  29. @ Olvator,
    Thanks for your comments on those lyrical points.
    Hmm, I was unaware of this newspaper, or the "Speer archetecture" on Bobino sleeve.
    As a point of interest I noticed today this Goebbels quote appears also at the back of the MDK score I downloaded from Z&B blog....
    Best,
    Anon

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  30. As a black person and a Magma listener, I would like to know what he specifically had to say about people of color. I am beyond shocked and disappointed. I hope a statement is made by him soon. If not, Magma will become the laughing stock of progressive rock. Just wait. The mainstream media WILL jump in and take this to the next level.

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  31. I don't see why he has to say anything?
    I don't know what that Facebook conversation says, but to say that a made up language means this or that is foolish.

    He's being accused by what was written in a FACEBOOK conversation?
    WTF?
    So now lame facebook conversations are to be used in court without proof, shoot, you could make stuff up about anyone!

    AND...it was said by a FORMER member of Magma...who knows if that guy is pissed at Vander or not?
    Didn't a bunch of his parts get recorded over for the new album?

    Do I agree with Vander saying racist remarks to people?
    NO!
    But I would like to see anyone who in a fit of anger hasn't said something awful that they probably wish they could take back.

    "Those without sin, cast the first stone."

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  32. Bloody hell, people. I don't know if Vander is unapproving of Jews, but disliking the Jewish race does not a Nazi make. The JG quote, in and of itself, is not specifically anti-semitic in nature, and doesn't really refer to anything beyond fallen soldiers. MDK is about the Judgement of humanity for all of its inhumane, egregious and vulgar actions which, of course, should well include the extermination of Jews. We don't really know how CV was approaching the parameters of global Judgement in the early '70s, but to speculate his meaning from a few far-fetched instances of convoluted language, stadiums that were never built or accounts of past band members is just not above board.

    Really, this whole topic smacks of the type of pathetic, fanatic paranoia that preceded the witch hunts, or something. And I only chime in here at all because now your white-boy, anal retentive, munchausen-by-proxy imaginations have caused alarm with one of our African brothers, prompting him to question whether or not something he enjoys could be secretly harboring sentiments not respectful to his culture. I suspect this is not at all the case.

    Should Christian come here and plead his case ? Absolutely not. His place is to make art. Ours is to try to interpret it RESPONSIBLY.

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  33. And how, Dave, is that not happening? I can full well tell you that I can read the entire Kobaian mythos through a radically different lens, let me tell you. Wanna consider the Kreuhn Korman, the perfect man, the sort of Uber Mensch, the goal for humanity to strive for in order to leave behind the baseless and corrupt earth; that is, the half menschen? Wanna bet that good critical theorists will look at this- what happens when someone like a Bill Martin turns their expertise on this, since Bill is, for example, a political philosopher? I am writing as a known long-term fan of this band; I wrote about them in 1988 in Option, so there is none of this I say easily or happily- there is no schadenfreude here. But I cannot simply say, get along and go along. Should we admire Mel Gibson for his outburst simply because he makes a movie we like? I will not see any movie he is involved with; I will not give my money to someone who hates me simply because of my religion. If- and of course I know this is an if right now- there is any merit to this rumor, then my relation with this band ends, no matter hnow much I love the music. I cannot support a antisemite. Period.
    Dana

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  34. To take up a point mentioned above (with ref to the image on the first record), for me the Kobaian mythology has always been about finding an escape FROM the disaster represented by Nazism. The world was damaged after Nazism - hence withdrawal and reconstruction are necessary.

    Think of how some people felt after the Blair-Bush war on Iraq - many of us felt totally alienated from our governments after that, and still are. The urge to escape the world after Nazism must have been overpowering, and this urge must have fed into the counterculture of the 60s.

    Dana, I can't understand how you've been listening to Magma for so long without being aware of the allusions to Nazism. They are undoubtedly there, but surely as part of the picture of a damaged world that the music wants to escape FROM.

    As for critical analysis, one useful reference point is Adorno and Horkheimer's book Dialectic of Enlightenment. This was written just after the war, and expresses shock and despair at how Western civilization could have given rise to Nazi barbarism. The authors situate Nazism within the context of a dialectic of world history, and take it as a singular and disruptive event that changes everything. I think that this is the right sort of context for understanding what Magma has been doing since the late 60s.

    Operatic music of extended duration allows for the staging of dramas, in which characters can be portrayed. The performers 'identify' with those characters within the context of the performance. This is true of any piece of theatre or film that takes Nazism as its subject matter. It would be bizarre to take references and allusions to Nazism within an artwork as evidence of support for Nazism.

    I think these problems of interpretation may have arisen because CV has taken too much upon himself and has risked 'blackening' himself in the process of making the art.

    Chris

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  35. Vander loves Coltrane(in case you've not noticed he's black). There have been various black and jewish musicians in Magma, i dont think a person with extreme facist views would have these people in his band.

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  36. here is an intersting excerpt about what CV had to say about Indian and black African people in an interview in 1970.... you all go and translate it for yourself please...

    SW : Et que penses-tu des hippies ?
    CV : Rien de bon car ils ne créent pas. Ce sont des primitifs qui n'apportent malheureusement rien au monde et à son évolution. Je préfère nettement les scientifiques, les gens qui cherchent, qui construisent. C'est quand même amusant qu'il y ait des gens qui pensent que l'Inde est le peuple le plus évolué de notre planète, tellement évolué qu'ils meurent tous de faim, là-bas… Ils sont obligés de demander de l'argent pour pouvoir survivre, c'est vraiment un peuple évolué pour moi, il n'y a pas de problème…

    SW : Oui, et les gens continuent à placer cette civilisation au-dessus de toutes les autres sans réfléchir une seconde au problème.
    CV : Ce sont des sages, tellement sages qu'ils se couchent dans la rue parce qu'ils n'en peuvent plus de faiblesse et qu'ils crèvent de faim… C'est vraiment pour moi un peuple de dégénérés qui n'a rien apporté à la science et qui se dégrade de plus en plus jusqu'au jour où, malades et agonisants, ils disparaîtront de la surface de la Terre. Il est vraiment inconcevable que d'un côté nous ayons évolué et que du leur, ils soient restés tels des primaires, demandant des fonds pour pouvoir manger, comme les noirs d'Afrique. On a essayé de les aider en construisant tout ce dont ils avaient besoin, envoyé des médecins, des industriels, bref TOUT, et eux refusent maintenant la civilisation.

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  37. Dana: Sorry to see you allowing yourself to be beguiled by innuendo, half-truths and sketchy evidence. To accuse a man of Anti-Semitism based solely on such criteria is a moral and, in this case, an artistic mistake. I hope you can step back, and look at this more sociologically, as opposed to being personally offended by how your own imagination has chosen to fill in the blanks. What matters here is not what seems logical to you, because this is not about you, or me. It's about the TRUTH, and nobody here has been afforded enough veritable information to discover exactly what that might be. So, in this instance, it is a mistake to drag a man's name and reputation through the mud merely because your own sensibilities have been offended by information that is nebulous, at best.

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  38. Dave, and all others ....

    Emmanuel Borghi has emailed me, and he has promised to post some comments here. Since much of the basis of what has been written here lies on the veracity of his statements, I think that we should allow him to state the facts. If the various assertions that he has written about have come directly from Christian Vander's mouth, then we should consider that very seriously. But if not, and if these facts cannot be verified, then we should all hold off from any further judgement.

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  39. Hi everybody !

    I'm Emmanuel Borghi and I think we have to talk ...

    Please don't be mistaken about the tone of this post, I'm not angry with anybody but I just want things to be really clear :

    Someone gave me the link to this blog and so I can read what is said about my chat on Face Book. I don't do that by pleasure but just because I think I have to, considering the fact that I am obviously a part of the "problem".

    I'm really surprised to see that few people are still doubtful as if I could be a liar trying to discredit Christian Vander with a "revenge's state of mind". Do they really think I would have invented all those things ? And for what reason ? Let's be serious ! My only goal by telling all those things was just to tell a friend the truth at first place. I had to because I think letting him in a doubt would have been dishonest above all on a serious subject like that. I did that for 20 years like most of the currents and ex-members of Magma and people have to understand I don't want to continue on that way. People want proofs ? Do they have proofs of every things they have heard or seen in their own lifes for the last 20 years ? And if they don't, are they liars for all that ? Can people seriously imagine me, day after day during 20 years, collecting informations and proofs about Christian's ideology with the idea that I could use it against him one day or another ? Come on !!!

    There is 2 real questions :

    The first question is : "Why did I stay so long in the band knowing those things ?" and my answer is : " I still don't know ! ". For sure, there is a lot of good reasons to stay in this band : Great music, charismatic leader, great drummer, a lot of concerts all over the world, etc... but, If I'm honest with myself, I still don't find a valid answer. Yet, people have to know that this problem is a taboo subject even inside the band and everybody learn how to live with that. To close this part, be sure that Christian knows how to hide things in daily life. For example, do you think we knew about the "Joseph Goebbels's quote on the Trianon's dvd? Of course not ! It was made behind our back obviously without any scruples !

    The secund question is : "Why did I let this private chat getting public when my friend asked me for ?" and my answer is : " Give me just ONE good reason to refuse !"

    So my goal is not to proove that Vander is the devil, I don't want to put Magma on the garbage, I don't need any revenge cause I don't have any reason to revenge. We left the band for 1000 reasons, Christian's ideology was a part of it but not the only one and I find putting the doubt on my words is a little bit insulting to me. People have to be honest with themselves. If they know things about Christian but still want to listen to Magma's music, it's not a problem for me at all because I did the same but perhaps it's a problem for them... In that case, they just have to think deeply about it without trying to find excuses to this or that or putting the doubt on my words :

    I've seen what I've seen, I've heard what I've heard, I've said what I've said and I'll never go back on that !

    Friendly,

    Manu borghi

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  40. Can anyone tell me what Borghi said in that facebook conversation?

    I for one would like to know what was said, so I can have an informed opinion.

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  41. Czar,

    Emmanuel himself has just commented here, right above you. If he wants to publish the transcript of his Facebook chat, then he can post it as a comment here.

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  42. Emmanuel:

    I'm typing to you as a Magma fan, as the drummer in Present, as a Jew, and as someone whose company has distributed many, many of Magma's products to the public.

    Nobody here has called you a liar. But most of us have not seen the Facebook chat, so we have no idea what was said. And, no offense, but your above post doesn't shed any light on the matter.

    Facts are in order here, not heresay. Personally, I would stop selling all Magma products immediately if there was truth to the fact that Vander has hidden Fascist, Anti-Semitic sentiments within the framework of his music, because I would find it personally distasteful, as well as bad for business.

    But, to turn my back on both my favorite band of many years, as well as lose the opportunity to introduce such great music to the public with so little to go on would be irresponsible.

    So, I ask that you make public your accusations, beyond merely saying that your stance was stated in a Facebook chat that most of the readers here are not privy to.

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  43. The blurb that accompanies Wurdah Itah, perhaps one of the most problematic pieces, depicts a 'march towards a tyrant' as the principal theme of the piece, and might be worth translating here:

    "Bitter revolt in deep forests. Somewhere in the East, the soul of the reawoken people, by a strange breath, rises and joins the combat. Abandoning all they own, men, women, and children begin to walk [marchent]. They arrive from every side, neither snow nor wind can restrain their elan [elan]. Village after village, in ever greater numbers, they march [marchent], singing, towards the tyrant. The march is long, and at the end - nothing! The omnipresent enemy remains invisible".

    Then MDK, the third part of the trilogy, takes up the story of Nebehr Gudahtt, who revolts against the march of the sleepwalkers.

    The narrative of the trilogy has some clear links with European history, but the MDK section may be the most difficult to interpret, as it seems to indicate an 'alternate history'.

    Any ideas?

    Chris

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  44. So we're to take lyrics as people personal opinion?
    That would mean 95% of all metal bands want to kill EVERYONE!!!
    I can't take your hidden message witch hunt as a serious argument.
    In the 80's, the PMRC said the song "Eye of the Tiger" was Satanic!!!

    I agree with Dave Kerman, Borghi has to make his statement public if anyone will take him seriously and the actual facts come to light.

    I just ordered the new Magma album though, just in case people stop selling it.
    I just want good music.

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  45. It is really interesting to see how people react to all this when they are new to the controversy. That is one of the main "problems" of this thread right now. We have people here who have been involved with their own bad feelings for weeks, some (like myself) for years, and then we have folks who apparently just "got the news" and are shocked in disbelief, and almost start bashing others if I may say so in the case of Dave Kerman and Dana. I can understand both sides, as I have done just the same, when I first was made aware of some things...But now Manu has joined us here, and Emmanuel, you have my deepest respect for speaking out about this topic. You are right, it seems to be a complete taboo topic even inside the band. A friend of mine was with the group a lot during the Offering phase, and he actually walked up to everyone in the band and asked them what they thought about the Nazi "rumours", but no one wanted to talk about it, only one member Jafet, said it was indeed legitimate and very couragous to ask those questions.

    And why is everyone asking Emanuel to make his chat public, when IT IS already public, has no one read the introduction to this thread? There are the main points, white on black, for everyone to read. The actual chat has some more side stories about personal things that CV said to Manu, which I have no problems to post here, but only in french as I do not want to alter them in any from by faulty translation on my part...
    as Manu said, there is no reason not to post this, so i hope that Marc and Manu are ok with myself doing so once again...

    And, Dave, you might consider apologizing to Dana, for telling her that she was "beguiled by innuendo, half-truths and sketchy evidence", she was in fact not, she was just a few steps further into the discussion as yourself. Not that you are to blame about that though, as I said before, I know how hard this is to take in when you start realizing something about a band that all of us have had such intense good and bad feelings about.

    @anonymous and the "last year" thing....I am sorry if i got something wrong, i was informed about that on the yahoo group back then (to the best of my memories). By the way if you can´t copy and paste into this blog, it is not because of the "crappy blog", but probably because of the crappy browser you might be using, I use Firefox and just pasted the Manu /Yann chat here without any problems. But even if I was wrong, and there was no time frame mentioned in CV´s answer, it would not change that much for me regarding the use of a quote by Goebbels. I had btw no idea that CV´s answer was also taken out of a chat, i think this is extremely funny, as it has been a long discussion on the french forum whether it is ok to use a chat protocol as a basis for any assumption at all....

    So now finally, in the next comment will be the chat protocol as it was distributed in its complete, unaltered form...

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  46. I am using Firefox and cannot copy and paste on this blog. Or use arrow keys! Very strange. But I should not blame the web interface if others can do it, I guess.

    Also I got the date wrong, it was 31.10.2006, not 30.10.2006, just in case people want to look it up and verify.

    But as this relates to the reputation of an artist who has been around for 40 years and whose work many of us love, it is important to clearly separate facts from innuendo. The "last year" thing is important because it claims Christian is caught in a lie, but the actual quote does no such thing (which is not to say he is or is not lying).

    That Christian may hold immature or unacceptable beliefs is certainly possible. The case that it is "woven into the music" is so far rather ridiculous, kind of like Paul is Dead with the Beatles or Rush standing for "ruled under Satan's hand".

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  47. Another interesting point I found in the liner notes of Kohntarkosz in the new boxset regarding Christian and Jannick's split. This was said by Christian and this is not in anyway "evidence" but merely suggests that Christian addresses this problem himself. He says "There were also some factual things we still can't talk about now because perhaps it's not ancient history yet." If this is about the problem in question here it suggests 1: That the biggest split in Magma history (Jannick and Christian) could be in part because of Christians views.
    2: That Christian himself regards this as a problem for his past and present bandmates.
    Learning about Christian's anti-semitism won't change the way I view the music itself;it is too powerful to ignore just because of the creator's views. But it will change the way I view some of the mythos of Magma and how I view Christian himself. Thank you Manu for taking the time to come on here and share your feelings on this matter and thank you also for all the beautiful music you have created in Christian's circle and beyond.

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  48. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  49. Is it possible to get the facts straight and simple, for instance by getting a transcribt of the chat from 2006? Is CV an anti-semit? This is quite disturbing to think about, but I can vaguely remember that somebody discussed this on a Fred Frith discussion gropup a long time ago, so it's not new.

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  50. ps...

    to anonymous...if you send the chat from 2006 to Marc from the blog here, I think he will be happy to post it here for you...I for one would also like to see it again...

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  51. Just a further (and final for a while) comment on the possible 'meanings' of the narrative of Theusz Hamtaak, for those who are interested in such things.

    I think you can localize the allusion to Nazism to sections 6-7 of Wurdah Itah. There is a shocking interjection of 'Zir Hhai', followed by absurd, parodic, goosestepping music. This is obviously a key point in the narrative. If anyone has any ideas about what happens next, I'd be glad to hear.

    Chris

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  52. Btw. how you were able to use Facebook chat in 2006 as that feature was introduced in 2008?

    http://www.watblog.com/2008/04/23/watblog-spots-facebook-introduces-chat-feature/

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  53. The Facebook chat is from June 2009.

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  54. that´s right, you got mixed up there. the facebook chat between Manu and Yann is from June 2009. The chat /interview session in which Christian was confronted with some of the Nazi stuff was from 2006 and having read it again now, I am sorry to say that yes, I was wrong when I talked about "last year"...but still, I don´t see CV being sorry about anything at all. He basically just tries to find his way out. Now seriously, if you had found out you had used a Goebbels quote without knowing that it was one, wouldn´t you at least have said that you regret it? No word....but read for yourselves...

    rené : Dans le journal kobaien "Muzik Zeuhl" numéro 17, vous avez choisi de mettre des textes de Jean Doutreligne qui est en fait le pseudo de Léon Degrelle, fondateur du parti politique fasciste belge Rex, allié fidèle d'Hitler et du nazisme. On peut aussi remarquer que l'inscrïption "Rex" apparait sur nombre de vos CD. Dans le DVD anniversaire de Magma au Trianon, il y a aussi une citation de J.G qui n'est autre que Joseph Goebbels. Devant ces faits, j'aimerais donc que vous vous exprimiez enfin sur votre rapport avec le nazisme. Merci.

    Christian_Vander : Doutreligne, je ne le connais pas. Je n'ai qu'une seule chronique dans ce journal, qui s'appelle l'Alerte ouverte. Des tas de gars collaborent, ils sont libres d'écrire des articles. Pour ce qui est de cette histoire de JG, c'est une phrase que j'avais notée au travers d'un ami à moi qu'il avait notée sur un cahier. La phrase était : "l'armée de ceux qui sont tombés n'a pas rendu les armes, elle marche dans les rangs des soldats", elle était signée JG. J'ai trouvé qu'elle était adaptée à la circonstance ; c'était une phrase guerrière. Nous étions les combattants de la Zeuhl.

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  55. Yes, let's not confuse the 2006 Vander chat / interview (which is only relevant in the context of the Goebbels quote) and the 2009 Borghi chat.

    I will type out the URL by hand for the 2006 transcript. Arg :).

    http://forum.hardware.fr/hfr/Discussions/Musique/magma-emehntehtt-sortit-sujet_36958_31.htm

    He is asked a question relating to the writings of a far-right Belgian in the Muzik Zeuhl newsletter, and about the Goebbels quote. He responds that he does not run the newsletter so can't control what goes into it, and the Goebbels response is the same as olavator has cited, minus the date-specifics.

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  56. Dave,

    I can understand that you and people need more details about my accusations even if I don't think that accusation is the appropriate term.

    I'll try to make it short :

    At the beginning of my collaboration with Christian, he did with me as he did with a lot of people. He tried to convince me that the all world was in a mistake, that the history had been falsified and that himself knew the truth. He was convinced and he still is, that Adolf Hitler was a benefactor for Humanity and he tried to convince me a lot of times. I have to confess here that he was about to succeed sometime but, hopefully , I never went to the dark side.
    Anyway, during this strange period, I have been the witness of many things I should perhaps never have seen and I've heard a lot of things too. So, I have no fear to tell all the things I've told in the Facebook chat because I've learned all those things from Christian's own mouth. The MDK's french speach was explained to me by Christian himself, part of the Kobaïan speach at the beginning of Zess is a phonetical adaptation of extracts of an Hitler's speach Christian showed to me at the end of the 80's. Of course those video were banned but Christian knew how to buy it. The lyrics "Fuhl mehn Fuhl ehndoh litaah" mean "Für mein fûhrer Adolf Hitler" and I know that because Christian told me. When he talks about his "Uncle" or "Tonton", he talks about Hitler and not John Coltrane like someone said above. It's a way to talk about Hitler without saying his name. He describes the fact to be involved in this ideology as "la tontonnerie"( french expression, hard to translate) but the correct term is Hitlerism.

    Of course, people will trust my words or not but it's not a problem for me. I'm not here to convince anybody. If people want proofs, they already have all the proofs they need considering my revelations or not.

    To finish, as I told Marc in my first e-mail, I'm really and deeply sorry for you all cause I feel like I'm breaking one of your dreams and I know that this may have very sad consequences for most of you but do I really have the choice ?

    I think that I have to assume to the very end even if my situation is not really flattering.

    Manu Borghi

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  57. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  58. Manu: Please answer me 2 questions - this is very important to me:

    #1) In your opinion, was Vander's explanation of the MDK myth a fabrication used to hide the real meaning of his work ?

    #2) Is it possible to separate Vander's beliefs from his recorded art, or is Magma's music, on the whole, a vehicle for his Hitlerism ?

    Thanks for your time,

    Dave

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  59. Wow, there is a lot of bad blood in that chat transcript.

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  60. First, Dana is a guy, me. Which is okay, happens all the time. Manu has no reason to lie so far as I can tell, and he worked with CV for a hell of a long time and obviously has not benefit accruing by saying what he does here. Dave, I sahould go off line to talk to you rather than do so here- I am at dana.lawrence@palmer.edu for a contact. Please understand I am not a naive little critter ready to throw out a band I've spent 35 years in love with over a rumor. The rumor has a great deal of truth in it, as evidenced by Mr. Borghi's comments, which again provide him no benefit- in fact, it may hurt him. On other other hand, Dave, if CV is indeed as described, ddue, you have to take that very seriously. I'm Jewish. What do I do, excuse a man for holding beliefs that played a role in the singular horror of the 20th Century? Pretend it does not exist so I can go on loving the music? I can't do that. It is not how my world works. AS I noted before, though, the cat is out of the bag. This is public. Vander has to do something, and I suggest that doing nothing is still doing something.
    Dana

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  61. Dave,

    I'm going to answer those 2 questions cause I don't want to let you in helplessness but after that, I will stop answering for a time cause I've said all I know and I don't want to become Vander's judge. I think everybody here is smart enough to have his own opinion about all that.

    I will stay in touch but a little bit less than today :-)

    #1) In your opinion, was Vander's explanation of the MDK myth a fabrication used to hide the real meaning of his work ?

    - I can't answer this question, I can only talk about what I'm really sure.There's things I know and there's also a lot of things I don't know.

    #2) Is it possible to separate Vander's beliefs from his recorded art, or is Magma's music, on the whole, a vehicle for his Hitlerism ?

    - Of course it's possible to separate Vander's beliefs from his music. I did that for a long time and I had a lot of fun playing this music with him but, yes, he uses very often his music as a vehicle for his ideology, on the whole or not, I don't know, he is the only one who can answer.

    Best regards to all of you !

    Manu borghi

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  62. I would like to follow up on Dave Kernan's questions. Is it possible that the references "Fur mein fuhrer", "Sturmer" etc. are made by fascistic characters or groups within the Kobaian story? In other words, is it possible that these lines are simply a part of the plot, rather than being a reflection of Vander's own personal views?

    I don't know the Kobaian lore well enough to tell. I have read this entire blog a few times and it is not clear from the above either.

    The other thing that I find odd is why more of the many ex-Magma musicians have not spoken out about this. I would imagine that many musicians would have walked out on Vander the first time he tried to convince them that Hitler was "misunderstood"--and that many musicians would have no problem talking about these incidents. I do not mean to dispute Mr. Borghi's account by asking this question. I am convinced he is accurately describing his experience. I am just confused why more musicians haven't reported similar experiences.

    Like all of you I am very sad. While I have known about Magma's music for about a decade, I have only become a huge fan since KA. I was planning on ordering ER this week! Some old friends of mine swapped emails a few weeks ago, with our "greatest musical discoveries" of the last decade. You can guess what mine was...

    peace to all, Arturs

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  63. Christian Vander:

    Please explain yourself. I believe you owe this to us, your fans.

    Merci.

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  64. I'm sure I don't just speak for myself among those who have posted here when I say that few artistic revelations in my life have been as deeply affecting, as both a musician and an appreciator of the art, as the discovery of Vander's work.

    In fact, it was not until I read all above this that I realise just how much emotional investment I have, not just in this music, but the singular artistic vision and work ethic of Christian Vander which has both inspired me and sustained me musically like no other I have encountered.

    I don't think any of us are in the position to call Emmanuel a liar or presume that he has his own agenda regarding these accusations. Even without any proof, I think the mere suggestion of what has been mentioned above has led many of us to reevaluate our relationship with not just this body of work, but how much it has informed the way we approach music today.

    Joni Mitchell once said "All my heroes are monsters".

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  65. From a Daevid Allen interview:

    "For example, later on, after Gong, he [Giorgio Gomelsky] came across to France with Brian Auger and heard Magma. When he heard Magma, he thought Magma was really exactly what he wanted to do. It fitted in with all his Swiss-Italian-French cultural sophistication. He had a kind of Stravinsky aspect, he sort of had this profoundly kind of Jewish middle European deep cultural understanding that the Jewish race seem to bring to the world. They have this incredible understanding of music. I've always gone to hang out with Jewish friends to listen to music. That's how I learned about some types of music, simply by going and hanging out with these guys. So Giorgio confronted all this, saw all this in Magma. The fact that Christian Vander had swastika flags all over his bedroom and pictures of Hitler and would leap up and do kind of imitation Hitler speeches in the middle of his drum solo didn't seem to faze him all that much. It fazed everybody else. But Giorgio just loved the music, and loved the cultural impact of the music."

    From: http://www.richieunterberger.com/allen.html

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  66. this is a sad time for me, i love Magma music, i listened to MDK last night but could not listen with the same love anymore, i hope this is cleared up soon. I will not buy the new album until then. If it turns out Vander has tried to hide facist ideas in the music of Magma then i will destroy my collection.....i love the music of Magma.....sad

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  67. @Frank...

    I have to state the same:

    Mr. Christian Vander: For all those who love the music of Magma it is very important to speak out and to explain your position.

    ...what do others think?

    would it be useful to send mails to CV, maybe direct to Seventh records?

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  68. I think they should be well aware of all this by now....actually CV knows about the chat since June already but obviously felt no need to comment on it publicly...i don´t expect them to make a statement about it. There are only two possibilities of a statement anyway: 1-they would have to say no, this all is not true (which in my opinion would be a lie) or 2- admit everything, which would be like suicide in a society and business sense...
    the only thing i could imagine is that maybe others of the group will take consequences and leave the group. Or that more ex-members start to speak out. Hopefully. But would it change much? So many people before Manu, other also closely related to CV for some time of their lives have spoken out before, but they were always bashed as idiots who try to destroy Magma´s legacy, when in reality they wanted to bring the truth to us, the truth about how we somehow have been betrayed. I feel betrayed. I am really angry at Christian for hiding all this like a little coward, for letting it appear like it was the exact opposite, and especially for including the great John Coltrane into all this pseudo nazi hogwash....

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  69. Hi all,

    I'm Michael Hazera. I played in the bands Sotos and Zaar, and am actually the drummer in the band Ptah, and we do Magma covers. So, yes, I do feel concerned with the talk going on here !
    First I want to say I understand all points of view expressed here. BUT :
    For me, there are facts, and there are private talks made public. I'm sorry, but I can't take private talks in consideration...I'll try to be clear.
    Here are the facts for me.
    The music of Magma HAS a pompeous, martial, military, fascistic feel all over it. We ALL know that, let's stop being hypocrit about it. It is part of the beauty and emotion in the music (but not only, of course).
    Who has never thought of Hitler speeches when listening to pieces like Stoah, Zess or others ?
    Who has never thought that kobaïan language sounded like german ?
    Come on, let's be honest ! And please believe me, I'm NOT a nazi or a racist ! And I do have a jewish name...
    So anyway, about the kobaïan language : IF, as stated by Manu, it has a hidden monstruous signification - well, Vander just made it IMPOSSIBLE for the listener to understand it. So in the end, it might carry a message for Vander's sick mind, but he's not imposing this message to the public...
    Again, I've been listening to Magma for the last 15 years, and I always thought Vander was a crazy guy, and probably a complete jerk. But I don't want to know him, I'm not interested. And this is not being an ostrich for me. I really think the music itself should be the only thing to worry about.
    And if there was a single word in the lyrics, in any actual language (english, french, spanish, whatever), that told me that this is nazi music, I would stop listening right now.
    But there's not...
    Now, about the other facts. Besides the music, Vander and Seventh Records have adopted an aesthetics that is VERY close to nazi or fascist aesthetics - the choice of colors (red, black, white), the reference numbers for the cds (REX...belgian fascist movement), the name Magma itself, the magma symbol, the mythology described, and so on...
    But again, we've all noticed that ! And what does it say ? For me, it says Vander is a freaked out teenager being over provocative, AND stupid. But a harmless guy, alone in the world he's imagining...
    In fact, the question is : has ANYONE, and I mean even ONE person, turned nazi because of listening to Magma ? If that is the case, again, I'll stop listening to this music, AND playing it of course, right now.

    Now, about Manu's "revelations". Well, I'm sorry, because I believe Manu is a nice guy and a good person... but he's referring to private talks with Vander. And since Vander, as I stated before, has never imposed a nazi message directly to the audience, I'm sorry to say that in a way this is what Manu is doing now... And I don't blame him for this, because I believe he thinks it was the right thing to do.
    But it is sad because, I never had the feeling to be listening to fascist music, and NOW it will be somewhere in my mind when listening to or playing the music of Magma. But not because of Vander.......
    Again, I'm sorry if this saddens you Manu, and you will probably think I'm wrong. But I have the feeling that you're saying these things (which I believe ARE true), to clear your conscience, because you feel guilty about things. But you said yourself Vander tried to convince you about the glory of Hitler AS SOON AS YOU joined the band. Well, you made the decision to join anyway. And as though I understand your reasons, you can't blame anyone but you, and you can't even blame Vander, since he made it clear from the beginning. He didn't hide things from you.
    But again, this is between you and yourself, and you and him, and I consider I shouldn't have known about this.
    But I don't blame you, nor anyone else. Take care, Manu.
    And I do hope it is clear for everyone that I am not a nazi, and that i was not trying to innocent Christian Vander. The guy is a complete nuts, and I hate his ideas, but his music is above him...

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  70. You say the music is above him, not at all the music is him and he is the music. the music and Vander are one.

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  71. Many thanks to Michael Hazera for his very insightful post. There are so many storeies about so many muscians and composers. How many musicians are drug abusers, wife beaters, racists, etc,???? Yet we still buy trheir music, go to their concerts, and are fans of them.
    If all the Led Zeppelin stories about dark magic, debauchery, etc. are true, then the band is evil incarnate, yet we still love their music.

    Hazera is right in pointing out that we've all seen the signs: the music is very martial, militaristic, etc. So this could all be true, wrapped up in Vander's crazy Kobian mythology. But if Vander has a fascist/Nazi message in his music, than it's very well hidden. If he really wanted to promote Hitler and his views he would be better off then using a made up language most people don't understand. I first encountered Magma in 1975 and I've yet to become a Nazi or do anything unlawful because of Magma's music. If Vander wants a revolution ushering in a new era of Naziism, well, it ain't happening.

    No matter what the real answer, I will still listen to Magma. Afterall, I enjoy the music. Genius and madness often go hand in hand - perhaps Vander is mad in his own little way. A pity if true, but he has to live with it, we don't.

    So stop listening to Magma if you must. We all have a choice…

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  72. and then ?? his music don't tell you to be a nazi ? it's an aesthetic thing . obviously his music is martial and everybody like it because of that . it could be the music of the harkonnen clan if you want . I've never seen skinheads or J-m le pen recrutment at the end of magma gigs . for me there is no problem at all . this is private conversation and I shouldn't be aware of it .
    if you read borghi, he says that he left mostly for money issues. if vander was a dangerous mad man why he didn't left immediatly ? many jews musician were in magma so why the pandora's box is open just now by a non jew musician who just left magma afer 20 years ?

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  73. If this turn out to be true then i will not listen to or buy music made by fascists.

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  74. Without wanting to pour more oil into the fames here, but i do remember that CV did at one show tell people to consider voting for Le Pen. Can anyone confirm this? Which show was that?
    hope someone can shed some light on this

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  75. It is indecent to speculate, as many people here have done, on a person's private thoughts and motivations, based purely on hearsay - and some of you demand Christian Vander come forth and defend his name? Frankly, that's sick. You don't have the right to demand to know anyone's secret thoughts, especially if he doesn't want to tell you, and coercing someone to make a public statement asserting his innocence is gross.

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  76. On the one hand I dont have problems listening to facist music, Richard Wagner etc.
    On the other hand, I will have a personal problem listening to all the "fur mein fuhrer" "SS" references and the obvious "Zig Heil!". I have to admit these things bothered me in the first place, but then I was relieved to read the lyrics and see that it was only my imagination (ZIR HHAI! stands out as something that really struck a sour note in me until I read the lyrics). But nw that I know that this is actually what the composer thought about, and that it is not my imagination - now it will be problematic for me to listen to it. Not on the moral issue - like I said - I dont have a problem listening to Wagner etc, I dont care about the composer`s evilness, I dont give a damn- but on a personal note - for me, as a jew, to hear "fur meine fuhrer" and "zig heil" leaves a very sour taste in my mouth. And no, it will be much harder to dismiss it as a figment of my imagination, now that the cat is out of the bag...

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  77. It seems in this debate that we are mostly (some exclusivly) discussing one side: Is he a nazi or something similar?

    The other side, that his longtime wife Stella is jewish, their daughter (thanks navitatl for refreshing my memory) is therefore also jewish, that he is partly of gypsyorigin (Hitler killed ca. 1 million Romanis), that several jews played in Magma, that several other semites (of arab origin) played in Magma, paints another picture.
    What kind of anti-semite is that?

    How can both sides exist in his head at the same time? Is there a meaningful answer, maybe - yes, he is crazy, not nazi.

    It seems obvious after Borghis notes, that CV is very strange. And the talking of Hitler and Coltrane as if they are the same spirit (as Olvator quotes), sounds like an LSD-fantasy, crazy artistery, - or just plain 'call the shrink'. VanderWorld is a kobaian fantasy.

    Many have through the years made CV an icon, they are now struck with dissapointment, and doesnt leave any room for anything else but a nazimonster, who have tried to decieve us all into being nazis. That is a pity and not fair.

    We talk about finding THE truth, the only ONE truth about CV - and it is understood that we can only chose between the icon and the nazimonster. But there are more dimensions and colors in 'truth', than flat, black & white.
    Btw: Why hasnt any nazis discovered Magma (they have had 39 years)?

    Personally I have never payed any attention to his lyrics, I love the music and will continue to do so, but probably a little more intrigued by all the contradictions. Deceived? Never.
    Because of the way its done, you can interpret almost anything into the text. Dont ruin it for yourself, by making a rigid choice. Magma is art.

    Interview http://www.danbbs.dk/~m-bohn/magma/interview.htm:
    "You have constructed your own language. Is it not important to understand what is being sung?

    Blasquiz: Yes, it is very important, but in many cases the text is considered much to important, so that the music itself is ignored. It is then reduced to background music. The song is important but not as deep as the music.The kobaian language has emerged at the same time as the music. It is logical. It is a physiological language, a ritual, a form of universal esperanto. It is a musical language. It is easy to sing, and at the same time it shall prevent that people start to think about what we mean with this text or that line. It is a form of music without semantics. It does not exclude, that we one day will try something else. We have invented a phonetic language made by elemnts of the slavonic and germanic languages to be able to express some things musically. The language has of course a content, but not word by word. The language has a united content, and that is what is important."

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  78. There is some very sloppy thinking going on in this thread.

    Don't people care to look at the narratives at all? The 'Zir Hhai' phrase comes at the moment in the narrative of the Theusz trilogy when the people have turned towards the tyrant. It represents the capitulation of spirit and 'zeuhl' to tyranny and barbarism.

    The trilogy has a roughly Christian eschatological framework:

    Part 1: Theusz Hamtaak: Pure Zeuhl (soul).
    Part 2: Wurdah Itah: Fallen zeuhl, including at its most perverted and degraded. The Nazi allusiona are at the mid-point of part 2, which dramatises this 'descent'.
    Part 3: MDK: redemption of zeuhl, rediscovery of the infinite, etc. Nebuhr as prophet against the tyrant.

    To say that Vander means something entirely opposite to what he says, and to what the narrative explicitly does, is simply paranoiac thinking.

    What's bizarre is that some people seem to think an allusion to Nazism in a text or piece of art involves support for Nazism. I don't get how intelligent people are making this obvious mistake.

    Magma are anti-Nazi, and the narratives are anti-Nazi if you take the trouble to look at them.

    Olvator, you seem to be fantasising the most scandalous possible interpretation of the music and narrative.

    Chris

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  79. Anonymous said...
    "I will have a personal problem listening to all the "fur mein fuhrer" "SS" references and the obvious "Zig Heil!". I have to admit these things bothered me in the first place, but then I was relieved to read the lyrics and see that it was only my imagination"


    You do realize that the lyrics are a concept piece right.
    And in most concept albums, they tell stories.
    Stories have "bad guys" who usually say something.
    Are we to expect that there should never be a negative portion of the story, the story would be pretty lame and end in one paragraph.

    And would the new album story mean that CV is an Egyptian because the STORY talks about tombs and immortality and kings,etc?

    I think Chris above has good points about all the people trying to find hidden meanings in songs that have a MADE UP LANGUAGE!!!

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  80. Hi,

    Let be serious, please. Is Vander racist, with his loving of "black music" ? Do you think that a John Coltrane (and Elvin, and many other great musicians...) huge fan could be racist or other...?
    It doesn't make sense. Just listen the music.

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  81. Well, I basically bid you guys adieux on this topic after this post.

    I’m not SO concerned with Vander’s politics, or strange beliefs. If the line truly is to be translated as,“Fur Mein Fuhrer, Adolph Hitler”, it’s pretty ironic to think that a few thousand of us Jews around the globe have been singing this along with the record at the top of our lungs in the privacy of our own homes for decades ! Ha

    Honestly, I feel as though nothing has been concretely proven to make me believe that Magma’s music is a vehicle for anything other than Vander’s whimsy. With respect to Manu, what is told to him privately, and in turn related by him publicly, is mere hearsay, and doesn’t warrant two days worth of discussion on the internet, let alone give a sound reason to rake anyone whomsoever over the fire.

    As a matter of fact, in my opinion, the mindset of some posters here seems much more delusional, and perhaps even more dangerous, than anything Mr. Vander could concoct. I imagine his to be a very strange world; but not one that, if he is to sing about it, can threaten much of anything. Here, however, we have seen firsthand the power of the internet to quickly spread minor pandemonium over something most likely trivial. My greatest regret about this has been that one of our own, a person of color, has become convinced, in all probability wrongly, that something he enjoys has been nefariously constructed , in part, as a means to belittle his race. I hope our friend will learn to put aside his doubts, and to remember that things are not always as they may appear to be.

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  82. Chris,

    i understand that you are upset, but please stay factual.

    >Olvator, you seem to be fantasising the most scandalous possible interpretation of the music and narrative.<

    I have never, not in one single word, or please proove me wrong, made any interpretation of the music itself.

    I have also never interpreted anything into the narrative, or the kobaian "history book" of the Kobaian mythology.

    I, as a German, have only pointed toward certain words in certain tunes, that can be interpreted as German, and told people who are not fluent in this language, what they would actually mean. That´s all.

    I cannot see anything scandalous in telling people what "stürmen werden" or "ns stürmer" would mean in german. And I cannot see any "interpretation" on my part concerning the word things....and to the best of my knowledge, these were the only two examples i brought up.

    If you have read this thread completely, you should have noticed that for me personally, these little coincidences are just the "cream of the cake" and by far not as valid as many (and enough for me to be seriously worried) FACTS, such as the (nI reeat it once again) Joseph Goebbels on both the Trianon Dvd´s first pressing and the MDK score, The Deutsches Stadium planned by Albert Speer customized for Magma depicted on the Bobino album. To me, those two things alone, plus many conversations with people who have been close to CV and finally Manus posts are enough for me. I don´t need to pick on words.

    You by the way, lately always want to bring up the topic narratives and mythology plot to proove that this all can´t be true, but I do not remember you having commented on the above issues, such as the Goebbels quote (except, dunno was that you(?) saying well, you couldn´t find it on Google as a Goebbels quote, so it can´t exist)

    I would like to know, what do you think about the Goebbels quote, what do you thing about the Bobino cover? How can someone still question those facts?

    And one more thing that came to my mind here recently, what is the definition of a Nazi? I think we as Germans have a pretty realistic and
    differentiated view on this topic. For me a nazi must not be a "drunk as fuck skinhead running through streets and beating people up", actually these are the stupid neo nazi idiots only working against what they pretend fighting for. To me, a Nazi is/ can be a very soft spoken, (kind of or at least appearing as) intellectual that puts seeds in peoples heads without much violence, which i think is much more dangerous than what i described before.

    Moreover, I have often said, that calling Christian a "racist" or simply a "Nazi" is much too easy and not very serious. I have called him someone who "has a fascination for Hitler" and has very strange opinions about the "mythical side" of the Nazi times in Germany.

    I am sorry Chris, but i cannot accept your complain about my methods at all. I am one of the only ones here, who has actually posted links to pictures, or interviews, etc. to put a basis of assumption besides my arguments. If anyone here really needs another explanation of why I think that the J.G. quote was from Goebbels, I can go there again, would be a long post. But please realize, that even Stella Vander and Seventh were convinced by this, so much they took it off the next pressing of the DVD (without any comment of course). So what´s the point in questioning its authencity?

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  83. My two pence worth....

    I'm one of the "listening to Magma for 35 years" brigade. I am not Jewish and I hate Nazi's. I never want to meet Christian Vander. We would probably be hitting each other within minutes. But, the music..... It is the music and the absolutely extraordinary composition, playing, commitment and soul / zeuhl that we love and wish so many people could understand that matters. I have listened to a track off "Korusz" tonight. It is impossible. I hear it again - it is impossible. Absolute madness. Absolute genius. The Magma / Vander music we love is driven totally by a love of real honest heartfelt intellegent emotional music - something we share with Christian Vander.
    We can read anything into anything. Vander's influence on anything is minus zero. He gets drunk and talks nonesense - haven't we all? He maybe a true idiot savant, but don't any of you on here deny that you have loved his music, and felt emotions never experienced elsewhere in the company of Magma's music.
    Is Vander foolish? Apparently, yes. Is his music that of a genius? Yes. Does anyone outside the Magma clique care? No. Magma's music repels most people so it's hardly likely that far-right parties in France or anywhere would want to associate themselves with the music we associate ourselves with.
    And with Vander, who can deny that it is the MUSIC that is of paramount importance?

    Yours, en vie, en mort, en apres, and after a beer...

    Steve A X

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  84. Steve: I have never been drunk and have never spoken a rant such as this.

    Chris, the magic of critical theoretical analysis is, of course, that there is no one right analysis. You offer up your thoughts on one possible interpretation of Magma's music and eschatology, but that hardly means you are correct, except unto yourself. Long live Barthes and the death of the author. I can look at the narrative and read it very differently than you did.

    But this is all beside the point. To me, the only question is whether CV himself is antisemitic. Whether it manifests in his music or his mythos is secondary. What we have heard here provides ammunition to that possibility- and I do not know what proof you would accept beyond a long-time band member offering witness to what he saw- it sounds as the only proof youw ould accept would be or Vander to stand up and make the claim- and that will not happen, so we have to assess what we can otherwise glean- and there has much to consider here.

    I have nothing to gain here by considering the evidence. I have loved this band for all my adult life. I am sincerely distressed by these past couple of weeks. There is no way I want to stop supporting the band and CV. But what to do. I cannot simply separate the man from his music. I cannot separate the late Michael Jackson from the fact that he settled a suit abotu child abuse and did a lot of very wrong things with children. Does the fact he makes great music excuse that?

    Many of the arguments offered above are not actually arguments. The fact no one has "turned NAzi" hardly proves that Vander himself does not harbos such views. The fact he loved Coltrane does not support a reasoned debate that ergo he does not hate Jews. The fact he was married to a Jew- more than 25 years ago- does not mean he cannot hate all Jews. These are not meaningful arguments.

    Manu has offered up some comments. They cannot be so easily dismissed. Even politicans who sell books still may be telling true about the events they witnessed. Manu has nothing to gain here, everything to lose, yet he still comes here to discuss the issue- on the net, where things go viral and can come back to hurt him and Himiko.

    I do not know how Seventh can address this. But I do believe it is a crisis for them. I also believe that it events may force people to act. We shall see.
    Dana

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  85. The Czar said:
    "You do realize that the lyrics are a concept piece right.
    And in most concept albums, they tell stories.
    Stories have "bad guys" who usually say something.
    Are we to expect that there should never be a negative portion of the story, the story would be pretty lame and end in one paragraph."

    Yes, of course I know this, this is what I like about most of the music that I listen to - It is multi-faceted, with depth, like real life.
    BUT- this does not change my feelings towards such lyrics as "fur meine fuhrer", "zig heil!" etc, especially when sung with such passion - No matter who is the artist and what were his intentions. And to be honest, when I look at the complete picture, I also dont think Vander had the purest of intentions when conceiving these lines, so it makes it even worse for me - but as I said, it doesnt matter that much, as even if these lyrics were told to portray the "bad people", they still make my stomach turn when sung with such passion.
    This all is not rational, but then again I dont think anyone here (especially amongst the hardcore Magma fans) ever said that listening and enjoying music is a complete rational phenomenon...

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  86. What was the Joseph Goebbels quote that was on the DVD (in English please)?

    Here are some other quotes by him that I found, they could have been by anyone and referring to many things. I don't find any of them very bad (except the last one ...but I still like the visual that it gives) and the first one sounds like something you'd hear at church.

    I'm not defending him, just say that a quote can be used to convey a mood also.


    “Faith moves mountains, but only knowledge moves them to the right place”

    “Think of the press as a great keyboard on which the government can play.”

    “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it."

    “If we are attacked we can only defend ourselves with guns not with butter.”

    “If the day should ever come when we [the Nazis] must go, if some day we are compelled to leave the scene of history, we will slam the door so hard that the universe will shake and mankind will stand back in stupefaction.”


    And these quotes are by the bastard Hitler himself and Stalin, but would you condemn someone for using the following quotes?

    "What good fortune for those in power that the people do not think." - Hitler

    "Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything."
    --Josef Stalin

    It sounds like they were talking about the last two US elections.

    Quotes are not a basis for a witch burning.

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  87. The Czar said:
    "I'm not defending him, just say that a quote can be used to convey a mood also."

    Oh, plllllease, give me a break...
    You are not talking about some unknown person that is being quoted naively, you are talking about the mastermind of Nazi propaganda machine -
    Any sane person knows the problematic nature of quoting such a person, and hence it was removed once other members found out the origin.
    I doubt CV put it there thinking JG is just "someone" as the quote itself is not that strong or interesting - it was most probably put there on the merit of its speaker
    (this is not a fact, no, it is just a personal assumption and should be taken as such - on the other hand it sounds most logical TO ME, much more than the lame excuse he gave in the 2006 interview / chat).

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  88. Christian Vander owes no one an explanation for his music and beliefs. No one owes any sort of loyalty to Christian Vander and is free to buy/listen to his music, or burn his Cds that they already own. Everyone has free will and needs to choose what they want. A witch hunt against Christian Vander based on a private chat and/or innuendo from third party conversations will not solve anything or answer any questions. If you don't like the message or the messanger, then move on…

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  89. "Christian Vander owes no one an explanation for his music and beliefs."

    I agree. If we could know every persons thoughts in the whole world, we would find out how much hate is out there.

    I will still listen to Magma, because there isn't anything in it that bothers me...because it's science fiction.

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  90. What witch hunt? There is no such thing. There are people asking questions. No one has suggested anything that remotely would harm CV save for to perhaps not buy his music. That is hardly a witch hunt. And again, in terms of proof, what kind of proof would get people to accept this? The only truth would be for Vander to say so, and that will not happen no matter what he believes. Without that, Manu Borghi's words carry significant weight. He was there; he worked alongside Vander for many years. None of us did. And yes, one might ask why he stayed, but given how many of you would continue to listen to him even if this were true, we might understand why someone would stay with a reporbate for years because he is an astounding drummer who writes compelling music. But there comes a time when what might have been allowed when younger can no longer be. Borghi walked away. I cannot imagine what it cost him emotionally.

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  91. I have always considered the music of Magma to be eccentric and I think that most people would agree with this, even from an art rock/jazz/RIO/whatever perspective.

    Eccentric people usually do eccentric things, and it seems like it is appreciated as long as it stays within the limits of what is socially accepted. However, there rarely seems to be any tolerance for the eccentric when that border is crossed and a lot of people are very fast to condemn and repudiate, which I guess is totally understandable. In some way I would like to see a better understanding for these kind of people as there have been countless intelligent and creative artists throughout history with questionable beliefs.

    This reminds me a little of Michael Richards' (more known as Kramer from Seinfeld) outburst a few years ago, even though I know very little of that guy. Laugh at the crazy guy as long as he is funny, condemn him and send him to the pillory when he crosses the line.

    But I'm not sure what to think about all this really, I'm still pretty shocked about it.

    Despite Magma's music flirting with militarism and secterism, I hardly believe that the nazi movement has gained anything from Magma (perhaps from Vander himself, I don't know), especially since [it seems like] Vander has been hiding his possible secret deep for many years.

    I hope that I got my point clear here; being a nazi (especially if you are a European born in the late 40's!) is a totally fucked up thing. But it takes a somewhat crazy guy to pull off doing this kind of music for 40 years and if you're crazy, well... I guess there could be some other crazy things going on inside that person's head as well.

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  92. Olvator -

    Could you post the Goebbels quote - I'm not able to download the MDK score to see it.

    As to the Bobino cover, my first guess is that since the concert was in Italy, Vander is making a provocation about Mussolini's Italy, and what might have happened if fascism had prevailed in Europe.

    Dana, there's a contradiction in your viewpoint. On the one hand, you suggest that all interpretations are equal and that we should assume the 'death of the author', but on the other hand, you are concerned with CV's unexpressed 'beliefs'.

    The first problem here is surely with our own attitudes to interpretation. It seems to be commonly held that we can interpret art however we want, and put our own meanings on it.

    But that approach cannot work with all art. This is related to a second problem, specifically to do with Magma. The first encounter with Magma's music will be with its visceral power. No one can hear the whole oeuvre at once. But Magma have been pretty clear that all the individual pieces of music are part of a larger narrative, composed mainly of two trilogies. So part of the task of the Magma listener is to gradually build up a picture of the wider narrative. If you carry on listening to the music, you're forced to do this. Otherwise, you won't know what to make of it when phrases like 'Zir Hhai' suddenly come up.

    In order to avoid the split between totally subjective interpretations (ie. 'its my listening experience, and I'll do what I like with it') and projections of what CV's hidden beliefs might be, the only route is to present an interpretation of the meaning of the narrative. Dana, you say you have another interpretation of the narrative - so what is it? I would suggest that there are better and worse interpretations of the music/narrative, and that it is way too soon to give up on the task of interpretation. Frankly it hasn't even begun. The best interpretation will be most consistent with the material presented in the trilogies. As most of the worries concern Theusz Hammtahk, it's this trilogy that requires analysis.

    I understand that many people prefer not to take this interpretative stance towards music (whereas presumably they do this with films, novels or theatre). But this very discussion shows that it is necessary to do this. So this is an opportunity to get clear on what Magma is about.

    Chris

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  93. I wonder if "Für mëhn fühl ëhndöh lïtaah" really means "für mein Führer Adolf Hitler" I wonder why the name and surname (and also Führer) isn't written in capital letters as other names in trilogy.

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  94. Chris said:
    "As to the Bobino cover, my first guess is that since the concert was in Italy, Vander is making a provocation about Mussolini's Italy, and what might have happened if fascism had prevailed in Europe.
    "
    This is actually your first guess?
    It is not a secret that Vander is fascinated from facist symoblism (starting from the 70s - as seen in the quotes from the Daevid Allen interview).
    So your first guess is that via the Bobino cover he is actually criticizing Italy for its facist leanings?
    I gotta hand it to you, I admire your self persuation, I wish I could do that :)

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  95. Bobino is a french concert hall, not italian. What was your second guess :)

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  96. And your point is, Anon?

    Is it that you're happy to stop with the glib assertion that CV was 'fascinated with fascist symbolism', and not actually proceed to ask what he did in his art with such symbolism?

    BTW, the Antoine des Caunes book contains quite a bit on the use of Nazi symbolism, which was clearly already controversial in the 70s - it's online somewhere. A translation of that book would be helpful.

    Chris

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  97. Hum, guys, and Chris :

    The Bobino concert did not take place in Italy...
    Bobino is the name of a venue in Paris.
    Please make sure what you say is correct when you try to make a point...
    Thank you.

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  98. Chris:
    "Is it that you're happy to stop with the glib assertion that CV was 'fascinated with fascist symbolism', and not actually proceed to ask what he did in his art with such symbolism?"

    I was doing that for a long time - like I said before - trying to convince myself that it is in fact parody, that it is not what I hear but completely different lyrics, that it is science fiction etc.
    But some of the facts presented on this page tipped the balance for me - it now sounds as it first sounded, before all the excuses that I gave myself for listening to such music-
    Now I hear it again as it is, music that is glorifying facism and with a great passion.

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  99. Chris- would you willing to go to private emails for that discussion? My regular email is dana.lawrence@palmer.edu, and I think I'd prefer to leave this specific discussion ot the larger issue rather than take up space on critical analysis. Send me an email and let's talk.

    Dana

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  100. Perhaps we should all march over to Vander's house and confront him, refusing to leave until he explains himself?

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  101. Apologies for that mistake. Yes, quite right, one needs to get one's facts right for this kind of discussion.

    Second guess: it's an unbuilt Nazi stadium, floating in space. Well, if I was looking at that as a piece of art, it could mean a number of things. My second guess I suppose would be to put it in the context of the 'zeuhl' myth I outlined above. I think that's where the symbolism is played out, and the narrative as a whole is what the discussion has to be about.

    It's not a question of the allusions to fascism being either 'literal' or 'parodic'. It's that they take place at a particular juncture in the narrative, and are explained by the narrative.

    Chris

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  102. Ok then, the Goebbels quote...

    The quote as on the DVD and the MDK score is in french:

    "L´armee de ceux qui sont tombeés n´a pas rendu les armes,elle marche das le rang des soldats"

    this could be roughly translated as
    "the army of those who have fallen, has not put down (or back) its weapons, it marches within the ranks of our soldiers"

    Initially, this sentence and its symbolism is rooted in the so called Horst Wessel Lied, the unofficial Nazi Germany hymn...Horst Wessel was shot by communists in 1930, and it was notably Joseph Goebbels who made him the ulimate martyr for Nazi Germany, and JG was also responsible for a wide distribution of the Horst Wessel Lied. For anyone interested in Germany it is very well known that the Horst Wessel Lied and main symbolisms used by Goebbels are tighly linked with each other.

    i have found an english translation, that is quite
    good, but of course as this is old style german, it
    can not be translated word by word, the english
    translation also uses some typical "only english"
    phrases, but it comes very close. here it is:
    >
    > fairly literal tr. Frank 1997
    >
    > Raise high the flag,
    > The ranks are closed and tight,
    > Storm Troopers march,
    > With firm and steady step.
    > |: Souls of the comrades
    > Shot by Reds and Countermight
    > Are in our ranks
    > And march along in step. :|
    >
    > Open the road
    > Just for the brown battalion.
    > Let's clear the way
    > For the storm trooperman.
    > |: In hope, to the swastika
    > Raised are eyes of millions,
    > Dawn breaks for freedom
    > And bread for all man. :|
    >
    > This is the final
    > Bugle call to arms.
    > Already we are set
    > Prepared to fight.
    > |: Soon Hitler's flags will wave
    > O'er every single street.
    > Enslavement ends
    > When soon we set things right. :|
    >
    > The symbolism that goebbels has
    > often stressed(gefallene ahnen, which means "the
    > fallen ancestors") was quite common in nazi germany
    > and it surfaced in different variations, the horst
    > wessel lied was not written by goebbels, but it was
    > the first manifestation of this way of thinking( that
    > the painful loss of first world war and "the shame
    > that the winning powers brought to germany", will find
    > revenge, and that the dead comrades from those world
    > war 1 battles are joining the nazi troups in their
    > spirits). i believe that goebbels took this quote from
    > the horst wessel lied , and was inspired by it. as i
    > wrote in my group mail, goebbels stressed this
    > symbolism and it was ALSO part of the horst wessel
    > lied (the symbolism).
    >
    > so, in the horst wessel lied, the sentence
    > " Souls of the comrades
    > Shot by Reds and Countermight
    > Are in our ranks
    > And march along in step. :|
    > are presenting this symbolism. other ways of putting
    > souls of comrades, were commonly "gefallene ahnen",
    > "the army of those who have fallen",etc.
    > of course all these translations make a 100% match of
    > any quote impossible.
    > but if you compare "larmee de ceux qui sont
    > tombes...marchent dans les rangs des soldats", and
    > this part of horst wessel lied, or "die ahnen
    > marschieren im geiste in unseren reihen mit" which
    > could be translated word for word as:"the fallen
    > ancestores are marching in our spirit between us(or in
    > our ranks), it all means pretty much the same to me.
    > but whatever quote that is, the most puzzling part of
    > it was the letters J.G.

    In 2003, when all this came up, I tried to find original Goebbels speeches, but of course, most of them are forbidden here in Germany. I showed a translation of the quote (back to German) to some older people who had lived in those times, and did not tell them who the J.G. was, and just after reading it ALL of them said,...oohh, Goebbels....

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  103. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horst-Wessel-Lied

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  104. Whats the idea in repeating the obvious, that he has used nazi-symbolism, when nobody really can tell why, and what it means in the context?
    A waste of time.

    John

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  105. You mean music with a made up language, science fiction themes AND concept albums that tell stories.

    Reading into all of this sounds a bit PMRC to me.

    Remember they accused Survivor "Eye of the Tiger" as being satanic.
    RUSH stood for "Ruled Under Satan's Hand"
    And the list goes on.
    Trying to analyze lyrics and saying they mean this and that to point fingers is idiotic.

    In MDK, aren't the "bad guys" beaten?

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  106. The French interview transcript is shocking. This man is truly a racist and any of you trying to convince yourself otherwise should just be ashamed of yourselves. Give it up. You are listening to music and seeing visuals inspired by Nazi ideology, as well as a general racist perspective, the likes of which are truly dangerous for the world. Disgusting. I am done with Vander and Magma forever. And many others are as well.

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  107. Has someone posted this interview transcript or a link to it? Has it been translated into English?

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  108. Anonymous said...

    "The French interview transcript is shocking"

    PLEASE TRANSLATE IT INTO ENGLISH!!!


    I will tell you why I will still listen to Magma.
    I watch the live DVD Mythes & Legends, and the song Zess (which is one of the songs that is supposed to have bad things in it...I think)
    When I listen, that song gives me hope.
    It makes me feel relaxed, happy, hopeful and brings me to tears.
    The music and the singing are so beautiful, that I don't even notice how long it's playing.
    THAT is what music is supposed to do.
    There is no message in the lyrics (at least none that I can interpret, because the language if fake), but the notes are real, the sound is real, the passion that I feel is real, and it makes me smile.
    It doesn't make me hate, it actually makes my mood one of hope and compassion.

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  109. Thanks for posting the quote, Olvator. So it's "L´armee de ceux qui sont tombeés n´a pas rendu les armes,elle marche das le rang des soldats", followed by the initials 'J.G'.

    I'm afraid I can't see that this citation is conclusive 'proof' of anything. First, as you note (and as the wikipedia entry says), it was not written by Goebbels, so why Vander adds 'J.G' needs explaining. Second, it seems much more likely that the use of the quote is ironic and provocative. Someone might read it, not knowing its provenance, and think it was about fallen soldiers in general. Then, learning the context, they would realise it was part of the Nazi national anthem. So the meaning would be inverted. So one might first of all unthinkingly identify with the line, and then be forced to rethink when one learns its true significance and provenance. If this was the German national anthem between 1930 and 1945, then it would probably have been reasonably well known in 1972, so perhaps the lines would have already been familiar to many people. This kind of ironic appropriation of quotes is not uncommon in modern artworks.

    I'm not playing devil's advocate, I just think there is in all likelihood a serious misinterpretation of the intentions of an avowedly avant-garde artist going on here.

    Chris

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  110. Gone viral now:
    http://blog.room34.com/archives/4024/

    http://richieunterberger.com/allen.html

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  111. The only bad and evil thing in this case is this primitve enjoying in telling rumours which can ruin somebody's life. Why you want to ruin life to somebody that you love? You love Magma? Or you love to see somebody in problem more than you love Magma?
    Evil is this idea of Manu to tell the people such things, even if they are true. Because he have more reasons to be thankfull to Magma and Vander than to "open our eyes". And, what means that one of the reasons for leaving the band was Vander's ideology? Does it means that people in the band right now are not good enough, that they can live with this facts easily, and Manu cannot? So, he is attacking the whole band? For what purpose?
    And, all of you were listening to Magma and didn't noticed anything bad in it. Suddenly, you hear and see some evil Nazi stuff?
    Vander is Nazi? SO WHAT? If he is...so what?
    Did he kill somebody? Did he told you to hate somebody? And, in the end, you are "discovering" hidden meanings in the language that you don't understand, but you don't mention this Swastika on the cover of Kobaia?
    Does that mean that Vander is Nazi? It means that you have plenty of time to make stories.

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  112. I somehow hate to do this, but I guess most here don´t understand it in french, Google translator sucks, so I´ll give it a try.
    Yes, I know, this is almost 40 years old, but nonetheless shocking...
    you can find it on the Magma web press book as well, it´s from an interview with Extra No. 1, December 1970...


    "SW: And what do you think of hippies?
    CV: Nothing good because they did not create. These are primitives who unfortunately contribute nothing to world and its evolution. I prefer the scientists, people who research, construct. It's even fun that there are people who think that India is the most advanced people of our planet, so advanced that they all die of hunger there ... They are forced to ask the money to survive, now that´s really an advanced people for me, there is no problem ...

    SW: Yes, and people continue to place this civilization over all others without a second of thinking about their problems.
    CV: They are wise, so wise that they lie in the street because they are tired and weak and they are starving ... for me that is really a nation of degenerated people which has contributed nothing to science, and deteriorate more and more until one day, sick and dying, they will disappear from the surface of the Earth. It is really inconceivable that on one side we have evolved and they have remained like primates requesting for funds to eat, just like the black Africans. We tried to help by building everything they needed, sent doctors, industrialists, in short EVERYTHING, and now they refuse civilization."

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  113. Hello, I've been following this debate about a week ago.
    And first of all I would like to say my humble opinion (maybe nothing new) but anyway:

    1.- Humans, their work and ignorance.
    On one hand I love the music of Richard Wagner, on the other hand I love the music of Claude Debussy. Wagner was a well known racist (he even wrote stuff about 'superior races' and stuff like that). Debussy was neither racist or facist.
    Do we have to forget the GREAT work of Wagner because he was an asshole? NO. Debussy's work was highly influenced by Wagner's... do we have to destroy Debussy's work because he was inspired by a racist? NO.
    In that time (late 1800-early 1900) there was no real evidence to prove if some humans were superior or not. We can't blame them for being ignorant in evolution or biology. Today with all the knowledge science has brought us, people still believe some really weird stuff (talking snakes, witchcraft, etc.)
    If Vander is a racist, that will make him an ignorant and stupid man. Just that. Because he actually has not done anything against blacks or jews or whatever. He could read some science once in a while and figure out that in biology there's no good or bad, no superior or inferior. So if he's a racist, he is just ignorant. Not a bad musician or less a genius.

    2.- Pareidolia.
    Jesus' face appeared to some religious fan in a toast. Is it true? Of course NOT. Sometimes perception plays tricks and 'pareidolia' is the technical name for the perception of a random stimuli as significant. Kobaïan language is amazing, because is like a Rorschach test in music, no semantic meaning but they transmit so much!

    This last comment by The CZAR, is what perception is about. "When I listen, that song gives me hope."

    Magma's music fits with jazz and some other instrumental music where there's no semantic, no actual propaganda. If Vander wanted to transmit propaganda through Magma's music, is not good to not use semantic. Because without semantic the stimulus has no meaning a priori, but a posteriori. That means in your head.

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  114. When asked what he think of Elvin Jones, Vander said that he loves him! I mean, for those who doesn't hear the influence, the man said it many times.
    Vander maybe like to mystify his music a little, and that is the beauty of the art. But this stories are mean and harmful. At least, they are shamefull for those who spread them.
    And again, I say, if it's true - so what?

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  115. If it is true, here is the so what. It contributes to a furtherance of Nazi ideology among people who really do wish to do harm to Jews. He is lending his support to a movement that still exists in a new form today, and that would provide aid to that movement. That's the so what. I am astonished at the poor arguments offered here. Someone above says Manu Borghi is evil for doing nothing more than telling people what he observed? That's evil in your book? As opposed to, say, potentially supporting the Nazi ethos? Confused much?

    It breaks down this way on this issue. One group of people say that Vander is loony but that despite his beliefs he makes great music which they intend to listen to in the future. Another says there is no problem at all, that Borghi has an axe to grind, and that one can read nothing in Vander's writings, comments and music. A third says, you know, this is really troubling and requires more investigation. Only one of these stances is really supportable. Something is in the wind here. No one has said, dump Vander. But I will again say, look, I've been a major fan of this band my entire adult life. I am deeply troubled. I think this is an issue that is at risk of going public. This will hurt Vander. Right now, I am experiencing an odd thing; when I play a youtube clip of Magma, as I did earlier today, I felt that I could not watch without this issue underpinning my watching. Worse, I wondered if other band members know or support him, people I admire. Does Isabelle, who he lived with for so long, support him? Stella, who he was married to? Or, is that why he is no longer with either? I have never had such thoughts before? But they are here now and will not go away.

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  116. I heard from someone that if you play MDK backwards it repeats over and over, "we are the master race." Or maybe it was, "Paul is dead." Anyway, one of those things…

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  117. In the 1970 conversation, it just sounds like he's saying:
    "If these people don't help themselves or accept help and try to become more modern, they may be killing themselves off."

    There is nothing racist in there.
    That is how I interpret it.

    I really hate when people are offended by everything!
    Humans are embarrassing.


    People are reading TOO MUCH into it.

    And personal conversations are not valid.
    I would like to hear EVERY conversation that Borhgi has had...I bet he's just a fucking angel!

    And I think Borhgi has an axe to grind with CV.
    He sure as hell stayed a long time for being so troubled about this.
    I think if it really bothered him, then he should have quit right away.
    But now he's out of the band (for reasons unknown to me)and won't be targeted in these accusations, because everyone will think "Oh he's the guy who told the world about Vander"
    But lets not forget about him being ok with it enough to stay for 20 years.
    What does that say about him?

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  118. Excuse me Czar, but what´s wrong with you? There is NOTHNIG racist in the 1970 interview?

    To call Indians and Black Africans "primates" who will "vanish from the surface of the Earth" is not racist??

    It amazes me how you are able to adjust and interprete certain things so the won´t offend you personally. Unbelievable.

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  119. on the facebook chat borghi said he left mostly for money issues .he is upset because there is lot of rehearsal and so low money for the musicians . big part of the money go directly to vander , stella etc ... the nazi provocation thing is the cherry on the cake if you want .
    on the chat this is the other guy (yann) who ask borghi if he can tell all of this to his friends . borghi said he don't care and if vander is aware of this chat it will be well done .

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  120. Sort of off topic, but with regard to Borghi, I can well believe Magma is not a high paying gig. Consider this: when the band came to the US in 2000, I saw them in Chicago. I would say there were maybe 250 people in the bar where the show was. I paid, I think, about 20 bucks for my ticket. So, that means there was no more than 5 gradn in income for that show. I don't know what Mike Eisenberg guaranteed, but for sure they did not make a ton, and it had to be split among 7 people at the time. Magma does not tour very ofgten; if you go to Seventh Records and look at upcoming tours, there are never a lot of them. But for sure there is a lot of practice. I think this is why MacGaw and Busonette play in other bands, so that they have regular work. I also think this is the main reason the Paganottis left, along with the fact that Himiko had her child and needs to do something to care for it (with Manu). So if the main reason Borghi left was financial, I would consider that understandable. It is not like Vander ever has stable musicians with him, and Borghi stayed longer than most. If he also saw evidence of Vander's possible Nazi proclivities, what does it matter now? He is no longer employed by Vander and no longer has to keep his mouth sut to keep his job- as most of us have also done at one time or another. The fact is, he is believable, and what he is saying fits in with what many others have said in the past.
    Dana

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  121. Dana,

    I have heard that Magma charges 7500 Euros per concert, but that it may have recently gone up to 10,000 Euros. On Facebook, there is a group dedicated to bringing Magma to Chile, and Seventh said that they would give a discount off of their normal 10,000 Euro fee.

    I cannot imagine that Magma would charge 10,000 Euros when they play at Le Triton. at the most, Le Triton can hold about 120 people, and if each person pays at the most 40 Euros per ticket, then this amounts to 5000 Euros. Magma *may* get a cut of the bar, plus they always have merchandise sales at their concerts.

    I have heard from people who are close to the band that Christian and Stella get the lion's share of the money. Some of the other musicians are supported in part by the French government. There is something in France where a musician can get a stipend from the government if they perform a certain number of gigs per year.

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  122. They went all to the dustbin. From the first original DBLE LP to the anniversary box.

    Third Reich Rock'n'Roll.


    Bye. Christian. A well done job!

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  123. "anthimos said...
    They went all to the dustbin. From the first original DBLE LP to the anniversary box.
    Third Reich Rock'n'Roll.
    Bye. Christian. A well done job!"

    Really??

    This is just like if I show you a picture of the world being attacked by aliens and tell you that turning into scientology is the only way to be saved... and you just run desperately to Tom Cruise's arms asking him to take all the bad aliens from your soul.

    People, be rational for once, please! Focus on EVIDENCE! not OPINIONS!!!

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  124. To call Indians and Black Africans "primates" who will "vanish from the surface of the Earth"
    is racist.


    I am wrong, that is racist.

    Oh well, still gonna listen.

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  125. "anthimos said...
    They went all to the dustbin. From the first original DBLE LP to the anniversary box.
    Third Reich Rock'n'Roll.
    Bye. Christian. A well done job!"

    Sir,
    I hope you sorted out the recyclable bits (covers etc) from the non recyclable and got rid of it correctly !
    Its just like when I listen to music I really have to find out if the artist believes and practices recycling -if not for me it invalidates all their output and I cannot listen

    Phil

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  126. I do agree with the clever analysis of Dave Kerman and Michael Hazera, so I won’t repeat what they say.
    It seems to me that Emmanuel Borghi is settling Christian Vander’s hash.
    I think he should have done this in private directly in front of whom he denounces openly.
    In my opinion, Magma listeners should never have been accomplice to the spreading of Emmanuel Borghi’s insinuations.

    Consequently, I DO THINK that Emmanuel Borghi HAS NOW to refuse any royaltie for his contributions in the band Magma and has to refuse any money from Magma, Seventh Records or Christian Vander.
    This behaviour would be logical , according to his talk.

    He cannot go on rising his children with this «dirty» money, coming from a «dirty» band, led by a «dirty» man, writing music that spreads «dirty» messages around the world.

    Or, naturally, he would be considered as an obliging person towards the supposed nazi Christian Vander, and even accomplice of Magma’s supposed nazi words, since he says he has been years long a direct witness of the supposed nazi ideology conveyed by Magma.

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  127. Anthimos - if you will resucue the box set from the dust bin I will gladly take the disgusting thing off your hands and out of your life forever.

    ~ Ictus75

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  128. dear zwenskaia,

    i theoretically get your point about the money, and think you are right in a way. I just wonder: what royalties are you talking about?
    Borghi wrote none of the material, is nowhere mentioned as a composer...There are no royalties for Borghi from Seventh or Christian anyway...

    I don´t know how the french system works, maybe he gets a little money because of public TV appearances with Magma, but even then, he would have to be the composer of some of the music...

    so the point seems a bit useless...

    moreover, to defend Manu here, he never talked about Magma being "dirty"....or any "dirty" messages. that is what you make out of it.

    it would be more interesting actually, what you personally think of the things that we have discussed here and which are facts (and not based on "private communication") such as the J.G. quote, the Bobino sleeve, etc.... How is your opinion about that?

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  129. They went all to the dustbin. From the first original DBLE LP to the anniversary box.

    Wow, destroying art, that reminds me of:
    -the inquisition
    -the talibans
    -the nazis

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  130. Christian is not the Messiah, he is just a very naughty boy!
    Colonel Chapman

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  131. Lets not confuse the art with the artist. You don’t have to agree with or endorse a musician’s beliefs to enjoy their music.

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  132. anthimos said...

    They went all to the dustbin. From the first original DBLE LP to the anniversary box.



    If you are really throwing those away, I could take then off your hands.
    Really I am serious, how can I get in touch with you?

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  133. As far as I'm concerned, everyone who says he's going to boycott Magma's music because Vander's opinions are wrong, is also a fascist.

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  134. I've been reading this discussion for several days now and still am shocked at the thought of magma being a vehicle for someone's fascist world views. I still hope that it's all just a big misunderstanding, although I don't think that's very likely.

    There's just something I want to say about directly quoting Kobaian quotes which sound like German as a definitive evidence of anything.

    Many friends of mine have just laughed when they first saw M.D.K. and looked at the tracklist.

    The word "Hündin" in German means "She-Dog" or "Bitch". So to a German reader, track 3 of M.D.K. means "Kobaia is the Bitch" or "Kobaia, eat the Bitch", both of which are probably not meanings inteded by CV. It's the same with Kreühn Kormahn (Track 7). Also a Bitch if you read it as "real" German.

    Not defending anyone or anything. It's just not that easy sometimes.

    Ian

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  135. Hündin does in fact mean female dog, but not bitch. Kreun Kormann does not mean anything in german....

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  136. Records in the dustbin ? Bobino in Italy ? "Fuhl" meaning both "for" and "fuhrer" ? third hand non verified reports (comment not aimed at E Borghi) ?? I mean do you guys realize that internet is a perfect tool for neofascism ? CV is surely completely crazy, very provocative and has a morbid sense of humor but this thread is all about mass manipulation, witch hunt, burning records, asking CV to go public on Nazi beliefs, which i'm sure was not what E. Borghi's expected !! Some of the comments here make me much more frightened than listening to zess. By the way one friend who knows very well Christian's hairdresser told me that the choreography of CV when singing Zess during the Bobino concert was directly inspired by Dracula... Good luck to all with Big Brother in this century. Sahiltaak

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  137. "As far as I'm concerned, everyone who says he's going to boycott Magma's music because Vander's opinions are wrong, is also a fascist."

    REALLY? Jesus. I've been following this debate for a while and haven't 'weighed in' with any opinions either way yet but if there is a serious issue and debate going on here, and I believe there is, it is severely hindered by bullshit like this.
    Kavus

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  138. Ok then,
    I hope this doesn't make me seem like an apologist and let's be clear we don't know the facts yet so I hopefully won't come and bite me in the ass later down the line but just a thought.... I love 'complex' music, I love counterpoint and poly-rhythms, I love soaring, expansive music made for its own sake and I love incredible drumming. Christian Vander's music has the whole thing sewn up. My emotional response to the music can't and won't change. By the same token, politically I may be far closer to Noam Chomsky than Vander but I couldn't give two hoots for Chomsky's opinions about music. That's not what drew me to him.
    By choosing to listen to music who's creators share the same ideological standpoint to me would limit me to, er, Chumbawamba.
    You see the problem.
    Like I said, I hope this doesn't bite me in the ass, but regardless of Vander's politics his 'thing' that he does sublimely is music. If any of the rumours are true then they're clearly less important to him given the racial make-up of many former Magama members, his ex-wife, his influences and the, often left-wing based, events at which Magma perform, than the music itself.
    Not that this makes any difference, but the few times I have met Christian I have found him both humble and charming.
    It's a tricky opinions kidney which ever way you slice it.
    Love
    Kavus Torabi.

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  139. Nice one Kavus. Well said.
    Theoretically and idealogically, maybe I should only listen to Henry Cow, or Max Bygraves.
    According to my ears, heart, soul, and brain, I listen to Magma more than anything.

    Or maybe we should just listen to Mariah Carey Madonna, Bruce Springsteen and celebrity show winners. Because that is so safe. No debates, no passion, no feelings, no music, no meaning, no creativity, bags of cash to the objects and we all fall asleep. We must like them because we are told to. If I may quote Billy Connolly, "I don't bloody think so"!
    Vander has gone against the grain, the establishment, common sense and financial security in all his time with Magma for the sake of music.

    I know who has my respect musically - and it isn't the corporate brands as named above. Thanks for the music Christian, even if you are an ass!

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  140. Cela me fait bizarre que la plupart decouvre aujourd hui la folie de Christian vander.Mais ou La d autre aurait sombre, et tant mieux, cette haine, cette souffrance, VANDER Terrau Fils fait en un d une oeuvre d une beaute inouie.Avec Finalement ONU-Union africaine, mais l inverse resultat escompte Puisque auditeur en ressort devant Comme tout chef d oeuvre tellement grandi spirituellement qu Il ne peut être que La Grâce est que j UIN Intérim meilleur.C surement magma Autant aime la musique de John Zorn et ironie de la chose, Comme Les Deux Sont inclassables Les Etoiles de David sont a cote de la Griffe de magma sur etageres.Mais Mes plus interressant j ai cherche moi aussi d autres indices EVENTUELS de propagande nazie et me suis pose la question: pourquoi Eliphas Lévi ? Donc apres etre Alle sur Wilkipedia je me retrouve en plein DA VANDER CODE. Eliphas Levi etait un grand ambassadeur de la Rose-Croix (dont le prenom de son inventeur Etait-chrétiens) mais surtout de la Kabale (Kabbale en hébreu) KOBAIA?

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  141. "Kobaïan, the language, is meant to eliminate ambiguities in human expression, the oppositions which divide humanity. My message is a positive one: life, the striving towards the light."

    Christian Vander, Wire magazine interview, 1995

    "People don’t understand Kobaïan full stop anyway. But you know, if they listen to an opera in Russian they won’t necessarily understand that either. The thing was that it was difficult to sing in English when we started Magma anyway, and the sounds of the English language weren’t necessarily suited to this kind of music. When I wrote, the sounds came naturally with it – I didn’t intellectualise the process by saying “Ok, now I’m going to write some words in a particular language”, it was really sounds that were coming at the same time as the music. And often they expressed more than if I had translated them.

    It was Marvin Gaye, or someone from the Motown team, who said “You know, the words we were singing weren’t very important, ‘I love you, baby’ and that kind of thing. What drew us to this music was its spirituality.” In fact, he listened to it the way we listened to it, because we didn’t understand English, not the way Marvin Gaye did anyway! But we heard him, we heard the spirituality in his music. And that’s what grabbed us. Words are complicated; there are a lot of things that have already been said, whether it’s about love, life, philosophy or whatever else."

    Christian Vander, Rockfort interview, 2009
    http://www.rockfort.info/content.aspx?cid=159

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  142. I think this has run its course now, unless Vander comments (not likely to happen)i suspect its true or else Vander would deny it all, most people i know would come out and deny being a nazi if they were accused of being one...look out for lots of cheap Magma cd's etc on ebay soon.

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  143. i have just carried out a pol of ten friends who like Magma, 2 of them say they will not buy anymore magma product until its sorted, if this results in 20% worldwide then thats a lot of lost sales for them.

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  144. Here is a recent quote from Vander, from the Rockfort interview which Marc posted a link to:

    "I feel as though that’s [pain] what I’ve experienced since I’ve been in this world. I haven’t been lucky enough to be spared that – ok, at the end of the day, I’m still here – but at a certain level, a spiritual one perhaps, I don’t feel that I’ve been particularly fortunate. In the end, I’ve felt more pain in this world than joy."

    To me, that says it all. The man is paranoid. It is quite obvious, from the bizarre contradictions that have been highlighted in the discussion (having been married to a Jewish wife, expressing devotion for black musicians, etc. etc. etc.), that for Vander to have Fascist tendencies is... nonsensical. Someone at some point commented that he is living in some kind of dreamworld... You know what, I really think he is.

    That doesn't excuse him from censure if he does hold such views, BUT if he is not 100% rational... well, it's a bit different from a sane, reasonable person continuing to have those opinions. For my part, I see Vander as being frozen in a state of confused adolescence. Most of us get to grow out of it - he's made a career out of the chip on his shoulder! I don't think Vander's music is *about* Nazism. There may well be elements in it that are inspired by his take on Nazism (which must be pretty confused and warped). What the music is really about (in my opinion at any rate!) is *alienation*. Specifically, his alienation - maybe stemming from his mixed heritage, confusion about his identity (why else would he invent one?), etc. Thoughts of supremacy and superiority are of limited interest and relevance unless one has a deep inferiority complex... and he really seems to have one!

    I've said elsewhere, and will say again because I think it is very important, that it really is in our hands as to what happens next. Don't just throw up your hands in horror and burn all your Magma albums. Don't drop it right into the laps of real extremists who could, if this matter gets much further out of hand, use it to their advantage. Remember when you saw Magma live and were so energised and inspired by the transcendent power of the music? And all the positive things that happened for you because of it? Please take that power and positivity and use it to prove to anyone who cares that it doesn't matter what one stubborn and possibly unhinged individual thinks or says or does, when thousands can negate that ill will in the way they use the music and live their lives.

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  145. No, that's right, it's probably too much to say the music is 'about' Nazism, as it is 'about' lots of things. The fact that Nazism features in the two vast trilogies shouldn't be that surprising though. One can point to lots of works of art from the post-war period that refer to Nazism: off the top of my head: Visconti's The Damned, films by Pasolini, Fassbinder, literature by Genet, Durrenmatt ... & many more obviously. It's a part of history and part of 20th century art/music in general, and a part of TH. The problem is not with Magma, but with contemporary lowered expectations about what art should be about and do. The lack of seriousness in today's art means that everybody is shocked when somebody tries something on a big scale. They ask whether it should be allowed.

    Chris.

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  146. That's a nonsequitir, Chris. Broad statement apropos of not all that much. It is a small group of people commenting here, not "everybody" and most of the people here full well understand "art." Given you do not know what Vander means or what he thinks, you cannot possibly prove that the "problem is not with Magma."

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  147. where is this being discussed on the french magma forum.

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  148. I'm still thinking about this whole rigmarole, but here's where my thoughts are today...

    I don't think the problem is with anyone's 'lowered expectations of art'. It's our lowered expectations of ourselves, in terms of our relationship with the artefacts of others' ideas and preoccupations.

    Throughout history, art, music and writing has been reassessed according to contemporary needs, as appropriate. For example, there are people out there who take the Bible so literally (even though they have no way of knowing what was in the minds of the people who wrote it) that they use certain passages to support outdated and bigoted beliefs. Others - the majority of interested parties, in fact - can see that stuff for what it is: (a) open to interpretation and (b) not necessarily relevant to today.

    I am not saying Magma is offering us a sacred text, nor am I trying to say that issues surrounding Nazism are not relevant. Of course they are. But surely the interpretation is up to us, whether or not Vander has put 'secret Nazi messages' in his lyrics or was thinking about Hitler when he wrote a particular piece of music. If he has extreme right wing views, that's a problem for him, and for our feelings about him, but I wonder whether it matters when it comes to our interpretation of his work. The thing about this stuff is it could mean anything, and we don't know what he was thinking about when he wrote it. There may be 'Nazi content' in there, and the debate will no doubt continue as to whether it's pro, anti or whatever, but whether it's in there or not, the 'meaning' of the music is up to us. Truly great music eventually renders its composer obsolete, because its real life does not even begin until it reaches the minds of its listeners.

    I am also not saying "Just be blinkered and don't think about the off-colour stuff". I'm saying, let's absolutely think about it, take it apart, and in so doing, render it toothless.

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  149. Vander est simplement un malade mental!
    Schizophrénie aigue !
    merci à Stella d'éviterle naufrage

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  150. Eric M. Van here -- some of you may recognize that name from the "liner notes" to the original American Udu Wudu vinyl (actually an excerpt from a Magma Live review for my college paper). Needless to say, longtime Magma fanatic, who just discovered this blog and this controversary (although I had been aware of the rumors for years).

    I don't think there's any question that CV is a Hitler-phile. It does not follow that he is a practicing or serious anti-Semite (after all, he was married to a Jew). His comments about falsifying history suggest he is a Holocaust denier. I think he is in love with the attractive aspects of Hitler ("Hitler was a wonderful dancer!" as The Producers puts it) and completely out of touch with the reality of the man and what he stood for. He may well have wrestled in his mind with Hitler's anti-Semitism as incompatible with his ideal of the man as a powerful, visionary, leader. We have no way of knowing.

    Wagner and Eliot were serious anti-Semites. It happens. (Tolkien and Nabokov were serious Semitophiles. Neither much influences my enjoyment of their art.) I have to agree with those who state that if the intent of Magma was to promulgate Nazi philosophy, it has failed utterly.

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  151. I am a die-hard Magma fan. Certainly the greatest group I've ever heard, and I was actually quite suprised at how disillusioned I felt when I heard about all this. But after reading these comments, and the actual interviews from Vander and those around him, I don't think his proclivity lies in the anti-Semetic, racist side of Nazism, but thinking of the Nazi mythos of a "chosen volk" as an intellectual or spiritually enlightened elite, rather than a purely ethnic one. I can also imagine the "triumph of the will" mentality of the Nazi ethos appealing to a guy as intense as Vander. From that now infamous 1970 interview that was posted here, he seems to have much in common with the Futurist movement in pre-Facist Italy. I don't think he is very good at expressing it, but due to his great admiration of black artists, coupled with quite a pluralist band line-up in the past, I'm led to think that his contempt for Indians and Africans lies with the seeming inability with the populations in those geographic areas to progress into the austere, post-modern vision Vander hopes for and blatantly expresses in the music and mythology that is Magma (a wrong-headed stance in my opinion, given that colonialism and oppression by the west is the cause of the dire situation the third world faces). Also, the stuff Borghi details makes me think that Vander is a little touched in the head, but the line between Genius and insanity is sometimes quite fine.

    So, to sum up:

    Vander as proponent of the Final Solution? I say no.

    Vander as Futurist unhealthily wrapped up in a fictional mythology about the triumph of an enlightened elite's will to create a brave, new world replete with logos, pageantry, imposing neo gothic stadia, and all the rest? I think so.

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  152. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  153. j ais passée ,quelques moments avec, christian vander ,de vie cotidienne ,aussi ;J ai rarement vu quelqu un aussi , proche des choses, de la nature aussi dans les actes et envers les gens qu elle générositée ,trés attentif , dans tout les échanges que l on a eu ,quelque soit le sujet ,il ne nous a jamais proposé quelque chose de négatif , de néfaste pour nous et les autres au contraire toujours constructif, toujoursdans le sens de la vie on ne peu imaginer ,a quel point il aime les gens ,et veux tout faire ,pour qu ily ai plus d amour pour nous tous ,j ai jamais vu christian faire du mal .jamais depuis plus de quarente années il nous offre tous c est merveilleux ,les actes bondieu ,s il avait voulu faire du mal et propager du mal ,il ne la jamais fait avec tout ce qui nous donne, reprenons nos esprit ,ne soyons pas egoiste avec tout les problémes qu il y a sur notre terre , allons de l avant pour nous et nos enfants

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  154. It's very difficult to post a comment here... I have to allow "pop-up windows" and lower the security levels of my firewall... I don't like it...
    It's the ONLY blog /or forum /or website for witch I have to lower my security levels to post comments...
    I don't understand why, but it's laborious...

    ANYWAY : I'm very tired about this controversy and don't really want to talk anymore about it.
    But as it is today Marc's birthday, and as he encouraged me to post comments on his blog, I'm doing that last effort to please him.

    I JUST WANT TO SAY ONE THING :
    THERE'S ONE SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEMS DISCUSSED HERE.

    AS IT IS THE LAW RULES IN UNITED- OF AMERICA, LET THE SAILERS OF SEVENTH-RECORDS CD'S AND DVD'S WRITE ON THEM :

    "PARENTAL ADVISORY! THIS ALBUM CONTAINS EXPLICIT LYRICS."

    Zwenskaïa / Maxence

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  155. Hello,

    My name is Dominic and I'm a 15-year old Magma fan. I have been very seriously pulled in to the music of Magma over the last few months. I have felt a spiritual connection to this music that is truly unique and of unfathomable beauty to one who hasn't experienced it. If someone, two years ago, told this budding Progressive Rock fan that he'd spend months singing 50-minute pieces in almost-full Kobaian and constantly playing Magma riffs on the keyboard he loves in 2 years time, he'd laugh in their faces. But Magma has changed me now, and I realize that the same change has occurred in every member of the Zeuhl community.

    I've just read every comment on this post, over the last little while. What I read deeply disturbed me, and I am still undecided about what to think of all it. Borghi's appearance was among the more shocking elements.

    All that I do know is that what I have read has caused a subconscious disconnection from this music that I love, and I want that back. I just don't know what has to happen in this world or in my own mind for that connection to be re-established. Listening to MDK and not feeling anything last night broke my heart. I want Magma back.

    -Dom

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  156. we shouldn't make any decisions based on hearsay. unless vander himself speaks on the subject, everything is open to interpretation.

    the experimental group throbbing gristle used actual photos of gas chambers and other nazi-related structures on some of their early covers. they have an early song called 'zyklon B zombie'. zyklon B was the gas used in the chambers. all this was purely artistic and confrontational.

    nobody seems to have mentioned the official meaning of the MDK phrase is 'i've seen the angel of light'? as far as I'm concerned , ehndoh litaah is just as similar to 'angel of light' as 'adolf hitler'.

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  157. none of anything written here proves anything.
    {jason willett}

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  158. As always, I'm too late for the debate, but I'm sure that a lot of people still read all of this, so I wish to say this:

    There's nothing wrong with being inspired by or drawing upon Nazi symbology. For all their evil, they WERE iconic and left a lasting imprint in people's minds—and you cannot deny it. Drawing upon it as a powerful symbol does not entail nor invoke the methodical hatred they represented.

    What's wrong is that all those with fear are the ones that give nazism its power. They turn it into a sort of a «fear fetish» and channel all their fear to it and seal it away—this empowers it; fear is power. So with all this fear, you are ironically giving nazism a lot of power.

    What's wrong is accusing art of carrying evil, on background of what amounts entirely conjecture. By ascribing the evil of nazism to the music of Magma, you're wrongly putting a curse upon art and should honestly be ashamed of yourself.

    Apart from all that, it has been noted (and should be restated) that:

    - The meanings of the Kobaïan phrases and lyrics have not had any official deciphering.

    - The «nazi references», if present, are more than likely to be part of the narrative--and not the actual moral message.

    - There is a strong multicultural tapestry woven of the musicians and music of Magma through time.

    - Christian Vander may not be an alltogether rational man.

    Nazistic «messages» or not, this debate has not changed my view on Magma in any way. If anything, the debate has made me embrace it more strongly—especially seeing how it is apparently being rashly abandoned by some.

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  159. PC-72. You are not Jewish, are you? If you were, you could not say "What's wrong is that all those with fear are the ones that give nazism its power. They turn it into a sort of a «fear fetish» and channel all their fear to it and seal it away—this empowers it; fear is power." I could give you a lengthy dissertation here about how incredibly wrong you are, but it is not worth it. There is no greater Magma fan than I, but over the years the accretion of evidence of Vander's interest in National Socialism grows more compelling, notwithstanding, as has been noted, his former marriage to Stella Zelcer and his use of Jewish musicians such as Francois Cahen and many others. Go look deeply into Zess.

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  160. To «Anonymous» of October 21st:

    In my opinion, «I could give you a lengthy dissertation here about how incredibly wrong you are, but it is not worth it.» completely invalidates the point you were attempting to make.

    It doesn't matter whether I'm Jewish or Sikh or agnostic; I don't see why that would be a reason for me to change my point of view, nor the degree to which it makes your assessment any more valid than mine, if at all.

    Power is fundamentally rooted in fear, and by cultivating a constant fear, the power is still being put to what could otherwise have been ghosts of the past. Plus, we don't seem to be recalling other historic genocides with the same kind of fear or hatred, which appears to me extremely hypocritical.

    I would like to see the «evidence» in question (whether or not it contains what is already presented in the discussion above us) before I make a judgement that is not prefaced with «In my opinion...»

    I'm very interested in continuing this discussion; whether here or via other communicational measures.

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  161. I feel (like PC 72) a little of a late starter in this discussion, however I've only just discovered Magma and am still absorbing all the info I can at the moment.

    It is a little disturbing to find out that the main force behind the music MAY have some sinister beliefs. However we must remember that in a free political system it is not a crime to hold to any particular political belief. It would be a crime to try and deny something that freedom of thought, no matter how abhorrant those thoughts may be. The real evil come in acting on those beliefs, and I see no evidence that CV has done so.

    The history of the band and its personnel over the years demonstrates that CV does not discriminate against musicians based on ethnic background. Magma seems to be an equal opportunities band for anyone that can play the music.

    There is no history of public hate speech or promotion of discimination or violence towards any group.

    It is well known that CV deeply admires the work of John Coltrane. It would be puzzling to see how someone with truely nazi views would admit to this. Jazz played by black musicians was hardly high up on the list of nazi approved art.

    In reflection, whatever bizarre views Mr. Vander may have, and I'm willing to accept that he may be wildly eccentric in his world view, those views have not translated into overt 'nazi' behaviour. As such these rumours do not woory me. And I think we can all safely listen to Magma without the uneasy feeling that we are endorsing neo-nazi's and their views.

    Stewydragon

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  162. I remember around the time that this really started getting legs two years ago, some reputable online retailers associated with the avant-garde/experimental end of products (and leftist political policies) quietly pulled Magma stock from their offerings. The fact that two years later, the same facilities still do not sell CDs from Magma make it seem fairly apparent that there was some degree of behind the scenes fracas between the proprietors of these stores and Seventh.

    As a(n agnostic) Jew whose favourite album is MDK, this is kind of troubling - a lot of people don't distinguish between cultural Judaism (i.e. being a Jewish person of Jewish blood) and religious Judaism (being of Judaic belief), and I'd hate to think that the creator of some of the best music I've ever heard is so ignorant in his private life. I think that while we - as people - are certainly offended by the ramifications of anyone thinking these things, the real feeling among those of us who accept this is - as Magma fans - disappointment that someone we admire(d) may so egregiously spit in the face of what is morally correct,

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  163. Fellow Fans,

    I came across this page two years ago, and I wanted to leave a comment for those who came across this blog more recently.

    I was shocked and disappointed, because Vander was a hero to me and it was disturbing to think that his music was associated with all this. It wasn't even as much about morality or politics as the fact that the Kobaian verses that had seemed so transcendental were in fact crude anagrams for a discredited ideology.

    And it did affect my enjoyment of the music. I had already beaten Magma's oeuvre to death by November '09 anyway, but even so I did listen to it less. Magma's music does demand a certain degree of surrender from its listeners. You have to "play along" on several levels, including a spiritual level, which is why it's so generally inaccessible but fans who "get" Vander's meditative trance tend to become very devoted. If you're reading this you probably understand what I'm talking about.

    SO I kinda moved on from Magma and got deeply into P-Funk, James Brown, Miles Davis (Magma fans MUST hear Agharta, Pangaea, and Dark Magus), reggae, Captain Beefheart, and other things. I actually find this transition very logical, because Magma got me much more into bass & drum patterns and rhythmic drive. It's fitting that a French devotee of Elvin and Coltrane prepared a white prog-rock fan to understand "black" music.

    When I come back to Magma now, especially in the right frame of mind (cough), I can get just as deeply into it as I used to. I'd say to just give it some time and not take this stuff too seriously. Let's face it, Vander is the best drummer in the world and a unique composer, but he doesn't have all his ducks lined up in a row. You have to dig up Monk or Sun Ra to find someone on his level of weird. He's a man of contradictions, like many great artists. There is a joyful and spiritual nature to his music because there is a joyful and spiritual side to him, and there is a sinister and militaristic edge to his music because he has a dark side too.

    So, I encourage Magma fans to not be disheartened by Vander's comments. Truly great art has many possible meanings and exists separately from its creator. It's impossible to think that Hhai, K.A., let alone "Les Cygnes et Les Corbeaux" are all just cribbed references to genocide. So it's important to step back and see things in the bigger context.

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  164. I just wanted to share with anyone here that is interested that I used to have a copy of some old zeuhl magazines that were actually just stapled together pieces of paper... one of them had the english translation of lyrics for Zess speech as seen and heard in the bobino album and video... i wish i had it with me here to quote for all... if i find it again maybe i will revisit and post some of it... my recollection of it was that it was very poetic verses... nothing nazi about it at all... one line I remember "... the immeasurable forces of the universe..." wish I could remember more... it doesn't matter to me really whether CV has interest in Hitler or not... history is always a mystery and is just a story that could be true or not... it doesn't even really matter in comparison to living here in the NOW... each one of us the final interpreter of everything we receive as information whether in music, art, or whatever... magma is probably the most unique band of the 20th century and perhaps even still today... what they have achieved is monumental... millions of fans... moved by the music... lives forever changed... but still we are the ones who interpret it however we want... we see what we want to see... experience it however we want to experience it... every thought we have is true for the moment we have it and perhaps a lie the next... maybe CV has some thoughts about Hitler this or Hitler that... who knows... we are all free to think whatever we want to think... feel whatever we want to feel... share whatever we want to share... the truth about hitler and nazi regime and all that may itself be a pack of lies... maybe the official stories are all true... what does it matter? what matters is this moment... right now... you breathing... thinking... feeling... whatever is... isness is... just enjoy the ride while it lasts my friends... listen to magma or don't... it doesn't matter... blessings to all and love to all including Vander, Magma, Hitler, Santa Claus, Tooth Fairy, Bernstein Bears, Jesus, Krishna, and all the other make believe ideas of others we have in our minds... ultimately they are just ideas... a neural network of thoughts... what's real about that?... they're just thoughts... like clouds passing in the sky they come and go... sometimes they block the sun from view sometimes not... however.. the sun is always always shining... always there... here... now... we are... living... in the light... bless

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  165. Wow.. All this time I have been ignoring and trying to justify all the Satanic/pagan elements of Christian Vander's music!

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  166. Wow... i'm amazed at the responses here.

    When a filmmaker creates a horror movie or a very bloody movie full of criminals/violence/rape/etc, no one accuses him from inciting to violence.

    Now you have Vander, who obviously isn't 100.00% sane, and why couldn't he be romanticised by the Nazi aesthetics? It doesn't mean that he believes in ALL the nazi ideology.

    One of my best friends -or maybe my best friend- is Jewish, yet i am enamoured by all the nazi aesthetics (the symbolism, etc). And i still KNOW that the philosophy behind is plain WRONG. Just as i can listen to Wagner and admire it despite knowing that he was really a brute son of a b****.

    For me it is obvious that Vander is simply romanticizing the Nazi aesthetic and incorporating it in his musical view. This DOES NOT MEAN that he wants to promote Nazi ideology or any kind of ideology. If he would want to promote some ideology, he would write his lyrics in a KNOWN LANGUAGE for god's sake!!

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  167. There is no denying that this is a very sad story. It seems that Christian Vander has been haunted for decades by conflicting obsessions that curiously but quite effectively feed his art. Some of these obsessions are quite acceptable while others are definitely not.

    However, is this really a recent controversy?

    For example, here is what the critic Philippe Paringaux wrote in the French magazine Rock & Folk (#41 - June 1970). The transcript of the original article can be found here. Here is my own (probably awkward) translation of the passages directly relating to that matter:

    «Thou shalt beget in pain, noise and fury. Neither pop, nor jazz; neither a music of yesterday, nor a music of tomorrow. A cry of hope of a few young men who sink rapidly into rage and hatred and express in the most radically violent way ever their disgust for a world they leave to embark on an imaginary trip, pouring out abuse against this very world. Magma doesn't say: «I am glad to leave», it yells: «You damned bastards, I won't be seeing your ugly faces again.» Man -- for Magma and above all for its leader Christian Vander -- is a stupid jerk that nothing will ever allow to reform, except, perhaps, the awareness of one's own stupidity.
    But Magma has gone far away, up to a point where one satisfies oneself with one's own hatred and feeds upon it, without really wishing people or things to reform. At any rate this very questionable absolutism (“you can go to hell, all of you”) is a motivation powerful enough for the creation of a music that stands among the most impressive things that can be heard nowadays. And not only in France: everywhere. Magma is driven by an incredible force to take up arms (instruments) and to strike.
    [...] One feels threatened by these piercing noises, scorned by these three-four times, these military drum-rolls. One is suddenly afraid of hearing "heil-li heil-loes" or "sieg heils" in the middle of a piece. One is stricken with real anxiety when Christian Vander leaves his drum-kit to yell a speech inspired by nothing less than those of Hitler (for the “music” at least, for the words themselves are incomprehensible). Magma seems to think that making good music out of fine sentiments is impossible. Necessarily, it will be said (it is already being said) that Christian Vander's desire for total purity borders on Nazism and that, already, a guy with a small mustache had tried to «clean» everything out by fire. I do not know, I do not know Vander. It will also be said that his music is extraordinarily pretentious. His music I know and I tend to believe that it is extraordinarily ambitious. I also believe that a little bit of ambition is the right (only) way to have French pop music reborn, at a time when it is almost dead unborn. A matter of perspective.»

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  168. Sorry for multiple posting, but this blog doesn't allow for very long comments :

    Another example concerning more specifically Klaus Blasquiz. In his essay Magma (Albin Michel publisher - 1978 - 9782226005632), Antoine de Caunes wrote :
    «For Klaus Blasquiz Nazism is not a taboo event about which one must remain silent. He tries to understand what unconscious mechanisms may have triggered support for such a movement, and he avoids -- while doing so -- passing any moral judgment on it. “Woe to us for having stumbled on such a taboo, he says, we would have had less trouble with Gengis Khan, Alexander the Great or the Templars.” Yet, the end of his answer clears up doubts: “Magma is not a purveyor of death, it is an allegory of lost life. The anger of a man deceived on essential matters is terrible but it plays an active role in the feeling of life, of spirit.” We do not offer a new "final solution", just as we do not delude anyone with any "great upheaval" or "broad new uplands of progress". The real world is out there; as to this one it will die a natural death of its own. With or without horsemen of the Apocalypse.” Source.

    In 1973 the same Klaus Blasquiz explained in the French magazine Best (#56), that when people started assimilating Vander's famous hysterical address with Hitler's they (ie, Magma members) started shouting back «Heil Hitler» as a mocking reaction because, he says (I hope I can do better than Babelfish, see here): «we where laughing our heads off at the utter stupidity of people.» And it seems that this statement includes René Garber himself, who doesn't look exactly like a regular Nazi, which seems to suggest that there was perhaps a fair dose of provocation here. In the same interview, Blasquiz also explains that they aimed at creating a genuine European/Continental contemporary music, because it was no use for a European to pretend to feel like an Afro-American from the ghetto if his/her native culture was European, etc. (Faton Cahen made similar comments on French TV on how Europe should resist to the British-American domination on pop music at that time by producing a genuine music of its own, etc). Blasquiz also complains that for some time (in 1973) Magma had been repeatedly welcome in France with «Magma fascists!» yells at their concerts. Source.

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  169. And now my personal comment (thank you for your patience) :

    Now the only questions that matter -- as it has been repeatedly pointed out here -- are the following: did Christian Vander purposely hid «Nazi stuff» in his work, and did he succeed, by doing so, in «spreading the word» in any way, if such was his intention in the first place?

    To the first question, judging from what has been said here so far, one would tend to answer yes. It is indeed difficult to believe that the use of Albert Speer's stadium as a base for the Bobino album cover was made without knowing where the original picture came from. Just as it is very difficult to believe that Joseph Goebbels' quote on the Trianon video was made without any awareness of who that mysterious J.G. really was. Just to mention these two obvious pieces of evidence.
    That being said, one cannot help thinking that many other features may have been incorporated into the music or the lyrics, like Nazi Easter Eggs, if one may say so. However, if Christian Vander did so, whatever his purpose was, it didn't prove very efficient. Magma fans generally look quite «cosmopolitan» as a far-rightist would put it. Many of them are Jazz fans or came to appreciate Black music through Magma. It would be rather difficult to say the same thing about, say, many Laibach fans, would it ? (no offense meant if you appreciate Laibach and Jazz at the same time of course).
    So it would appear that Vander's fascination for Hitler and the Third Reich, if definitely proven, hasn't significantly affected the way his music is appreciated.

    Anyway, I cannot help feeling sorry for him. This man needs help. Here we have a man who has been reported to say «some extremely unpleasant things about Black people» and who has dedicated the last 45 years of his life and most of his work to the loved memory of one John Coltrane. He has this touching shrine at home, with a drawing of Coltrane surrounded with objects like sea-shells, flowers, a cymbal... In the leaflet of his 2011 tribute album «John Coltrane l'homme suprême» (as an allusion to Coltrane's album «Love Supreme») he writes «Je t'embrasse tendrement comme un frère...» Does it make any sense for a Nazi enthusiast to call a Black man «brother», kiss/hug him tenderly and consider him as «supreme»? And what of «Otis», his tribute song to Otis Redding? Have you watched him on Youtube singing on French TV (1981) «il est là, il nous sourit» («here he is, smiling at us»), looking up as if Otis himself was blessing him from Heaven? What kind of a racist man is this?

    As I said, this is a very sad story.

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  170. Despite being a Magma fan, I was unaware of this until now. But it won't affect my love of the music. I think you have to separate the artist and the art, otherwise you could never like any work of art completely: it would always be provisional and contingent on information about the artist that might surface in the future.

    Mahler, a Jew, loved the music of Wagner, an anti-semite. In the end it's about the art, not the artist.

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    1. Quite right, Tom.
      Incidentally, the fact that so many Magma fans seemed to be unaware of something known for so long (more than 40 years) in the francophone world is probably a good illustration of the fact that our «global village» is still largely a global failure in terms of communication. 125 years ago one Doctor Zamenhof — a Jewish scholar then living in Russian-occupied Poland —, offered to Mankind a neutral and very effective means of communication, Esperanto. But due partly to the French veto at the League of Nations it was never really given any real opportunity to become widely used (the idea was to promote French instead but, apparently it didn't work...), and Kobaïan wouldn't exactly qualify, would it? As a result most native English speakers now believe that their language has become universal and that everything that matters to them has necessarily been published in English or translated into English somewhere, but it is far from being true. Consequently, unless one cares to dedicate a considerable amount of time (and money), as I did, to the study of a few foreign languages, one remains trapped in a somewhat narrow linguistic (and cultural) cage. And automatic translation doesn't seem to be of real help, as we have seen in the comments posted above.
      Bedaŭrinda afero, ĉu ne?

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  171. The physical world and the "god of forces" or demiurgus, can be represented through harmony and discord, as was given by the father. If indeed the pitch spacings, and esoteric/occult intent of the content is looked at closer, as is with Wagner and to a lesser extent (late) Coltrane. We can make the argument that the discord and symbolism represented in these Zeuhl compositions (more obviously) are all at once a pagan story put to verse. Hitler was outwardly a Catholic but make no mistake, this Eckhart trained initiate was more committed to the occult than just about anyone. Unfortunately for his admirers he was also funded to power by the same Wall Street fascists that funded arch-traitor Roosevelt. The New deal and National Socialism both contribute to the liberal welfare state as Lenin called "useful idiots." We now live in a dystopian kleptocratic society as directly effected by the aforementioned Hegelian synthesis that has taken place between the West and East.
    Theosophy is a factor in esoteric revival, especially in France and this "fortunately or unfortunately" links a lot of extreme ideas (even if they are in no way intended to be connected) including possibly Satanism to Theosophy, Hitlers music and the occult. The racial cleansing theories if indeed also true with respect to Hitler are inspired by Theosophy which is outwardly Luciferian.
    The Ork in De futura ain't Santa Claus after all? I say this without judgement of the music, I'm only going by the symbols they use in their work. In all honesty, the things I point out are all at once obvious and yet Magma represents something which is the antithesis of the pop culture fecal wheel of filth and artistic excrement. But I bring this up because we don't really truly know how much philosophy and of what is imbedded in the music. A love supreme has different "energy" than Leo doesn't it.

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  172. If it is true about the Mockery found in the hail Hitler rumors then Magma (a multicultural band) either doesn't know its connections or they see a purity in the occult ideas laced into their work. Note Madam Blavatsky, (who in previous posts was shown to influenced the occult revival, including New Age, Crowley and Hitler ["root race"]) and think for yourself what SHE speaks (last quote below) about and where you have heard it before?
    People have to decide for themselves what represents their morality through intention. Maybe it is stupid to think Magma has Nazi ideas however it is not foolish to suggest that they use controversial symbols even if it is "pure."

    Philippe Paringaux wrote in the French magazine Rock & Folk (#41 - June 1970). for the “music” at least, for the words themselves are incomprehensible."

    Koch says, “The Jesuits have gone straight into speaking in tongues without being a true Christian, and that is not Scriptural.” p.39, Koch, Occult ABC.

    Blavatsky says: Satan, or Lucifer, represents the active ... "Centrifugal Energy of the Universe" in a cosmic sense ... Fitly is he ... and his adherents ... consigned to the "sea of fire," because it is the Sun ... the fount of life in our system, where they are petrified ... and churned up to re-arrange them for another life; that Sun which, as the origin of the active principle of our Earth, is at once the Home and the Source of the Mundane Satan ...
    - The Secret Doctrine, Volume I, page 414, Vol II, pgs. 234, 235, 243, 245



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    1. Don't bother trying to explain things like that to these stupid and hysterical Magma "fans". As soon as they read "nazism" or "Hitler", they , just like most people, yell and cry and burn all their cds.
      They have no idea of what you are talking about.


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  173. Yeah, and maybe Kohntarkosz = (dunno in here, someone Hitler would base his thought about), K.A, Kohntarkosz and E-Re is about (a mythical guy that Hitler could base himself on). Kobaia is about finding Germany and doing first World War (as from going onto 1WW). 1001 Centigrades is about 1WW (Germans lost, so they've decided not to 'help'). Theusz Hamtaahk is a take on the middle-war period (first movement), Wurdah Itah goes with the topic of Hitler taking power, 'enlightening' his people, MDK tells us that they've taken power over the world.

    Come on guys, even I can come up with such bullshit explanation!

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  174. listening to 'theatre du taur concert 1975', mdk, after reading all this...

    there's a ton to say that i won't go into, but one thing i'd like to point out is that, if we're talking 'code' and 'hidden messages' here...

    sure, the beginning of this mdk is all martial and military, and smells a lot of orff...but magma's about a lot more than, that, too, and they launch into the solos, complete wild abandon, spiritual transcendence, which, as i understand things, is not really associated with ns...

    anyway, the detail i wanted to point out is that, during the violin solo, the bass part, repeated over and over at top speed, is the exact phrase that coltrane notates as meaning 'a love supreme'.

    we could be having this same years-long conversation about the crypto-avant-jazz elements of vander's music. has anyone listened to recordings by welcome? or how about a ton of the offering stuff? or how about 'retrovision', mentioned somewhere above? that stuff is so heavily influenced by soul/gospel/early (black) fusion/early (black) american free jazz it's not funny. vander is more than magma, even.

    he quotes 'jg' on one album, dedicates his work to the spirit of john coltrane elsewhere. he might not be insane...maybe he's 'complex'...maybe conflicted. i am, too, about a lot of things. perhaps you are, too. luckily, when i play music, no one asks about my ideology (glad i ain't famous).

    when i met vander years ago; he autographed a picture i had and included the word utz (which, in the u.s. northeast is a brand of potato chip: i throw this in to confuse things semantically). he wasn't speaking english to me, but when i asked what that word meant, stella, after explaining that kobiain 'doesn't really mean anything', conferred with vander and replied that, at this time, 'utz' meant 'love'.

    that's how he chose to express himself at that time.

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  175. vander might have done the most brilliant thing i can imagine...if he DOES harbor the feelings and beliefs that are under discussion now, he's also:

    --employed scores of bandmates over the years (out of necessity or not) who might not agree with him, but stuck around long enough to learn and play the stuff;

    --invented a 'language' or at least strung syllables together that truly do obscure understanding for pretty much everyone.

    this means that, even if he has some nefarious 'plan', he himself has purposely obfuscated, even undermined, it.

    and his music, lyrics and all, whether they actually have meaning for not, is what has the impact, the impact that we all feel. that was HIS choice. so...this is not conjecture here...what we FEEL HEAR THINK, take away all these words we're writing (really, when we just listen to a magma album, really just listen, any sort of narrative is left for us to construct, no?), what JUST THE NOTES mean to us on any sort of intellectual, emotional, spiritual level is valid, and there really is transcendence there. for me, sure the martial rhythms, the militarism of much of it...it's 'bad ass', the precision, whatever...but that always seems to be the first part of the journey, the trip through hardship on the way to the payoff, which is always way more ethereal, heavenly, exciting, even technically more challenging, even more profound given the memory of the ground covered. i'm not even speaking of discrete pieces, but the effect of an album or a show (i've seen several, in the u.s. and in france...and that's another thing...they are different depending on where you see them...of course in the states they play the 'hits'...but the audience is different, too, so the understanding of what's happening is altered), the way the pieces interact. that's all part of it, too.

    so, the brilliance here, and i say this not knowing mr. vander, his philosophy, or his beliefs, and i do not mean any patronizing tone at all...maybe i'm going through my own 'stuff' as we all are...: if he truly does believe those things that everyone's been talking about, he has found a way to transcend himself and make music that people, many of whom might wildly disagree with and oppose him otherwise, can love and find deep meaning in. that's all conjecture, but if it's true i really can't think of anything better, for anyone, anywhere. that truly would be self-sacrifice, nullification of self in favor of something larger, a real belief that a single, solitary individual might not have all the answers, no matter how megalomaniacal one might be on the other hand.

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  176. "DD: In a recent interview (1997), Christian spoke of a 'conspiracy', even speaking of "falsifying history".

    I would like to speak on this point. As a person who has read much of Carroll Quigley, Eustace Mullins (a student of Ezra Pound), and Antony Sutton concerning the secretive oligarchy of Western civilization, I find Vander's belief in conspiracies and possible falsifying of history quite interesting, especially considering the conceptual premises of Magma's work.

    How many people here understand the distinction between Judaism and Zionism?
    (criticizing zionism is not antisemitic, though MANY try to make it seem so)

    Has anyone heard of something called the "Transfer Agreement" prior to WWII?

    Are any of you familiar with the alleged support granted by the international zionist movement to the national socialists in order to get nazism off the ground after Hitler's first failed putsch? There are clearly MANY details of the two world wars that have been obscured, and it's likely intentional.

    Yes, I believe Christian Vander is very much aware of a globalist/collectivist conspiracy. A conspiracy perpretrated by International Bankers and interlocking multinational corporations in a oligarchical Anglophile/Zionist network.

    Whatever Vander's fascination with Hitler,(I don't understand it), it should be noted that Hitler was essentially a patsy, propped up, and set up to fail by the very Anglophile/Zionist network that is pushing the world deeper into collectivism even today. I believe antipathy to this to be a central theme in Magma.

    To say that Vander supports collectivism just doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.

    Sorry if this offends anyone, though that is not my intent.

    -magickcache

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  177. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udWXFC2sWU8

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3vZNSAi-QM

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LL2s11qReYc

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  178. Makes a nice change to learn that an artist one admires (especially working in the area of exploratory Music) doesn't apparently subscribe to the wishy-washy one-world-holding-hands-taking-selfies schtick that everyone else craps themself at seeing shown up for what it is.

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  179. I am coming back to this thread just to comment that I have recently watched a few documentaries which I think some here might be interested to watch. One is called "adolf hitler: the greatest story never told" another, "nwo: communism through the back door" and "hitler's war: what the historians failed to mention" I don't know anything about CV's personal views but if he has a fascination with hitler, then after watching these groundbreaking documentaries, I think he won't be the only one. these films are huge eye openers and once you watch them you will never see things the same way again. just sharing for whatever its worth to anyone here. take it or leave it. thanks.

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  180. It hurts to see that people ressurrected this post to say how "eye-opening" it is to praise Nazism. Disgusting.

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  181. I really doubt the validity of this Emmanuel Borghi. I had a personal dealing with him in which he seemed a bit crazy. I did not get a "spiritual" feeling from him. I did get a very good sense from Stella and Christian when I met them. I don't see how Stella could stay with someone for so long who had some pretty crazy ideas about Hitler.

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