Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Another Comment From A Member of Magma

This is the second of two comments that Stella has sent me. This was written by one member of Magma, but speaks for the entire group (and thus is signed "Magma" at the bottom).

The criticisms of Magma, and, by dint of association, the members of the group, made by Emmanuel Borghi are baseless and empty. It rests on opinions, vagaries and soul-searching (supposedly qualified as 'facts' by the authors) which are amalgamated with the music itself, the band, and their private lives. This method of manipulating public opinion is well known to, and widely used by, tabloid newspapers, politicians and other propagandists seeking to discredit their enemies.

It turns out that Emmanuel Borghi, in the guise of 'transparency' and 'truth', has chosen to attack Magma by discrediting its leader. In spite of the fact that he is only one to have an interest in doing so, he has decided by himself to act as an enemy. No member of Magma has ever acted in this way towards him and even so we will not reveal to the public the wrong and deficiencies which he himself may have had.

Let artists have the right to be humans. The beauty of the poetic work of Magma also originates in the fact that it is a human endeavour, the result of the efforts of men and women - weak and struggling with their weaknesses, like all of us - and not by the Gods. To ask artists to live up the image one has of them is a useless form of violence and borders on delusion and madness. It is a projection upon them of one's own inner deficiencies. Magma is a group, a history, an artwork, but certainly not a political party. Magma is apolitical and its message is poetic and human.

Those who think they can judge a work of art by first putting the character of its author on trial, will judge everyone that way. Their world will only be infected with ruin, dullness and misery. We want to feel life through music. To give in to endless arguments, based on personal prejudices about the right to existence of this artist or that artist, will not detain us from this task.


La polémique déclenchée par Emmanuel Borghi autour de Magma, et donc de ses membres, est stérile et sans fondement.

Elle s'appuie sur des opinions, des approximations et des états d'âmes (qualifiés de "faits" par leurs auteurs), et l'amalgame entre l'oeuvre, le groupe et la vie privée.

C'est la base de la manipulation de l'opinion, principe bien connu des tabloïds et des politiques cherchant à discréditer leurs ennemis.

Il s'avère que E. Borghi, sous couvert de transparence et de vérité, a choisi d'attaquer Magma en discréditant son leader. Il a décidé unilatéralement d'agir en ennemi.Il est le seul a y voir un intérêt.

Aucun des membres de Magma n'a jamais agi de la sorte envers lui, et cette fois encore nous n'exposerons pas sur la place publique les torts qu'il a pu avoir.

Laissons aux artistes le droit d'être des humains. La beauté de la démarche poétique de Magma vient aussi du fait qu'elle est tentée par des hommes et des femmes- faillibles et luttant avec leurs défauts, comme nous tous- et non pas par des dieux. Demander aux artistes qu'on admire d'exister selon l'image que l'on a d'eux est une violence inutile, et une forme de folie.

Magma est un groupe, une histoire, une oeuvre, mais certainement pas une formation politique.

Magma est apolitique et son message est poétique et humain.

Que ceux qui pensent devoir juger d'une oeuvre par le procès préalable de son auteur, l'appliquent à tous. Leur monde ne sera bientôt plus que ruine et grisaille.

Nous cherchons à faire ressentir la vie, en musique. Se livrer à des discussions sans fin, conformément aux idées reçues, sur le droit à l'existence de tel ou tel artiste ne nous concerne pas.



  1. The statements from the Magma camp do not explicitly say if the allegations are true or not. Magma should address the issue directly with real character and accountability.

  2. I met some years ago a person who has worked with Christian Vander for several years. It took the distance for the same reasons that E Borghi.
    By cons he never wanted to talk about how public on this issue.

  3. I met some years ago a person who has worked with Christian Vander for several years. It took the distance for the same reasons that E Borghi.
    By cons he never wanted to talk about how public on this issue.

  4. This is another slippery response.

    The simple question:
    Do Magma's recorded works incorporate Nazi ideology and related messages and/or were any of them made to secretly harbor it?

    None of Magma's responses give a clear answer, only reasons why we should ignore and forget about it.

    Well I'm not ignoring it. I'm not going to listen to Magma or support them in any way until Christian Vander personally discredits these things.

    Kobaiian language and concepts are extremely dubious and the only person that can fully account for their contents is the author. He never commented which honestly seems to me like an attempt to smooth things over and move on from an issue he doesn't want to confront.

    What a shame.

  5. ^What he said.

    Sad, but this "rebuttal" is not convincing anyone. To build an argument around a notion that art can be seen completely separated from the politics behind it, is naïve and self-deceiting.

    I can accept a fascination with Nazi symbolism, art and grandeur. But I cannot accept a fascination with Nazi philosophy, or with the idea that people of the world are not equal, or with a hesitation to easily deny such accusations when they are made.

    Au reviour, I hope.

  6. I'm sorry to come into this discussion so late, but, like so many of you, it's taken some time for me to wrap my head around all this.

    But I need to ask if I'm understanding something correctly: Do you all believe that Vander has built some pro-Fascist or Hitlerist message into the music of Magma? For what purpose? To convince or convert us? If not, then what? So that he might have the pleasure of voicing his controversial beliefs in public, so as only to have no one clearly undestand him?

    Some of the power of Magma is that it managed to provoke PRECISELY this discussion. It forces us to ask uncomfortable questions, to doubt the messiah, to ask whether we may have conflated the esoteric with the exoteric, to ask, for example, how in this frightening world it is possible that the very same 19th century humanistic and romantic, and possibly occultist, ethics could have served as the foundation for the the philosophies of both Adolph Hitler and Martin Luther King. (Speaking of which, why is CV singing about "Eliphas Levi?" And should we point to that and call him a witch?)

    Go, as I did this morning, and listen to the Theusz Hamtaahk from Retrospectiv I-II. It's a hero's journey, concluding with a triumphal vocal climax, then strangely followed in the final few seconds (when it is, undoubtedly too late), by that angry, dissonant 11/8 figure ending with the final utterance "Theusz Hamtaahk!" ("Time of Hatred!", right?) Did we buy the hero's journey we thought we'd been sold? Then, as the audience applauds, the sounds of approaching aircraft and sirens washes over us, and continues to terrorize us in a brutal, extended extramusical moment. As if a lifetime.

    Me? That scares the crap out of me. It does not convince me or convert me to a Fascist or Hitlerist perspective. Rather, it tells me that we'd better all quit our BS and wake up ("wake up," of course, is a recurrent theme throughout Magma) before the storm troopers arrive -- whoops, they're already here! Sounds more like a cautionary story, THE cautionary story of the 20th century. And it also sounds to me like many of you did just wake up after many years of enjoying your trancey, trippy Magma, only to find yourselves surrounded by the pantheon of 20th century icons. You should be freaked out.

    One more thing: I heard a radio interview with filmmaker Quentin Tarantino this evening, in which he spoke, among other things, about Nazi propaganda cinema and Leni Riefenstahl. And he said that, if you want goose stepping and "Heil Hitler"s, you were in the wrong place. You got that in postwar British and American cinema. The Nazi's were cranking out heart-touching romantic comedies. Fact.

    This discussion has been a Structuralist trainwreck. It's very complicated. But it's not CV's fault. He's only the messenger, albeit a brilliant one.

    With respect, but disappointment,
    Steve Heineman

  7. Oh, please, not. Don't conflate the message with the messenger; ask instead whether or not it is possible to enjoy with the same pleasure music you love if you find out that the person making it is an anti-semite. That's the question in play here, not whether Christian is hiding Nazi themes in his music; it is pretty apparent he is- "Manter Kreusz" indeed. We might wonder if he means well or ill in the use of these themes, but the real reason this thread began was his own purportedly drunken ramblings. HE is the issue, not his music.

  8. Vander was crazy. He was a bitch being around. Why not just leave it. Music still rules.