Magma — Flöë Ëssi / Ëktah
(Seventh Records SRA A26, 1998, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 1999-04-01
After a long hiatus from recording and playing, then several years of touring, Magma has finally released something new, and although the eight minutes on this CD that could have easily accommodated eighty might seem like a shortchange, the two tracks herein provide a fairly good insight as to where the band is at today. The lineup is a septet of bass, piano, guitar and drums, plus three vocalists, and it should be no surprise that some of the music herein — especially “Ëktah,” bears a strong resemblance to that of Christian Vander’s other band Offering. Indeed four veterans of Offering are present in this lineup. “Flöë Ëssi” may be a bit more typical of earlier Magma, harkening back to the sound of 1001 Centigrades and Attahk, albeit without the heavy thundering basses or horn section. Longtime fans will find this single reassuring, while newcomers will find it far more satisfying than last years’ compilation of edits. If this single represents the new sound of Kobaïa, then count this writer on board.
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more