Various Artists — Hur! Hommage à la Musique de Christian Vander
(Soleil Zeuhl 19-20, 2009, 2CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2010-07-01
On the occasion of Magma’s 40th anniversary as a band, Soleil Zeuhl has assembled this excellent tribute compilation featuring an array of artists, including several former members of the band itself (Jannick Top, Klaus Blasquiz, Patrick Gauthier, etc.) as well as other contemporaries that are influenced to some degree or another by the work of Vander and his band (Patrick Forgas, Simon Steensland, Setna, Guapo, Neom, Gerard Prevost, Erik Baron, Pochakaite Malko, Minimum Vital and many more). Many of these interpretations have surprisingly original arrangements, a couple to the point of near non-recognizability, yet all are respectful and feature outstanding musicianship throughout. Some of the more interesting pieces include Marcus Linon’s “Braveheart (vision de Zess)” where new English lyrics are fused with a remarkably heavy arrangement of one of the band’s best tunes. “Aina” appears twice on disc one, presented once in a more faithful jazz context by Post Image, and again in an unusual streamlined and twisted rock arrangement by John Trap. Klaus Blasquiz and Steve Sheehan’s “Mekajik” seems to fuse some themes from MDK with Asian gongs, Tibetan bells, Indonesian ‘Kecak’ chanting, and unusual percussive treatments – definitely ranks up there in the most unusual category. Setna kicks off the second disc with “Titilbon”, their arrangement of a great unreleased Magma tune from 1977. Guapo offers a completely new instrumental arrangement of “Klaus Kombalad,” suffused with groove and mania. Erik Baron presents “Ementeht Re” in a thoroughly strange and intense arrangement for four basses, four guitars, and multi-percussion, with the guitars assuming the original vocal parts. Disc two ends with a captivating six minute arrangement of “Kohntarkosz” by guitarist Olivier Lavergne, bassist Bruno Maignan and drummer Erick Bigot, with Patrick Gauthier joining in on piano and synths, closing the set nicely in high-energy mode. All taken, this is an outstanding set and a must-have for all fans of Vander’s music.
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more