Magma - Merci (1984)

This album is very interesting, we have songs sung in English, French and their native Kobaiian language. A friend of mine once said he'd pay to hear Magma from the 80's, as we were only familiar with the 70's material, of which 'De Futura' was an obsession !! Getting back to this album - it's surprising that the music is not harsh and relentless as usual, we have some funky tracks (I Must Return, Do the Music), and more meditative tracks - like 'Eliphas Levi', which is the most beautiful Zeuhl piece EVER !! It was composed by one-time member from the MDK days, Rene Garber, but he doesn't appear on the album itself, though the musician list is long with some familiar (and more unfamiliar) names. The song is full of magical flute playing and other wistful soundings, delicate piano play from Vander himself and I can't stress how wonderful this track is - worth the price of admission alone. ' Otis' is also very pretty. Call From the Dark (ooh ooh Baby) - this is Magma ?? (Please ditch the sub-title). It is a funky up-beat almost Euro-Disco number which features some powerful vocals from Stella Vander sung in English, with some blowing brass instruments - most people may say this track is a mess, especially in terms of Magma, but the track sits fine with me, uncharacteristic for sure, but a cool, 'cruisey' song. Disappointing that Vander was not behind the kit, mostly insipid 'Linn drum' programs but Francois Laizeau's drumming on 'Do the Music' is very Vander-like. A great, diverse album which can be enjoyed immensely, but it's not to be compared to Kohntarkosz, 1001 Degrees Centigrades etc. And whilst discussing 80's Zeuhl, Bernard Paganotti put some intense albums out during this time with his post-Weidorje band Paga. Eagerly awaiting inclusion on PA. - Review by Tom Ozric

Track Listings

1. Call From The Dark (Ooh Ooh Baby) (7:20)
2. Otis (5:20)
3. Do The Music (4:25)
4. Otis (Ending) (1:32)
5. I Must Return (6:32)
6. Elephas Levi (11:15)
7. The Night We Died (3:40)

Total Time: 40:24

- Christian Vander / vocals, piano, Celeste, keyboards, percussion
- Stella Vander / vocals
- Guy Khalifa / vocals
- Benoit Widemann / synthesizer
- Simon Goubert / synthesizer (1,3)
- Francois Laizeau / drums, drum programming
- Marc Eliard / bass
- Phillipe Slominski / trumpet on (1,3,4)
- Christian Martinez / trumpet on (1,4)
- Michel Goldberg / saxophone on (1,3)
- Liza Deluxe / backing vocals
- Jean Pierre Fouquey / Rhodes piano on (2)
- Michel Gaucher / saxophone on (2)
- Freddy Opsepian / trumpet on (2)
- Christian Guizen / trombone on (2)
- Alex Ferrand / vocals on (3)
- Jean-Luc Chevalier / guitar on (3)
- Patrick Gauthier / synthesizer on (3)
- Paul Bayle / saxophone on (3)
- Denis LeLoup / trombone on (3,4)
- Arrigo Lorenz / Soprano sax on (3)
- Maria Popkiewicz / backing vocals on (4)
- Jerome Naulay / trombone on (4)
- Zaka / percussion on (4)
- Michel Graillier / Rhodes piano on (5)
Releases information

CD-Seventh-REX III-1984 / Lp-Du Bon Independant-2403371-Fra-1985


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