Magma (band)

Magma is a French progressive rock band founded in Paris in 1969 by classically trained drummer Christian Vander, who claimed as his inspiration a "vision of humanity's spiritual and ecological future" that profoundly disturbed him. In the course of their first album, the band tells the story of a group of people fleeing a doomed Earth to settle on the planet Kobaïa. Later, conflict arises when the Kobaïans—descendants of the original colonists—encounter other Earth refugees. The style of progressive rock that Vander developed with Magma is termed Zeuhl, and has been applied to other bands in France operating in the same period, and to some recent Japanese bands.[2]

Magma performing live at Roadburn Festival, 2017
Background information
OriginParis, France
GenresZeuhl, progressive rock, avant-rock, art rock
Years active1969–1984, 1996–present
MembersChristian Vander
Stella Vander
Isabelle Feuillebois
Rudy Blas
Hervé Aknin
Francis Linon[1]
Simon Goubert
Thierry Eliez
Jimmy Top
Sandrine Destefani
Sylvie Fisichella
Laura Guarrato
Past membersFrancis Moze
Jannick "Janik" Top
Klaus Blasquiz
Didier Lockwood
Bernard Paganotti
Benoît Widemann
Teddy Lasry
Himiko Paganotti
Antoine Paganotti
Emmanuel Borghi
Bruno Ruder
Laurent Thibault
Jérémie Ternoy
Jim Grandcamp
James MacGaw
Jérome Martineau-Ricotti
Philippe Bussonnet
Benoît Alziary
Claud Angel
Jean-Pierre Lambelt
Patrick Gauthier
Yochiko Seffer

Vander created a fictional language, Kobaïan, in which most lyrics are sung.[3] In a 1977 interview with Vander and long-time Magma vocalist Klaus Blasquiz, Blasquiz said that Kobaïan is a "phonetic language made by elements 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."[4] Vander himself has said, "When I wrote, the sounds [of Kobaïan] 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."[5] Later albums tell different stories set in more ancient times; however, the Kobaïan language remains an integral part of the music.

In 1986, the French label Seventh Records was founded to (re-)publish Magma's and Vander's work. Over the years, Seventh has also released albums by related artists such as Stella Vander, Patrick Gauthier, and Collectif Mu.[6]

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