Magma was founded in Paris in 1969 by drummer Christian Vander, who derived his inspiration from a vision of humanity's spiritual and ecological future" that profoundly disturbed him. Vander was a self- taught musician, who received some tips from drum legend Elvin Jones. In the course of Magma's 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, who are descendants of the original colonists, encounter other Earth refugees. A distinguished aspect of Magma's music is that Vander actually invented a constucted language, Kobaïan, in which most lyrics are sung. Later albums told different stories set in more ancient times; however the Kobaïan language remained an integral part of the music. Reportedly, Christian Vander is also highly influenced by the work of jazz legend John Coltrane. For my work, it is still Coltrane who actually gives me the real material to work on, to be able to move on.," says Vander.
Magma's new CD features two pieces – the 28-minute title track 'Felicite Thosz', and a composition titled 'Les Hommes Sont Venus'. Both tracks were recorded between September 2011 and April 2012 in Francis Linon's new studio on the French Riviera. “I started working on this piece in 2001, right after I finished the exhausting recording of 'Les cygnes et les corbeaux',” explains Vander. “With 'Felicite', there was an immediate feeling of ease, the piece seemed to come to life, clear, under my fingers. True happiness beneath the complexity, the circumvolutions, the meanderings... the spires and the spirals of 'Les cygnes et les corbeaux'. There lies the color of Magma's great themes, and its quintessential spirit. One could say that the melodies have evolved, gained fluidity. The idea of renewal belongs to every civilization, celebrating beings, places, nature and gods. With the sounds, rites and traditions from various lands unfold. This theme offers a new aspect of Magma's music, a source that unleashes its power flow. I hope you enjoy listening to it.”
In other news, Magma will be the headline act for the Zappanale Festival in Germany on August 3rd and Paris La Villette Jazz Festival on August 30th.