MAGMA is making the world of progressive music a massive birthday present in celebration of their iconic third album in the shape of a lavish box set, which is limited to 2,000 copies. Entitled “Une histoire de Mekanïk – 50 Years of Mekanïk Destruktïw Kommandöh”, the French avant-garde pioneers and inventors of zeuhl follow the trail of their classic full-length from the remastered original recording through decades of various incarnations on 7 vinyl LPs!
MAGMA comment: “With this box set, we want to take you all right into the heart of the composition of our most emblematic work, which allows you to follow its evolution throughout the 50 years of its existence”, mastermind Christan Vander explains. “When we performed ‘Mekanïk Destruktïw Kommandöh’ for the first time, we did not imagine even in our wildest dreams that people would still want us to play this album more than 50 years later. This anniversary deserves to be celebrated, and this edition is a gift for us as well!”
Iconic French avant-garde rockers MAGMA have joined forces with Prophecy Productions to create a lavish boxed set under exclusive license from Seventh Records to celebrate the 50th anniversary entitled “Une histoire de Mekanïk – 50 Years of Mekanïk Destruktïw Kommandöh” of their legendary milestone release and third studio album “Mekanïk Destruktïw Kommandöh” (1973).
Apart from a number of special collectors’ items, this box set limited to 2,000 copies contains seven vinyl LPs ranging from the original album to live recordings and other rare materials related to “Mekanïk Destruktïw Kommandöh” (henceforth abbreviated as “MDK” in this text), of which several were previously unreleased and/or appear on vinyl for the first time.
The albums are numbered in chronological order:
LP 1 “1972 – Paris ORTF”
This is definitely one of the first recorded live versions of “MDK”; and it might even be the first – if anybody could exactly remember this after 50 years. At that time, the masterpiece was still a work in progress.
LP 2 “1973 – Choeurs de la Storchhaus”
This studio recording can be regarded as a demo and it features the choir that played “MDK” live at the SIGMA festival in November 1972. It was first released on CD in 1989 and now appears for the first time on vinyl.
LP 3 “Mekanïk Destruktïw Kommandöh” (original version)
Despite more than 30 published studio and live recordings, many consider this album to represent MAGMA’s ultimate masterpiece. At the time, Christian Vander had taken the artistic destiny of the French band fully into his hands. The most striking development was the massive impact of the vocalists and choir. This classic was carefully remastered for this edition.
LP 4 (Side 1) “1994 – Les voix de Magma”
This previously unreleased track was recorded live with the addition of a 60-piece choir.
LP 4 (Side 2) “1995 – Babyaga la sorcière”
This surprising adaptation of “MDK” was recorded at the Espace Lumière in Epinay-sur-Seine, France on October 15, 1995 during the second concert celebrating MAGMA’s 25th birthday. It features an impressive choir of children and an instrumental ensemble of teenagers. It was released on CD in 1996, but never before on vinyl.
LP 5 “2000 – Paris Trianon Theater”
This version was recorded in Paris at the Theatre du Trianon during MAGMA’s 30th anniversary celebration and was previously only released on CD as part of a box set in 2001.
LP 6 “2005 – Paris Le Triton”
During May 2005, MAGMA booked the club Le Triton in Paris, changed their programme each week, and brought illustrious past members back to the stage to perform with them. On this recording from May 21, Christian Vander was reunited with legendary bass player Jannick Top. Previously only appearing on DVD, this is the first audio only release of this remarkable event.
LP 7 “2021 – Opéra de Rennes”
This previously unreleased version captures the new MAGMA line-up, which is more vibrant than ever!
For connoisseurs of avant-garde rock, MAGMA needs no introduction. The visionary French band that was founded in Paris by self-educated drummer and percussionist Christian Vander are towering giants within and beyond their genre.
Although MAGMA have been variously filed under avant-garde rock, progressive rock, jazz rock, and other equally fitting terms, the band has also created a sub-genre of their own, which is dubbed zeuhl or zeuhl rock. This term has also been adapted by other bands inspired by the style particularly in France and Japan but also elsewhere.
Christian Vander has created his own lyrical cosmos for MAGMA, in which humanity has destroyed earth and fled to a planet called Kobaïa that has remained at the center of his musical works. With his disturbing vision of humanity’s ecological and spiritual development, Vander was far ahead of his times and quite prophetic.
Most MAGMA lyrics are sung in the fictional language Kobaïan, which was invented by Vander and mainly uses phonetic traits of Germanic and Slavonic languages to enhance the musical expression of the band.
With “Une histoire de Mekanïk – 50 Years of Mekanïk Destruktïw Kommandöh”, MAGMA celebrate their classic album's 50th anniversary by giving themselves and their dedicated following a beautiful present in the shape of a lavish limited box set that follows the massive trail of their iconic third full-length from the original through decades of various incarnations. Zeuhl forever!
Release date: October 6, 2023
Label: Prophecy Productions
Remastering for this edition: Marcus Linon at Greasy Records Studio, Paris, France
Layouts Gerald Nimal at UZ Grafik
Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 828-350-8158 (USA), firstname.lastname@example.org