ARTIST:

MAGMA

(FRANCE)
TITLE:

ZËSS - LE JOUR DU NÉANT

(2019)
LABEL:

AUTRE LABEL

GENRE:

PROGRESSIVE ROCK

/ JAZZ
TAGS:
Experimental, Symphonic
""Zess" is a masterful work in terms of the quality of its composition, its emotional power and its existential scope."
NEWF (16.07.2019)  
5/5
(0) opinions from our readers (0) comment(s)

It took Christian Vander forty years to decide to complete and record "Zëss - Le Jour Du Néant". It's hard to blame him, being is necessarily afraid of nothingness. And even after fifty years of career, the fear that "Zëss" could be considered Magma's musical testament seemed to haunt his leader. Composed at the end of the seventies, this track had been played by the band several times since the beginning of the eighties and appears on the DVD "Myths and Legends: Epok IV" released in 2008. However, a part of the text and a real final were missing. This has been done with the final version of this monumental work, which has finally been recorded in studio.

And what a version! "Zëss - Le Jour Du Néant" is exceptional in many ways. First of all because it is one of Magma's rare tracks where Christian Vander does not play drums to devote himself exclusively to singing. It is the immense Morgan Agren (Kaipa, Franck Zappa, Devin Townsend) who has the heavy task of interpreting the rhythms composed by the inventor of zeuhl, thus demonstrating the full extent of his talent. Then because the album was recorded with the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, a first in the band's long history and a real genius idea. Indeed, the contribution of classical music, and in particular Stravinsky, to Magma's work takes on its full meaning here, revealing a true symphonic piece of 38 minutes composed in seven movements and to be listened to imperatively in one go.

From the very symphonic overture ('Hymne Au Néant'), the listener is caught up in the choirs conducted by Stella Vander, which create a seraphic and disturbing atmosphere. Then the Master's narration (Zëss in Kobaïen) begins, supported by an ostinato of drums, bass and piano. For Vander, rhythm generates melody and here, rhythm is imposed by the few piano chords repeated ad libitum while the drums seem timeless, literally and figuratively. All of Magma's genius is concentrated in this repetitive structure that seems stagnant and yet is always in motion.

"Today is the day we are going to die and I say thank you," says Christian Vander in a poem at the end of the world, first in French ('Les Forces De L'Univers - Les Eléments') then in Kobaïen ('La Voix Qui Parle') and then in scat, before giving way to strings and a magnificent melodic theme ('Pont De L'En-Delà). The nothingness for Magma is symbolized by the death of language and "Zëss" illustrates this loss of words and meaning by a slow destructuring of the text, gradually reducing it to a few words then to a single "Sanctus" sung by apocalyptic choirs ("Vers l'Infiniment") and finally to onomatopoeias (notably the famous "Om", symbols of the absolute in Hinduism).

A masterpiece through the quality of its composition, its emotional power and its existential scope, "Zess" is the gift that all Magma fans have long been hoping for. But may this modest review be addressed to all the others, to all those who do not really know how to take this music wrongly considered as elitist and intellectual, when it is first and foremost sensual and instinctive. For 38 minutes, ignore your musical influences and codes, your reticence, your fears of not understanding. There is nothing to understand, only to feel this music out of the ordinary, to let go and let yourself be guided to the heavens.


More informations on https://www.facebook.com/zeuhlwortzmekanik





TRACK LISTING:
01. Wöhm Dëhm Zeuhl Stadium - 4:57 (Hymne au Néant)
02. Da Zeuhl Wortz Dëhm Wrëhntt - 6:22 (Les Forces de l'Univers - Les Eléments)
03. Dï Wööhr Spracer - 5:12 (La Voix Qui Parle)
04. Streüm Ündëts Wëhëm - 6:04 (Pont de l'En-Delà)
05. Zëss Mahntëhr Kantöhm - 8:08 (Le Maitre Chant)
06. Zï Ïss Wöss Stëhëm - 3:15 (Vers l'Infiniment)
07. Dümgëhl Blaö - 3:58

LINEUP:
Christian Vander: Chant
Hervé Aknin : Chant
Isabelle Feuillebois : Chant
Julie Vander: Chant
Laura Guarrato: Chant
Marcus Linon: Chant
Morgan Agren: Batterie
Philippe Bussonnet : Basse
Rudy Blas: Guitares
Sandrine Destafanis: Chant
Simon Goubert: Piano
Stella Vander: Chant
Sylvie Fisichella: Chant
The City Of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra:
   
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