Magma (Progressive/Art Rock)

Who is Magma?: A band with almost too many members (who have come and gone throughout the years, of course) to count, Magma was founded in 1969 in Paris, France by classically trained musician Christian Vander.

Magma is a concept band—meaning every song on every album is based around a singular fictional storyline. Vander even went as far as to create his own language to tell this ongoing story–which he calls Kobaian

Magma’s music is epic–for lack of a better term. Like many of their progressive rock contemporaries, their songs tend to be on the longer side (7-10 minutes usually) and more or less evolve as the go (as opposed to a verse/chorus/verse/chorus/bridge/chorus structure). And, due to Vander’s invented language, vocal delivery can be intimidating/challenging to a new listener who is not necessarily prepared for it.

Interesting Fact: Vander’s language even spawned a term that is now (retroactively) used to describe Magma’s (and others’) strain of progressive rock: Zeuhl.

Recommended Listening: A live performance on French television in 1978:


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