I Don't Understand a Word!
I guess you can tell from what I post here that I've never really been very interested in Progressive Rock. I've got nothing against it, it's just never been something that really commanded my attention. As in every case, though, there are a few exceptions. I like some stuff by Hawkwind quite a bit, for instance. And I LOVE this record.
Magma was the creation of Christian Vander. The son of a jazz pianist, he met such jazz notables as Elvin Jones and Chet Baker at an early age and initially set out on a career as a jazz drummer. In 1969, however, he had a vision of the Earth of the Future beset by a spiritual and ecological catastrophe. So disturbed was he by this concept that he switched to Progressive Jazz Fusion and founded Magma with plans to record ten albums relating his vision to the masses.
The story concerns our planet becoming completely uninhabitable, at which point survivors set out to colonize a planet called Kobaia. The problem here is that Kobaia is already inhabited by The Kobaians. Alas, as we are known to have done in the past, the humans simply move right on in. That's when the fun starts.
Sounds like a great story, doesn't it? Well wait until you hear it being told! It's told, in fact, in Kobaian. Vander composed the language and members of the band had to learn it and perform songs using it. There's not a word of English, French, German, Spanish, etc... Not one Human word in any of it. Not only that, but Kobaians tend to talk as if they've been eating a great deal of greasy food and drinking a lot of carbonated beverages (meaning they tend to burp and belch as they're speaking). Oh... And they Shriek a good bit, too. And Grunt. And sometimes they sound as if they're playing kazoos but they're not.
The music here is really quite wonderful, a Progressive, Jazzy kind of Rock Pop (this is probably the most accessible of Magma's albums) but the vocals are just plain weird. Interestingly enough, though, a few of the songs are so catchy that you may find yourself attempting to sing along.
If so, you can find a Kobaian dictionary here: http://myfile.hanafos.com/~jangminsu/magma/MAGMA-KOBAIAN-dictionary.html.
- The Last Seven Minutes (1970-71, phase I)
- Spiritual (Negro song)
- Rindق (Eastern Song)
- Liriïk Necronomicus Kanht (in which our heroes OURGON & ĞORĞO meet)
- Maahnt (The wizard's fight versus the devil)
- Dondaï (to an eternal love)
- Nono (1978, phase II)