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Magma: To Life, Death And Beyond - The Music of Magma (DVD)

In the history of rock music there has been no other band quite like Magma. The band formed in Paris in 1969 and as they say the rest is history. If you are unfamiliar with Magma’s music you are probably in for a shock. It has so many different elements, layers and dynamics, delving into jazz, rock and classical with differing time signatures and other worldly soundscapes. The music is so out there it even needed a separate genre to define it - Zeuhl and Christian Vander even invented Magma’s own musical language - Kobaïan.

This documentary titled To Life, Death And Beyond - The Music Of Magma was released in 2017 and features brief commentaries from many artists including Trey Gunn, Jello Biafra, Robert Trujillo, and many more. The main interview is with Vander and is very interesting and quite revealing, especially for non-Magmaphiles. Vander’s childhood was a lonely one as his father left home and his mother went to prison for drug related offences. Vander was essentially abandoned but it was his love of John Coltrane’s music that kept him going. There are many other bits of information that will be of interest to fans, especially if you are not versed in the backstory. The band’s formation is another neat tidbit of information as is the making of their debut album. Throughout the DVD, concert and video footage is shown, reemphasizing it’s really all about the music. This is a very informative piece and does a good job revealing the soul of the band - Christian Vander. For fans of the band this is certainly worth watching. The extras are pretty cool as well; the Trey Gunn and Jello Biafra pieces were of particular interest for me.

Overall then, To Life, Death And Beyond is really quite an inspiring story, one of perseverance and determination in discovering your inner self and following your dreams. Recommended.

Film: To Life, Death And Beyond - The Music Of Magma
Patrick Gauthier plays his composition: “On the Persian Markets”
Jean-Luc Chevalier plays Jannick Top’s “De Futura”
Christian Vander : musical technicalities
Trey Gunn plays horizontal Warr guitar
Jello Biafra: being a Magma fan

Added: November 16th 2019
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: But It Here
Hits: 1243
Language: english

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