Swirling riffs in odd time signatures, theatrical choir arrangements, heavy and distorted pulsing bass guitar, bombastic and minimalistic (sometimes both at the same time), dark and brooming, adventurous and angelic, jazzy or classical, but always with the highly innovative and original drums of founder and main composer Christian Vander.
The music of MAGMA is adopted by the progressive rock movement, though even for progressive standards it is very hard to get into because of its ‘other worldly sound’ and its extended compositions of often more than thirty minutes. The band has had almost no connection whatsoever with other bands of the progressive genre, though in France it would prove to be a big inspiration for other Fusion bands.
It is often though that the modern classical music of Carl Orff must have been a big influence to MAGMA. Vander himself has claimed on several occasions that his main influence was the jazz saxophone player John Coltrane. Legend goes that MAGMA was formed after a vision that was revealed in a dream of Christian Vander about a spiritual and ecological future for mankind.
This vision would influence the three different multi-part saga’s, namely the Kobaïan saga (the eponymous debut and 1001 Centigrates), the Köhntarkösz triology (Kohntarkosz Anteria or K.A., Köhntarkösz and Ëmëhntëhtt-Ré) and the Theusz Hamtaahk triology (Theusz Hamtaahk, Mekanïk Destruktïw Kommandöh or M.D.K and Wurdah Ïtah). The third studio-album of MAGMA, M.D.K., is often seen as the genre defining album.
Magma will be performing classic tracks and new music with a new 11-piece line-up.
The Utopia Strong are a semi-modular trio, delivering medical grade music to the visionary music head.
The band were born on the evening of 2nd January 2018 after what can only be described as an experimental and revelatory improvised session together. Kavus Torabi, Michael York and Steve Davis have fused Modular Synthesisers with conventional and traditional instruments to create a weird and joyous celebration of all that is good about left field psychedelic music.
Kavus Torabi is an experimental/psychedelic musician with a long history in the field. He has his own band, Knifeworld and is frontman in the current line up of Gong. He has been a member in various other bands including Guapo and most notably a guitarist in the final line up of Cardiacs.
He runs the boutique record label, Believers Roast, has collaborated with a wide range of left-field artists and co-presents a show on NTS Radio with Steve Davis, a show championing new, experimental, avant-garde, far out, underground, electronic, pop, folk, psych, rock and classical music.
Steve Davis was the most successful professional Snooker player of the 1980’s, winning a total of 28 major ranking events including 6 World Championships. In recent years his involvement in snooker has been limited to TV punditry, which has given him more time to indulge in music related activities, namely collecting left field music from around the globe, presenting a monthly radio show on NTS Radio with Kavus Torabi and now joining forces with Kavus and Michael York to form The Utopia Strong, further cementing
his growing interest in playing the Modular Synth.
Michael York is a multi instrumentalist and luthier, working mainly with modular/analogue synths and woodwinds (primarily focusing on bagpipes, reeds and flutes of Europe and the Near East).
His piping has seen him work not only in the realm of folk, with the likes of Shirley Collins and the 7 piece bagpipe choir Zephyrus, but also with the esoteric avant garde ensembles Coil, Cyclobe, Current 93, Guapo and The Stargazers Assistant.
In 2014 as an outlet for his voyages in alternate realities through the medium of analogue electronics he formed the modular synth duo Teleplasmiste (with Mark Pilkington) and the ambient psychedelia group The Other Without (with Neil Mortimer).