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Christian Vander

Heartbeat Hotel, Theater aan het Spui

49 years of creation off the beaten path. MAGMA had to be created, if not by me, then by someone else.” Christian Vander, July 1996

The formation at Crossing Border festival consists of  Christian Vander and Stella Vander, and they will be making a near-exclusive appearance at Crossing Border. Founded in Paris in 1969 by classically trained drummer and renowned ‘drum hero’ Christian Vander, Magma is a French progressive rock band that formerly consisted of many more musicians who have in time formed their solo projects or spinoff acts.

Claimed to be one of the most influential French bands, Magma have a music legacy that defies standard and convenient classifications of rock. This alone would qualify them as bonafide Crossing Border artists, but they are also master storytellers, be it in their own world which began with the first album (Magma), telling the story of a group people fleeing a doomed Earth to settle on the planet Kobaïa. Most lyrics are sung in the made-up language of ‘Kobaïan,’ which dedicated Magma fans have learned to decipher and can speak to one another the way Trekkies speak Klingon. There is also the Kobaïan term ‘Zeuhl’ which has been used to refer to the musical style of the spinoff bands and the French jazz fusion scene that grew around former Magma artists.

Having recently toured for three years, the band decided to retreat to the studio to record a new album. With an appearance at the Jazz a Vienne festival in March earlier this year, their confirmation for Crossing Border is a must for diehard fans and a wildcard for curious new converts.