My very first post for Dangerous Minds concerned an amazing television performance of “De Futura” by legendary prog rock band, Magma. As exciting as that clip is, it was, unfortunately, edited for TV, no doubt due to the fact that “De Futura” is a loooong song. At nearly eighteen minutes, it took up one whole side of an LP, and live renditions of the number were frequently even longer. Over the years, extended live versions have come out on archival releases, with one, in particular, standing out from the rest.
Magma was formed by drummer Christian Vander, who assembled the group in the late ‘60s. After five records, plus a live release, Vander loosened the reins a bit, allowing other members to contribute songs for studio album number six, Udu Wudu (1976). Two of the tracks were written by bassist Jannick Top, including “De Futura.” As always, the lyrics are sung in Kobaïan, the language created by Vander.
“De Futura” premiered the previous year at the Nancy Jazz Pulsations 75 festival in Nancy, France. On October 10th, 1975, Top led a group performing as Utopic Sporadic Orchestra—with Vander amongst the eighteen musicians on stage—through the paces of “De Futura.” It’s been reported that the band played the song three times that day, with one recording from the show, as well as a rehearsal take, appearing on the Nancy 75 release.
More Magma after the jump…