ALL HAIL THE MIGHTY MAGMA!
I don't know what brought it on, but I've been enjoying the uber-dramatic sounds of Magma a whole lot the last week. In fact, it's been avant-prog week 'round this household, a steady diet be had of Wyatt-era Soft Machine, Amon Duul 2, Twink, Gong, Art Bears, Battiato and, yep, Magma. Part Coltrane, part Carl Orff and a pinch of ludicrously conceptual sci-fi/prog gobbledegook, and that's France's best band of the '70s (w/ all due respect to Metal Urbain!). I was a total geekoid for these guys back in the mid '90s and managed to snap up most of their best '70s LPs dirt cheap on vinyl when I guess they were considered about as fashionable as pastel jumpers. Although they sported the fandom of the standard Three J's at the time (that's Julian/Johnny/Jello, if you must know), they were, and remain, an aquired taste. From what I can gather, by glancing around various music-retail web sites, the vast bulk of their catalogue is out of print, though if you're up for the challenge, I'd say you could do much worse than starting somewhere around their mid '70s Mekanik Destruktiw Kommandoh and Kohntarkosz LPs, the latter winding up in my Top 100 Albums Of All Time list you probably laughed at a few months ago. There's also main man Christian Vander's awesome "solo" album from 1974, Tristan Et Iseult, which, with Magma logos adorning its sleeve, is essentially a Magma record in everything but name, though it contains shorter, punchier pieces than normal, probably something to do w/ the fact that it also happens to be the soundtrack to a film I will likely never see. Or perhaps you'd like to try before you buy. There's some goodies on Youtube here and here for you to peruse. After that, you're on your own.