Kobaïa

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PetRock

Kobaïa (right) in orbit of its star (left).

The following myth is as written on the earth's greatest artifact, a great, mystical Vinyl Disc of Time, known simply as MAGMA:

Earth, this concerns you. Your porn is disgusting and your fast food is laced with too many unnatural things to count: actually, you are a bunch of sick bastards. We know that you will be destroyed. But beyond space and time, a planet, KOBAÏA, awaits us. We have known this world since the day we first smoked marijuana, millions of years ago. If only all those suffocating down here could follow us. Only the pothead has hopes! Earth! You are now but a drug-free school zone.

So, yep. I think Kobaïa must be a pretty nice place.

edit Characteristics

MagmaKobaia

A Kobaïan settlement being crushed by The Giant Claw.

“Ah, Kobaïa. That's what I named my pet rock back in the good old days. No, really, it looked like Kobaïa!”
~ Lord Byron on Kobaïa

Kobaïa, third planet in the Prog-Rock system and neighbor planet of Gong, is a small, delightful, happy-go-lucky floating rock. Despite scorching temperatures (up to 1001 Centigrades) and a rock-like environment, people -- especially the weird ones -- really seem to like the place.

The name Kobaïa stems from Kobée, which, in familiar French, translates roughly to Kobe Bryant.[1]

edit Citizens

Kobaïa's inhabitants are decent folks, if you discount the fact that they often seem to consider themselves superior to the rest of the universe. Though the Kobaïans share their planet with Kaptainskye (currently), as well as a number of very odd bands, everyone seems to get along. In fact, life on Kobaïa is actually really happy for everybody, since they don't do much else besides drink beer, have sex, and play Tiddlywinks. Overall, really, life is good.

If there's one thing that your average Kobaïan really hates, it's Earth, especially its people.[2] In fact, the Kobaïan planetary motto, Ẁurdah Ïtah, translates almost directly to "Earth's porn is shit." Many even theorize that the Kobaïans are planning to destroy Earth with a feared superweapon, Gonorrhea. However, this assumption has been mostly debunked by now, as the strange Kobaïan name has since been revealed as the name of a mere sexually transmitted disease. Funny how things can work sometimes, eh?

edit Language

Orks

Ourgon and Gorgo, two of the most widely recognized People of Ork, featured here on the cover of a Magma album. Note their uncanny resemblance to Americans. Unsettling!

“Wuhr dï heul Zortsüng!”
~ A Kobaïan on ...something? (probably Hitler)

On Kobaïa, most people like to speak Kobaïan[3], an aptly named language constructed long ago by famed Beatnik poet Christian Vander. It's a guttural language with the unique property of only being understandable by people with the right genetics. It goes something like this:

Ü malawalawala wëh sï wëhlï wëlohndaï, Döwï wëhlï wëhssaï. Ü malawalawala wëh sï wëhlï wëlohndaï, Döwï wëhlï wëhnsaï. Ëwëlëh d/ë wëhlï wëh sï lëhnsaï. Ëwëlëh wëh d/ë wëhlï wëh sï lëhnsaï! Ëwëlëh d/ë wëhlï wëh sï lëhnsaï. Ëwëlëh? Wëh d/ë wëhlï wëh sï lëhnsaï...

Tü! Tü! Tü! Tü!

Could you read that? Probably not. You don't have the genes.

edit Problems

Really, Kobaïa doesn't have too much to worry about in the near future; that is, except for the People of Ork, who plan to attahk the planet sometime soon. But in all honesty, they're not much of a real threat. Just look at these guys!

But also, as mentioned before, there is Kaptainskye, and too many weird prog-rock bands to shake a stick at. Here we may have a real problem.

edit Zeuhl

“Whenever people say they don't like or can't get into Zeuhl, I always feel like saying: keep trying, you will eventually.”
~ Famed Zeuhl saxophonist Saperlipopette on his music of preference

Traditional Kobaïan music, which incorporates elements of jazz, prog-rock, and "splunk"[4] is usually referred to by the name Zeuhl.[5] Zeuhl is a strange sort of music that is built around its characteristic lack of any sense, coordination, or order of any kind. Zeuhl musicians are known to use about any kind of instrument that they can get their hands on, from triple-necked acoustic basses to drumitars to gerbils.

Though Zeuhl is immensely popular on Kobaïa, it has attained only a cult following back on Earth. Perhaps the main reason it has never caught on is its unpronounceable name. Others have theorized that it's just simply too weird. Whatever you want to believe, though, it can't be ignored that both of these theories seem to hold true.

Still, though, a number of Zeuhl bands have sprung up on Earth through the years. Here are a few notable examples, as well as some selected work to titillate your ears.

edit Magma

“Jannik Top... oh, man, Jannik Top. I’m shaking in me booties just thinking ‘bout him. Jannik Top played the bass like a Tyrannosaurus Rex skinning a Stegosaurus. He was at least eight feet tall and had claws instead of hands. His bass sound made the night fall early, and kept the moon from rising at all. He didn’t have amplifiers, he just plugged straight into the National Grid and drained the neighbourhood.”
~ A Scotsman's account of Magma bassist Jannik Top

Arguably the most satanic that any band could ever have gotten back in that jolly old time we call the 70's, Magma were arguably the very first Zeuhl practitioners of Earth. Originally a simple jazz band, the group's Zeuhl career began when drummer Christian Vander[6] received a vision of John Coltrane blowing flames out of a celestial bronze saxophone. He promptly crucified his band's entire horn section and took in the most brutal man on Earth, Jannik Top, to play bass. Thus was born the unstoppable force that is Magma.

A lot of people now have fallen into the assumption that Magma music is "unlistenable". My friends, do not be foolish like these people. I'm pretty sure a good bit of these naysayers have been shot in the eye to date. Jannik Top is still out looking for the rest.

Recommended listening - De Futura. Pay special attention and you may just hear the puppy that Jannik Top is skinning in the background.

edit Koenjihyakkei

From our friendly neighbors in the Pacific, Japan, came this far stranger Zeuhl collective in the midst of the 90's. Their name comes form the Japanese kōenji (a region in Tokyo) and hyakkei (literally "graprefruit stealers"), as a reference to the Kōenji Grapefruit Stealers, vocalist A.H.'s infamously unsuccessful childhood softball team.

It is still hotly debated as to whether or not the music that they play is, in fact, true Zeuhl. For one, they do not speak true Kobaïan[7]. Some even believe that they don't even know of Kobaïa's existence in the first place. But still they are grouped into the Zeuhl category -- perhaps simply due to the fact that they're too weird to fit in anywhere else.

Recommended listening - Grembo Zevia. The use of a gerbil in this one is actually pretty clear.

edit Noel Gallagher and the Fearless Parrot Regiment

Alright, alright, screw it; they're not even close to Zeuhl. But hey -- they've got to promote themselves somewhere, haven't they?

Also, no recommended listening for them, as they may or may not actually exist.

edit References

  1. Yes, Kobe Bryant. It's said he had a good hand in providing money to build the spaceships that took the first wave of Earthlings to Kobaïa -- though he may or may not have thought that he was sending said money to a charity for African children.
  2. Going even further than that, they seem to specifically despise Belgians. No one really knows why. Their beer is so great!
  3. In addition to French, that is. Did you know that French was originally the official language of Kobaïa?
  4. Splunk is a term coined by Daevid Allen to describe computer-generated music, the likes of Hatsune Miku and GLaDOS; the name stems from a portmanteau of "shit" and "girl-junk."
  5. Pronounced "zoil", since the word is actually German. Actually, it may not really be German at all, and it could be pronounced any way. In fact, I prefer to say "Zuul". You know, like in Ghostbusters? ZUUL, MOTHERFUCKER, ZUUL!
  6. He was named after the same fellow who created the Kobaïan language. Funny, huh?
  7. It's unsure whether or not they really know this, though.
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