Magnus Paulson- Band Leader, Vocals, and Guitar
Andrew Scott- Bass
Scott Singh- Guitar
Dean Wales- Drums
Daniel Schlagbaum- Congas
Kyle McGyle- Precussion
Patrice Barbachon- Trumpet
James Belluz- Alto Saxophone
Jay Hay- Tenor Saxophone
Stephen Ruttan- Trombone
Ultra Magnus is a 10 member Afrobeat band that revisits the glory days of Afrobeat with their own breed and blend of infectious grooves, blazing horns, furious performances and social consciousness.
Ultra Magnus began more as a research endeavor than a musical venture. In the late nights of winter 2002, roommates Chad Paulson and Andrew Scott (The Meligrove Band/Bicycles/Femme Fatale) spent their evenings trying to unravel the intricate rhythmic layers of Fever by Afrobeat songwriter Jingo. Chad and Andrew came to the fortuitous decision to assemble a group of musicians who, like them, would revel in the challenges of studying Afrobeat. From their shared pursuit of this legendary genre, Ultra Magnus evolved. The group eventually acquired their name because of a nickname Chad had been given in elementary school, on account of his actual first name being Magnus.
The members of Ultra Magnus spent over a year learning the quality and nuances of Afrobeat, devotedly studying, not only the music, but also the historical context from which it was born and the people and artists who popularized it throughout the 1970's and 1980's in Africa. Ultra Magnus amassed an extensive repertoire of Afrobeat standards long before the writing process of their original works began. They firmly believed that creating a spurious imitation was an utter disrespect of true Afrobeat. After all, in 1970s Nigeria, people went to jail for playing this stuff.
By summer 2003 Ultra Magnus had a formidable collection of their own originals and were assailing audiences in Toronto and beyond with their fierce vocals and gratifying grooves. Releasing their first demo in 2003 they have now completed a full length release for March of 2006 entitled Chemical 1 + Chemical 2. The album was recorded in two separate sessions at Chemical Sound Studios by venerable recording engineers Al P(Death From Abover 1979, Mstrkrft) and Rudy Rempel.
Ultra Magnus' main inspiration remains with Afrobeat originator, Fela Kuti. Like Kuti, Ultra Magnus uses "music as weapon"; creating socially conscious songs that make you want to move. Ultra Magnus boasts a highly diverse audience and have enjoyed a longstanding collaboration with hip hop MC Masia One whom they have backed up both at live concerts and on several CBC recordings.