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Weidorje - Weidorje CD (album) cover

WEIDORJE

Weidorje

 

Zeuhl

4.19 | 130 ratings

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Shakespeare
5 stars Weidorje is one of the earlier non-Magma Zeuhl (NMZ) bands. Formed in '78, and led by two ex-Magma men, this short-lived Zeuhl group were of the first to suggest doing similar music as Magma, without merely regurgitating their sound. Even before them were Archaïa and Zao, the former Magma fans, and the latter also comprised of some Magma ex-Members. A lot of personnel of the Zeuhl founders left because of Vander's gradual, but definite decision to compose the vast majority of their material alone, thus making Magma not much different than a Christian Vander solo project. Weidorje is one such band. Patrick Gauthier on the keys, and Bernard Paganotti on the bass wanted to contribute more than Vander allowed, and with that premise, left.

So, now independent from the confining word of Magma's main man, they assembled their own band, and put their writing skills to work. Starring Bernard Paganotti on lead bass, is Weidorje's first, last, and sole release. Brilliant playing and incredibly complexity, coated thinly by a warmly spacey aura, and drenched in dynamics between dark dips, and bright splashes. Finally, some simultaneously gorgeous, haunting, and energetic melodies compliment the addictive, driving, catchy bass lines a-la De Futura make Weidorje an absolute essential of the Zeuhl genre, and a spectacular masterpiece in terms of general music.

This album primarily builds off the style of Zeuhl pioneered with Magma's Üdü Wüdü. The bass is cranked to eleven, with a heavy dose of distortion for good measure, and the marching themes and heavy, heavy steady beats are really emphasized. And, for a first, the science-fiction themes can be heard in the music (and the covers!). Both albums have very thin vocal work (Weidorje significantly more so, of course), as to not detract from the huge spotlight on the monstrous rhythm section. Of course, no drummer will ever replace the lordly powers of Darth Vander, but I think that Kirt Rust does a fairly decent job at emulating the Zeuhl feel, despite a few mundane moments.

Like I earlier said, the album's star is undoubtedly mister Paganotti, with his outstanding bass playing. Not only mindless virtuosity haunt his every note, but a great deep feel does as well. His solo on the final track is an epic trek into outer space, into the fabric of all matter, into the flow of time, and beyond. If you've ever heard a friend say that the bass is an instrument of lesser value and importance than guitar, then you just crank this album full blast at the punk, and guaranteed, he'll be worshiping the four string by sundown. Either that, or his puny little mind will explode with the overload of such regal and holy sounds. If the latter happens, then I am not to be held accountable.

Compositionally, it still has a small bit of the twentieth-century classical approach that the mid-to-early Magma albums had, though it is greatly watered down with more of a reliance on personal musician's contribution as opposed to the composer's. It reads more as a pop-based album with brilliant playing, more than a twentieth-century classical suite played by pop-based instruments. Of course, much of the first three tracks (the official studio album) is very tightly composed and performed, but the live tracks, though still reliant on great arrangements, also spotlight more the musicians and the particular performance. On these live tracks, you can clearly tell and feel that they are live, and that's not only because of a lower sound quality, or the cheering: it has more of a live feel to it.

I feel that Weidorje is the way that Üdü Wüdü was intended to sound. The only downside to Weidorje is that its career ended so soon. It's true that their second album that was never commercially released is now available thanks to the wonders of the internet, but a terribly diminished sound quality, and the lack of an official CD-issue/re-master don't really make it romantic. Despite that, Weidorje is a phenomenal album, that stands as a suitable introduction to Zeuhl (and the bass guitar), thanks to its lacking of the (sometimes) dissonant, avant-garde vocal work that turned many listeners away from Magma. As I have heard before, this truly is the ultimate bass guitar album. I pity the ears that die afore digesting these sounds.

Shakespeare | 5/5 |

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