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Zao - Z=7L CD (album) cover





3.48 | 67 ratings

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3 stars As many have said, Zao are an offshoot of the first phase of "Zeuhl-lite" Magma led by Yochk'o Seffer and Francois Cahen, who were present on Magma's first two albums.

Released in the same year as Magma's MDK, Zao's debut album represents the first genuine divergence of Zeuhl as a genre, with Magma going darker and Zao retaining the jazzier lighter style of the Magma debut Kobaia.

Mauricia Platon, who sadly doesn't appear on later albums, provides scatty Zeuhl-ish Jazz Opera lyrics in a much more playful style than Magma's often doom-laden later albums. Her range is excellent, as is the electric violin of Rigaud which also adds something a bit different but only lasts one more album.

I won't go through track by track as there's little to choose between them. But as an entry point into Zeuhl this would be a pretty good one, embracing many jazz elements and even some early 70s funk (aided by the electric piano/violin). Despite her range though, having Platon has a sole vocalist does make things a little samey - it could perhaps do with a male equivalent to add some variety.

bartymj | 3/5 |


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