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Eider Stellaire - Eider Stellaire I CD (album) cover

EIDER STELLAIRE I

Eider Stellaire

 

Zeuhl

4.03 | 80 ratings

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Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
4 stars 'Eider Stellaire I' - Eider Stellaire (8/10)

Eider Stellaire were a virtually unknown act back in their day, and for all intents and purposes, they still are. However obscure they may be to virtually anyone outside of the avant-garde and Zeuhl music circles that the band's brooding jazz fusion would largely cater to, Eider Stellaire's debut album is considered a classic of prog music. Influenced by the jazzier explorations of Zeuhl deities Magma, this instrumental fusion act makes an interesting blend of the familiar and strange with this album. It is an apocalyptic gem of cosmic jamming.

Although considered to be part of the Zeuhl scene in progressive rock, Eider Stellaire's musical foundation is in jazz fusion. This band has as much in common with 70's era Miles Davis as they do with anything Christian Vander has touched. Call it what you want, Eider Stellaire focuses their debut into a swirling mass of loose explorations, apocalyptic jazz freakouts, and sci-fi flavoured themes. Although this nearly verges on what I might label as 'jam' music, Eider Stellaire's style is hard to pin a description on. They are a dynamic jazz group that emits an unsettling atmosphere similar to the feeling that Robert Fripp's (of King Crimson) guitar work creates; free to doodle around, yet bound by a sense of foreboding and apocalypse. Taking the cosmic vibe of the album into account, it's like 'Eider Stellaire I' is a soundtrack to a ghost lost in space, floating in orbit around the wreckage of a lifeless space station.

Percussionist Michel LeBards captures my interest the most here, forging the backbone of the band's performance with unrelenting jazz fills and constantly evolving rhythms. There are vocals here, but they can still count as being part of the instrumental body due to the fact that they are not forming lyrics, but instead simply there as sound to back up the rest of it. A solid trademark of this band's work is the heavy bass presence, which often takes lead of the band when the electric guitar isn't buzzing strong. Eider Stellaire are a very capable group of musicians, and the music they make reflects this in the sense that it is constantly changing. Despite being a jam album, there is a creative chemistry in the music that fuels these compositions. Zeuhl and progressive fusion are not my thing usually, but I am glad I have found this obscure classic.

Conor Fynes | 4/5 |

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