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Rialzu U rigiru album cover
3.98 | 44 ratings | 7 reviews | 20% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1978

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. U rigiru (15:59)
2. I lagramanti (11:03)
3. A mubba (3:17)
4. U sterpamondu (bonus, live 1977) (13:42)
5. A man di Diu (bonus, 1976) (5:05)
6. Live video clip (bonus, 1977) (1:42)

Total Time 50:48

Line-up / Musicians

- Christophe Mac Daniel / organ, Fender piano, synths, vocals
- Dominique Gallet / violin, vocals
- Gilles Rennes / guitar
- Francois Mac Daniel / bass, backing vocals
- Olivier Renne / drums, percussion
- Jean-Philippe Gallet / backing vocals
- Francoise AugÚ / backing vocals

Releases information

Co-produced by the band and Ricordu studio, LP 1978
Reissue by Soleil Zeuhl, CD SZ16, 2008

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RIALZU U rigiru ratings distribution

(44 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(20%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(52%)
Good, but non-essential (27%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

RIALZU U rigiru reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Hailing from the island of Corsica, Rialzu delivered such a beautiful musical work in the realm of avant-prog back in the later 70s, just when the RIO and zeuhl movements had already set their respective standards in the European musical scene. Sometimes listed under the band's namesake title, but mostly entitled "U Riguru", this sole effort combines clear traces of the Magma archetype with jazz-tinged enthusiastic musical flows, plus some melodically defined motifs that clear out any possibility of turning sinister or tense to a level more common to other Francophone avant-garde acts such as Art Zoyd, Magma, etc. Actually, the overall style that impregnates Rialzu's offer is more in tune with Potemkine, Le Grand Nebuleux and the preferential jazzy side of Zao (second album onwards). An especially noticeable feature in Riazlu's music is a particular obsession to enhance the drummer's role, to the point each track from the album's original repertoire comprises a drum solo that, in general, emulates the gymnastics of Billy Cobham. Another important aspect in the band's offer is the nonnegotiable use of the Corsican language in the sung parts, a Nationalist trademark that Rialzu took to heart gladly. The album kicks off with 'U Riguru', whose ceremonious intro theme announces the arrival of majestic colors. Once the full ensemble is set out in a recognizable accord, the band indulges in an intense jam where the keyboard input surpasses that of the guitar ? the Potemkine reference seems quite clear to these ears. Next is a calmer passage, lyrical yet with enough traces of (subtle) power as to keep itself from becoming straightforward ethereal. The synth ornaments lead to somewhat epic textures, without getting too flashy, so the momentum's delicacy could be properly preserved. The drum solo creates a free-form moment, in this way preparing the adequate room for the exquisite coda (a faster reprise of a previous slow motif). 'I lagramanti' bears an inverted structure: it starts eerie and tenuous, propmtly expaniding on almost-tormented chorale that culminate in a powerful fusion-instilled extroverted section. By this time, we can find mysterious passages where the organ takes center stage, in this way, confronting the amazing violin lines that go flowing by. 'A mubba' closes down the original 3-track list with an enhanced fusion vibe, whose warm moods may somehow remind the educated prog collector of Arti + Mestieri and the lighter side of Weather Report. While the presence of choral parts adds an aura of mystery to the whole scheme, it is the imperative swing that consistently remains the track's core. As cohesive and mature as this track appears to our ears, it was actually penned by the band's guitarist along the way in order to complete the album's repertoire. And so ends the album in its original shape, but the digital edition includes two bonus tracks - 'U sterpamondu' and 'A man di Diu', with the former prolonging the calculated density of tracks 1 and 2, and the latter indulging deep in contemplative ambiences (not unlike the majestic side of Pink Floyd and King Crimson in their good old days). This album and this band have attained some sort of cult status among prog collectors, and I agree that it is very well deserved: despite the sound quality imperfections (it was recorded in a one-day session by a band whose extreme youth was at odds with their talent), this album is real lost treasure waiting for its marginal crowd to grow.
Review by Mellotron Storm
5 stars We've all heard about these so called "lost classics" being unearthed and all the hype that goes along with them, only to find out after we get the recording that there was a good reason for it being lost in the first place.Thankfully there are exceptions to this rule. And this is certainly one of them. RIALZU are from the French island of Corsica located between France and Italy. At the time of this recording there was a movement in Corsica to protect their language and culture. This album which uses the Corsican language became an important part of this movement. There is no doubt the band was a fan of MAGMA although other than the start of the first track these guys really have their own sound. The original album was just over 30 minutes long and 1,000 copies were distributed in Corsica only. So if you own one of these in good shape you can get up to a thousand dollars for it. So that is why this recording was so unknown until the re-issue on cd recently. By the way Greg Walker raved about this and I now know why.

"U Rigiru" which means "The Circle" opens with outbursts of sound that come and go reminding me so much of MAGMA. Violin before a minute then the tempo picks up with guitar. Again this has a strong MAGMA flavour to it. Organ and piano become prominant, bass too until the music stops after 3 1/2 minutes. This is calm and atmospheric until the violin comes in before 5 minutes.Vocals after 6 minutes. It's still pastoral. The vocal melodies really sound like a female so i'll pretend they are. A fuller sound before 11 minutes and we get some male vocal melodies too. Another calm as the music stops after 12 minutes. A drum solo then follows. It picks back up with deep male vocals after 14 1/2 minutes. His vocals actually sound like a mellotron. Female vocals too. Great finish !

"I Lagramanti" opens with spacey winds and eerie vocal melodies. Drums after a minute. A calm before 2 1/2 minutes but it's still windy. It kicks in with violin,organ and drums after 3 1/2 minutes. The guitar joins in. Nice bass too. The vocals are powerful before 4 1/2 minutes but they stop a minute later as angelic female vocal melodies arrive.The organ continues. Violin after 6 1/2 minutes as it picks back up with drums and bass. Male vocals return then those female vocal melodies also kick back in around 9 minutes. Winds and those mellotron-like vocals end it. Nice. "A Mubba" is a great Fusiony tune with piano and drums standing out. Guitar 1 1/2 minutes in. Male vocal melodies take over then the guitar returns.

So that's the original album and for me a definite 5 stars for it. Two live bonus tracks are included which I would give 4.5 stars to. Yes they're excellent. A must for Zeuhl fans out there.

Review by Dobermensch
3 stars A fairly lively album with exaggerated drums by this Corsican group from 1978. Plenty of nice quiet parts with that Pink Floyd 'Dogs' piano sound throughout which I personally love. The first track - 'U Rigiru' has these elements with warbly soprano male vocals and occasional high pitched pretty girl voices that lift the tune higher still. 'I Lagramanti' (whatever that means) has vigorous but doomy vocals, some nice organ and lots of drums that stop-start and a 'Magma' bass... Make of that what you will! A difficult one to describe... Jazz, rock, psychedelic with a bit of Zeuhl thrown on top.

Definitely to be classed under 'Zeuhl'', An underrated album that has as many good points as bad, the bad being the particularly muddled construction. The good being the originality and sombreness sprinkled with lightness at any given moment. Unusual, but good.

That is... until the live bonus track. It's rubbish. Dreadfully recorded and with the lead vocalist sounding like he's being throttled by Hannibal Lecter throughout. It would have been better leaving this tune off altogether especially when it reaches an unbearable 13 minutes. Not only that, the sound fades in and out, making it a very poor addition.

'A Man Di Diu' is the 2nd bonus track and is a big slice of studio doom with those deep vocals, sounding more in line with the rest of the album.

Pretty good.

Review by Warthur
4 stars Corscian Zeuhl outfit Rialzu's debut album is an enormous homage to classic-period Magma. Now, I know what you're thinking - "Isn't that true of all zeuhl?" - but it's especially true here; the extended jams here sound just like Magma compositions, and indeed at points they seem on the verge of just ceasing the pretense and slipping into just covering Magma. Still, Gilles Rennes' exciting guitar solos add an interesting spin to the usual zeuhl formula of pulsating rhythms and ominous chanting. If you really like Magma (and I do), it's worth trying out, but if you don't feel the Magma vibe then it's almost certainly not going to appeal to you.
Review by siLLy puPPy
4 stars One of the true progressive rock rarities of the 70s came from the Corsican band RIALZU ( means "revival" in Corsican language ) when the band released its single album U RIGIRU in 1978 and then disappeared never to be heard from again at least until the Soleil Zeuhl released a long awaited remastered CD with bonus tracks in 2008. The original album was only released on the tiny French island of Corsica which alone dictated a very small number of albums ever having been pressed and therefore the original vinyl copies have become some of the most sought after collectibles for vinyl addicts. Copies in mint condition easily reach over the 1000$USD mark but luckily the CDs are much easier to track down complete with extra tracks that give extra life to the truncated original playing time of barely over 30 minutes.

The album is somewhat of an oddity as is the island of Corsica itself. Being situated roughly equidistant between the French and Italian coasts, the island is a province of France yet has historical ties closer to Italian history more specifically the former Republic of Genoa. The band's early years actually originated on the mainland in Avignon, France where four members Christophe Mac Daniel (organ, Fender piano, synths, vocals), Gilles Renne (guitars) and brothers Francois Bataille (drums) and Patrick Bataille (bass) met at a Jesuit school in the early 70s. Eventually Olivier Renne (brother of Gilles) would take over on drums and new members were added to the lineup including Dominique Gallet (violin, vocals) and backing vocalists Jean-Philippe Gallet and Francoise AugÚ.

Being tuned into the progressive music scene of the era, the band found inspiration in the bigwigs of the day including Genesis, Yes, King Crimson and most of all the zeuhl rhythms of Magma however the band as heard by the passionate operatic vocals sung in Corsican, a close relative of Italian, sounded much more like the symphonic prog bands PFM, Banco and the other classically infused prog rock bands of Italy. Some comparisons have even been made to the strong vocal style of Demetrio Stratos of Area. The result of this oddball combo effect is one that wasn't really explored elsewhere as it has a classical symphonic prog facade that is structured by the Magma-esque zeuhl rhythmic drive. The album contains two long tracks one one relatively short closer.

The opening title track opens much like Magma's "K÷hntark÷sz" thematically but then exhibits a lot of wild guitar soloing which takes on a more Italian feel after the opening frenzy dies down and it basically evolves into a more romantic vocal led symphonic prog track that also added the sounds of native Corsican folk music. Once the violin and what sounds like a synthesized theremin enter the scene, the album becomes a spookier experience and probably most resembles the haunting zeuhl style as imagined by another obscure French artist, namely Archa´a but never heads too far in that direction as the folk melodies and the warmth of the vocals keep it from heading down too far into planet mondo bizarro. Between baritone dramatic lead vocals and the onomatopoeic choir, the track begins to sound like an Italian opera streamlined by the zeuhl compositional limitations. The title track originally swallowed up the entire A side of the vinyl with a run of almost 16 minutes.

"I Lagramanti" while similarly styled is the more haunting of the two longer pieces where the choir takes on more of the haunting Archa´a qualities but also sounds like a choir that was invited from the Jesuit academy as it sounds a lot like Christian liturgical chanting. The atmosphere sweeps and swishes in the background like an ocean breeze while the track slowly ratchets up the intensity and then turns into a heavier rocker with guitar solos drenched with an accompanying organ presence and then back to the RPI vocals but as quickly as the opera begins it reverts back to spaced out organ runs, a fidgety bass and then it all alternates, both spaced out psycho zeuhl mixes with a night at the opera. Very strange. The track transmogrifies once more as the ending exhibits a stellar drum solo performance.

The last track "A Mubba" was an afterthought and sounds completely different. It takes on the persona of jazz-fusion with a feisty bass groove and jazzy chord progressions along with the proper drums rolls however the haunting choral vocals stay on for the ride at least to welcome the new stylistic approach and make a reprise or two. The track remains a rather Brand X style of jazz-fusion a la "Unorthodox Behavior" but the Archa´a zeuhl rhythms and haunting eeriness continue but just as the track feels like it's ready to take off into even more intense psychedelic realms, it suddenly cuts off and abruptly ends the original run of the album making everyone wonder why in the world this was so. The bonus tracks of "U sterpamondu" and "A man di Diu" were recorded live, the former in 1977 and the other in 1976. They both exhibit a similar style to the longer tracks with alternating zeuhl / RPI weirdness. I RIGIRU is an utterly unique album and a very well performed one as well that deserves to be resurrected from the most obscure troughs of the world of progressive rock.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Music streaming services like Spotify are under fire at the moment because of the tiny amount of money artists get for their music being played - far less than the physical purchase of a CD for example. However, this album is a perfect example of such streaming surfaces enabling a "lost and obsc ... (read more)

Report this review (#2586036) | Posted by bartymj | Saturday, August 14, 2021 | Review Permanlink

4 stars An excellent lost and found album. This album was originally released in 1978 and fell into obscurity pretty quickly. Our good friends in Soleil Zeuhl re-released it again thirty years later. Something I am very grateful for. This album is no less than a diamond. This album is labeled as ... (read more)

Report this review (#284829) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Friday, June 4, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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