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AEDIVIDEA

Vak

Zeuhl


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Vak Aedividea album cover
4.05 | 37 ratings | 3 reviews | 30% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2015

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. IJKL (7:03)
2. Aedividea (14:02)
3. Alzh (11:08)
4. Zeom (9:49)
5. Ellien (6:23)
6. Periscopy (10:15)

Total Time: 58:40

Line-up / Musicians

- Aurélie Saintecroix / vocals
- Thomas Bourgenot / guitar
- Alexandre Michaan / keyboards, synthesizers
- Juliette Drigny / flute
- Franck Varnava / bass (1,3,5)
- Joël Crouzet / bass (2,4,6)
- Vladimir Mejstelman / drums

Releases information

This record gathers the work (less one track) of two EP recorded between 2011 and 2014, remastered by Udi Koomran

Artwork: Alexandre Michaan and Aurélie Saintecroix (logo)

CD Soleil Zeuhl ‎- Soleil Zeuhl 49 (2015, France)

Digital album

Thanks to octopus-4 for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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VAK Aedividea ratings distribution


4.05
(37 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(30%)
30%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(33%)
33%
Good, but non-essential (24%)
24%
Collectors/fans only (9%)
9%
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)
3%

VAK Aedividea reviews


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars I was pretty much stunned after my first listen of this album leaving me wondering why this album and band aren't being talked about a lot more than they are. Then I found out it was the fourth highest rated 2015 release on the Gnosis site, and then I discovered that one of my favourite reviewers Tom Hayes had given it 4.5 out of 5 stars and yes I felt vindicated I suppose. VAK are a young band out of France who bring to mind ESKATON, EIDER STELLAIRE and MAGMA. The guitar is a nice touch and it can be aggressive at times. Also the flute is quite prominent bringing to mind DUN at various moments. This album was mastered by Udi Koomran so it sounds fantastic. The keyboardist created the album cover. By the way this album was initially going to be released as two Eps but instead they combined the recordings. I am such a sucker for Fender Rhodes driven Zeuhl but then add some guitar and flute and well I'm in heaven.

"IJKL" has this bass intro as it starts to build. How freaking good is the Fender Rhodes here. The guitar starts to make some noise then the tempo picks up before 2 minutes with the guitar playing over top. Vocals follow and man this reminds me of EIDER STELLAIRE with the guitar and Fender rhodes especially. Fuzzed out guitar after 3 minutes then it settles back but the guitar continues. So good! It turns more powerful then the Fender Rhodes comes to the fore.

"Aedividea" is spacey to start and the flute joins in at 1 1/2 minutes, then drums as it builds. Female vocals 3 minutes in. I love this stuff! It kicks into gear at 4 minutes with heavy guitar expressions eventually joining in. Check out the fast paced vocals too. It does settle back some as the flute plays over top but it's still uptempo with busy drums. A calm before 8 1/2 minutes but then it turns powerful again rather quickly. It settles back 9 1/2 minutes in female vocals and guitar standing out. The vocal melodies and drums sound incredible before 11 minutes then we get another calm a minute later as it turns trippy. Great track!

"Alzh" opens with Fender Rhodes, vocal melodies and drums as guitar melodies come and go. It's a slow burn at this point. The pace picks up with guitar, Fender Rhodes and drums leading the way. The vocals are back before 2 minutes then the flute comes in playing over top. A calm before 5 minutes then it becomes heavier but still a slow burn with vocal melodies and more. A spacey calm of almost silence before 8 minutes to the end. "Zeom" sounds amazing when it kicks into a higher gear 1 1/2 minutes in with the vocals, guitar and drums standing out. The vocals stop a minute later as the heaviness continues but with flute this time. The vocals are back before 4 minutes as it settles down some. A MAGMA vibe after 5 minutes as the flute seems to go in circles with random drum patterns. It picks up some before winding down 8 1/2 minutes in.

"Ellien" is led early by the drums, vocals and guitar as it builds. It lightens before 1 1/2 minutes as the Fender Rhodes comes in. It picks up again then it's the guitar/ piano show after 4 minutes. The vocals are back late to end it. "Periscopy" features some complex instrumental work early on. Vocals before 1 1/2 minutes and these soprano vocals bring a eerie vibe to the proceedings not to mention that it's darker here after 3 minutes. It picks up a minute later as the vocals are replaced by the flute. Check out the drumming before 7 minutes. A calm follows and we get some nice guitar a minute later.

I am so stoked about this record. The first track is like Zeuhl 101 and I love it but the second half of this album especially is quite dense at times and a bit of a challenge which I appreciate. A top three album for me for 2015.

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars The album-length take on Aedividea by Vak consists of material orignally released on two separate EPs - a self-titled release from 2012 and the original "Aedividea" EP. Completists will be bugged by the absence of Reeht, from the Vak EP, an 8 minute track which there would have certainly been room for here, but as it stands I think the running time of this release is just about perfect to satisfy me without making my attention wander, so perhaps leaving it off was the right call. Musically speaking, Vak play zeuhl in a style heavily influenced by Eskaton (and Magma, of course, but everyone who does zeuhl is influenced by Magma) but with a markedly updated sound, especially when it comes to the keyboards.
Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The sophomore effort from one of the new generation of Kobaïans from France. This is definitely a step forward for the band from their debut.

1. "IJKL" (7:03) more guitar-centric than typical Zeuhl. Until the final 30 seconds, this is not as interesting or sophisticated and refreshing to make it worth coming back to. (11.5/15)

2. "Aedividea" (14:02) opens with a spacey ALAN PARSONS PROJECT-like texture before electric piano, drums, guitar, bass and flute enter and define their rolls within a repetitive weave a bit before Aurélie's voice joins. A dynamics and tempo shift at the four-minute mark usher in a faster, guitar- and bass-driven section. Keys, voice, drums, and flute provide excellent reinforcement and embellishment to main theme--eventually taking over from guitar and voice in the seventh minute. This is good! The flute player tries to give it her Zeuhlish best, but, to my ears, it's just not wild and loud enough to deserve the leadership position. At 8:20 there is a stop and restart into an entirely new theme--one in which the drums get a chance to really show off. At 9:45 the vocals seem to be positioning themselves to take over the lead, but synths, guitars, and, especially, the drums are not quite willing to give her the chance. Another new motif begins in the 12th minute before melting away for a gentle guitar, Fender Rhodes, and cymbal to set up a new theme with arpeggiated guitar and bass setting the mood. Aurélie is still there, being used more to reflect the flute--to the end. Interesting! (26/30)

3. "Alzh" (11:08) opens with a kind of 1970s RTF jazz-fusion sound and feel. At the one-minute mark things shift and guitar chord play takes front and center over Fender Rhodes fast arpeggi. Eventually, flute takes the lead as things get seriously Zeuhlish (with "choral" vocals spicing things up). Even so, this is still not at the level of Magma sophistication or virtuosity. A slow down (almost "breakdown") in the fifth minute leads to a slow, plodding section that constantly feels as if it's trying to get going (despite the showy drum play) but never does. Quick key-arpeggio at 6:25 once again kickstarts this into the fast lane but, then, things feel like they're getting stuck again--until everything drops out at 7:45, leaving us floating in some kind of state of suspended animation for the next three and a half minutes as strings-like synths create a kind of background of Interstellar tension. I love this--though it doesn't feel very Zeuhl (and yet, in a space opera, shouldn't there be occasional passages just like this?) The most refreshing and innovative song on the album, IMHO. (17.5/20)

4. "Zeom" (9:49) opens with a heavy weave that has more in common with KING CRIMSON than Magma. Wordless vocals enter in the second minute adding a Zeuhlish quality, but then they fade out and we are left with a much more technical/metal sound palette. In the fourth minute flute is added and then the intensity of the music backs off a much more Carolina Prieta-KOTEBEL-like operatic voice joins in. Flute holds the foundation with a chord progression of quick-arpeggi as the rest of the band punctuates with syncopated though-coordinated chords until 6:37. At 7:45 the music takes on a familiarity to the driving music of JANNICK TOP's 2008 masterpiece of urgency, Infernal Machina. Good stuff! (17.5/20)

5. "Ellien" (6:23) interesting polyrhythmic play between the keyboard's arpeggi and the rest of the band's weave. Drums and electric guitar also seem to go their own separate ways at times. Aurélie's voice just seems so wasted here: just another single-note provider like a flute or synth. Nice keys, guitars, and drumming on display in their soli during the fifth and sixth minutes. Bass becomes the only thing really holding this to a Zeuhl script. (8.25/10)

6. "Periscopy" (10:15) This song takes us fully into the realm of UNIVERSAL TOTEM ORCHESTRA as Aurélie (and her operatic voice) is finally given some freedom and room to live large within the music. Still, there is a little too much simplicity and mechanisticality in the Zeuhl formats used here. At the same time, there is, however, a feeling about this song as if the band have finally made Zeuhl their go-to music; the leads and turn-taking and commitment to background support on this song feel just as strong as those given by C Vander and his hired guns. The best and most fulfilling, complete-sounding song on the album. (18.25/20)

Total Time: 58:40

B/four stars; all in all, this is a fine addition to the Zeuhl lexicon, though this band still feels as though they are getting their feet wet in terms of rising to the mastery and sophistication of the Zeuhl masters. I'm hopeful that the final song, "Periscopy," is an indication of that step forward.

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