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WEIDORJE

Zeuhl • France


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Weidorje biography
WEIDORJE, formed in 1977 by two ex-MAGMA members, Bernard Paganotti and Patrick Gauthier (also keyboardist for HELDON, a group that featured Richard Pinhas) is one of Zheul's children, probably the most faithful and the closest musically and spiritually to MAGMA. One can find a mythology close to MAGMA's one : "the wait of a flying saucer that would come one morning take us with its new values, sane and safe".

WEIDORJE means "celestial wheel". This word appears for the very first time in MAGMA's album "Üdü Wüdü" in the form of a short track (4:30) composed by Paganotti and Blasquiz, the latter being the second master brain in MAGMA, along with Vander (Blasquiz achieved by the way WEIDORJE's cover art).

This tune foreshadows what WEIDORJE's music will be :
- same hypnotical power as MAGMA but more rock-based, more accessible at first listen even if by mistake (as was the case with MAGMA) the music was regarded as dark or even unhealthy despite the melodical beauty of the themes.
- incantatory repeats with a powerful bass and put very forward, brass and MAGMA-esque voices (although lyrics are not in Kobaïan they are a kind of Zheul scat)
- polyrhythmicity in keyboard and guitar playing

For some people, WEIDORJE would be a follower to "Üdü Wüdü", Bernard Paganotti forming his band just after MAGMA released this album. First and only album released in 1978, "Weidorje", even if some new stuff was ready for a second album. But following difficulties to find a producer, WEIDORJE disbanded, although they were popular with the French audience. Initially constituted with three long tracks : "Elohim's Voyage", "Vilna" and "Booldemug" on the Ep released for Cobra, two new tracks "Rondeau" and "Kolinda" appeared on the CD reedition by Musea in 1992 (these two tracks were released live with a bad sound but the bass solo is wonderful, waving between jazz-fusion and Zheul accents).

The spirit of WEIDORJE will remain in the first solo albums of some of its members :
- Patrick Gauthier "Bébé Godzilla" (1981) : Christian Vander appears on one track
- PAGA (B. Paganotti) "Paga" (1985)
- J-P Goude "Drones" (1980)

As with most of productions by ex-MAGMA members, the music will be less Zheul-oriented and leanings rather towards jazz-rock, fusion or electronic music.

::: Tauhd Zaïa, FRANCE :::
(Many Thanks to Lucas for the English translation)

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Musea 1978
Audio CD$17.40
$197.83 (used)
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DIW Records (JAPAN)
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4.23 | 130 ratings
Weidorje
1978

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WEIDORJE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Weidorje by WEIDORJE album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.23 | 130 ratings

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Weidorje
Weidorje Zeuhl

Review by siLLy puPPy
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Zeuhl is one of those genres that just makes me feel happy and fuzzy inside. This sole album by WEIJDORE accomplishes just that. This band was in fact started by Bernard Paganotti and Patrick Gauthier from MAGMA after wanting to continue down the path of the excellent UDU WUDU' album sound and I have to say they did an outstanding job in capturing it and even surpassing it.

I absolutely love this album as much as anything MAGMA has done. 'Elohim's Voyage' is absolutely fantastic as it sets a scary atmosphere that takes you into the space of the alien realm and then ratchets its way up the musical ladder until the full zeuhl frenzy takes flight. 'Vilna" follows suit and continues the repetitive rhythms with lots of interesting influences added. The first two tracks are the longest but it's the third shorter track 'Booldemug' that just blows me away. It's just so....wonderful!

The bonus tracks on the CD are quite excellent live tracks that aren't just a repeat of the original albums three long tracks. It's funny because the music is absolutely spectacular and you'll hear at times a single person clapping as if they are playing to a room full of a handful of people at the most. The woes of playing complex prog in the late 70s when everyone was at a Dead Kennedys concert!

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 Weidorje by WEIDORJE album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.23 | 130 ratings

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Weidorje
Weidorje Zeuhl

Review by Epignosis
Special Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

4 stars Weidorje was a short-lived splinter from the Magma family, even taking its name from the second piece on Üdü Ẁüdü. Their only official release is refreshingly not as repetitive as many Zeuhl albums can be, visiting a number of musical ideas, developing them, and then moving on. The vocals are extremely subtle, and the music throughout the album is varied and accessible. Weidorje is an excellent entry point in one progressive rock's most convoluted and divisive genres.

"Elohim's Voyage" The star of this psychedelic journey is Bernard Paganotti's fuzzy, flatulent bass. He develops a variety of grooves over which the more Zeuhl elements can hover. The singers are distant and foreboding, matched with lighter instrumentation. "Elohim's Voyage" ("Elohim" being the Hebrew word for God) crafts several builds that taper off into something different each time. It is a satisfying piece with plenty of substance.

"Vilna" Electric piano trickles in. As the piece gains intensity, a violin-like tone paints over the music. An adventurous trumpet bursts through as the tempo increases to a breakneck pace.

"Booldeug" The third and final piece has a fuller sound immediately, but an ethereal 1980s vibe sets in. This is the smoothest and jazziest cut. There is also a measure of symphonic style present, especially right before and during the wild synthesizer solo. The sudden appearance of the electric guitar is an invigorating surprise.

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 Weidorje by WEIDORJE album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.23 | 130 ratings

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Weidorje
Weidorje Zeuhl

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Weidorje, like Zao, are a Zeuhl group made up of refugees from Magma. But whilst Zao opted to explore a musical avenue Magma did not take, Weidorje performed Zeuhl in the classic Magma style as it was at around the time of Udu Wudu. Whilst they might be regressive in intent, preferring to keep the Zeuhl sound where it was at that point rather than following the stylistic shift to Attahk, the band have decent enough compositions and a sufficiently killer rhythm section to do a really good job of emulating the style. Michel Ettori's raw and dirty guitar style is particularly notable. If you like Magma's classic albums at all, you'll find a lot to love in Weidorje.

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 Weidorje by WEIDORJE album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.23 | 130 ratings

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Weidorje
Weidorje Zeuhl

Review by colorofmoney91
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Wow, I can't believe I haven't reviewed any zeuhl - it's one of my favorite genres here.

Anyway, this is some of the most accessible zeuhl you could ever hope for (that's kind of an iffy sentence). My introduction to the zeuhl genre was music by Koenjihyakkei and Magma, which I believe is the main reason why I avoided zeuhl for a while. Those are probably the absolute worst introduction zeuhl bands, but Weidorje, I feel confident in saying, is probably the best. Think vocal-less Magma with Parliament-Funkadelic basslines and a stronger jazz-fusion lean, and you'll be getting a picture of what this Weidorje album is like. Unlike most zeuhl, there really isn't much on this album pointing to avant-garde, which is fine - in a genre already defined by its weirdness, there really isn't a need for extra avant-garde-isms.

I've always thought the repetitive melodies on this album were of very strong quality. They have that power and glory kind of feel that Magmas best melodies have, but it all seems to be put into a context of much better and more straight-forward songwriting skills. Still, this isn't "easy" music. This takes a little bit of time to get used to, but once you give it time, it eventually shines through as an incredible gem.

Again, if you're looking for a great zeuhl introduction: this. Get this. Out of all the zeuhl I've heard, this is the only album that I feel the need to call a masterpiece.

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 Weidorje by WEIDORJE album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.23 | 130 ratings

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Weidorje
Weidorje Zeuhl

Review by zravkapt
Special Collaborator Post/Math Rock Team

4 stars This group was formed after bassist Bernard Paganotti and keyboardist Patrick Gauthier left Magma after recording the Udu Wudu album. Their name is taken from a song on that album. I'm not exactly sure how the word is pronounced, but I like to refer to them as "weed orgy". The sound here is similar to Udu Wudu. But compared to Magma these guys are more accesible and rock harder. Like Eskaton, there is more emphasis on guitar than most French Zeuhl.

This was originally an EP with 3 songs, but the CD release has two live bonus songs. It starts off with the 16 1/2 minute "Elohim's Voyage". I'm not sure what the title refers to but "elohim" is the plural of "god" in Hebrew. There are no actual lyrics on the album but there is vocals. The song starts off with bass, synths and hi-hat. Then some vocals in unison with the synths. Then drums play a steady beat with some awesome bass playing. I love Paganotti's bass tone. Guitars then join in and there is more vocals, but now in unison with the guitar. Then a great "hey nah hey" vocal part with back up singers.

After we get some trumpet. Then an awesome riff and a mini-bass solo. Operatic singing with Fender Rhodes and then back to that riff. Then operatic male voice and trumpet. Everything gets more dissonant sounding now. Later bell sounds with marching drums. Some more trumpet. The "hey nah hey" part comes back near the end. Great song. "Vilna" has some fusion-y Rhodes to start it. Then drums and percussion noises, followed by bass and guitar. Maybe some trumpet in there too. Later some vocals saying "vilna". After some trumpet. Later a guitar solo with fast bass playing. A trumpet solo. Tempo increases, getting almost punk sounding. More vocals in a scat style. Ends with drum fills and a beautiful Rhodes sound.

"Booldemug" is the shortest and weakest song. You can hear this one on PA. Starts with two Rhodes pianos. Then bass, drums and trumpet. What sounds like a violin comes in. The music is fast and uptempo at this point. The song calms down and picks up again throughout. Over halfway thru a guitar solo. The bass drops out at one point then comes back playing fast. Some synths near the end. Rhodes gets sped up to end it.

The two live bonus tracks have bad sound quality and are not as good as the three album tracks. Of note is "Kolinda" where an audience member keeps clapping because they think the song is over. Hilarious. Weidorje recorded a second album but it was never released; the songs on it were later recorded for Paganotti's and Gauthier's solo albums. This along with Eskaton's 4 Visions is a great place to start with Zeuhl. I would suggest getting one of Magma's live albums and those two albums before getting further into Zeuhl. Not a masterpiece but very close. 4 stars.

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 Weidorje by WEIDORJE album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.23 | 130 ratings

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Weidorje
Weidorje Zeuhl

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars Weidorje = (biblical word pronounced Vay-dorge) is the waiting period for the arrival of a flying saucer that will , one morning, come to take us away with new values and in complete safety. Weidorje would then mean Celestial Wheel. Wow! Pretty eclectic sci-fi stuff! Perhaps not in our jaded, blasé and schizoid 21st Century , but back in the innocence of 1978, space travel was very much the common everyday fantasy and many a musician was puffing away looking at the stars and dreaming. Weidorje developed as a Magma side project with the blessing of leader Christian Vander, giving devoted members Bernard Paganotti and Patrick Gauthier the freedom to stretch beyond Kobaia and search out different Zeuhl territories. Together with a fabulous crew of newbies Kirt Rust on drums, guitarist Michel Ettori, keyboardist Jean-Philippe Goude and the Guillard brothers on assorted brass instruments, they have recorded this one shot monster that nearly equals many Magma album in terms of sheer musicality and daring inspiration. On the deliriously tasty 16 minute + "Elohims Voyage", Paganotti's bass style is very upfront and center, almost exorbitantly brash, a four string festival that illuminates the path with the drums providing the backbone, the dual keyboards swirling with grandiose diversity, both e-piano and organs ablaze and reinforced by solid trumpet blasts and occasional scat vocalizing. The piece sounds like the Raelian national anthem (those not familiar with this sect, their members await the arrival of the alien angel creators (elohim =Hebrew for angel) in Jerusalem, signaling the age of Revelation or Apocalypse). Not exactly Neal Morse but vive la difference! While the similarities with Magma (the Mothership!) are obvious, the differences are also palpable: no Kobaian language or message, little of that famed Wagnerian heaviness and of course, no Vander (there can only be one like him), here each composer imposes their own strong personality on the arrangement and it shows. "Vilna" is a dozen minute long Gauthier composition that concentrates on the repetitive weaving of electric piano and organ melodies in an almost hypnotic mid-period Soft Machine style, very "jazz- rock" as it was called then with a muted bass sound. A rippling Ettori lead adds to the manic groove and the brass really complete the deal. This is excellent instrumental music that will appeal to the jazz and rock fan without prejudice. "Booldemug" features Paganotti's mercilessly furious "rolling thunder" bass, totally upfront and very center , a ground hugging call to arms that should floor most bass fanatics (I am beyond fanaticism and a proud bass fetishist) , with Ettori's axe particularly grinding out some serious notes with some heady help from the conspiratorial Guillard brothers and some zipping solos from the Synth duo. This is unadulterated genius, easily one of the finest Zeuhl tracks anywhere! "Rondeau" is a J.P. Goude (or should I say "Good") composition which illustrates his considerable skills, favoring the violin-tone synthesizers as well as some trembling e-piano , with Paga's bass politely in the background and the brass (bass with an R) punching a few benchmark pleasure zones, a mid-tempo groove that glides along nicely with just a little "frénésie". The live "Kolinda" seeks out absurd aural pastures, with palpable Magma influences, with playfully woven guitar tapestries adding some balance to the intricate interplay, a complex in-concert jam that just sizzles, again highlighting Paganotti's incredible fretless virtuosity. Hey, "musique facile" this is not! Weidorje was another victim of the tough punky times and sadly, disappeared before a second album could be released. Dommage. A must for fans of bass guitar, Zeuhl or adventurous "heavy jazz-rock". 4 Godzillas.

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 Weidorje by WEIDORJE album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.23 | 130 ratings

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Weidorje
Weidorje Zeuhl

Review by 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.

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 Weidorje by WEIDORJE album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.23 | 130 ratings

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Weidorje
Weidorje Zeuhl

Review by rileydog22

5 stars In 1978, keyboardist Patrick Gauthier and bassist Bernard Paganotti decided to leave Magma and found their own band, Weidorje. In addition to a guitarist and a drummer, they also recruited a second keyboardist and two horn players to join them in this magnificent project. Their music is quite Zeuhl, featuring throbbing bass, electric piano, and that classic "Zeuhl beat." However, unlike Magma, the music is not ominous and the vocals are of secondary (perhaps even tertiary) importance.

Paganotti's all-powerful bass is by far the dominant instrument. He kicks the distortion one level higher than anyone ever dared to in Magma and puts on one hell of an impressive performance. He drives, pounds, and relentlessly assaults your eardrums, and this is one of my favorite-ever albums for kickass bass. The other musicians are in top form as well, though the drummer seems a bit bland, particularly in comparison to Paganotti's old rhythm-section partner, Christian Vander.

The compositions themselves are quite good. The music tends to be more upbeat than (post-1001) Magma, and vocals are used only occasionally. The pieces are, as with most music from the French Zeuhl scene, focused on repeated riffs, grooves, and chord progressions with varying melodies. The music is strictly based on what sounds good; there's no complexity-for-the-sake-of-it to be found here.

In addition to the three tracks from the original LP, this CD features two live bonus tracks of the band performing original compositions which did not make this album. These pieces are actually quite close to the lofty standard set by the songs on the LP. The sound quality is somewhat rough, but the pieces themselves more than make up for it in my opinion.

This is one of my favorite non-Magma zeuhl albums, if not my singular favorite. All Magma fans should own this album. This album is also the best starting point for zeuhl newbies who aren't sure that Magma will sit well with them. In short, any prog fan should enjoy this album. Do yourself a favor and buy it.

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 Weidorje by WEIDORJE album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.23 | 130 ratings

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Weidorje
Weidorje Zeuhl

Review by FruMp
Prog Reviewer

4 stars A very strong Zeuhl release

WEIDORJE is a great Zeuhl incarnation akin to bands like ESKATON and EIDER STELLAIRE put together by ex-MAGMA members featuring heavy organ and dominant pummeling bass and some serious groove. Bernard Paganott's bass work is a particular highlight on this album, very driving and commanding more so than a lot of Zeuhl I have heard, the drums aren't actually very interesting or technical at all but the bass takes a lot of the pressure off them. The instrumentation overall is actually quite jazzy which is refreshing due largely in part to the Guillard's on trumpet and sax coming to the fore melodically most of the time (although this does push the guitar back a bit and the organ isn't as heavy and dominant as I would like - instrumentation is everything in Zeuhl).

Opening song Elohim's voyage is the best song on the longest and best song on the album with a very ominous opening before kicking into a bassy groove before ending up in lighter territory with some great work by the vocalists (who sing non lyrically), a great piece of Zeuhl music. Booldemug is a great upbeat faster paced song with some of the best bass work on the album, it's remarkably progressive too, venturing through many different motifs before ending triumphantly.

WEIDORJE contains a lot of great moments and is a very worthwhile addition to any Zeuhl fan's music collection.

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 Weidorje by WEIDORJE album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.23 | 130 ratings

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Weidorje
Weidorje Zeuhl

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

5 stars As has been mentioned Bernard Paganotti and Patrick Gauthier the bass player and keyboardist on MAGMA's "Udu Wudu" album decided to leave MAGMA and start up their own band.They named their band WEIDORJE at the suggestion of Klaus Blasquis who also planned to be part of this project before backing out. By the way Klaus also came up with the cover art. The name WEIDORJE apparently means "Celestial Wheel" and it's from the Bible (Ezekial?). It was also the name of a Paganotti / Blasquis penned track on that "Udu Wudu" record. The music on this album is very much in the same style and sound as the music on "Udu Wudu". Many of these guys have played in HELDON and several would go onto to play in Jean-Philippe Goude's "Drones" album, Paganotti's "Paga" album and Gauthier's "Bebe Godzilla" record.

"Elohim's Voyage" is a side long suite and I don't know if they took the name "Elohim" from the Hebrew title for God, but that would make sense. The song starts with spooky keys and outbursts of heavy drums and guitar. It starts to pick up 2 1/2 minutes in as vocal sounds come in. There is such a great sound as the bass, drums, guitar and vocal melodies lead the way. The bass is incredible here. We get some sax and more vocal melodies until the song sounds even better after 7 minutes. Some dissonant horns after 9 minutes that go away as drums and guitar continue the brilliance. The sax and vocal melodies return 12 1/2 minutes in. This song is dark and amazing ! "Vilna" opens with keyboard melodies from Gauthier and Goude, and then the song kicks in after 2 minutes.The bass is huge as usual. Vocal melodies 5 minutes in. The song sounds fantastic 8 minutes in. These guys can really create great rhythms. Sax melodies follow. Another amazing song.

"Booldemug" is an uptempo track with a collage of sounds including drums, guitars and horns. Check out the bass after 2 minutes ! Some ripping guitar 4 1/2 minutes in and i'm sure the drummer has lost his mind at this point and is unable to stop pounding the skins. The two bonus tracks were recorded live including "Rondeau" with it's tempo changes and pounding drums, as sax and vocal melodies add to the sound. We also get some bells before 7 minutes that remind me of RUSH's "A Farewell To Kings". "Kolinda" continues with the throbbing bass lines and pounding drums as sax, guitar and keys fill out the sound. This incredible melody stops as we get a nice little guitar line with only light drums helping out. It gets fairly heavy 8 minutes in before the original melody returns 11 minutes in. Nice.

In my exploration of Zeuhl I haven't heard anything yet that I haven't liked a lot, including this monster. Highly recommended. This is one wicked bass album !

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