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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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4.19 | 217 ratings
Weidorje
1978

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WEIDORJE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Weidorje by WEIDORJE album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.19 | 217 ratings

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Weidorje
Weidorje Zeuhl

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Review Nº 422

According to Zeuhl definition on Progarchives, Zeuhl is an adjective in Kobaian, the language written by Christian Vander, drummer and founder of the French band Magma. But, Zeuhl is much more complex to define. In reality, Zeuhl is a much elaborated prog genre. Zehul is a kind of a combination of some strong repetitive bass lines, loose and wild drumming, a sense of improv and fevered chanting in a made up language. In the loose sense, maybe we could describe Zeuhl as an offshoot of prog rock, a little jazzier and a lot wackier, with a less structure and a more spirituality.

When considering the legacy of Magma, one must recognize the huge impact they left behind. Many of France's best musicians were once members, or associates of members, or somehow were touched by their influence. Thus, their pervasive effect on the French scene cannot be understated. After Magma, it would never be quite the same again.

But, as many of we know, Magma was never a very stable band, turning around most of their line up on what seemed like a yearly basis. A lot of this had to do with Christian Vander constantly moving the band's goalposts. In 1976, their fifth studio album, "Udu Wudu", went in a direction that was more fusiony and bass-heavy, and just like that, Vander decided to turn the band into some kind of alien funk outfit. Thus, two members of the band, Bernard Paganotti (bass) and Patrick Gauthier (keys), decided to split off and continue in that direction themselves. So, Weidorje was born. But, unfortunately, Weidorje only released a single album, their self-titled album. For some people, "Weidorje" would be a follower to "Udu Wudu". Though it's based of Magma's sound, I really think "Weidorje" is a better album than that one.

"Weidorje" is certainly a treat for all Magma's fans. Essentially, the album sounds like Magma, especially in the "Udu Wudu" phase. The music is mostly instrumental and the voices that are present are mainly scat, leaving our ears free to listen to the wonderful music being played. The really exciting factor about Zeuhl is the fuzz-bass. Bernard Paganotti is a master of that style. So, naturally, when I first heard this album, I was immediately struck by the thumping bass. But, there's more on "Weidorje" than just the fuzz-bass. Another former Magma personality is present on this album, Patrick Gauthier. He and Jean-Philippe Goude add some very dark and gloomy polyrhythmic sounds which add a superb atmosphere and rhythm, as does Michel Ettori on guitar that plays along with Paganotti's bass lines in many places.

Side one is encompassed by "Elohim's Voyage". Its title is the Hebrew word for "Gods". From the beginning, there's no doubt about the connection to Magma. It starts with a crunching bass sound but soon the keyboards add a chilling touch. The main rhythmic charge then begins, with the aforementioned scat vocals, the slowly increasing heavier drumming and then the guitar. This assault continues on throughout the sixteen minutes but with added surprises, such as the avant-garde saxophone. Approaching the halfway mark, the band is in full flow and, then, everything slows down once more, yet the track keeps together solidly. With four minutes to go, the tune reprises with trumpet and saxophone accompaniment. This reflects the classic Magma, but feels darker and more disturbing. It's a strong track to start the proceedings. "Vilna" named after the Lithuanian city, is a highlight. It's the strongest track on the album, beginning with a catchy keyboard riff that leads on until the bass. "Vilna" isn't as heavy as "Elohim's Voyage", yet is just as catchy, continuing on in true Zeuhl style with a relentlessness of rhythmic sound. "Booldemug" is a softer track. It's jazzier than the previous tracks, featuring much more saxophone and guitar and is a welcome break from what has gone before, making the band sound more diverse than we initially expected. It's here when we realise how much the keyboards dominate "Weidorje" sound without overwhelming all the rest. Ettori also unleashes his guitar skills here.

The 2008 reissue of "Weidorje" contains a couple of live tracks, presumably of pieces of what was to become their second studio album. The music itself is also great, even though it's too poorly recorded. But, what it's true is that they never got the chance to release them in studio properly. But, we were in 1978, a bad year to playing this kind of music.

Conclusion: Despite the use of catchy rhythms, "Weidorje" never get dull or boring, continuously and subtly changing things. The changes are often so subtle that you don't notice them. It's perhaps a lot more palatable than Magma tends to be. All of these tunes tend to hold onto their grooves, rather than constantly moving around, which I suppose is the result of having a bassist writing the music rather than a drummer. "Weidorje" is a great introduction to the genre, as I think it shows of what Zeuhl is capable. Though the group floundered out of the gate, the album was at least well known enough to get two CD reissues. This is a gem of an album and is an essential release for those who have discovered Magma, or who want to discover Magma in the future and a great introductory level album, if not the easiest of listens. If you're a great fan of Magma, this is a must hear. This is a brilliant avant-garde rock album and it's highly recommended.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Weidorje by WEIDORJE album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.19 | 217 ratings

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Weidorje
Weidorje Zeuhl

Review by bartymj

3 stars Paganotti & Gauthier formed a group to record this album under the name of a track they wrote and recorded for Magma's Udu Wudu album. As a result, this full Weidorje album takes themes from that track, and that era of Magma, to create 3 tracks, plus two live bonuses.

The side-long suite Elohim's voyage starts off with an alien sounding intro, perhaps an abduction by the UFO on the album cover. Zeuhl-style scat vocals join in, alongside a great slow head-nodder of a bassline and backed up by slowly increasing metronomic drumming. Guitars, keys and saxophone all chip in to add a bit of variety to this before the bassline shifts rhythm slightly around the 7 minute mark, fading away and returning with a crescendo of trumpet, keys and guitars, with a chorus of vocals adding an eerie feel a couple of minutes later. On 12 minutes, the bass disappears entirely, and its the brass and keys that lead the line - very reminiscent of Magma at this point.

Vilna is very much in the same style, although starting with a catchy keyboard riff that features throughout - the bass is just as heavy and driving of the track, but there is a bit more variety in the rhythms. A particular highlight is on 8 minutes with the trumpet and sax riffing over a repetitive rollicking drum/bass that picks up the pace beat by beat and continues right to the end of the track with some vocal accompaniment too.

Booldemug is a shorter track (still 7 minutes though!), and is much jazzier, and a little more upbeat. The interplay between the brass instruments and keyboard are excellent.

The two live tracks are obviouosly slightly lower quality, particularly a shame for Rondeau where the bass is not as strong. Kolinda though is a great track that is quite similar to the two longer album tracks.

Painfully close to a 4* album this, although the main tracks being quite similar to each other keep it at 3 for me

 Weidorje by WEIDORJE album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.19 | 217 ratings

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Weidorje
Weidorje Zeuhl

Review by Glimpse

5 stars Weidorje was one of many one­off Zeuhl bands that emerged in Magma's wake. What makes them different however, is that it was founded by two ex­Magma members, Bernard Paganotti and Patrick Gauthier. Both of them had played on Magma's album, Üdü Ẁüdü, taking their name from a song the two wrote for the album. The album features a melodic Zeuhl style that further explores the ideas that Magma laid out in Üü Ẁüdü. So without further ado, it's about time we set out on our journey into Weidorje.

Elohim's Voyage greets us as the album kicks off. It begins with a spacey keyboard melody similar that reminds me of Star Trek in a way. With the entrance of the drums laying down a beat that remains mostly unchanged for the majority of the track. It is followed by the bass, cranking out a throbbing dose of fuzziness with a rhythm that compliments the drum beat excellently. The band presents a melodic vocals using hey, ah, and oh sounds rather than actual lyrics, unlike Magma's highly technical Kobaian lyrics. Because of this the vocal parts are generally accompanied by a excellent blend of brass, sax, keyboard, and/or guitar parts playing the same melody. The resulting cooperation of instruments and vocals really helps to portray the concept of the "voyage"; with moods ranging from the mysterious at the start, celebratory fanfare as what I would presume to be the Elohim's voyage, to the ominous middle passage I refer to as the voyage itself. Their ability to convey emotion through their playing allows the listener to easily put together the story behind this song without having to say a word, a quality that will delight those listeners possessing a strong imagination.

Vilna is a departure from the catchy melodies and imagery heard on Elohim's Voyage. Vila is a jazzier track with a heavier emphasis on instrumental composition than what we heard in Elohim. You're introduced to the track with a keyboard solo right off the bat. After the keyboards lead the listener the saxes soon make their entrance with some jazzy repetition. The keyboards maintain dominance for most of the early portion of the track, but as it goes on the winds push them to the background. Vocals are seldom seen in this track, as the band has opted for more of a jazzy instrumental than a melodic style for this track. Because of this, the instrumentation is much tighter than on Elohim. This track is a prime example of Weidorje's exploration into the instrumental side of Zeuhl, something rarely done by other Zeuhl bands.

Booldemug continues the instrumental style from Vilna. But unlike Vilna, Booldemug has a more melodic focus than jazzy sound of the previous track. This is probably the most focused track found on the record. As the shortest track on the album, the band gives themselves less room for experimentation. Resulting in an almost symphonic level of meshing between each instrument as they build a single melody together, as opposed to the musical brawl heard in Vilna. The song itself is a very strong instrumental, with great musicianship and plenty of melody; a satisfying finish to this album.

For any fan of Zeuhl music or if you're looking for looking for something in the same vein as Üdü Ẁüdü, then Weidorje is the album for you. After listening to it, it's clear to see why many here consider it to be one of the strongest albums of the Zeuhl genre, and I have to agree with that. Very few Zeuhl albums pull of melodicism like this with this strong of a performance. But this is only my opinion, so go give it a listen for yourself and see if Weidorje really does live up to the hype!

 Weidorje by WEIDORJE album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.19 | 217 ratings

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Weidorje
Weidorje Zeuhl

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars A much acclaimed album that has never in the five years I've owned it realized the potential power and greatness for which I've been waiting. Regardless, it's time to get this one reviewed and in the can.

1. "Elohim's Voyage" (16:33) seems to plod along at one fairly straightforward speed with one fairly simple and, eventually, obnoxious bass sound and riff. A solid but grossly under-developed Zeuhl song. (8.5/10)

2. "Vilna" (12:20) Every time I hear this song's opening I have to check to make sure I didn't push repeat 'cuz it sounds so much like the album's first song to me. By the end of the first minute I'm relieved as I recognize a new direction the band is exploring. But, unfortunately, the same plodding tempo is used. In the third minute we finally get some of the dark, heaviness that one comes to expect from the Zeuhl sub-genre, but it is short-lived. Then the bass player gets stuck in the fifth minute and can't seem to get out of his rut for the longest time. If the soli over the top were more exciting or even interesting then this might not be a problem but when you're bored with the melodies and treble artists, the bass and rhythm sections get picked apart. Finally, at the eight minute mark, the band gets something going that's exciting! Horns and fast-paced minimalist Steve-Reichian foundation that starts speeding up, carrying us into the frenzied state that we come to know and expect from Magma and its imitators. Even a decent ending! Yay! (9/10)

3. "Booldemug" (7:10) opening with a 'big' sound--everybody engaged and firing up their instruments to the max--I find myself enjoying and appreciating the collective weave and individual instrumentalists for the first time on the album. Love the frenzy all-out attahk of the sixth minute! This is what I'm talking about! Great music. (9.5/10)

Maybe Side One was just their practice/warm up.

 Weidorje by WEIDORJE album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.19 | 217 ratings

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Weidorje
Weidorje Zeuhl

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

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!

 Weidorje by WEIDORJE album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.19 | 217 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.

 Weidorje by WEIDORJE album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.19 | 217 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.
 Weidorje by WEIDORJE album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.19 | 217 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.

 Weidorje by WEIDORJE album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.19 | 217 ratings

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Weidorje
Weidorje Zeuhl

Review by zravkapt
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

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.

 Weidorje by WEIDORJE album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.19 | 217 ratings

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Weidorje
Weidorje Zeuhl

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

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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