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ÉVOHÉ

Zeuhl • France


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Évohé picture
Évohé biography
Founded in Toulouse, France in 1976 - Disbanded in 1982 - Reformed in 2017

Founded in 1974, Evohé was built upon a piece, K'a, which would become the band's bravery creation, evolving from a 14-note theme to a 43-minute major work comprising more than 60 themes and 200 bar changes. On top of this creation were gradually added other pieces, which confirmed the Zeulh inspiration of the music of the band, characterized with a sense of contrasts, a rejection of ease, the use of complex bars and, above all, an energy that got a very enthusiastic feedback from audience and critics. Thanks to the recent and unexpected emergence of recordings from this period, record labels Vapeur Mauve (France), then Music Research Library (USA) and finally Musea Records (France), giving once again an audience to this powerful, passionate music, which is part of the same musical world as Univers Zéro, Art Zoyd or Magma, to name only some of the bands with which Evohé has sometimes shared the stage.






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ÉVOHÉ Videos (YouTube and more)


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ÉVOHÉ discography


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ÉVOHÉ top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.70 | 8 ratings
Evohé
2018

ÉVOHÉ Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

ÉVOHÉ Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

ÉVOHÉ Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.25 | 4 ratings
77-81
2020

ÉVOHÉ Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

ÉVOHÉ Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Evohé by ÉVOHÉ album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.70 | 8 ratings

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Evohé
Évohé Zeuhl

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

5 stars One of quite a few French zeuhl bands that was inspired by Magma and even played with them yet never managed to release a single lick of their material during the years when they existed. EVOHÉ was formed in 1974 in Toulouse, France and consisted of Stéphane Consalvi (keyboards), Roger Lahana (percussion), Michel Mathern (bass) and Philippe Perrichon (guitar). The band name came from a Hebrew word found in the Kabbalah which means "life in all its dynamics" which happens to be the best word to describe this ambitious band's works which were recorded between 1977 and 1982 and then the band called it quits due to personal problems. Oh and even though one of the versions of the album cover looks like it's a black metal band, it's also important to distinguish this archival release from a modern black metal band of the same name also from France!

This band played the live circuits in the 1970s having even played with Magmaa, the creators of zeuhl but like many of the more adventurous zeuhl bands that were a bit too experimental failed to find any interest in their unique sideline of this quirky musical universe. This band was pretty much completely erased from history until it finally found a proper release in 2018 on two different labels, the French label Vapeur Mauve and the US label Music Research Library. For such a recent release this one is very confusing! In 2018 Vapeur Mauve released this compilation on both vinyl and CD and each featured completely different cover art. Add to that the CD from Vapeur Mauve was released under the same eponymous title but only featured one track, the long version of the track "K'a" whereas the vinyl featured only three tracks. They were released together and separate.

Wait, there more! To make things even more complicated the US version released also in 2018 had a third version of cover art. In 2020 the Musea label got in on the act and went one step further by releasing all of the three tracks of the original combo pack on Vapeur Mauve (Sharga, K'a [long and short] plus two more tracks titled "Aïra" and "Seth." This release was more sensibly titled "77-81" and is the version i would recommend if you want all the band's tracks on one physical product. It too has completely different album cover art so all in all for EVOHÉ's mere six tracks released on these various forms, four different releases came out in a mere three years however the Musea covers it all and was released in 2020. I have no idea how these things work but i can only be utterly grateful that these long lost recordings have come to life after decades of being hidden from the world!

It's utterly amazing how quickly so many bands diversified the zeuhl sound of Magma all just a few years after that band's formation. EVOHÉ differentiated itself by going down the avant-prog hybrid route. Unlike virtually every zeuhl band out there, these guys totally eschewed vocals therefore no stentorian choirs and no fictitious lyrics regarding the goings-on throughout the universe. What EVOHÉ resembled was more of a zeuhl influenced Univers Zero without the chamber orchestra instrumentation. Another idiosyncratic feature was the use of the guitar as a main instrument. These guys were a mere quartet and yet they packed a powerful punch of bubbling zeuhl rhythms decorated with ominous avant-prog time signatures and dark brooding marches. The band excelled at creating seemingly simple grooves however they implemented complex time signatures and subtle compositional changes that created the ratchet effect much like the cyclical nature of modern post-rock.

In many ways EVOHÉ does share more in common with Univers Zero, Art Zoyd and Present as some tracks showcase an alternating dedication to those bands' version of avant-prog only with the dominating zeuhl grooves of Magma, Zao, Archaïa and Weidorje. For a mere quartet the band was very skilled at eking out the most with their instruments. While all of the tracks are beyond excellent, the 43-minute long version of "K'a" which represents the vital breath in Egyptian mythology evolved from a 14-note theme and turned into a monstrosity that is comprised of 60 themes and 200 bar changes. Had this been released at the time surely would've qualified for the tripper's paradise shopper's guide, the Nurse With Wound list.

Perhaps the weakest aspect of these excellent musical performances is the production which while cleaned up from the original masters still sounds a bit murky compared to other similar archival releases from bands like Xalph or Zig-Zag but for my liking these slightly lower-fi recordings only evoke a darker sense of mystery to the whole thing much like the world of black metal. Overall what EVOHÉ delivered in its five year run resulted in the perfect hybridization of Magma inspired zeuhl and Univers Zero inspired avant-prog only with energetic guitar solos and off-kilter keyboard extravaganzas. The music from this band is truly mesmerizing as its both hypnotic and progressively complex. Without vocals it certainly lacks the human touch and is much more abstract but for those who don't mind getting their zeuhl fix in a dark grimy alley, this one is absolutely amazing! How many more gems from the past still await release as the world catches up to their visionary artistic statements? We will see.

4.5 but more than good enough to round up!!!

Thanks to sean trane for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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