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PSEU

Zeuhl • France


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Pseu biography
PSEU was a band formed in 1978 in Bordeaux. Influenced by the Zeuhl bands who were active in the early 80's they recorded their only album at two studios in 1981 and 1982 but never released it until a relatively recent reissue. This obscure group disbanded right after the recordings in 1983, leaving behind them a rock album that is somewhere between chamber music, avantgarde and jazz fusion. Recommended to fans of later Zeuhl bands like EIDER STELLAIRE, DUN or ESKATON.

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PSEU discography


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3.54 | 25 ratings
Pseu
2004

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PSEU Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Pseu by PSEU album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.54 | 25 ratings

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Pseu
Pseu Zeuhl

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars French obscurity from Prog darkest years, only released in 2004 on Musea.Pseu came from Bordeaux and were active from late-70's until 1983.The original core was Christian Coutzac on bass/vocals, Philippe Dulong on guitar, Christophe Godet on drums and Francois Meunier, Pierre Delair on keyboards.Philippe Canellas joined them on bass in 1980 for a couple of years, the same period Meunier decided to leave the band.In 1981 Delair also quit and Erik Baron on bass, Thierry Jardiner on keyboards become member of Pseu until their demise in 1983.The material on this CD comes from sessions during the group's lifetime, recorded at two different studios, Studio Carat and Studio Le Chalet.

Pseu were heavily inspired by the French Zeuhl tradition and their style was an orgasmic Prog Fusion with wordless voices, deep bass lines with some complex playing and a flexible work on guitars and keyboards, often linked with Jazz Music.They sometimes appear to throw in some funky moves in the process to deliver a less dark and more pleasant atmosphere, but their sound was actually quite sinister with the KING CRIMSON guitar abnormalities dominating the album and a mood for technical plays, full of breaks and sudden changes, being the leading forces of the album, which contains extended instrumental themes.The influence of MAGMA is evident throughout the listening, the music has this outlandish, operatic atmosphere, which characterized the albums of the French pioneers, while there are also some light, jazzy grooves similar to Belgians COS to be found in the album.The later tracks, which are also the longest ones, saw the band escaping a bit from the Zeuhl borders, these pieces even contain some regular French singing and narrations with theatrical touches and plenty of melodic guitar moments with a laid-back keyboard background, which can be compared to JEAN PAUL PRAT's work of the same period.

Christophe Godet was the only member apparently continuing his career within the prog territory, joining Minimum vital in 1985, around the time the band was still named Concept.So no surprise that Minimum vital's Payssan brothers were among the participants in collecting Pseu's lost tapes.

Tight and very technical Fusion/Zeuhl with impressive guitar work, balanced keyboards and a dark enviroment.Recommended to all fans of the style.

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 Pseu by PSEU album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.54 | 25 ratings

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Pseu
Pseu Zeuhl

Review by Guldbamsen
Forum & Site Admin Group Site and Forum Admin

4 stars Navajo fusion with a twist

When I first popped this album on, I thought it was going to be a mix of late King Crimson and Magma - I especially felt the hard edged angular guitar riffing and deep sonar boom of the bass lines contemplating a joint merger of said bands.

What then struck me was a complete turnover - not so much in the general feel of the album, but more in the direction of things. Sure, like others here have mentioned, there are small snippets of avant flourishes throughout, but what I hear the most - is the kind of quirky Canterbury almost Brand X kind of vibe oozing through in the sound. I thought of John Goodsal on several occasions hearing the frenetic guitar playing on here. The drums, that more than once play rhythms that reach beyond the confines of 1-2-3-4 in a way that makes you go SWOOUUUF!, - sound positively like an angrier Phil Collins with lemon juice in his eyes.

Tell you the truth, you are almost bound to catch something to your taste, if you're approaching this venture from a fusion point of view. Be that the Canterbury way of gluing multi-layered instrumentation together, or the fast paced breaks happening on a dime, although be warned here as you are facing the Zeuhl quarters with an altogether greater understanding of huge cataclysmic sound surfaces. Surfaces that get drawn out on the backbone of an incredible versatile bass, that lunches itself forward like a galloping mustang with sawed off testicles.

Another thing that lies a long way from any of the millions of jazz rock outfits, are the camp parodied operatic vocals that pop up from time to time. Damn... If you can imagine startling a wannabe opera singer in the shower cleaning up for the big audition in one of those reality shows: America's got gas, then you're not that far off. LOUOOUUEEEEUUOOO DEUUUHHH DDDOOUUHHHH!!!! Well, they certainly put a smile on my face, and apart from the humorous tweak they offer - they do sit quite comfortably next to the music, because when all is said and done, they're actually quite subtle and sparse, even if that sounds bizarre and impossible. That's one side of the vocals at least - the other bears resemblance to something entirely different...

Most of this album feels like a classic cowboys and Indians setting though, - a circular siege of the pioneering settler caravan - with the frothing warmongering scorn natives riding their horses wildly about this frightened congregation. The music here sure echoes a galloping feel, and when you then paste on the second part of the gibberish vocals, that sound like a drunk man trying to hum along in his sleep or indeed a couple of Navajos going heiaiaaaii heiaiiaaii heiaaiiaiaiai, you effectively get a rather absurd sonic spectacle. Oh my, how the old western movies would have felt differently, and perhaps a tad strange, had they been supported by Zeuhl flavoured soundtracks...

When you finally get your head around the tasty combo of Brand X gone menacing dark and broody, the closing cut opens up the faucet and serves to you a powerful ode to the French giants of yesteryear. I hear Magma, Eskaton, Eider Stellare and Dün all handed over to you in the course of a good pounding 10 minutes. It's propulsive, huge, booming, symphonic like only the French can be - and damn stunning as well. Like a good healthy kick in the liver from a guy wearing iron flippers.

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 Pseu by PSEU album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.54 | 25 ratings

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Pseu
Pseu Zeuhl

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars It is a great shame that nothing more is known about this band. But it is also even a greater shame that this is their only album. Let's hope someone can resurrect the band.

This is a zeuhl release. But it is not as hard core zeuhl as for example Magma and Shub Niggurath. I would actually put Pseu somewhere between the Canterbury Scene and zeuhl. This album even includes some yodeling. Parts of this music is also pretty jazzy. But the main focus of this album is zeuhl.

The quality is good throughout the album. Unfortunate, without really really flashing into brilliance. The laid back jazz/Canterbury stuff is good. Pseu sounds less convincing on the zeuhl stuff though. For me, this is an album which sounds good, but not stimulate my brain. But it is still a good album and something Pseu could build on for the second album if they had continued as a band. But that was not meant to be.

3 stars

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 Pseu by PSEU album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.54 | 25 ratings

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Pseu
Pseu Zeuhl

Review by Bonnek
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

3 stars Pseu is a French Zeuhl band that recorded one album in 1983. But it didn't get released till more then 20 years later, in 2004. Much of the material comes off as work in progress and probably doesn't present their best songwriting, nor captures them in their finest performance.

Pseu sound like something inbetween Magma and Dün. Dün because of the busy musicianship and the dominating influences from jazz and avant-garde. Magma because of the theatrical vocals that pop up left and right.

I find the album hard to rate. I can hear 4 stars potential everywhere but it is never realised. Somehow the music remains too studied and weird for me. I miss the dynamic drumming, the intensity, and the vocal harmonies that make Magma such a rewarding listen. The Simulacre, parts I and II appeal most to me. The music seems to flow more spontaneously here and creates a great atmosphere.

After hearing Pseu I'll have to conclude again that Zeuhl remains very much a Magma and not much else deal for me, Eskaton excepted maybe. Pseu can't convince me they have any business hanging around in the Kobaian world of their Zeuhl masters. Despite the potential, both song writing and performance fail to leave a lasting impression on me.

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 Pseu by PSEU album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.54 | 25 ratings

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Pseu
Pseu Zeuhl

Review by The Quiet One
Prog Reviewer

3 stars A darker Zeuhl....

Pseu was a french band that existed between 1979 and 1983. Pseu can be described as a Magma meets Gentle Giant mainly because of the dark mood, as well as from the dynamic rythm section typical from Zeuhl, as well to be compared to King Crimson's fiercey and dissonance in the times of Adrian Belew, specially in Biguine, with guitars and melody typical of Discipline, but also featuring some quirky vocals ala Magma.

Magma's Attahk presence: Satno Danse is definitely similar to Attahk in style, despite the lack of fusion remiscent of Attahk, but the more accesible zeuhl style of Attahk without doubt is here. Mind you, the Crimson influence is also here, the dissonance, the avant-garde presence, all here making one single song. The song itself has a tight rythm all along the song, in which few ocassions it changes tempo. A bit repetitive composition-wise, but musically it's very good.

Vidance is another one in the vein of Attahk(but in the darker aspects), specially Maahnt's darkness and The Last Seven Minutes rythm section. Though the composition is defintely more in the style of Maahnt, dark development with excellent bass playing. A bit to dark for my taste, but take the dark out, and the song is very good.

Demascarade is the brighter side of the album, with a bit of Weather Report chilling key/bass touches, and Attahk's happy side. With a excellent development, from the soft and slow intro, it starts speeding up, with a lot of jazz fusion remiscence, with a excellent guitar solo, vocals very ala Magma, appear giving it a classic Zeuhl feel. Definitely the best song on the album.

''The mini-epic'': Simulacre is divided in 2 songs, wisely because they really don't join together. The first part is in the style of Attahk from Magma like the previous song, with the fusion style in it. Also there's some Zappa alike melodies/chords throughout the song, making the song more avant-gardist than fusion, still the great jazzy bass and piano are present. The second ''part''(song) is a tenebrous one, with a dark climax all through the song, not creating even a hair of enjoyability. The composition also reminds me to The Devil's Triangle by King Crimson, just that the haunting mood isn't created by the mellotron in here.

One more dark tune: Miroir joins the somber realm of Vidance and Simulacre(part 2), just that this one may be the best one of the 3, with some great guitar touches, and excellent bass like always. The last 2 minutes of the song are pretty much my cup-of-tea, in the happy/motivating style of Attahk by Magma, with cheerful vocals(despite I don't understand them), those 2 last minutes save this track from my skip-pressing. Don't get me wrong, as I said earlier, it has a great composition, but too dark for my style.

To finish, I'll round it up saying this is, as you already noticed, a very somber Zeuhl album, a bit darker that from what I know from Magma, as well as having a less avant-garde style characteristic from the early, classic Magma, so as I named before, this is more in the style of Attahk, because of the fusion elements, and more accesible compositions(less avant-agarde), though without doubt with great musicianship.

Not sure which rate I must give this one, because it's not reallly a bad album, either a excellent one, though there are moments which I think this is not for me(poor), though on other moments I think wow, this is excellent. I'll be fair, and give it a solid 3 stars.

Dark fusion(with avant moments) and quirky music lovers, this might appeal you.

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 Pseu by PSEU album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.54 | 25 ratings

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Pseu
Pseu Zeuhl

Review by Shakespeare

3 stars Defunct since 1983, Pseu, another French avant-garde Zeuhl group, released this album, lonely theirs, in 2004. Eliminating the alternative possibility, time travel, it's clear that somebody hunted these tapes down to release. In fact, there were two somebodies. The two Passyan brothers, leading their French band Minimum Vital (or Vital Duo), searched successfully for the Pseu master tapes, and subsequently released the suckers on the label they were signed, Musea. The band wasn't directly involved, to my knowledge, with the release and marketing of the album. Maybe this, accompanied by the knowledge it was recorded over a period of three years by, essentially, two different bands, steals the music of a personal aura, removes a vital fluency. Despite the lacking of warmness, and poor sound quality, the music is generally very well written and performed.

Expect another genuine maelstrom of intricacies, weaved tightly with an addictive groove, derived primarily from the phenomenal bass playing of Erik Baron. The flurry of jagged notes, protruding starkly from the bosom of the rhythm, dominate the initial track and the first Simulacre section, exported by both a uniquely sounding guitar, and a damp glockenspiel/xylophone. However, I suggest the finest on both scales of complexity and groove, the second track Satno Danse, wins the gold. Its totally seducing bass line, in what sounds to be a time signature 5.5/4, upheld by furious guitar and drums, proves it the highlight. Other tracks are great as well: many of them sinister in nature. Simulacre's second movement displays the dark potential of the band. Following this fourth track, though, the album slowly turns.

On the trio of long songs, vocals appear, and gradually grind to center stage. The first of the three, Vidance, begins as the early portion of the album had, with swift arrangements, but soon gives way to the agitated vocal work. The instruments still stand their ground very well, despite their prominence being challenged by the vocal chords of Christian Coutzac. However, once the second of the three long songs comes, I feel the album plummets and doesn't recuperate. The vocal work completely takes over, in a very mangled and psychotic light, leaving the instruments little to do but jam around a decent bass line, adding the occasional splash of subdued complexity or guitar solos. Not only do the final two tracks feel terribly rigid, and dragged, but they're subject to a far inferior sound quality, and a different line up! Fluency, already not in excess, is annihilated.

Despite Vidance working as a transition song between the quick-paced, condensed, complex rockers, to the stretched, tedious, long songs, the final two tracks deal a bit of a blow to the album. The vocal work is very jagged, and coupled with dreadful sound quality, taints the memory of the album's second half in a poor light. Regardless: up to Vidance, it is an extremely strong album, by no means essential, but worth exploring for the adventurous listener.

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 Pseu by PSEU album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.54 | 25 ratings

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Pseu
Pseu Zeuhl

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

5 stars PSEU were a band from Bordeaux, France who existed from 1979-1983. Their music is very much in the MAGMA school of things with male French vocals. His vocals are often theatrical, sometimes tortured and you could add strange and bizarre to those descriptions as well. He often sings melodies without words, and sometimes mimics an instrument that has just played ahead of him. He's great. There is a definite Rio flavour at times, and talk about complex arrangments and instrumental work ! This music is for the adventerous who are up for a challenge, but who also enjoy catchy rhythms and beautiful solos.Yes I am blown away by this obscure release,much as I was with Francois Thollot's album "Contact". The tempos change often as do the moods, from bright and sunny, to dark and sinister. This is a trip. This is brilliant.

"Biguine" hits the ground running with relentless bass and pounding drums. The guitar and keys both come and go. The vocal melodies are great and mimic the instruments at times. There is some screeching guitar that's hard on the ears before the song starts to slow down as it ends. "Satno Danse" has a good beat of bass and drums as the guitar adds to the sound. Vocal melodies 1 1/2 minutes in. This song seems simple enough but it works to perfection. Keys comes in after 3 minutes.This is fantastic ! Some nice jazzy guitar to end it. "La Ronde Du Jardinier (Simulacre / Part 1)" opens with what sounds like xylophone but the bass is dominating. This has such a great soundscape with plenty of tempo changes. Check out the sound 3 1/2 minutes in, the keys and drums shine. "Rencontre Avec Les Devas (Simulacre / Part 2)" has a darker sound with some eerie guitar that is slowly played. Cymbals clash in the background slowly as well. This one is more like chamber music. Now we get to the final three songs which happen to be the longest three tracks as well.

"Vidange" opens with the drums pounding away as the angular guitar melodies come in.The vocal melodies join in and then he starts to speak words, he's very theatrical. Ok he's starting to act a little weird now 4 minutes in as he's laughing, speaking, and just carrying on really. The soundscape is beautiful and the guitar is incredible 6 minutes in. The song slows right down after 8 minutes, but it's brief. It picks right back up with vocals returning 10 minutes in to close it out. "Miroir" is my favourite song on this record. The vocals are a little crazy, operatic actually, and the sound is plain amazing. The guitar grinds away as drums pound and bass throbs. 3 minutes in the vocals are even stranger as the guitar turns dark and the cymbals clash. More angular guitar 5 minutes in. Nice. The vocals at this point are tortured and deranged. This guy needs help. The song slows right down and out of that calm a light appears in the form of an uptempo, bright soundscape with some scorching guitar and vocal melodies. This is great ! The final song is called "Demascarade". We get some light drums and keys with some Latimer-like soaring guitar. Well not quite soaring but it's getting there. The song speeds up with vocals 3 minutes in. There is a long hypnotic section of drums and bass as the guitar and vocals show off. After 8 minutes we get some blistering guitar with keys and vocal melodies. And I mean blistering guitar !

Thankyou so much Avestin for bringing another great recording to my attention. The vocals took a little time to digest but they're really Avant-garde on only a couple of tracks. It's the instrumental music that really took my breath away. This is a masterpiece.

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