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RIALZU

Zeuhl • France


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Rialzu biography
Corsican band Rialzu (Revival in Corsican) was formed in the early 1970's, released only one album, U Rigiru, in 1978, disappeared into oblivion only to be resurrected in 2008 with the reissue of their album by the Soleil Zeuhl label.
The roots of Rialzu can be traced back to an initial meeting of 4 young musicians in Avignon, France at a Jesuit school, as guitarist Gilles Renne recalls in the booklet of the reissued album. Corsican organist Christophe Mac Daniel, his then drummer brother Francois and bassist Patrick Bataille were the three others who initially formed the not yet named Rialzu with its ever changing names.
They would meet in the summer vacations in Corsica at the Mac Daniel's home to practice and perform. Their beginning was that of playing cover versions of bands such as Santana, Chicago and Pink Floyd, slowly shifting to more elaborate music by Genesis, King Crimson, Yes and Magma who would eventually, as Renne writes, be a major influence.
The actual initiation of the band occurred in 1976, recalls Gilles, during Easter, when Christophe approached him with his compositions and lyrics in Corsican; by that time Gilles' brother, Olivier was an accomplished drummer and the three of them began working on those compositions. In summer of 1976, under the name Rialzu, they performed several concerts as well as a recording for the French radio with Olivier in the drum seat, Francois as the bassist now, Dominique (Dume) Gallet playing violin and as vocalist. In the summer of 1977 more shows followed, where Gilles was absent due to his stay in the USA, and aided by vocalists Patrizia Poli and Patrizia Gattacecca.
In May 1978, after reaching a deal to record an album in co-production with studio Ricordu, the band recorded their album with a reinforced lineup: vocalists Francoise Auge and Jean-Philippe Gallet (Dominique's brother). The recording procedure on an 8 track tape recorder was tough as they only had one day to record and mix the album. the album was released in June 1978 in 1000 copies, distributed only in Corsica. It became a highly sought after and expensive LP and only with the reissue by Soleil Zeuhl in 2008 can this album now be appreciated by a wider audience. The reissue also features two live tracks from August 1976 and 1977 and a live video clip.
The band disbanded shortly after with Dominique and Christophe joining the Corsican band Canta U Populu Corsu.

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U RigiruU Rigiru
Import
Soleil Zeuhl 2008
Audio CD$22.09
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RIALZU discography


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

4.04 | 26 ratings
U Rigiru
1978

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

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RIALZU Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 U Rigiru by RIALZU album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.04 | 26 ratings

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U Rigiru
Rialzu Zeuhl

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Corscian Zeuhl outfit Rialzu's debut album is an enormous homage to classic-period Magma. Now, I know what you're thinking - "Isn't that true of all zeuhl?" - but it's especially true here; the extended jams here sound just like Magma compositions, and indeed at points they seem on the verge of just ceasing the pretense and slipping into just covering Magma. Still, Gilles Rennes' exciting guitar solos add an interesting spin to the usual zeuhl formula of pulsating rhythms and ominous chanting. If you really like Magma (and I do), it's worth trying out, but if you don't feel the Magma vibe then it's almost certainly not going to appeal to you.

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 U Rigiru by RIALZU album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.04 | 26 ratings

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U Rigiru
Rialzu Zeuhl

Review by Dobermensch

3 stars A fairly lively album with exaggerated drums by this Corsican group from 1978. Plenty of nice quiet parts with that Pink Floyd 'Dogs' piano sound throughout which I personally love. The first track - 'U Rigiru' has these elements with warbly soprano male vocals and occasional high pitched pretty girl voices that lift the tune higher still. 'I Lagramanti' (whatever that means) has vigorous but doomy vocals, some nice organ and lots of drums that stop-start and a 'Magma' bass... Make of that what you will! A difficult one to describe... Jazz, rock, psychedelic with a bit of Zeuhl thrown on top.

Definitely to be classed under 'Zeuhl'', An underrated album that has as many good points as bad, the bad being the particularly muddled construction. The good being the originality and sombreness sprinkled with lightness at any given moment. Unusual, but good.

That is... until the live bonus track. It's rubbish. Dreadfully recorded and with the lead vocalist sounding like he's being throttled by Hannibal Lecter throughout. It would have been better leaving this tune off altogether especially when it reaches an unbearable 13 minutes. Not only that, the sound fades in and out, making it a very poor addition.

'A Man Di Diu' is the 2nd bonus track and is a big slice of studio doom with those deep vocals, sounding more in line with the rest of the album.

Pretty good.

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 U Rigiru by RIALZU album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.04 | 26 ratings

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U Rigiru
Rialzu Zeuhl

Review by toroddfuglesteg

4 stars An excellent lost and found album.

This album was originally released in 1978 and fell into obscurity pretty quickly. Our good friends in Soleil Zeuhl re-released it again thirty years later. Something I am very grateful for. This album is no less than a diamond.

This album is labeled as Zeuhl. Well, I am not sure about that. The music here is in my view as much Symphonic, RPI, Eclectic, RIO and folk as well as Zeuhl. The title track pretty much falls down in all these above mentioned categories. It is a very pastoral track with a lot of references to both Genesis masterpiece Foxtrot, PFM's first three albums and most of Gentle Giant's albums. This is Zeuhl-light.

The rest of the album is also very pastoral and lyrical, driven by organ as it is. The vocals is also pretty special and a blend of RPI and Zeuhl. All the tracks are really great. Unfortunate, the sound level on the bonus tracks are not up to scratch. But this is still a great album with a great crossover appeal to both fans of Genesis, PFM, Gentle Giant and Eskaton.

4 stars

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 U Rigiru by RIALZU album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.04 | 26 ratings

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U Rigiru
Rialzu Zeuhl

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

5 stars We've all heard about these so called "lost classics" being unearthed and all the hype that goes along with them, only to find out after we get the recording that there was a good reason for it being lost in the first place.Thankfully there are exceptions to this rule. And this is certainly one of them. RIALZU are from the French island of Corsica located between France and Italy. At the time of this recording there was a movement in Corsica to protect their language and culture. This album which uses the Corsican language became an important part of this movement. There is no doubt the band was a fan of MAGMA although other than the start of the first track these guys really have their own sound. The original album was just over 30 minutes long and 1,000 copies were distributed in Corsica only. So if you own one of these in good shape you can get up to a thousand dollars for it. So that is why this recording was so unknown until the re-issue on cd recently. By the way Greg Walker raved about this and I now know why.

"U Rigiru" which means "The Circle" opens with outbursts of sound that come and go reminding me so much of MAGMA. Violin before a minute then the tempo picks up with guitar. Again this has a strong MAGMA flavour to it. Organ and piano become prominant, bass too until the music stops after 3 1/2 minutes. This is calm and atmospheric until the violin comes in before 5 minutes.Vocals after 6 minutes. It's still pastoral. The vocal melodies really sound like a female so i'll pretend they are. A fuller sound before 11 minutes and we get some male vocal melodies too. Another calm as the music stops after 12 minutes. A drum solo then follows. It picks back up with deep male vocals after 14 1/2 minutes. His vocals actually sound like a mellotron. Female vocals too. Great finish !

"I Lagramanti" opens with spacey winds and eerie vocal melodies. Drums after a minute. A calm before 2 1/2 minutes but it's still windy. It kicks in with violin,organ and drums after 3 1/2 minutes. The guitar joins in. Nice bass too. The vocals are powerful before 4 1/2 minutes but they stop a minute later as angelic female vocal melodies arrive.The organ continues. Violin after 6 1/2 minutes as it picks back up with drums and bass. Male vocals return then those female vocal melodies also kick back in around 9 minutes. Winds and those mellotron-like vocals end it. Nice. "A Mubba" is a great Fusiony tune with piano and drums standing out. Guitar 1 1/2 minutes in. Male vocal melodies take over then the guitar returns.

So that's the original album and for me a definite 5 stars for it. Two live bonus tracks are included which I would give 4.5 stars to. Yes they're excellent. A must for Zeuhl fans out there.

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 U Rigiru by RIALZU album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.04 | 26 ratings

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U Rigiru
Rialzu Zeuhl

Review by Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Hailing from the island of Corsica, Rialzu delivered such a beautiful musical work in the realm of avant-prog back in the later 70s, just when the RIO and zeuhl movements had already set their respective standards in the European musical scene. Sometimes listed under the band's namesake title, but mostly entitled "U Riguru", this sole effort combines clear traces of the Magma archetype with jazz-tinged enthusiastic musical flows, plus some melodically defined motifs that clear out any possibility of turning sinister or tense to a level more common to other Francophone avant-garde acts such as Art Zoyd, Magma, etc. Actually, the overall style that impregnates Rialzu's offer is more in tune with Potemkine, Le Grand Nebuleux and the preferential jazzy side of Zao (second album onwards). An especially noticeable feature in Riazlu's music is a particular obsession to enhance the drummer's role, to the point each track from the album's original repertoire comprises a drum solo that, in general, emulates the gymnastics of Billy Cobham. Another important aspect in the band's offer is the nonnegotiable use of the Corsican language in the sung parts, a Nationalist trademark that Rialzu took to heart gladly. The album kicks off with 'U Riguru', whose ceremonious intro theme announces the arrival of majestic colors. Once the full ensemble is set out in a recognizable accord, the band indulges in an intense jam where the keyboard input surpasses that of the guitar ? the Potemkine reference seems quite clear to these ears. Next is a calmer passage, lyrical yet with enough traces of (subtle) power as to keep itself from becoming straightforward ethereal. The synth ornaments lead to somewhat epic textures, without getting too flashy, so the momentum's delicacy could be properly preserved. The drum solo creates a free-form moment, in this way preparing the adequate room for the exquisite coda (a faster reprise of a previous slow motif). 'I lagramanti' bears an inverted structure: it starts eerie and tenuous, propmtly expaniding on almost-tormented chorale that culminate in a powerful fusion-instilled extroverted section. By this time, we can find mysterious passages where the organ takes center stage, in this way, confronting the amazing violin lines that go flowing by. 'A mubba' closes down the original 3-track list with an enhanced fusion vibe, whose warm moods may somehow remind the educated prog collector of Arti + Mestieri and the lighter side of Weather Report. While the presence of choral parts adds an aura of mystery to the whole scheme, it is the imperative swing that consistently remains the track's core. As cohesive and mature as this track appears to our ears, it was actually penned by the band's guitarist along the way in order to complete the album's repertoire. And so ends the album in its original shape, but the digital edition includes two bonus tracks - 'U sterpamondu' and 'A man di Diu', with the former prolonging the calculated density of tracks 1 and 2, and the latter indulging deep in contemplative ambiences (not unlike the majestic side of Pink Floyd and King Crimson in their good old days). This album and this band have attained some sort of cult status among prog collectors, and I agree that it is very well deserved: despite the sound quality imperfections (it was recorded in a one-day session by a band whose extreme youth was at odds with their talent), this album is real lost treasure waiting for its marginal crowd to grow.

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