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DÜN

Zeuhl • France


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Dün biography
DÜN came from Nantes in France, an instrumental sextet with ambitions of uniting all "known" types of prog. DÜN were the bastard offspring of Frank ZAPPA and MAGMA, with a heavy dose of RIO sensibility. The result was a 100% successful mix of Canterbury-, Zappa-, RIO-, Zeuhl- and symphonic impulses, music on a technical and theoretical level far above the main bulk of the average artists.

"Eros" was the group's only album. Recorded in 1981 and based on a popular concept written by Frank HERBERT, "Dune" would become as some sort of references with the track "Arrakis". All the tracks are consistently good, even on through the bonus tracks. The four studio tracks smoke from beginning to end. But, like most Zeuhl music, the bass and drums play a very dominant role. Another remarkable feature of the album is a strong flute presence. Personally I think that "Eros" is one of the best instrumental progressive albums made to date. Superb and essential masterpiece. Very strongly recommended!!!

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4.24 | 509 ratings
Eros
1981

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DÜN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Eros by DÜN album cover Studio Album, 1981
4.24 | 509 ratings

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Eros
Dün Zeuhl

Review by sgtpepper

4 stars Dun were a pretty unique band. Armed with great talent and creativity, they set out to release a stunning work in 1981, when most other prog bands had at least one leg crossing over to other genres. Their music is dense, detail-oriented and yet sounds chaotic at times although I'm convinced they deliberately decided to play every second of their music they did and it wasn't a jam. The first track is breathtaking, moog, flute, drums, bass and guitar presenting a tough mix of prog, avantgarde and fusion motives. The second track "Arrakis" is a relief in intensity featuring flute and a beautiful melancholic motive where a Scandinavian band wouldn't be ashamed before borrowing a point or two from Zappa's fusion times. "Eros" is arguably the most experimental and non-accessible track that drums bring together despite incoherent themes and soloing. It's not the best track to me but showing another characteristics of the album. Highly recommended to very demanding fans who can attentively listen to the album to find nuances upon repeated listens.
 Eros by DÜN album cover Studio Album, 1981
4.24 | 509 ratings

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Eros
Dün Zeuhl

Review by AJ Junior

5 stars Dün's Eros is an album that has truly changed my life. This album is an absolute Zeuhl masterpiece and is one of the if not the greatest Zeuhl albums of all time. I first heard Eros about a year and a half ago when I had just gotten into prog, and I was not ready for it yet. I was disgusted and reluctantly made my way through the album. Fast forward a year later and after expanding my eclectic prog tastes, the album resonated with me a little more. I wasn't totally in love with it yet, but after about 3 or 4 listens, I knew it was going to be one of my favorite albums ever.

The album opens with the explosive "L'Epice", a wonderful track with epic percussion and guitar work from Alain Termolle, and Jean Geeraerts. The song begins with a massive drum roll, followed by the flute, xylophone, and guitar madness. It has a few jazz/avant-garde pockets that are complemented nicely by Geeraerts' guitar soloing, and some other melodic guitar sections that sound really unique and nice. The time signature and time feel throughout the song are constantly changing (as with the rest of this album). The latter half of the song goes into a synth and keys-driven riff that has almost all members of the band solo over. Great track and a great opener to a great album that shows the stunning musician.

The second track "Arrakis" is my personal favorite off of the album. A hauntingly beautiful piano-driven track with various flute overtures, the song contains two main movements, the first half and the second half. The first half is a melodic masterpiece, during which keyboardist Bruno Sabathe holds a consistent D Note for 3-4 minutes while flutist Pascal Vandenbulcke (also the writer of the song) and Geeraerts both extensively solo of the underlying piano track. After the outstanding beginning, the song picks up, and so does the tempo. The synth takes over and it stretches on for the remainder of the track with various solos, interludes, and adaptations including a drum/percussion solo that goes on for about two minutes. The thumping, fast-paced bass line from Thierry Tranchant carries the second half of the song.

Moving the side two of the album, Bitonio opens with a xylophone note repeating, which is overlayed with guitar, flute, and piano notes repeating. After a rhythmic build-up with very odd time signatures and accents, the song is introduced to its main piano riff and builds from there. Astonishing flute and guitar from Vandenbulcke and Geeraerts complement the song as it shifts from the main riff to an ambient section, and back to an explosive variation of the main riff. The song then slows down for a melodic section which is broken by screeching guitar and again brought back into a plethora of crescendos, variations of the main riff, and synth ambiance. Towards the final stand of the song, voices enter and a massive crescendo ends the song abruptly.

The fourth and final track on the album is the title track "Eros," which is also the longest track on the album clocking in at 10:30 about. The beginning of the song is dominated by synth and flute-driven licks, and occasional drums as the main riff slowly build with eerie synths from Sabathe. Steadily, the different instruments build on the riff and begin to come together as the synths turn to piano. The volume begins increasing at around the 4:30 mark, and the riff sets in. Epic flute, xylophone, and guitar picking pick up and a synth solo begins. Thierry Tranchant's bass seems to have a phaser on it at this point which adds to the established Zeuhl atmosphere of celestial noises. As a flute lick from "Arrakis" come in, the song turns to a new rhythmic section during which voices begin to chant "EROS EROS EROS EROS.." The ending of the song is a chilling nursery rhyme-sounding bit from a musical box, which truly encapsulates the eerie beauty of the album in just a few notes. A fitting ending to a wonderful album.

The bonus tracks from the 2012 reissue by Soleil records include a new song called "Acoustic Fremen" which is a soundtrack-Esque acoustic guitar and flute song written by Geeraertes, Vandenbulcke, and Philippe Portejoie, a saxophonist who only appears during the bonus tracks. The other bonus tracks include two early demos of "Arrakis" a demo of "Bitonio" and a demo of "Eros."

This 1981 magnum opus of Progressive Rock is truly a wonderful piece of music. It is really a shame that a band with such immense talent only made one album, but unfortunately, this was the case more often than not with the late seventies/early eighties bands from the international community. This album is an easy 5 stars, and I would recommend it to anyone who loves high intensity, high velocity, yet melodic and ambient music.

 Eros by DÜN album cover Studio Album, 1981
4.24 | 509 ratings

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Eros
Dün Zeuhl

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Review Nş 527

In the 70's, France became as one of the leading European nations for progressive rock music. Symphonic rock in the tradition of King Crimson, Genesis and Yes was represented in France especially by Ange, Atoll, Pulsar, Mona Lisa and Clearlight. At the same time, a phenomenon appeared in France that would become known as Zehul, a sub-genre of the progressive rock. It was born from the band Magma and was created by Christian Vander, the drummer and founder of that group. The term that gives the name is an adjective in Kobaïan, an artificial language, designed by Vander himself. Influenced by Magma and by Henry Cow, the British band responsible from what became known as RIO, several French bands were born such as Weidorje, Art Zoyd, Shub-Niggurath and Dün. The last one will be the subject of this review.

Dün was a French progressive rock band, active from 1978 to 1981. During those years, they played shows with Magma and Art Zoyd. Dün isn't a mainstream band but it's highly regarded, a RIO-inclined band but with firmly roots in Zeuhl. They almost became a part of the short-lived Rock In Opposition grouping of bands in Europe in 70's. Strictly a regional phenomenon, "Dün recorded their only album "Eros", a quite rare LP. "Eros" was reissued in CD. It includes the four original tracks of the LP plus five bonus tracks, four of which are early demos of the tracks on the original LP release.

"Eros" was released in 1981. The line up is Jean Geeraerts (electric and acoustic guitars), Bruno Sabathe (piano and synthesizer), Pascal Vandenbulcke (flute and recorder), Alain Termolles (percussion, xylophone and vibraphone), Thierry Tranchant (bass) and Laurent Bertaud (drums). It has also the participation of Philippe Portejoie (saxophone).

Probably, the main inspiration of Dün is Frank Zappa's works. The similarities can be heard especially in a similar approach to the music, but also in the rhythmic layer. In addition, Dün has clear influences of Magma and Henry Cow. And, in a lesser extent, King Crimson, Gentle Giant and Mahavishnu Orchestra are clearly noticeable here. Dün shares with all these bands the ability of combine ambitious rock, jazz, especially fusion, and the 20th century avant-garde music. The instruments used by the group, beyond obviously guitar, bass and percussion, include many others. The flute, piano, sometimes the synthesizer, as well as the vibraphone and xylophone have an important role in their music.

The four compositions are very complex. It's completely instrumental, except for a few vocal noises in the second half of the album. That strongly distinguishes them from Magma and generally the typical Zeuhl, Gentle Giant and most of Zappa's music. The pieces are very free in nature, full of rhythmic twists, dynamic jumps and frequently changing motifs. Unpredictable structures are reminiscent of Henry Cow's achievements. The atmosphere on the album is quite dark. It brings to mind associations with Zappa and Gentle Giant. Some guitar parts are associated with King Crimson. The whole album is influenced by Magma, who in a similar but with a different effect, drew from jazz and avant-garde.

About the pieces, "L'Epice" is a good indication of things to come on the album. It's a very consistent track, consistent in that the level of frantic jerking and twisting stays roughly the same throughout. The track includes a few recurring themes in its winding structure. The music is very complex with lots of dissonances going on throughout the entire track. "Arrakis" starts off simply with keyboards playing, and flute joins in before long. Its beginning could introduce a Henry Cow piece with its quiet and strange piano harmonies. The use of the tuned percussion is a reminiscent of Zappa. This song, in particular, brings to my mind scenes from Frank Herbert's "Dune" series. The track has a proggy ending. "Bitonio", at a mere seven minutes, is the baby of the bunch, but it's no less wonderfully complex than its siblings. At times bombastic, at times subdued, it retains an almost spooky air with mind-blowing solo piano sections and an impressive rhythmic work by the bass, percussions and vibraphone. The best are the vocal grunts towards the end. The title track "Eros" finishes the album with an intriguing avant style. It's similar in structure to "Arrakis", slow at the beginning but building up to a frenzied final. It starts stilly commanded by flute. It gradually develops into a heavier foundation with some spacey keyboards that disappear while the intensity of the jamming increases closing the album.

Conclusion: "Eros" is a classic Zeuhl instrumental album that appears on the progressive lists all the time, as one of the best progressive rock albums ever. This is one of those rare cases that sounds like the band came out of nowhere and invented the music for themselves, knitting it with wisdom, love and passion. You have to admire the inventiveness and sheer originality of this amazing album. Based on Frank Herbert's "Dune", it's a showcase of musical virtuosity. They seamlessly combine the influences of Magma, Frank Zappa, Henry Cow, Mahavishnu Orchestra and some others, adding their own fluffy touch interpretation and creating a true amazing piece. But, despite all those influences, Dün manages to sounds like nobody else. I recommend this album to any lover of Zehul, RIO and avant-garde prog music.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Eros by DÜN album cover Studio Album, 1981
4.24 | 509 ratings

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Eros
Dün Zeuhl

Review by bartymj

3 stars Instrumental Zeuhl, pretty Avant-Garde with links to the likes of Frank Zappa. The Zeuhl style is added to by regular use of a flute and various percussion, particularly xylophones. Its a really eclectic mix and you'll either love it or hate it, but its certainly something different in the genre.

Although its probably the least Zeuhl-like, my favourite track is the first, L'Epice. This jumps wildly between styles, incorporating jazz rock, Canterbury, Zeuhl and the Avant-Garde etc. and features xylophones heavily. Its a suspenseful track but pretty fast paced, sounding somewhat like a chase scene. The bass playing is excellent, as is the tight drumming and occasional flute. Arrakis is equally fast paced and frenetic, with a lot more piano and flute to drive it. Equally a very good track. From here though I'm less enthused as Bitonio and the title track are a little too improvisational and messy for my tastes. But I can appreciate the strong technical musicianship so it would definitely go down well with certain fans.

Pretty decent.

 Eros by DÜN album cover Studio Album, 1981
4.24 | 509 ratings

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Eros
Dün Zeuhl

Review by mariorockprog

5 stars A masterpiece by Dun, a french group that mainly participated in the festivals of Rock in Opposition of that era along with Magma. It is also a overlooked band that I think deserved more success, they only produced one album, but is a gem, however commercially they didn't have the enough success to continue making more. I am not a really big fan of zeuhl style, in fact outside of Magma and Dun, I dint like other band. However I have to recognize that this album is a masterpiece, the combination of all instrument and the quality of musical composition is excellent. I liked how the album flows with every song and the sudden apparition of different rhythms with different instruments make it very interested, also the contra-tempo managed of the music is perfect. I think this is a must have album, for me the best of Zeuhl music, and also can recommend to any prog listener who doesn't really know Zeuhl and want to start with the sub-genre.
 Eros by DÜN album cover Studio Album, 1981
4.24 | 509 ratings

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Eros
Dün Zeuhl

Review by marcobrusa

5 stars One of my favourite zeuhl albums, if this category is correct. I cannot explain the sensations i felt with my fifth listening of this album (that's when i knew i was never goning to forget this music) but i'll try. It was like postmodernism made music. Not that i am postmodern, but this really broke my beliefs and preconceptions about progressive rock. For the first time i was blown away by something groovy, dissonant and brutal at the same time. Whenever i feel like beautiful melodies are the best that music can offer, i remember this album and think: "Is really beautiful music beauty? Or may ugliness become beauty?" This is ugly aesthetically, but beautiful at the same time. The concept is perfect.
 Eros by DÜN album cover Studio Album, 1981
4.24 | 509 ratings

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Eros
Dün Zeuhl

Review by GKR

5 stars As a flute maniac as I am... this is heaven!

Complete melodies driven the sound, few sparce notes completing bridges, all in a the wacky structure that only the Zeuhl genre can provide. A bit jazzy, but already something else. The percussion was another element that knock me off when I heard the album. The mixture of so many equipment did not polluted the ambient - as space was given to this section, no instrument compete with each other. Every one have their chance to practice and then everyone get back together. It flow back and forwards.

I'am no speciallist in Zeuhl (in fact, I'am starting this journey), but hey, I know what I like, and this album is absolutely fantastic.

 Eros by DÜN album cover Studio Album, 1981
4.24 | 509 ratings

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Eros
Dün Zeuhl

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Dün came to life in Nantes, France around 1976 as Vegetaline Boufiol with Francois Teillard on guitar, Laurent Bertaud on drums, Jacques Bretonnierre on piano, Michel Blancart on bass and Pascal Vandenbulcke on flute.Two years later they were renamed to Kan-Daar, trying to escape from the Magma, Mahavishnu Orchestra and Frank Zappa covers, composing original material.Philippe Portejoie was added on sax and Thierry Tranchant, Bruno Sabathe and Jean Geeraerts replaced Blancart, Bretonnierre and Teillard respectively.The band gigged around the Nantes area, playing in small venues in front of a few people, and then changed its name to Dün.The song titles started to be influenced by Frank Herbert novels and, despite the departure of the saxophonist and the coming of Alain Termol on percussion, Dün would travel to Switzerland and visit the Studio Sun Rise in Kirchberg to self-finance what was going to be their only album ''Eros''.They never actually searched for a proper distributor and the album was pressed in around 1000 copies in 1981, sold at concerts.

Listening to this album I have a feeling that Dün could actually become the next hottest name in the French Avant Prog scene, if they weren't so lazy and took their music more seriously, even if the time was not the proper one for playing intense, progressive music.What the guys proposed in ''Eros'' was four long, instrumental tracks, somewhere in the middle between MAGMA and SUPERSISTER, delivering dense and frenetic interplays with dissonant plays and charming instrumental interactions.The music contains elements from R.I.O., Chamber Music, Jazz and Zeuhl, but the basis is a schizophenic Progressive Rock with instrumental changes and different protagonists in each segment.Excellent use of dominant and haunting piano lines next to sharp synth moves, beautiful and virtuosic flute parts by Pascal Vandenbulcke, a fiery, jazzy rhythm section and an excellent rhythm guitarist, which accompanies the chaos of powerful interplays.But then again there are some more ''symphonic'' and laid-back tunes with flute and synthesizer leading the way along with MAGMA's throbbing, operatic musicianship.Vandenbulcke and pianist Bruno Sabathe are also the reasons why this album should be strongly linked to R.I.O. with the rhythm section and the guitar playing the supporting roles and the two instrumentalists covering the sound with their impressive technical skills.You should listen to these parts, when all members torture their instruments at the same time and the very next moment the music becomes calm and smooth with light jazzy and Classical colors.And this material seems actually to go somewhere despite the overall very complex sound, the tracks are great full of spot-on battles and rhythm changes.

In 1982 Dün had to face the departures of Thierry Tranchant and Alain Termol.They were replaced by bassist Christian Mellier and sax player Christian Dupont with the sound switching to a more improvised/jazzy enviroment.After a year or so Dün disbanded.Several members would appear in 1982 on Alain Tristan's ''Marechal coeur de reve'' album, while Alain Termol also appeared on Roland Becker's ''Fallaën''.Pascal Vandenbulcke played also next to renowed Magma guitarist Jean-Luc Chevalier.

Devastating, intricate and captivating Zeuhl/Fusion with extremely fascinating work on all instruments.One of the best of the style and among the highlights of the year.Highly recommended.

 Eros by DÜN album cover Studio Album, 1981
4.24 | 509 ratings

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Eros
Dün Zeuhl

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

5 stars The band that became known as DUN actually started in 1976 by the name of Vegetaline Boufiol in Nantes, France and in1978 changed their name to Kan-Daar playing covers of the Mahavishnu Orchestra. They eventually changed their name to Dune but ultimately settled for DUN, which was inspired by the novel "Dune" by Frank Herbert but you would never be able to figure that out solely by listening to this music. It does, however, have an other-worldliness sound to it.

DUN released this one album with only 1000 copies made but gained a loyal following by touring with Magma, Art Zoyd and Etron Fou Leloublan. They almost became part of the Rock In Opposition lineup of bands in Europe but due to technicalities and self professed laziness failed to do so. This album really should be totally unknown considering all the obstacles stacked against it, but because of the superb outcome of musicianship and dedication to re-releasing it, it has taken on many new lives of its own. I know for sure that I never would have known of this album if not for the dedication of reviving it throughout the decades.

This is one of those touched-by-God albums where the lofty ambitions actually resulted in a desired outcome. They seamlessly combine the influences of Magma, Zappa, Henry Cow, Mahavishnu Orchestra and add their own fluffy touch of prog interpretation and create a bona fide masterpiece. This is one of the few albums in all existence that I find lives up to its title which in this case is EROS. For me this interesting and unique album truly creates musical ecstasy which despite my admiration for many a genre rarely guarantees such results. In the case of DUN I find myself feeling like a touch of heaven has finally projected itself into this realm of constant devolution and this coming from one of the least progressive years of 1981, it is a sign from somewhere that spectacular music can occur in the most unlikely of places and times.

I have the 2012 remastered edition by Soleil Zeuhl and although I NEVER rate albums with the bonus tracks in the mix, I have to say that I would give the bonus tracks on this release a 5 star rating alone if they were to find themselves on an independent release. Although four of them are alternative versions and only one is an unreleased track, they are truly excellent and worth the price of admission alone.

 Eros by DÜN album cover Studio Album, 1981
4.24 | 509 ratings

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Eros
Dün Zeuhl

Review by monz

4 stars an italian point of view:

DÜN, French Band responsible of this unique (unfortunately) LP almost entirely instrumental, putative children (for the obsessive and disturbingatmospheres)of Christian Vander's Magma and then encased in the genre they created, the "Zeuhl". But to an heedful listening, in my opinion, there's a lot of genre and influences, being them enough "math" and eclectic in the way of conceiving music! .. I recommend it all!

for italian people: DÜN, band francesce autrice di questo unico (purtroppo) disco quasi completamente strumentale (Eros, 1981), figli putativi (nella atmosfere inquietanti ed ossessive) dei Magma di Christian Vander e quindi racchiusi nel genere da loro creato, lo "Zeuhl". Al contrario ad un attento ascolto, secondo me, non racchiudibili in un solo genere, essendo loro abbastanza "matematici" ed eclettici nel modo di concepire la musica!..ve lo consiglio tutto!

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