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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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4.23 | 491 ratings
Eros
1981

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Eros by DÜN album cover Studio Album, 1981
4.23 | 491 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
4.23 | 491 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
4.23 | 491 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
4.23 | 491 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
4.23 | 491 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
4.23 | 491 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
4.23 | 491 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
4.23 | 491 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!

 Eros by DÜN album cover Studio Album, 1981
4.23 | 491 ratings

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Eros
Dün Zeuhl

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 3.5 really

Eros from 1981 is one of the most famouses zeuhl albums in history of the genre. Dun was a band from France who released only this album who become very soon a cult release. Eros is a concept album inspired by Frank Herbert's classic Dune, has only 4 pieces, but each in quite lenghty. To me was a good trip in their sound, quite complicated zeuhl with nods towards jazz fusiuoin and in places some avant prog appear. Is not easy to get inside and under the skin only with few spins, this is the type of album who definatly is a grower. First track Lepice is to me the best from here, turbulent musicianship and damn great passages. The album is all instrumental so the musicians had enough room to show us how skilled they are and how easy they play. This is quite good album, I'm not particulary big fan of the genre, but from time to time I discover some excellent lost albums in this zeuhl field, Eros is one of them who desearves atention. Fans of Gong, Magma, Eskaton and others, might listen to this one because worth it, one of the legendary albums in this field. To me only 3.5 , still great to listen from time to time.

 Eros by DÜN album cover Studio Album, 1981
4.23 | 491 ratings

BUY
Eros
Dün Zeuhl

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams

4 stars I have the impression that this celebrated one shot album was originally conceived as a concept.

Dun stays for "Dune", "L'Epice" is "The Spoice" and whoever has read Frank Herbert's cycle of novels knows very well what Arrakis and the Fremens are, but there are a couple of things that are outplaced: Eros and Bitonio. So what's the truth?

The official website says that the two Herbert's inspired tracks were composed previously, when the band name was KAN-DAAR and the principal influncers were, other than MAGMA, Frank Zappa and the MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA.

Now the music. This is the kind of "light Zeuhl" that even fitting perfectly in the genre is far from the military marches and heavy brasses of MAGMA. "Arrakis" in particular is very atmospheric and is closer (and probably inspirer) to some recent acts like SETNA and XING SA. The flute on this track deserves a mention.

Despite the mentioned SETNA, there are also paroxysmal moments as the central crescendo on the mentioned Arrakis.In its final part, starting after the intense drum solo I can see even the connection with Mahavishnu.

Herbert's novel ends with side A. The B-side contains "Bitonio" and the title track. The first of the two is a sort of "classic Zeuhl", if anything like this exists. I'm often impressed by the fact that music apparently disconnected is totally orchestrated and what appears improvised is "written" instead. The apparent chaos of the second half of Bitonio shows what I mean.

The title track opens dreamy with the guitar strings played out of the board (or are they grandpiano strings?) then the flute in a Canterbury mood proceeds with this magic journey. We are quickly hypnotized by the repetition, mainly thank to the high notes played by, I think, the bassist. It's a drum roll that transforms everything into rock. Still a repetitive riff as base but under a rock tempo while the keyboard can remind to the ELP of Picture At An Exhibition.

The demos on the CD re-release are a curiosity, even though there are different parts respect to the "official" versions, like there have been "cuts" at the t ime of the original release.

Of those, the most interesting is obviously the one which is not just a "re-release". "Acoustic Fremen" is a challenging track but it's quiet and dreamy as well. I don't see how it can have connection with the story, as the Fremens were a people of warriors and the music is quite relaxed, instead. However is another very good track which evolves in a sort of dark suite with a contemporary classic feeling on which the flute is the foreground instrument.

I see this album as an incomplete work so I don't rate it as a masterpiece, but it's surely an excellent addition to any "Zeuhl" or "RIO" collection. Give it a try.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to E&O Team for the last updates

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