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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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4.22 | 352 ratings
Eros
1981

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DÜN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Eros by DÜN album cover Studio Album, 1981
4.22 | 352 ratings

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Eros
Dün Zeuhl

Review by siLLy puPPy

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.

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 Eros by DÜN album cover Studio Album, 1981
4.22 | 352 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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 Eros by DÜN album cover Studio Album, 1981
4.22 | 352 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.

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 Eros by DÜN album cover Studio Album, 1981
4.22 | 352 ratings

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Eros
Dün Zeuhl

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team

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.

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 Eros by DÜN album cover Studio Album, 1981
4.22 | 352 ratings

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Eros
Dün Zeuhl

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This one-album wonder group produced an excellent release in the form of Eros, a concept album inspired by Frank Herbert's classic Dune. The group play a variant of Zeuhl which incorporates a lot of influences from various fusion traditions. In itself, that isn't too new - after all, Magma themselves started out playing fusion - but what makes it different is the specific fusion inspirations: thanks mainly to the talented percussionist Alain Termol, the group draw heavily on inspirations such as Pierre Moerlen's incarnation of Gong, Frank Zappa's mid- 1970s work, and the Canterbury scene. The resulting mixture is a more up-beat reimagining of the Zeuhl style, and an album which will appeal to fans of fusion, Canterbury, and RIO just as much as Magma fans.

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 Eros by DÜN album cover Studio Album, 1981
4.22 | 352 ratings

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Eros
Dün Zeuhl

Review by BrufordFreak

4 stars This is a jazzier, more up-beat expression of Zeuhl (if in fact, it is Zeuhl. I mean: how does one become 'Zeuhl'? Call up Christian Vander and ask approval? I've heard some groups assigned the 'Zeuhl' sub-genre moniker are disappointed [XING SA] and others who so obviously should fall in this category based upon their musical style aren't [GUAPO]. But then again, bands change and, unfortunately, this site hasn't seemed to figure out how to let individual albums receive their own individual assignations, instead of a band once and forever being labeled 'Symphonic' [GENESIS] or 'Crossover' [BIG BIG TRAIN] or 'Black Metal' [ULVER] [really, 'Post Rock/Math Rock'] or 'Experimental/Post Metal' [THE GATHERING] when the whole of their catalogues hardly express the sub-genre of music to which they were originally assigned. Somehow they've managed it on the new JMA (JAZZMUSICARCHIVES.COM) that Max et al. have created.)

"Eros" (8/10) takes one on quite a diverse journey. Because of the wonderful flute work in the rather pretty first section, I am reminded of several of the songs on EUMIR DEODATO's 1973 classic, Prelude. The second more avant garde section reminds me of KOTEBEL as well as Andean pipe musics. I like the ingenius effect as the weave of the guitar, bass and drums tightens and comes forward to overcome and then take over for the flute before settling in to support a funky synth solo. This is followed around the eight minute mark by a return to more avante jazz sounds and structures. An unusual crash and lull-to-fade completes the song.

"Bitonio" (6/10) begins like a staccato all-band percussion jam from the PAT METHENY GROUP song. Then piano arpeggios take the song into a different direction?one of flow and linearity. The next switch into the distorted/treated bass and decaying synth notes is interesting, but then it just as suddenly ends, to be replaced by a very spacious and suspenseful movie soundtrack scene:

(The murderer is lurking just around the corner!)

(Now he's there, in front of you! He's chasing you!) (Run!)

(A hiding place! Stop! Don't breath! Be invisible! )

(Is he coming? Should I check and see? No. Yes.)

(There he is! Run!)

(Hide!) (Run!)

(Hide!)

(He's caught you! It's over!)

"L'épice" (6/10) is, to my mind, a mix of some of the more dissonant musics of CHICK COREA/RETURN TO FOREVER and the Avant Garde stylings of YUGEN or UNIVERS ZÉRO (with, of course, the variation on HENRY MANCINI's "Peter Gunn" bass line). Kudos to the searing jazz rock guitar and warbled bass sound in the first section. More KOTEBEL-like flute in the second section. (I know I'm terribly guilty of assigning similarities between two different group's sounds even when one far predates the one I'm comparing it to. Je m'excuse.)

"Arrakis" (9/10) is, to my mind, the most nearly true Zeuhl song on the album, yet still more jazz-sounding and uplifting than most MAGMA work. It's very similar to the sound EUMIR DEODATO created on his two studio albums from the early 70s, Prelude and Deodato 2. The first 4 minutes and 15 seconds are quite enjoyable. The up-tempo middle section (4:15-6:50) is a bit tedious (mostly for the straightforward time signature held by the metronomic drumming), but the last sections are again quite fun (even the drum solo?at times flanged; a very cool effect, IMO).

Overall this album provides the listener with an experience more similar to that of UNIVERS ZERO than MAGMA, IMO. Good album, great composition and performance but lacking in accessibility and pleasure. Recommended for the experience?and for "Arrakis." 3.5 stars.

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 Eros by DÜN album cover Studio Album, 1981
4.22 | 352 ratings

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Eros
Dün Zeuhl

Review by Andy Webb
Forum & Site Admin Group Admin

5 stars Eros is the god of beauty. This may be why this album is titled such.

However, this album is by no means beautiful, in the Western sense. Dün was a short lived but rather important Zeuhl band from the late 70s and early 80s, releasing only one album then dissolving sadly into oblivion. The album, Eros, named after the Greek god of beauty, may be one of the most breathtaking displays of avant jazz fusion I've ever seen. Possessing a masterful skin of dissonance and melodic grace, the album fuses the spectacular peculiarity Magma championed and fused it with the effortless beauty of classic and orchestral jazz for one of the most innovative and incredible listening experiences of my recent musical endeavors. The sex(sometimes sept)tet crafts a rhythmically and melodically beautiful album, composing harmonies and themes set beyond the stars and meant for truly celestial listeners. However avant or peculiar these stings of notes may be, they form into a purely genius display of music.

The album was originally four tracks, each around 10 minutes, but the 2000 revealed four bonus tracks, three of which are alternate takes of the tracks and one an unreleased track. I really can't express my love of this album. From the haunting beauty of L'Epice to the sweeping grandeur of Arrakis to the incredible mastery of Bitonio to the everlasting joy of Eros, the entire album is overall a blast. All throughout the tracks the numerous instruments used to craft the music meld into a spectacular array of pure bliss ? from flute melodies complimenting piano chords to bass lines contrasting glockenspiel runs, the whole atmosphere conjured by these superb musicians is truly sublime. Even the little things, from the backing percussion lines to the often very minor keyboard runs, make this album truly special; adding just that little extra spice is all that's needed to make this a true masterpiece.

As in many Zeuhl records, the bass and drums are very much an important aspect of this record. And incredibly so. Some of the bass lines are some of my favorite in all of music, and much of the percussion seen on the album is very innovative and superbly rhythmic. The density of the output of even just these two (three, including the percussionist) musicians is more than most band's exert in their entire discography. This is just one of the reasons why I absolutely love this album.

Most notably Bitonio (I'll get to that), this album is full of some emotional stuff, full of the blood, sweat and tears put into composing the mastery that is output from your speakers as this album rotates. This music is no one-night composition. This has obviously taken fine tuning and picking through every note and making it perfection. This album certainly delivers. However, this is not to be taken lightly. This music is no doubt avant-garde, full of dissonant passages and runs of highly "out there" themes. But with this avant-garde nature comes a certain degree of beauty in the "odd" feel of the music. In the end, the pure joy exerted from this record is supreme, and it certainly doesn't stop me from loving it every second of the way.

I'd now like to talk solely about Bitonio, which is by far my favorite song on the album. Possessing a jazzy and almost metallic fire about it, the song has some of the most incredible moments on the entire album. Listeners may know what I'm talking about. The distorted bass "solo" may be one of my favorite moments in all of music. The entire atmosphere of the track is spectacular, fusing wonderfully jazzy chord progressions with spectacular improvised solos and wonderful thematic elements. Overall, the track is purely sublime, and reaches the echelons of perfection.

This album, in short is perfection. Every juicy track is full of purely sublime music, feeding the senses with their incredible skill and compositional jewels that scatter the album. Whether it's the spectacular jazz fusion that caresses the album or the avant-garde quality of the music, the entire album has a truly incredible feel to it and is not to be missing in any progressive rock fan's collection. This truly is a perfect album. 5+ stars.

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 Eros by DÜN album cover Studio Album, 1981
4.22 | 352 ratings

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Eros
Dün Zeuhl

Review by zravkapt
Special Collaborator Post/Math Rock Team

3 stars I've always been surprised at the high ratings this album gets. It's a good album, don't get me wrong. For one thing it's not really Zeuhl, more Avant-Prog with a fusion influence. I can also think of a few albums from 1981 or so that are at least as interesting as this, if not more so. The music on this only album from this short-lived group sounds like a mix of pre-MDK Magma, mid-70s Zappa, Pierre Moerlen's Gong and early Henry Cow.

The instrumentation is mostly bass and drums with some flute, xylophone, guitar, piano and synth. There are almost no vocals. Almost. Highly energenic music for the most part. The album has a nice mix and all the instruments sound great. Very skilled and talented musicians here. The actual compositions, however, are not the greatest I've heard from this kind of music. But nowhere near mediocre either. The overall impression I get from Eros is that it's good...just not great.

The first two songs are much better than the last two songs. "L'Epice" starts off almost symphonic. There is some acoustic guitar, piano and vibes after 3 minutes. After 7 minutes there is a great bass and piano part which continues for the rest of the song. Some synth comes in and then guitar and vibes. "Arrakis" is the best song here. It starts with piano. Some nice fretless bass can be heard. Good flute and vibraphone. The drums kick in and we're off. After 5 minutes the tempo starts to increase. Just before 7 minutes there is some nice vibraphone/xylophone(either? both?). Around the 8 minute mark the drums have a phasing effect on them. After 9 minutes there is a little bit of scat-like singing sorta similar to Samla Mammas Manna. (I said *almost* no vocals).

The bass sound on "Bitonio" is really great. Very Zeuhl-like in fact. You can hear some "uh.. uh.. uh.. uh.." vocals. The title track is the weakest song. It never really goes anywhere until the bass comes in about halfway thru. Some crazy synth. There is a synth part which sounds like a recorder or something similar. The bonus songs are demo versions from 1978. The most interesting thing about them is that they have saxophone and Fender Rhodes. A good album but there is much better 'Zeuhl' out there, and for that matter, much better Avant-Prog too. This sounds amazing if the only prog from the early '80s you know is Neo. But this pales in comparison to other prog albums from the same time. 3.5 but it's not worth 4 stars, so it'll be 3.

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 Eros by DÜN album cover Studio Album, 1981
4.22 | 352 ratings

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Eros
Dün Zeuhl

Review by progrules
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Ok, for those who think progrules can't appreciate a piece of solid and true prog: think again because here we have an example of hardcore prog of the highest caliber I believe and I think I really like this one. Although I have to admit I have been tossing and turning in between 2 and 4 stars as possibilities for this unique Zeuhl output.

But I have to agree with earlier reviewers who claimed this album is just borderline Zeuhl. This can't by any means be compared with the Magma kind of Zeuhl. And it's a fact that Zeuhl is Magma's invention and therefore Dün will have to be "degraded" to an inferior sort of Zeuhl and I would like to call it a mix of eclectic prog with some Zeuhl and even symphonic prog. Anyway it is prog of very high standard and realizing it was made in 1981 makes things even more admirable. Because in 1981 prog was as good as dead as we know and you had to have some nerve to create something like this in those days.

And I have the opposite opinion to Ivan's who preferred Magma to Dün. This Eros release suits me a whole lot better than the much more extravagant Magma Zeuhl. My favorite tracks are the title track and the later released Acoustic Fremen. But also L'Epice and Arrakis are very much worth while to me though they are somewhat less accessible. That leaves us the odd Bitonio which is least appealing according to my taste. Nevertheless this album is a crown jewel within progworld and should in fact be checked out by us all. I have to admit this isn't 100% my personal cup of tea but still I learned to appreciate it and even like it a lot now. Because of this I choose to reward this near masterpiece with 4 stars if it were only for it's significance in our favorite genre ...

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 Eros by DÜN album cover Studio Album, 1981
4.22 | 352 ratings

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Eros
Dün Zeuhl

Review by snobb
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Dun only album is almost a legend, at least a legend ,coming from not-so-great for prog music 80-s.I listened to it with interest, but really wasn't so much impressed.

First of all, the music is very complex, but not dark or heavy. Magma's early albums are just music from Orffian hell comparing with "Eros". Yes, you will easy hear there zeuhl-like bass and drums combination on this album. But there are strong jazz fusion (I will name it soulless formal jazz fusion) component. But most important besides of these two elements, main influence and all music's aesthetics come from chamber avant, and not Henry Cow, but more Universe Zero like.

What means you can hear very complex formal cold technical neo-classical avant-garde influenced mix of jazz fusion and zeuhl-like rhythm section. Was it interesting to listen this album for me? Yes. Was I impressed? Yes - by complex (over)arrangements and high (technical) musicianship level. Do I like this music? No way.

You can take zeuhl concept from Magma, add complexity and cold formal chamber neo - classic avant garde, and if you're skilled musician, the result will be impressive. But will it be great music? I am not sure.

Still technically impressive album though. Possibly, more chamber RIO, than zeuhl.

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