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PERCEPTION

Zeuhl • France


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Perception biography
PERCEPTION were founded as a MAGMA off-shoot quartet by Jeff (Yochk'o) SEFFER (saxophones, clarinets), Didier LEVALLET (bass), Siegfried KESSELER (piano, flute), and Jean-My TRUONG (drums). During only two years (from 1971 until 1973) they had recorded 'lively' and released three albums (one of them was a compilation under the name of 'Perception & Friends'). The two key persons Yochk'o and Jean-My later formed another off-shoot ZAO with a MAGMA fragment François CAHEN (Cf. ZAO biography).

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PERCEPTION discography


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

2.50 | 9 ratings
Perception
1971
2.56 | 7 ratings
Mestari
1973

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

PERCEPTION Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

PERCEPTION Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.21 | 5 ratings
Perception & Friends
1973
2.38 | 4 ratings
Perception and Friends / Mestari
2012

PERCEPTION Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

PERCEPTION Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Perception and Friends / Mestari by PERCEPTION album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2012
2.38 | 4 ratings

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Perception and Friends / Mestari
Perception Zeuhl

Review by bartymj

2 stars This later release includes all the tracks from the two named albums (see my reviews of those for detail), plus an alternative version of the Perception and Friends opener Le Horla, and two new tracks.

The alternative Le Horla version essentially cuts out the saxophone of the original - it is a free jazz track but without this its much calmer and I much prefer it to the original.

The other two new tracks, Improvisation Marine, and Waiting for Moby Dick, I don't really get though. Its clever, creating whale noise through instruments, but I had a headache pretty quickly.

Given my reviews of the two albums, I'd say CD1 is worth listening to if you like hints of Zeuhl and some minimalism, and CD2 if you like pure free jazz. Fans only.

 Perception & Friends by PERCEPTION album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1973
3.21 | 5 ratings

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Perception & Friends
Perception Zeuhl

Review by bartymj

3 stars Here, the Perception quartet were joined by a host of guest musicians.

Colima features additional brass instruments, perhaps making it one of the few genuinely Zeuhl-like Perception tracks. It begins far more structured than normal for the first half, before descending into free Jazz which would still be passable as Zeuhl, perhaps with the infleunce of Teddy Lasry.

Adeqxi / Ville D'Avril is similar, but free jazz from the start, and with Yochko Seffer's saxophone at the fore. Ten minutes of jamming with great drums from Truong and the guest pianist Villaroel.

Le Horla begins quite minimal and makes use of the guest cellists to create a slightly ominous feel. It then builds up into the standard free jazz, before bringing the cellists to the fore again towards the end. The changes in style make it far more interesting than the previous track.

The Outsider, is calm avant garde in style, beginning mainly just with clarinets before a mysterious sounding piano scale joins in towards the end making it sound like a soundtrack to a psychological thriller - another track that may not be out of place in an album of zeuhl, with Mamelai finishing the album in similar vein.

Compared to their solidly free jazz album of 1973, this is a much more interesting listen.

 Mestari by PERCEPTION album cover Studio Album, 1973
2.56 | 7 ratings

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Mestari
Perception Zeuhl

Review by bartymj

2 stars Mestari was a return to a quartet after producing "Perception and Friends" with several guest musicians.

Its not Zeuhl at all, more avant garde free jazz, but filed here perhaps due to the presence of Seffer who was instrumental in early Magma and the formation of Zao.

I do have a hit and miss relationship with Jazz. But this album is hard to like for me, given that after the first five minutes of the opening track Trabla Air, Seffer plays around with the woodwind instruments in the manner of a primary school child learning to play the recorder. Grating.

Chott Djerid follows in similar vein, however is notable for Jean-My Truong demonstrating his ability as a brilliant jazz drummer. Fast paced improv free jazz jamming.

The title track, the longest, again shows Truong's drumming class, which a far less grating on the ears jamming from Kessler on clavinet, and for me is by far the most listenable track on the album.

All in all though one for fans only. And that's fans of free jazz, not fans of zeuhl.

 Perception by PERCEPTION album cover Studio Album, 1971
2.50 | 9 ratings

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Perception
Perception Zeuhl

Review by bartymj

2 stars Not really a Zeuhl album but listed as such due to group founder Jeff Seffer's stint with Magma at the time. An album of mainly improvised free jazz jamming, clearly a talented bunch but does seem a bit disjointed. Truong's drumming is brilliant but it's generally Seffer's saxophone and clarinet that take centre stage. The closest thing to Zeuhl is the first secton of the second track, Septime Songe, where a minimalist jarring piano section from Kessler is joined by Seffer's bass clarinet with only sporadic use of cymbals joining in - giving an alien 'deep space' feel to the track, but after 5 minutes it develops back into the free jazz jam session. Doesn't do much for me to be honest.
 Perception by PERCEPTION album cover Studio Album, 1971
2.50 | 9 ratings

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Perception
Perception Zeuhl

Review by Evolver
Special Collaborator Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

3 stars This album is not zeuhl, despite the obvious link to Magma, the owners of the genre. Of course, this album was made in 1971, the same year Jeff Seffer began his stint in Magma, so the influence may not have settled in at this time.

This album shows a strong nod toward Miles Davis and his disciples of fusion. Most of Davis' fusion albums and his band's offshoots in these years were playing this style. Set up the song with a loose melody, play around with it for a short while, and see where the jam takes you.

Here, the music centers mostly around Seffer's airy woodwinds and Siegfried Kessler's electric piano. While their performances are nice, and even matches in intensity some of the similar American fusion albums at the time, it rarely lifts above the median level of this style of fusion.

The one part that stands out is the first half of Ph'nobarbital - Septi'me Songe. With Kessler playing sparse acoustic piano, and Seffer on what sounds like a bass clarinet, the song has a chamber rock feel, similar to what Univers Zero would be doing a few years later. Unfortunately, instead of buildin on this style, the piece evolves into the same free form jamming as the rest of the album.

Nice, but not special.

 Perception by PERCEPTION album cover Studio Album, 1971
2.50 | 9 ratings

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Perception
Perception Zeuhl

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars French jazz quartet,found in 1969 in Paris by Magma saxophonist Yochk'o Seffer.The band also included drummer Jean My Truong (later on Zao),pianist Siegfried Kessler and bassist Didier Levallet (later on Confluence).Their eponymous debut was released in 1971 on the jazz specialist label Futura.

Not much to write about this work,this is a rather constant free jazz jamming and a good reason why jazz music is regarded the master of imrovisation.The one solo comes after the other,Truong is actually on fire next to Seffer's powerful sax and what's left to hear is some good work by Kessler on clavinet and piano.''Perception'' is definitely a very experimental record,attached only for those deep into free jazz.Not recommended for the average listener

Thanks to DamoXt7942 for the artist addition.

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