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Elephant Tok biography
A French Zeuhl project ELEPHANT TOK (ÉLÉPHANT TÔK) have been founded originally as a saxophone / bass / drums-based trio by a drummer Daniel JEAND'HEUR (ex-One Shot, Pienza, B12 4tet etc. etc.). With getting massively influenced by 70s progressive rock combos like Weather Report, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Lifetime, and especially Magma ... they have launched their originally structured music full of improvisational riffs. Soon after that they changed their formation into septet with a great support of a rapper / comedian Sebastien "Onan" MORIN. The septet - Daniel JEAND'HEUR (drums), David FONTAINE (bass), Romain NASSINI (keyboards), Philippe MEUNIER (guitars), ONAN (voices), Aymeric AVICE (trumpet, effects), and Boris BLANCHET (tenor & soprano saxophones) - have released their first shot "Tôk 1" via a renowned French label Soleil Zeuhl / Soleil Mutant in 2016 finally.

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3.94 | 11 ratings
Tok 1
4.00 | 5 ratings
Sitting with Bull

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Tok 1 by ELEPHANT TOK album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.94 | 11 ratings

Tok 1
Elephant Tok Zeuhl

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The news that ONE SHOT has called it a day was somewhat devastating for me considering I counted them as a top ten band. Daniel Jeand'heur ONE SHOT's incredible drummer has formed this new band and he's called on some musicians he has played with over the years mostly from SNAKE OIL and the PHILIPPE BERECQ GROUP. We get keyboardist Romain Nassini from both of those bands along with sax man Boris Blanchet from SNAKE OIL and trumpet player Aymeric Avice from MAGMA and JEAN LOUIS. Philippe Berecq himself plays sax on one track.

The wild card here and probably the "make or break it" equation in all of this is vocalist Sebastien Onan Morin who goes by the name Onan. He's a rapper and comedian and without question an entertainer extraordinaire. You have to hear this guy sing! On one song he sings in Spanish and it's so funny the way he plays that accent up. He sings French on a couple of tracks and on another he pretty much speaks the lyrics with attitude, almost rapping. Some will love this others will be disappointed. The music by the way is jazzy with lots of horns, fuzzed out bass and incredible drum work. Lots of Fender Rhodes as well and the guitar is a nice touch but not the focus by a long shot. This almost sounds like a cross between SNAKE OIL and ONE SHOT but a lot more fun thanks to the vocalist.

"Mammouth" opens with some busy drum work and fuzzed out bass as the horns come in blasting. The Spanish vocals before 1 1/2 minutes are both expressive and theatrical. So good! I like the instrumental break starting before 1 1/2 minutes with the horns, fuzzed out bass and drums leading the way. The guitar makes some noise as well bending that note over and over. The vocals are back with a minute to go.

"Introduction Ghost" opens with huge bass lines all fuzzed out as the drums then guitar join in reminding me of ONE SHOT. Horns a minute in then the tempo picks up 2 minutes in although I prefer the slower sections that remind me of ONE SHOT. Lots of blasting horns then electric piano before 4 minutes. Ripping horns before 5 minutes then the electric piano takes over as the drums pound. More horns 6 minutes in along with guitar and pounding drums. Angular guitar only ends it.

"Ghost" opens with drums and bass as the horns drop in. It kicks in before a minute with blasting horns, drums and bass as the vocalist spits out the lyrics with attitude. He drops several F bombs along the way. It calms down 2 minutes in as he whispers the words but it kicks back in quickly. Another calm a minute later with whispered words as contrasts continue. Some excellent fuzzed out bass too. Check out the Fender Rhodes after 4 minutes. Another calm with reserved spoken words and dissonant horns. The vocals start to get crazy again before 7 minutes. Another instrumental section before the vocals return after 11 minutes. The sound after 11 1/2 minutes is amazing.

"I Don't Look In My Back" sounds like ONE SHOT at first then the vocals and horns kick in. He's singing in French and it gets a little insane before 2 1/2 minutes. Experimental is the word. Some ridiculous Fender Rhodes work here then it kicks back in later including some guitar that lights it up. "Thrace(Le Vent A Balaye Nos Traces)" is my favourite track on here. Lots of space for the instruments to breathe as we get distorted bass, electric piano and cymbals clashing. Horns join in with some smooth expressions. A change after 4 minutes as it becomes darker with horns only before these massive fuzzed out bass lines kick in. Heavy stuff. Some expressive horns before 6 minutes then it ends like it began. Nice.

I adore the Fender Rhodes and fuzzed out bass and of course the drumming but blasting horns for me are hit and miss, usually the latter. The vocalist spices things up in a major way. Easily 4 stars for this jazzy release and it's Zeuhlish moments.

 Tok 1 by ELEPHANT TOK album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.94 | 11 ratings

Tok 1
Elephant Tok Zeuhl

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group Avant/Cross/Neo/Post Teams

4 stars Their activity and explosion level is as high as ONE SHOT indeed. A new Zeuhlers ÉLÉPHANT TÔK have been founded as a offshoot of ONE SHOT and simultaneously as a followers of MAGMA. Their skillful play and instrumental technique have been verified and confirmed through their first creation "Tôk 1" ... such an impact just upon listening to the first track "Mammouth", with weird multi-rhythmic drumming, sharp-edged and precisely proceeded saxophone shipping, and percussive mysterious voices. Purely enjoyable and eccentric are their musical roots.

Their rhythm essence can be felt complicated but pretty fine to get into basically. The stream of vibes is not only delightful but also addictive, and reminds me just of some hints of a Japanese jazz rock pride DJAMRA ... there is not depression but only manic mode or maniac code. No tough nor difficult interpretation is needed via their creation but simply pleasure for Zeuhl scene. And yes, let me say they play sensitively and sometimes sensually just like many other French progressive rock combos. Not exaggerated like Perez Prado's Cerezo Rosa but well understood they've hailed from France.

For me the fourth track "I Don't Look In My Back" is very impressive, quite flooded with eclectic (heavy, jazzy, avanty, and a tad krauty) texture like King Crimson Discipline era ... bombastically distorted keyboard bullets, active saxophone athletic figure, perfectly precise drumming (kinda killa) ... such a kind of melody line or rhythmic formation could not produce any innovation nor novel soundscape actually I guess, but please let me say it be fine their play is perfect and pleasant. Try without any irregular thought, and you will enjoy this album in a simple manner.

Thanks to DamoXt7942 for the artist addition.

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