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Poll Question: Which of these is your favourite?
Poll Choice Votes Poll Statistics
2 [25.00%]
2 [25.00%]
1 [12.50%]
1 [12.50%]
0 [0.00%]
0 [0.00%]
1 [12.50%]
1 [12.50%]
0 [0.00%]
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    Posted: August 14 2012 at 01:52
Just a very unimaginative and easy to do poll.  Thought this poll had been done before, but I didn't find any ZAO poll when searching for Zao under topic heading. This is meant to complement a Zeuhl championship poll series. Just wondering what album would people choose as their favourite by this excellent band? I was only going to do the studio albums, as while I have all the studios, I have only heard ZAO Live of the lives, and don't really remember it, but thought I should include the lives.

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

3.48 | 35 ratings Z=7L
1973
3.83 | 30 ratings Osiris
1975
3.91 | 27 ratings Shekina
1975
3.99 | 25 ratings Kawana
1976
4.00 | 14 ratings Typhareth
1977
3.03 | 11 ratings Akhenaton
1994

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

3.08 | 3 ratings Zao - Live!
1976
3.51 | 3 ratings Zao In Tokyo
2007
4.00 | 1 ratings Ethnic 3 Live
2008


I like all of the studio albums, but I like the first two the most, and of those I particularly love the début.  Reading the reviews, I also see that it's an album that people are divided on:

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars As others have mentioned Cahen and Seffer left MAGMA because Vander was now in control of the musical direction that MAGMA would take,instead of it being a band effort as on the first two albums. Seffer and Cahen's last recording with MAGMA would be under the name of UNIVERSIA ZEKT. It's interesting that MAGMA's next album("MDK") after these two left would emphasize female vocals,because ZAO's first recording that would come out the same year(only sooner) would also emphasize a female vocalist.Two very different records mind you. I think the vocals here and on "MDK" are what will make or break the two albums for you,because they are so prominant. The female vocalist Zao hired was a much in demand backing vocalist named Mauricia Platon,who is nothing short of incredible. Seffer being Hungarian badly wanted a violinist for this project,so they hired Jean-Yves Rigaud. Jean-My Truong was added as the drummer,he had played in a band with Seffer before Seffer had joined MAGMA. Joel Dugrenot was added as the guitarist. The album cover was painted by Seffer.

"Marochsek" starts off rather ominously before Mauricia yells "Zao !" and then goes off into some unique vocal melodies. Unfortunately this would be the only studio record she would record with the band. Keys,bass,sax and drums fill out the sound. Some good guitar after 4 minutes. She is amazing 5 1/2 minutes in with liquid sounding keys to follow. "Ataturc" has a nice jazzy soundscape with vocal melodies. The tempos shift and violin comes in. Vocals stop as the song calms down. The drums,bass and piano become prominant before violin comes back. Vocals are back before 5 minutes. "Ronach" is all about her vocals that sound like another instrument. They are very high pitched at times. In "Atart" it's like Mauricia is competing with the sax and she is definitely holding her own. The bass is relentless. Great tune.

"La Soupe" has a nice little intro before i'm blown away by not only her vocals,but the bass and drums. This is killer ! Some beautiful horn/vocal interplay before we get a sax solo. 3 minutes in the violin comes in. Great sound ! Then some ripping guitar as drums pound. The song calms down as only bass can be heard at first. Vocals are next, then a full sound. "Satanyia" features violin,vocal,bass and drum sounds but not much of a melody until after a minute. Her vocals are deeper here with a fantastic melody to follow. The tempo and mood continues to change. Themes are repeated including her deep vocals. Her vocals are so good 6 minutes in as the drums pound.

Well it took a while, but this became everything i had hoped it would be. I wasn't expecting the vocals that were presented or the violin,but it all worked perfectly. I much prefer this over MAGMA's "MDK",and it's a step better than MAGMA's first two albums in my opinion. Brilliant !

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Posted Tuesday, October 02, 2007


Review by Carl floyd fan
PROG REVIEWER
1 stars I like almost all prog, I really do. Search for me on this site and you'll find almost all my reviews are 4s with 3s and 5s scattered around. I like most of what I come across. I especially like the complexities of fusion, but zheul, which is supposed to be complex as well, is lost on me, or at least a lot of it is. I gave this album a chance a while ago and just did not like it. I decided to give it a second shot today. It wa snot a good sign that I was scared the opening second by a shrieking/yelling vocalist..totally did not expect that. This set the tone for the rest of the album as the vocals just are not pleasant to me, and just completely assinine babling in other areas. The music itself is...well, I just couldn't get into it, to much going on..sometimes LESS IS MORE!! - and this is coming from someone who loves fusion, the mahvishnu Orchrestras, napoli centerale, (sorry for spelling errors), brainstorm, lotus and other such groups!!

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Posted Friday, May 27, 2005


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Man With Hat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 14 2012 at 03:20
I only have Orisis and Akhenaton, of which I prefer the latter. I've been meaning to get Z=7L for awhile though.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dr prog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 14 2012 at 05:13
I have 5 studio albums except typareth. I really like Osiris with it's colourful sounds. A bit of gangster 70s feel about the songs. The debut is really cool too and Shekina is almost as strong. The first 3 albums are first class although the band shouldn't have changed engineer for Osiris. The drums aren't very clean. No wonder they went back to the old engineer for the 3rd album. Kawana is pretty good but it does start to sound like Mahavishnu in the 2 long tracks. I find Mahavishnu pretty annoying with all that fast violin and alternate soloing. But kawana has some fine tracks though. Akhenaton is pretty cheesy 90s music. It has a couple of cool tunes though
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote zravkapt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 14 2012 at 05:29
Wow, is their ratings for their discog all over the place.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Saperlipopette! Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 14 2012 at 06:09
Originally posted by dr prog dr prog wrote:

Kawana is pretty good but it does start to sound like Mahavishnu in the 2 long tracks. I find Mahavishnu pretty annoying with all that fast violin and alternate soloing. But kawana has some fine tracks though. Akhenaton is pretty cheesy 90s music. It has a couple of cool tunes though

I too find Mahavishny pretty annoying, but love Kawana nevertheless.  I think all their 70's albums are really strong (grabTypareth if you come across it), but my vote goes to the one I listen to most often: Shekina
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dr prog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 14 2012 at 07:02
Originally posted by Saperlipopette! Saperlipopette! wrote:

Originally posted by dr prog dr prog wrote:

Kawana is pretty good but it does start to sound like Mahavishnu in the 2 long tracks. I find Mahavishnu pretty annoying with all that fast violin and alternate soloing. But kawana has some fine tracks though. Akhenaton is pretty cheesy 90s music. It has a couple of cool tunes though

I too find Mahavishny pretty annoying, but love Kawana nevertheless.  I think all their 70's albums are really strong (grabTypareth if you come across it), but my vote goes to the one I listen to most often: Shekina
 
Yeah shekina is cool. Zao would make cool gangster/vigilante 70s soundtracks. I've been waiting for Typareth on amazon for a while but it's selling for heaps. In the meantime i've picked up some Heldon, Shylock and Weidorje/Paga. Might order some Potemkine if I can find some for a decent price. I only like the Occasional Mahavishnu song. They aren't a very melodic band. Zao only have 1 fusion song anyway. The 2nd track on Kawana, Tserouf. I like the first half of it but the second half of It reminds me too much of Mahavishnu lol


Edited by dr prog - August 14 2012 at 07:10
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guldbamsen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 14 2012 at 10:31
I have actually never heard anything from ZAO. Strange as they seem to be right up my alley. Maybe I should investigate - start from one end. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mellotron Storm Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 14 2012 at 12:51
I voted Osiris at about 2 am thanks to my dog getting me up. Angry I was too tired to say anything other than mumble to myself.Okay i might have been drooling a little too. Just sayin'.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Saperlipopette! Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 15 2012 at 03:30
Originally posted by Guldbamsen Guldbamsen wrote:

I have actually never heard anything from ZAO. Strange as they seem to be right up my alley. Maybe I should investigate - start from one end. 

That's surprising. You got many hours of top notch jazzy zeuhl to look forward to. It seems they have don't the cult of followers that many Zeuhl bands got, but I think the quality of their discography comes second only to Magma. Here's a track from Zhekinah, the album recorded with a (female) string section which adds a R.I.O feel that works magnificently: 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dr prog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 15 2012 at 04:56
There's no coincedence 1001 degrees is my fave Magma album :)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mellotron Storm Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 15 2012 at 09:18
Originally posted by Guldbamsen Guldbamsen wrote:

I have actually never heard anything from ZAO. Strange as they seem to be right up my alley. Maybe I should investigate - start from one end. 
 
You must !  Do you have any of Seffer's solo stuff ? Gilghoul is amazing.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Padraic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 15 2012 at 13:13
Absolutely no question - Zao Live!

Didier Lockwood on violin, Jean My-Truong on drums...such a win.  Sound quality is dodgy but I don't care.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guldbamsen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 16 2012 at 07:57
Originally posted by Saperlipopette! Saperlipopette! wrote:

Originally posted by Guldbamsen Guldbamsen wrote:

I have actually never heard anything from ZAO. Strange as they seem to be right up my alley. Maybe I should investigate - start from one end. 

That's surprising. You got many hours of top notch jazzy zeuhl to look forward to. It seems they have don't the cult of followers that many Zeuhl bands got, but I think the quality of their discography comes second only to Magma. Here's a track from Zhekinah, the album recorded with a (female) string section which adds a R.I.O feel that works magnificently: 




Fantastic stuff!!! I am definitely on the lookout for this album - damn straight! Thanks.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guldbamsen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 16 2012 at 07:58
Originally posted by Mellotron Storm Mellotron Storm wrote:

Originally posted by Guldbamsen Guldbamsen wrote:

I have actually never heard anything from ZAO. Strange as they seem to be right up my alley. Maybe I should investigate - start from one end. 
 
You must !  Do you have any of Seffer's solo stuff ? Gilghoul is amazing.


I just found Kawana at a reasonable price - so I went for it. Can't waitBig smile And yes, I do have one of Seffer's albums called Ima. Brilliant album - thinking about doing a review of it in the near future.
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