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Dün - Eros CD (album) cover





4.24 | 511 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars 4.5 stars really!!!

One of those early 80's prog gems that was still stemming from mainland Europe, when everything else was next to dead (prog-wise) in the Anglo-Saxon world. This rare album really shows that France's original prog boom started fairly early but ended rather late, this being mostly due to groups playing Zeuhl and RIO music. This group originated from the Nantes region and remained nevermore than a local curiosity (even if they played a few higher profile gigs with Magma, Art Zoyd and Etron Fou) and was the brainchild of flutist Pascal Vandenbulcke and guitarist Jean Geeraerts (most likely both of Northern France or Belgian origins) and they had changed names a few times (from Vegetaline Bouffiol in 76 to Kandaar) before settling on Dunes first (due to both leader's infatuation with Frank Herbert's sci-fi saga) then changing to a more Kobaian- like Dün. Apparently, flutist Vdb had also develop his own wind-instrument from Swiss cheese called the Gruyèrophone but unfortunately (?), it is not heard on the album.

To describe Dün as a Zeuhl group is not only misleading (there are some Magma influences), as we are closer to a cheerier version of RIO stalwarts Univers Zero and Chamber Prog ala early-Maneige or Swiss group Circus. Their instrumental "Chamber Zeuhl" is highly original as it is rather difficult to really liken their sound with other groups, but if you are a fan of flute and a bit tired of Anderson's Mad-Flauter style, this album is for you, because it is loaded. Termol's many percussion instruments also provide a very Maneige ambiance as well, while Tranchant's bass has Kobaian accents. Only four tracks (mais de haut-voltige, mon cher monsieur), which are best described as demented, twisted but on the whole they are much happier than all the groups mentioned previously (bar the joyous Maneige) and a bit reminiscent of Pierre Moerlen's Gong. All four tracks ranging from 7 to 10 minutes are fairly equal in quality, but the title track is maybe the closest to atonal music, but it makes up for it by being slightly more brilliant.

While their album was well received in 81 by some critics, the group never managed to sell much (one pressing of 1000 albums) and by the end 83, they had folded (the two leaders formed a Latin-jazz group) after a few line-up changes. The re-issue presents four bonus tracks, recorded prior to their album (and therefore of a slightly-lesser recording quality), of which three are previous versions (and sometimes fairly different) of album tracks, so they are adding a bit more of the same, extending the Cd longer than desirable, especially that the only non-album track Acoustic Fremen comes last, and it is the most different as it was an acoustic mid-concert interlude with only flute, sax and acoustic guitar. The fact that the bonus tracks have an added saxman does not change much to their overall sound, but these versions are sufficiently different to have their own lives.

A true rare gem from the early 80's (too bad nobody heard it back then) that is still not easy to get a hold of nowadays, but if you get a chance for it, by all means be my guest and run for it. A very worthy release, which will grace the real connoisseur's collection.

Sean Trane | 4/5 |


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