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Yochk'o Seffer - Noce Chimique CD (album) cover


Yochk'o Seffer



4.87 | 6 ratings

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5 stars "Noce Chimique" is one of three CD reissues of Neffesh-Music by Musea and is nothing short of a fantastic album (if you can call it that). It seems to consist of side B of the "Ima" album from 1977, one track ("Orkana") from the 1976 "Delir'" album, 4 tracks recorded in 1981 which I can't find on any of the listed albums (I can't guarantee that the recordings are the same as on these albums, since the cover sheet does not say it explicitly). Finally there is a great live recording of "Sifra" from the unbelievably fantastic "Ghilgoul" album featuring improvisations from a guest pianist and violinist. According to the cover sleeve these two (absolutely amazing) musicians told Seffer minutes before going on stage that "we just can't play "Sifra" -- it's too difficult!". So Seffer told them "I'll play the piano part and you guys just improvise". The result is extremely intense, absolutely baffling and perhaps the highlight for me even though it's just two pianos and a violin.

How to describe this music? Well, different tracks have different line-ups here, so the following will not fit absolutely all of it, but basically Neffesh-Music consisted of a fusion style rhythm section, Seffer on piano and saxophones and a string quartette. If you are familiar with, say "Dense" from the Univers Zero album "Ceux de Dehors" you'll have an idea of how the strings are used: fast movements, close harmonies and very rhythmically complex. Add to that a fusion groove, often bafflingly precipitous with some amazing bass work from Dominique Bertram, and you have an idea.

The rhythm section work and the use of vocal chanting places several of the tracks in the Zeuhl genre (although this music defies categorisation, really). The sound changes throughout, as does the instrumentation (for example "Orkana" features some prominent synth work), but the constant is extreme intensity, technically breathtaking performances throughout, and compositions which will reveal new facets even on the hundreth listen. Of course it comes with the usual warning that it's not for the faint of heart, but then you probably shouldn't be checking out Zeuhl in the first place... If it's not yet impossible to get hold of (some of Seffer's works are, sadly), get a copy right now before it's too late!

pedestrian | 5/5 |


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