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Dün - Eros CD (album) cover





4.24 | 511 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Formed in the mid-70s, French ensemble Dün had to wait until the early 80s to release their first and only album "Eros", which turned out to be one of the best one-shot albums in French progressive rock's history, let alone, one of the best avant-prog albums ever. The band's strategy is based on an exciting combination of Magma's tension and Univers Zero's mystery, perhaps emphasizing the jazz factor in the elaboration of cadences, pulsations and counterpoints. There is also the presence of some 73-75 Zappa's Dadaist playfulness, as well a few hints to the jazz-dirven lyricism of the Canterbury trend. Sophistication and somber ambiences go hand in hand until they fuse together in a single sonic source - this is what Dün is all about. The agile use of flute and tuned percussion may superficially remind us of kinder bands such as Maneige, but the fact is that the pairing of drummer Laurent Bertaud and bassist Thierry Tranchant set the sonic nucleus for the whole band's integral sound, clearly stating the zheul element. Simultaneously, Bruno Sabathe explores the psycjodelic potentials of his synthesizer in alternation with the pounding chords on piano, in this way forcing the guitar and the flute to move in fusion-driven ornaments: that's how the lyrical facet comes into play. The album kicks off with 'L'Epice', with a sinister majesty started in a most ceremonious fashion.When things begin to get jazzier, we can notice that the energy hasn't decreased an ounce, not even when the acoustic guitar solo comes into action. The dissonant climax that ends the track is simply priceless. 'Arrakis' begins on a more subtle note, with a piano-flute duet that still delivers an unmistakable sense of restlessness. It won't be long before things become a mixture of "Expresso"-era Gong and "Üdü Wüdü"-Magma. The last third of the track features a vibrating highlight of the drum and percussion inputs. 'Bitonio' keeps the momentum going, with a Zappa-inspired twist that had already been announced in the opener. The opener closes down the album's official repertoire with a 10 ½ minute span. The band remains strictly loyal to its pattern of repetitive dissonant counterpoints, while the avantgarde arrangements add color to the Spartan compositional schemes. The synth solo is arguably the best in the album, and also distrubing enough to threaten to break the weird set of harmonies that make the track's main motif: eventually, this is reinstated in the last 2 minutes. The CD edition comprises 4 bonus tracks, three of them being earlier versions of official tracks. The other one, 'Acoustic Fremen', is a candid bucolic serenade performed by teh duet of flute and acoustic guitar: 6 minutes of pure magic as if it were a dream of sound that passes by in an instant. Shame on the ones who were in charge of the sound production! Or... shame on the ones who developed those poor machines! Anyway, beauty can be hurt but never killed. I'm a bit afraid to tell this lousy Freudian joke, but this "Eros" is actually very thanatical according to the rules of zheul and Francophone RIO, but Dün takes a peculiar approach to the subgenre. If you ever wondered what UZ would have sounded like had they been less sinister and more pastoral, or what Henry Cow would have sounded like if they had exploited the lyrical side of their debut album further, Dün is the answer, a masterpiece answer, to be more specific.
Cesar Inca | 5/5 |


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