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ZEUHL

A Progressive Rock Sub-genre


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Zeuhl definition

Zeuhl is an adjective in Kobaïan, the language written by Christian Vander, drummer and founder of the French band Magma.

Pronunciation: zEU(h)l, while the EU are like a French E with a slight U, and the (h) is a semi-silent letter which is an integrated part of the EU, totaling in a "syllable and a half".

The word means celestial, although many times it is misunderstood as meaning "celestial music", since the members of Magma describe the genre of their music as Zeuhl. Zeuhl Wortz, though, means Music of the universal might.


The genre is a mixture of musical genres like Neoclassicism, Romanticism, Modernism and Fusion. Common elements: oppressive or discipline-conveying feel, marching themes, throbbing bass, an ethereal piano or Rhodes piano, and brass instruments.

Current team members (1/3/2020):
Luca (octopus-4)
Ian (Nogbad_The_Bad)
Keishiro (DamoXt7942)

Zeuhl Top Albums


Showing only studios | Based on members ratings & PA algorithm* | Show Top 100 Zeuhl | More Top Prog lists and filters

4.28 | 1038 ratings
MEKANÏK DESTRUKTÏW KOMMANDÖH
Magma
4.25 | 702 ratings
K.A (KÖHNTARKÖSZ ANTERIA)
Magma
4.29 | 230 ratings
4 VISIONS
Eskaton
4.23 | 474 ratings
EROS
Dün
4.21 | 519 ratings
ËMËHNTËHTT-RÉ
Magma
4.18 | 335 ratings
TRISTAN ET ISEULT [AKA: ẀURDAH ÏTAH] (OST)
Vander, Christian
4.15 | 490 ratings
KÖHNTARKÖSZ
Magma
4.38 | 79 ratings
MAIS ON NE PEUT PAS RÊVER TOUT LE TEMPS
Thibault, Laurent
4.22 | 180 ratings
MATHEMATICAL MOTHER
Universal Totem Orchestra
4.13 | 434 ratings
1001° CENTIGRADES [AKA: 2]
Magma
4.18 | 209 ratings
WEIDORJE
Weidorje
4.09 | 393 ratings
FÉLICITÉ THÖSZ
Magma
4.32 | 60 ratings
BONDAGE FRUIT II
Bondage Fruit
4.04 | 474 ratings
MAGMA [AKA: KOBAÏA]
Magma
4.66 | 23 ratings
200 000
Zwoyld
4.10 | 133 ratings
LES MORTS VONT VITE
Shub-Niggurath
4.08 | 143 ratings
THE MAGUS
Universal Totem Orchestra
4.08 | 132 ratings
INFERNAL MACHINA
Top, Jannick
4.45 | 30 ratings
VISION
Bringolf, Serge
4.06 | 109 ratings
RITUALE ALIENO
Universal Totem Orchestra
4.09 | 83 ratings
GUÉRISON
Setna
4.17 | 54 ratings
ARCHAÏA
Archaia
4.04 | 95 ratings
弌 (TWO) [AKA: VIVA KOENJI !]
Koenji Hyakkei
3.99 | 153 ratings
ANGHERR SHISSPA
Koenji Hyakkei
4.12 | 51 ratings
KAWANA
Zao
4.00 | 101 ratings
EIDER STELLAIRE I
Eider Stellaire
4.33 | 22 ratings
CAILLOU
Caillou
4.49 | 16 ratings
BLACK EQUUS
Ga'an
4.16 | 32 ratings
BONDAGE FRUIT VI
Bondage Fruit
4.01 | 55 ratings
FANFARE DU CHAOS
Rhùn
3.99 | 61 ratings
FICTION
Eskaton
3.98 | 66 ratings
BUDO
Vak
4.05 | 37 ratings
AEDIVIDEA
Vak
4.32 | 16 ratings
DAI KAHT II
Dai Kaht
3.98 | 58 ratings
NICOLAS II
Potemkine
4.88 | 7 ratings
PIÈCES MANQUANTES 1976
Zig Zag
4.22 | 18 ratings
NEFFESH MUSIC :GHILGOUL
Seffer, Yochk'o
3.93 | 63 ratings
BONDAGE FRUIT I
Bondage Fruit
3.98 | 41 ratings
U RIGIRU
Rialzu
4.17 | 17 ratings
PAGA
Paganotti/Paga Group
3.89 | 85 ratings
NIVRAYM
Koenji Hyakkei
3.86 | 124 ratings
TOSCCO
Happy Family
3.97 | 35 ratings
PALLASCHTOM
Ruins
3.92 | 50 ratings
CYCLE I
Setna
3.91 | 53 ratings
SHEKINA
Zao
4.17 | 14 ratings
ALONE
Ruins
3.92 | 46 ratings
SYMPHONICA
Ruins
3.86 | 87 ratings
HUNDRED SIGHTS OF KOENJI
Koenji Hyakkei
4.00 | 22 ratings
OFFERING PART III / PART IV
Offering
3.88 | 52 ratings
OSIRIS
Zao
3.86 | 71 ratings
DHORIMVISKHA
Koenji Hyakkei
3.97 | 23 ratings
INTRODUCTION
Shub-Niggurath
4.00 | 19 ratings
RETORT
Unit Wail
3.98 | 20 ratings
GA'AN
Ga'an
4.06 | 14 ratings
LES CYGNES ET LES CORBEAUX
Vander, Christian
4.00 | 18 ratings
A FÏÏÈH
Offering
3.94 | 25 ratings
OFFERING PART I / PART II
Offering
4.17 | 9 ratings
NEFFESH MUSIC: DÉLIRE
Seffer, Yochk'o
4.06 | 12 ratings
NEFFESH MUSIC: IMA
Seffer, Yochk'o
3.95 | 20 ratings
AMATERASU
Corima
4.33 | 6 ratings
05
Scherzoo
3.88 | 33 ratings
FOETUS
Potemkine
3.80 | 129 ratings
ZËSS - LE JOUR DU NÉANT
Magma
3.98 | 15 ratings
ZGOND
Zwoyld
3.94 | 19 ratings
ARKANA TEMPORIS
Neom
3.84 | 42 ratings
BONDAGE FRUIT III - RÉCIT
Bondage Fruit
4.00 | 12 ratings
TO LOVE
Vander, Christian
3.90 | 21 ratings
VRRESTO
Ruins
3.92 | 18 ratings
02
Scherzoo
3.91 | 17 ratings
STONEHENGE
Ruins
3.86 | 25 ratings
LAGGER BLUES MACHINE [AKA: TANIT]
Lagger Blues Machine
3.83 | 36 ratings
QUETZALCOATL
Corima
3.84 | 30 ratings
MINIMAL GODS
Happy Family
3.77 | 412 ratings
ÜDÜ ẀÜDÜ
Magma
4.20 | 5 ratings
EGARÉS
Unit Wail
4.20 | 5 ratings
EVOHÉ
Évohé
3.88 | 18 ratings
NOA
Noa
3.94 | 11 ratings
TOK 1
Elephant Tok
3.85 | 19 ratings
CONTACT
Thollot, François
4.00 | 7 ratings
GLIMPSE
Shimakawa, Kenta
3.78 | 56 ratings
HAPPY FAMILY
Happy Family
4.50 | 2 ratings
SAXRUINS - BLIMMGUASS
Ruins
3.82 | 20 ratings
BURNING STONE
Ruins
4.08 | 4 ratings
ADAMA
Seffer, Yochk'o
3.89 | 9 ratings
ZAO FAMILY
Zao
3.84 | 13 ratings
VAZYTOUILLE
Vazytouille
4.00 | 5 ratings
AFFRESCHI E MEDITAZIONE
Runaway Totem
4.00 | 5 ratings
SITTING WITH BULL
Elephant Tok
3.81 | 18 ratings
COMPLEX COMBAT
Amygdala
3.80 | 21 ratings
PANGAEA PROXIMA
Unit Wail
4.04 | 4 ratings
UNDINE
Ono, Ryoko
4.04 | 4 ratings
DMK
Ryorchestra
4.04 | 4 ratings
MOSAISMIC
Ikarus
3.98 | 5 ratings
KAKUSENJO NO ONGAKU
Kakusenjo No Ongaku (Base Of Fiction)
4.00 | 4 ratings
VOX CLAMANTIS IN DESERTO
Zoikhem
4.05 | 3 ratings
INNE' VITAL
Stalingrad 119
3.82 | 11 ratings
04
Scherzoo
3.96 | 4 ratings
RYOKO ONO & ROGIER SMAL: WOODMOON
Ono, Ryoko
4.00 | 3 ratings
CHROMOPHONIE II
Seffer, Yochk'o
4.00 | 3 ratings
CHROMOPHONIE 1 : LE DIABLE ANGÉLIQUE
Seffer, Yochk'o

Zeuhl overlooked and obscure gems albums new


Random 4 (reload page for new list) | As selected by the Zeuhl experts team

TOSCCO
Happy Family
BONDAGE FRUIT I
Bondage Fruit
MAIS ON NE PEUT PAS RÊVER TOUT LE TEMPS
Thibault, Laurent
TRIMEGISTO
Runaway Totem

Latest Zeuhl Music Reviews


 Perception by PERCEPTION album cover Studio Album, 1971
2.50 | 9 ratings

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Perception
Perception Zeuhl

Review by bartymj

2 stars Not really a Zeuhl album but listed as such due to group founder Jeff Seffer's stint with Magma at the time. An album of mainly improvised free jazz jamming, clearly a talented bunch but does seem a bit disjointed. Truong's drumming is brilliant but it's generally Seffer's saxophone and clarinet that take centre stage. The closest thing to Zeuhl is the first secton of the second track, Septime Songe, where a minimalist jarring piano section from Kessler is joined by Seffer's bass clarinet with only sporadic use of cymbals joining in - giving an alien 'deep space' feel to the track, but after 5 minutes it develops back into the free jazz jam session. Doesn't do much for me to be honest.
 The Unnamables by UNIVERIA ZEKT album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.19 | 58 ratings

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The Unnamables
Univeria Zekt Zeuhl

Review by bartymj

4 stars Fresh from their first two albums of "Zeuhl-lite", and prior to the real Zeuhl descent in MDK, Christian Vander & co created The Unnameables, under the band name Univeria Zekt, designed specifically to ease listeners into the style of Magma and create a stepping stone into the rest of their work. In particular, tracks written by Teddy Lasry and Francois Cahen (the first four) are much closer to 'normal' jazz rock, with English titles and lyrics in the form of guests Lucien Zabuski and Lionel Ledizzez.

"You Speak And Speak Colegram" is almost a short but dynamic jam session, before Zabuski's vocals on the second track provides a jazz/funk feel to the track led by the brass instruments. "Clementine" is a very un-Magma track, but a very good one, as Engel's acoustic guitar and Lasry on flute combine for a stripped back and peaceful number. This is punctured immediately by a brass cacophony at the start of "Something's Cast A Spell" as we return to classic Jazz Rock.

The second half, written by Vander, is much closer to the sound heard on Magma's 1001 Centigrades album. The first track is very much a Coltrane-style run through, while the 11 minute track Africa Anteria uses Magma's custom of Vander's drumming being very much at the fore, setting a rollicking tempo for Cahen, Puentes and co to play around. The final minute of the track samples Blasquiz's shrieking Zeuhl vocals alongside military drumming as a taster of things to come with Magma. The final track "Undia" uses the more harmonic Zeuhl vocals that give a celebratory feel to some of their compositions.

Highly recommend this album, particularly the last three tracks, for a 'learner driver' entry into the weird world of Zeuhl.

 Neffesh-Music by SEFFER, YOCHK'O album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2001
3.96 | 4 ratings

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Neffesh-Music
Yochk'o Seffer Zeuhl

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Another compilation album from Yochk'o Seffer but this one has a lot of value compared to the "Chromophonie" compilation record I just reviewed. Half the tracks here are previously unreleased including an outtake from the "Ghilgoul" sessions called "Mazal". These tracks have bass and drums unlike the previous compilation I just reviewed including Jean-My Truong on three tracks but there's also two other drummers. And on bass Dominique Bertram who is nothing short of incredible. Oh and how about Mauricia Platon on vocals on that classic opener "Noce Chimique". We get the Quatuor Margand string quartet on five tracks. Seffer adds his usual sax, piano and bass clarinet but also synths and vocals. His Hungarian friend Lajos Horvath adds some unbelievable violin on several songs here. This is outstanding music!

Top three would actually include two of those previously unreleased tracks but first the opener "Noce Chimique" from the "Ima" album. By the way we get two songs from "Delire" another one from "Ima" as well as one from "Ghilgoul" on here. The opener is about the sax, bass and piano early before Mauricia arrives and check out how haunting it gets. Piano and bass lead before 3 minutes then add violin and drums at 4 1/2 minutes. Love that bass. Strings alone lead before 6 minutes for a minute then it's bass, soprano sax, drums and vocals. Bass is the focus from around 9 1/2 minutes to after 10 1/2 minutes when drums, sax and vocals return. Go Mauricia!

I also really like "Kalapoch-Tanz" with the piano and violin leading the way early before it turns more lively when bass, drums and sax arrive. Atmosphere after a minute and this sounds really cool. Just so impressive then Seffer lets it rip on the sax. Oh my! Last top three would be "Aditys" and in part for that Zeuhl rhythm. Synths on this one as well making it sound a little unique. Seffer adds vocals here too making it sound even more Zeuhlish. There are eleven ultra talented musicians on this recording and a one of a kind vocalist which makes this a must for fans of adventerous music.

 Chromophonie by SEFFER, YOCHK'O album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1996
3.05 | 3 ratings

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Chromophonie
Yochk'o Seffer Zeuhl

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 3.5 stars. Seffer released "Chromophonie 1" and "Chromophonie 2" back to back in the early eighties. This particular album is a compilation of tracks from those two recordings and this was released in 1996. I am such a big fan of Yochk'o Seffer going back to the early MAGMA days but especially when I discovered ZAO. Seffer is Hungarian and has lived in France for years and we share the same birthday!

This is mostly Seffer but he has a fellow Hungarian violinist playing on three tracks and that female string quartet called QUARTUER MARGAND found on a couple of ZAO albums playing on two songs. And that's it, no drums, bass or guitar. Seffer plays bass clarinet but mostly sax here and piano. So yeah tough to rate because the music is over my head and the enjoyment factor isn't that high much of the time. And this is a compilation of previously released songs. I review as a fan not a critic so I went with the 3.5 star bailout. I really like it but I don't love it.

I really enjoyed Natsar II" for the vocals even though this song is the shortest at under 2 minutes. The next track "Bela Bcsi Emlekere" is great for the piano and violin interplay. A treat. I liked the start of "Galgal" with the multi-horns with piano. Sax and piano will share the spotlight on this one. Lastly "Mizwa I" for again the violin and piano. Just outstanding music here and the piano takes over after 5 minutes right to the end on this over 9 1/2 minute track.

I'm glad Musea released this as I have little in the way of releases that are quite like this.

 Quetzalcoatl by CORIMA album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.83 | 36 ratings

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Quetzalcoatl
Corima Zeuhl

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars CORIMA is one of the many newer zeuhl bands inspired by influences far outside of the confines of classic Magma. This band that originated in 2005 in El Paso, Texas by high school friends Francisco Casanova (keyboards), Sergio Ravelo (drums), Juan Tarin (bass), Erik Martinez (guitar), and Jaime Silva (guitar) began by playing music influenced by several progressive rock bands such as King Crimson, Gong, ELP, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Soft Machine and local El Paso homies The Mars Volta which instilled a sense of punk energy into their oft frenetic stylistic approach.

Soon Erik Martinez and Jaime Silva left the band and CORIMA became a trio and together released a CD-R self-titled debut and then set out on an East Coast tour of the USA which found them touring the big cities of New York, Philadelphia and Washington DC. In 2009 Casanova and Revelo moved to Los Angeles to expand their horizons and immediately began playing as a duo and in the process met bassist Ryan Kamiyamazaki and saxophonist Patrick Shiroishi and then invited them into the band which led to a more energized sound that crafted various progressive rock sounds around the more frenetic zeuhl approach as heard by other Japanese extremists such as Ruins and Koenjihyakkei. After a few more members to join, CORIMA was ready for action.

This new formation of CORIMA led the band into the studio where they recorded the first "proper" album QUETZALCOATL which was picked up by the French label Soleil Zeuhl and released in 2012. The band continued its massive touring schedule playing some renowned gigs and has in the process attracted a larger fanbase. QUETZALCOATL is a lengthy album just passing the 69 minute playing time and features 17 tracks most of which are below the 4 minute mark with only a couple exceptions, the most extreme being the 17 minute "Tezcatlipoca." The subject matter revolves around the Mesoamerican feathered serpent god QUETZALCOATL although the nonsensical lyrical content seems to be either gibberish or a self-constructed language in the vein of zeuhl founders Magma.

As far as zeuhl goes, CORIMA is rather traditional with bubbly bass driven rhythmic drive, accompanied by subtle accentuated percussion and stentorian multi-vocal parts fueled with jazzy melodic counterpoints. The saxophone brings some straight on jazz to the forefront at key moments however the addition of the violin not a standard zeuhl instrument brings a bit more of a gypsy swing feel to the overall mood in the vein of prog violinists such as Jean-Luc Ponty. The music while generally operating on fast frenetic tempos also sounds somewhat laid back as the tones and timbres are warm and inviting. It's not really until the swarm of vocal attacks really bring out the most bombastic features of CORIMA's approach. There are moments such as on the end of "Khozmikh Kavhiledrios" where all the instruments go stark raving mad and the violin suddenly sounds like a tortured cat.

I'd be remiss without mentioning the behemoth 17 minute blockbuster "Tezcatlipoca" which single-handedly swallows up a good quarter of the album's run. Well, it starts out with a nice vocal harmony session much in the spirit of classic Magma and then starts to engage in some weird Philip Glass style instrumental antics as heard on the fast parts of "Koyaanisqaatsi" or "Glassworks" but then ramps up the energy level and becomes more like a less frantic Ruins or a more polished Kenjihyakkei. From there the band pulls off some of its most ambitious instrumental gymnastics and technical workouts all the while keeping a smooth seamless rhythmic drive from derailing. The band's creativity just ramps up from there with a consistently entertaining delivery of changes including some of those Balkan folk swings as heard on classic Area's albums like "Arbeit Macht Frei." By far my favorite track on this excellent album.

The album concludes with a whopping seven more shorter tracks but doesn't let up in intensity and for many this entire experience will be an energetic overload but for those who love a feisty virtuosic performance for over an hour's playing time, then you can't go wrong with CORIMA who fall squarely into the classic zeuhl territory of French artists but engage in a violent punk-infused display of vitality unlike any other. The beauty of CORIMA though is in how well they walk the tight-rope between the traditional sensuality of the classic Magma style and the harsh anarchic approach of the Japanese invasion of the world of zeuhl. It certainly never ceases to amaze me how this seemingly simple style of hypnotic and receptively grooved style of progressive rock can evoke such varied creative responses with such acts emerging from unexpected parts of the world like Los Angeles! This is an awesome zeuhl experience!

 Happy Lockdown by THOLLOT, FRANÇOIS album cover Studio Album, 2021
3.15 | 4 ratings

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Happy Lockdown
François Thollot Zeuhl

Review by Steve Conrad

3 stars Jazz-tinged Layered Keyboard Whimsy

François Thollot

Dear friends: this French musician sets out to celebrate, yes to celebrate- when so many are glum, morose, if not actively hostile, resistant and insistent- that most universal of human experiences.

And what is that?

Limitations.

We wish we were tall, but alas! We are quite short. We wish to be wise, yet somehow wind up foolish and/or cliched. Leaders- yet end up behind some charismatic charlatan. Open and transparent- hiding behind a mask.

Happy Lockdown

Possibly it's a coincidence that François chose this title for his third full-length release, this time of limitations, masks, forced home-bound reveries- yes, all the boundaries and vagaries of a global menace, a pandemic of riotous virulent illness.

But I doubt it.

Using a variety of keyboard textures, layering these, utilizing meandering melodies, compositions in which a theme is proposed- perhaps by electric piano, or clavinet, or acoustic piano, then layering in marimba sounds or xylophone sounds, beginning to elaborate with point and counterpoint, some layers staccato, others dissonant chords held, then transmuted- with bass guitar throbbing on a single note or wandering in jazzy search of bottom end chord structures, and busy (programmed) drumming- François Thollot mesmerizes and captivates and hypnotizes the listener.

Then subsides...

...only to shift, transmute, and mutate into more layered whimsy.

The sensibility is much more about impressionism than realism, much more about escaping the...err...limitations of verse, chorus, verse, bridge, chorus structure- meanwhile happily working within equally disciplined, yet much less conventional frameworks.

Zeuhl, RIO, Avant-Progressive, Canterbury

These are not my common oeuvre, and I listen for mood, texture, meanings; I listen for what the musician and the music mean to convey.

I find myself forced to attend, to ponder, to push the boundaries of my listening styles, my preferred paths and roadways. To acknowledge my limitations.

Celebrate the limitations, I think François Thollot tells us, with all the subtlety, whimsy, and layers at our disposal.

So Let Me Say This

It seems good, not great, to me. This music is never harsh, rude, extreme, or simple. Yet within the tracks one can sense humor, restlessness, whimsy, and overflowing musicality. Therefore, I rate this three dead sparrows- with two alive.

 Studio Zünd by MAGMA album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2009
4.90 | 67 ratings

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Studio Zünd
Magma Zeuhl

Review by Isaac Peretz

5 stars An amazing collection of Magma's studio albums from debut to K.A, along with an extra CD of unused music from previous years. First of all, Magma is an acquired-taste band. Not all Prog-Heads love their music, and that's ok. We all got different tastes. Now, if you actually like Magma then you really need to have this. It's dozens of high-quality prog music (Except Merci) from the creators of Zeuhl. An absolute must for any Magma fan. I won't talk about the albums since that would make this review 100.000 words big, but I can assure you that almost everything in that box set is worth it. That's basically it, there really isn't much more to say.

I'm giving it five stars because it is literally essential for any Magma fan (Or anyone who wants to get into them).

 Kreidenfels by SC'ÖÖF album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Kreidenfels
Sc'ööf Zeuhl

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

— First review of this album —
3 stars The unpronounceable SC'ÖÖF comes from the Swiss city of Lucerne founded in 2015 by Elio Amberg (saxophone), Noah Arnold (saxophone), Amadeus Fries (drums) and Christian Zemp (guitar). This quartet is known for energetic live shows that take on the task of mangling repetitive rhythms with bombastic dueling saxophone attacks with touches of post-punk guitar riffs.

SC'ÖÖF has so far released two albums, this debut KREIDENFELS which emerged in 2017 on BandCamp and the more recent "Weaving Elephants" which was released by Club Denmark, a label, collective and event location founded in 2019. KRIEDENFELS features six tracks and just skirts over the 31 minute playing time.

This debut is an exercise in free jazz especially the European variety in the vein of Peter Brötzmann, Manfred Schoof or Tomasz Stańko. For those not privy to jazz music distinctions, the European style of free jazz is characterized by highly improvised experimentalism that completely eschews the "swing" of American jazz. The mood is dark and forbidding whilst the guitar additions add a bombastic contrast albeit sparingly.

In many ways, SC'ÖÖF's debut sounds very much like some of the most "out there" examples of free jazz from the late 60s and early 70s, the style that could be heard by artists like Evan Parker, Albert Mangelsdorff or Peter Kowald only SC'ÖÖF adds touches of avant-prog angularities much like Henry Cow's four album run of the 70s.

While punk guitar is present, it only sporadically erupts from the jagged irregularities of the compositional flow. Atonal clean guitar strums are much more common with the duo saxophone attacks constructing the atmospheric turbulence. The most "normal" sound to be heard is the drum rolls that evoke more traditional jazz conventions.

This may be of interest to fans of avant-prog infused jazz bands like France's Jean Louis but overall KREIDENFELS is nothing more than a completely free form jazz run that never coalesces into any sort of album experience and while i do love me some free jazz, SC'ÖÖF doesn't really perform anything here that hasn't been done countless times in the past. This is a decent avant-garde debut but falls short in elevating the world of free jazz.

 Weaving Elephants by SC'ÖÖF album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Weaving Elephants
Sc'ööf Zeuhl

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

— First review of this album —
3 stars Definitely brutal Krautrock.

A Swiss avantgarde jazz rock quartet SC'''F launch eccentric but violent chamber sound explosion coloured with their own noise language. Their latest album "Weaving Elephants" is drenched in their original sticky melodic attacks. What a surprise they can unify their instrumental moments and movements in such a precise manner, but I believe their perfect assimilation can do such a brilliant work.

Although the rhythmic basis is complicated and perplexed, every single phrase is simple and cute. And gradual developments of sound are quite interesting. These phenomena (especially the former part of the second track "Beater") remind me of the similarity to Satan Alfa Beel Atem or so. The first lava flow "Ruminant" is as the title says. Wild crazy saxophone-oriented phrases push our inner brain again and again. Weird percussive footprints stir us up and down. The latter phase of "Beater" is completely of contemporary Krautrock filled with noisy madness and mysterious sound unification.

"Stereotypy" can be said just as Swiss Semool. Gradual sound developments featuring synthesizers and saxophones have been invading into our stomach. Irregular, non-catchable melodic / rhythmic collective cannot easily be digested. Dissected obstinate experimental grandeur. The last "Entertainment" gives us sarcastic attachment, along with repetitive madness. Quite tiny is every single phrase but the collection of elements are supremely flavourful. They do not say any difficult thing but full of pleasure due to such a sincere aggregate of eerie components.

Experimentalism rules, different from one by Horde Catalytique Pour La Fin though.

 Cellule de Crise by MAGISTER DIXIT album cover Studio Album, 2006
4.00 | 2 ratings

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Cellule de Crise
Magister Dixit Zeuhl

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars One of the earliest young modern ensembles to really commit to bearing the torch of Christian Vander's Zeuhl music. Too bad they gave up after this album.

1. "Endless" (5:58) sounds like Magma, just not as tight, not as focused--and singing in English (at first: the title word)! The tempos as expressed by the bass, drums, and vocalists seem scattered all over the place, as if the band were not all on the same page. There's a little of the spirit of COS vocalist PASCALE SON in the voice of lead female, Melanie Fossier. She definitely commands attention. (7.5/10)

2. "Les potits archers" (5:55) whoops! maybe I was wrong: This band can Zeuhl! Everybody seems to gel and relax into the music here. the weaves--both musically and vocally--are absolutely stupendous (except for the way lead male Stéphane Marcaillou's voice is recorded and expressed in the overall mix). Great comportment of the classic Zeuhl tension and great build to resolution. (9.25/10)

3. "De profundis II" (8:18) four voices establish a classic Zeuhl form before transitioning about three minutes in to a jazzed up variation of the same. Violin and Melanie present a new lead melody. Amazing Zeuhl scatting from Stéphane and Melanie in the final third of this slower Magma-like composition. Stéphane must have had some Klaus Blasquiz lessons! Great drumming. (18.25/20)

4. "De profundis III" (4:22) violin and Melanie present a new complex scat pattern, repeated over and over, while instruments below jazz it up. Melanie and the drums really impress. Again, I cannot help but make the Pascale Son comparisons. (8.75/10)

5. "La merveille" (3:57) a sedate, almost dreamy weave of three female vocalists with the guitar, bass, piano, and mostly-cymbals before Stéphane enters as the lead. When Melanie takes the lead, and is then joined by her two female compatriots, the music takes on an almost 1960s pop-jazz feel and style--and the vocal feels like a lullaby or children's rhyme! Unexpected and brilliant! (9/10)

Total Time 28:30

I have been really impressed with the compositional skills of this band and equally so with their performance skills. They really pull off a truly complete and complex Zeuhl album! The weak link is the bass player: he's no Jannick Top! The rest is pretty top notch MAGMA-esque Zeuhl!

B/four stars; if you're a lover of Zeuhl music at its finest, you will love this album. Definitely an excellent addition to any prog lover's music collection. There is just something that, for me, is so magical about this album!

Data cached

Zeuhl bands/artists list

Bands/Artists Country
ALTAÏS France
AMYGDALA Japan
ANAID France
ARCHAIA France
ARKHAM Belgium
BONDAGE FRUIT Japan
SERGE BRINGOLF France
CAILLOU France
CORIMA United States
DAI KAHT Finland
DAIMONJI Japan
DÜN France
EIDER STELLAIRE France
ELEPHANT TOK France
ESKATON France
ÉVOHÉ France
FOEHN France
FRACTALE France
GA'AN United States
HAPPY FAMILY Japan
HIATUS France
HONEYELK France
IKARUS Switzerland
KAKUSENJO NO ONGAKU (BASE OF FICTION) Japan
KOENJI HYAKKEI Japan
LAGGER BLUES MACHINE Belgium
LAKTATING YAK United States
MAGISTER DIXIT France
MAGMA France
MUSIQUE NOISE France
NEOM France
NEW PLEASURE Canada
NOA France
OFFERING France
RYOKO ONO Japan
ORVALIANS France
PAGANOTTI/PAGA GROUP France
PERCEPTION France
POTEMKINE France
PSEU France
RHÙN France
RIALZU France
RUINS Japan
RUNAWAY TOTEM Italy
RYORCHESTRA Japan
SC'ÖÖF Switzerland
SCHERZOO France
YOCHK'O SEFFER France
SEKKUTSU JEAN Japan
SETNA France
KENTA SHIMAKAWA United States
SHUB-NIGGURATH France
STALINGRAD 119 France
SUPER FREEGO France
SYNCOPATED SILENCE Russia
LAURENT THIBAULT France
FRANÇOIS THOLLOT France
JANNICK TOP France
UNIT WAIL France
UNIVERIA ZEKT France
UNIVERSAL TOTEM ORCHESTRA Italy
UPPSALA France
UTOPIC SPORADIC ORCHESTRA France
VAK France
CHRISTIAN VANDER France
VAULTS OF ZIN United States
VAZYTOUILLE France
WEIDORJE France
XALPH France
XING SA France
ZAO France
ZIG ZAG France
ZOIKHEM France
ZWOYLD France

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