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Weidorje Weidorje album cover
4.19 | 245 ratings | 23 reviews | 39% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1978

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Elohim's Voyage (16:31)
2. Vilna (12:19)
3. Booldemug (7:10)

Total Time 36:00

Bonus tracks on 1992 CD release:
4. Rondeau (live *) (8:48)
5. Kolinda (live *) (12:27)

* Recorded in Rombas, October 14th, 1978 - previously unreleased

Line-up / Musicians

- Michel Ettori / guitar
- Patrick Gauthier / keyboards
- Jean-Phillipe Goude / keyboards
- Alain Guillard / saxophone
- Yvon Guillard / trumpet, vocals
- Bernard Paganotti / bass, vocals
- Kirt Rust / drums

Releases information

Artwork: Klaus Blasquiz

LP Cobra - COB 37014 (1978, France)

CD Musea Records - FGBG 4058.AR (1992, France) With 2 bonus tracks

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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WEIDORJE Weidorje ratings distribution

(245 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(39%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(41%)
Good, but non-essential (15%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

WEIDORJE Weidorje reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by loserboy
3 stars Rooted heavily in the MAGMA school of progressive rock, WEIDORJE delivering blistering improvisational-like prog jams. WEIDORJE actually were a MAGMA offshoot as members of MAGMA joined to form this band later. Like MAGMA's music, WEIDORJE is heavily dominated by accentuated bass guitar solos accompanied by percuission, keyboards, trumpets and sax. Songs are long and have an extended jam feeling to them giving the band lots of time to change tempo and stretch the songs out to its maximium. This CD has been played to death in my CD player and fans of MAGMA should be placing their orders as we speak. CD packaging is also well done and typical of Musea does provide a nice history with photos of the band.
Review by VanderGraafKommandöh
5 stars Weidorje's self-titled and only EP (now consisting of two live tracks, on the Musea CD reissue), released in 1978, is certainly a treat for Magma fans. Especially those who like Bernard Paganotti's bass playing and the Üdü Wüdü" (Jannick Top & Paganotti on bass) sound. Unlike many listeners and fans of Zeuhl music, I came across Weirdorje before Magma. However, I believe this album is much easier on the ears than some Magma albums, so it was indeed a good choice for me to begin my Zeuhl journey. The music is mostly instrumental and the voices that are present (supplied by Bernard Paganotti and Yvon Guillard) is mainly scat, so it leaves my ears free to listen to the wonderful music being played. The really exciting factor about Zeuhl is the fuzz-bass. Bernard Paganotti is a master of the style (along with Jannick Top and non-Zeuhl musician Hugh Hopper), so naturally when I first heard this album, I was immediately struck by the thumping bass. Of course, there is more to Weidorje than just the fuzz-bass, because another former Magma personality is present on this album in the name of Patrick Gauthier. He and Jean-Philippe Goude (both on keyboards) add some very dark and gloomy polyrhythmic sounds which add superb atmosphere and rhythm, as does Michel Ettori on guitar who plays along with Paganotti's bass lines in many places.

The opening track, Elohim's Voyage starts off, as one would suspect, with a crunching bass sound but soon Gauthier's keyboard adds a chilling touch. The main rhythmic charge then begins, with the aforementioned scat vocals, the slowly increasing heavier drumming and then the guitar. This assault continues on throughout the 16 minutes but with added surprises, such as Alain Guillard's avant-garde saxophone. Approaching the halfway mark, the band are in full flow and then everything slows down once more yet the track keeps together solidly. With four minutes to go, the tune reprises with trumpet and saxophone accompaniment. This reflects classic Magma but feels darker and more disturbing, and is a strong track to start precedings. Vilna is the strongest track of the album, beginning with a catchy keyboard riff that leads on until Paganotti's bass. Vilna is not as heavy as Elohim's Voyage, yet is just as catchy (if not more so), continuing on in true Zeuhl-style with a relentlessness of rhythmic sound. This is another difficult track to describe, so I shall leave it for the listener. Originally, the album would have finished with Booldemug, a softer track that reminds sometimes of Third era Soft Machine (though Hugh Hopper's bass never got this fuzzy!). This is jazzier than the previous tracks - bordering on jazz rock/fusion - featuring much more saxophone and guitar and is a welcome break from what has gone before, making the band sound more diverse than one would initially expect. It is also here that you realise how much the keyboards dominate Weidorje's sound without overwhelming the rest. Ettori also unleashes his guitar skills here, so listen out, as his playing is exceptional. As previously stated, French label Musea released Weidorje in 1992 with bonus tracks. Unfortunately the cuts here are aurally inferior to the studio ones heard previously. Thankfully, the music is just as great and proves they could perform live as well. Rondeau sounds ethnic and medieval in places, dominated by the keyboards. Due to the sound quality, the bass is not so strong in the mix but doesn't lessen the charm of this cut. Expect the same kind of catchiness as previous tracks just more sedated and laid-back, and listen out halfway through as there is some rather nice jazzy moments thanks to the trumpet and guitar. A studio version of this selection would have sounded marvelous, so it is a shame they never released another album. Kolinda mostly consists of an astounding bass solo by Bernard Paganotti. The track starts off with yet more memorable rhythms and when the solo begins, it often reminds quite a bit of the late Berry Oakley, Jr.'s (Allman Brothers' Band) playing style which when I first heard it, came as a very pleasant surprise.

Despite their use of catchy rhythms, Weidorje never get dull or boring, continuously and subtly changing things. The changes are often so subtle, you do not notice them. I have listened to the album many times and I always forget there is a trumpet and saxophone used as they are used scarcely, yet without them, the tracks would sound completely different. I have given this album a 5/5 (4.8) rating, even with the poorly recorded bonus tracks, because an album of this quality does not come about very often. This is a gem of a record and is still an essential release for those who have discovered Magma, or who want to discover Magma in the future and a great introductory level album if not always the easiest of listens.

Review by Ricochet
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars My first ever Zeuhl experience (meaning everything: listening, collecting, reviewing, accepting the genre's reality and distinction, finding the worthy contrast or finally enjoying what is of great sense in it) is, incidentally, a one-off project, of special music and a very strong style - also of a totally pleasant basic flavor into Zeuhl's stretch of an atypical sounding orientation. Even before Weidorje, I've received the hint that a big part of Zeuhl has the welcoming deep attitude and traditional combination of new music and big classic stereotypes (or catchy drifts), only for the more freak-spotted and gargantuan-clerked Japanese-oriented stuff to bring alive an aware explosion of unpredictable and systematic complications and fun-absurdities. So goes indeed this "half side" of the Zeuhl mechanic, along Weidorje's piquant originality: a lot of traditional and of basic fascinating references, in a Zeuhl-grown absinthe new-pulse and seizurant concentration. Nothing of all this misleads Weidorje's small art and succinct slush act.

Weidorje is practically locked under the Magma reference (but, fortunately, it isn't buried or harassed by it), with two referential artists leading off the experiment, with a lot of feeling that Magma continues into Weidorje without hesitations but with imperfect similarities, plus with the influences of French Zeuhl and dark art prog flicked-on mechanics which I've already mentioned. Even more than that, Weidorje alludes a convenient side within endless "magmatic" composition (meaning to go on playing the values and alternative essences of Magma, even if you've skidded off from the main band) - when, in fact, it comes to a high degree of exquisite and courage-breaking attitude, under the healthiest or just grooviest style and free-sense license. Zeuhl may after all share too little obscurity and underground kinesis, focusing on bands that punch the great spirit, nevertheless Weidorje suffers nothing, musically and conceptually, from playing the rich, plural and contentious kind of lucid art.

The level of quality and inspiration reflects more than enough the artists and their bit predictable and simple evolved, still very spicy and recommendable credit. You could feel that Weidorje is born (and quickly demised) under the desires of a very fulfilling musicianship, based on experience and wickedness, craft and pure pleasure (if that ever gets involved), if only the typicalness, the Magma-link or the dry distorted strain (happening a bit too much, upon hearing the essential pieces) would not interfere deeply with such a thrilling view. The biggest catch seems to face Paganotti, out of the pure fascination and deep lurk the bass grunge has in Weidorje; on a different level, similarly adapted, but more obscure and sound-cut, Gauthier (Magma, Heldon and solo) invites Jean-Phillipe Goude (an electronic, but also fusion tempting artist, having difficult to understand major orientations, much like Benoit Wildemann) into a dark vibrating composure of keyboards and rhythmical eccentricities - something obviously profound, but rather insolite in Weidorje's biggest quick tensions. The flash point isn't over yet, since guitarist Ettorri and drummer Rust bring in the traditional heat-riffs and deaf-beats of a rock movement (and a dark steam composition influence), while the big alternative effect, mostly spiking a lot of jazzy havoc and improvised heap, come from brothers Guillard's saxophone and trumpet moody, occasional, not pure and perfect, but present and active turns.

Weidorje is clamed, artfully, under compelling jams and innate manners, even if, somewhere along, all the complex(ity) skills turn the full attention away from the "art-logic", the animated as hell (only not drastic) measures or the ruffian macro-scaled pulses. A wide pleasure can come out of pure instrumentality, on which the ensemble spends almost everything (additional vocals fussing an inscrutable taste for modified under-sounds), implying hollow-striking composition, improvisation, rhythmic contrast (it's a real deal listening to difficult tonalities and sweating such breakaways), repetitive blow-ups, plus dismantled harmonic and melodic ideas, for a better spice and throb.

Also luscious is the great eclecticism that resides from simple, atypical or dis-valued ways of music attack, and leads a plurality of styles (the albums carves up poly-rock sweet and sour tendencies): the insidious Weidorje develops into a bass-bossy rock groove, a jazzy pitch-black atmosphere, a wild "crimson"-like enthusiasm of technical abstract (yes, I do think some moments sound like the dark-jam King Crimson refused, mainly, to do in the same classic prog time), a mechanic fusion and an embalmed free-expression quality, plus different chords of favorably leathery and chewy feelings, counting a deep and dark musical clout and inner subtlety. Weidorje has real-time complicated, but non-exaggerate preferences, with basic interpretation veins going on a sum of hard eclectic rock, jazzy-bass on and off flicks, repetitive experimentalism (under a lot of main themes and evolving pricked melodies) and artistic simplicity. The loaded epics of the original LP leave you breathless or just highly over-dozed, the bonus lives have a ground-destructive sound quality, but interpret with even more lecherousness the typical jam of rock, zeuhl, bass-tops and sound-powers.

This is on all levels a smashing and Zeuhl-challenging art concept, coming in a late (1978,yikes...), but highly devoted progressive time, also sharing a custom eclecticism and dark-smart orientation, which mostly resembles an endless (and, sporadically, supreme) value in Weidorje, even when its music becomes out-dated or humbly undertaken by other gems of the genre. A very revealing and artistic album for me, a generally exciting creation for anything that matters.

Review by Mellotron Storm
5 stars As has been mentioned Bernard Paganotti and Patrick Gauthier the bass player and keyboardist on MAGMA's "Udu Wudu" album decided to leave MAGMA and start up their own band.They named their band WEIDORJE at the suggestion of Klaus Blasquis who also planned to be part of this project before backing out. By the way Klaus also came up with the cover art. The name WEIDORJE apparently means "Celestial Wheel" and it's from the Bible (Ezekial?). It was also the name of a Paganotti / Blasquis penned track on that "Udu Wudu" record. The music on this album is very much in the same style and sound as the music on "Udu Wudu". Many of these guys have played in HELDON and several would go onto to play in Jean-Philippe Goude's "Drones" album, Paganotti's "Paga" album and Gauthier's "Bebe Godzilla" record.

"Elohim's Voyage" is a side long suite and I don't know if they took the name "Elohim" from the Hebrew title for God, but that would make sense. The song starts with spooky keys and outbursts of heavy drums and guitar. It starts to pick up 2 1/2 minutes in as vocal sounds come in. There is such a great sound as the bass, drums, guitar and vocal melodies lead the way. The bass is incredible here. We get some sax and more vocal melodies until the song sounds even better after 7 minutes. Some dissonant horns after 9 minutes that go away as drums and guitar continue the brilliance. The sax and vocal melodies return 12 1/2 minutes in. This song is dark and amazing ! "Vilna" opens with keyboard melodies from Gauthier and Goude, and then the song kicks in after 2 minutes.The bass is huge as usual. Vocal melodies 5 minutes in. The song sounds fantastic 8 minutes in. These guys can really create great rhythms. Sax melodies follow. Another amazing song.

"Booldemug" is an uptempo track with a collage of sounds including drums, guitars and horns. Check out the bass after 2 minutes ! Some ripping guitar 4 1/2 minutes in and i'm sure the drummer has lost his mind at this point and is unable to stop pounding the skins. The two bonus tracks were recorded live including "Rondeau" with it's tempo changes and pounding drums, as sax and vocal melodies add to the sound. We also get some bells before 7 minutes that remind me of RUSH's "A Farewell To Kings". "Kolinda" continues with the throbbing bass lines and pounding drums as sax, guitar and keys fill out the sound. This incredible melody stops as we get a nice little guitar line with only light drums helping out. It gets fairly heavy 8 minutes in before the original melody returns 11 minutes in. Nice.

In my exploration of Zeuhl I haven't heard anything yet that I haven't liked a lot, including this monster. Highly recommended. This is one wicked bass album !

Review by FruMp
4 stars A very strong Zeuhl release

WEIDORJE is a great Zeuhl incarnation akin to bands like ESKATON and EIDER STELLAIRE put together by ex-MAGMA members featuring heavy organ and dominant pummeling bass and some serious groove. Bernard Paganott's bass work is a particular highlight on this album, very driving and commanding more so than a lot of Zeuhl I have heard, the drums aren't actually very interesting or technical at all but the bass takes a lot of the pressure off them. The instrumentation overall is actually quite jazzy which is refreshing due largely in part to the Guillard's on trumpet and sax coming to the fore melodically most of the time (although this does push the guitar back a bit and the organ isn't as heavy and dominant as I would like - instrumentation is everything in Zeuhl).

Opening song Elohim's voyage is the best song on the longest and best song on the album with a very ominous opening before kicking into a bassy groove before ending up in lighter territory with some great work by the vocalists (who sing non lyrically), a great piece of Zeuhl music. Booldemug is a great upbeat faster paced song with some of the best bass work on the album, it's remarkably progressive too, venturing through many different motifs before ending triumphantly.

WEIDORJE contains a lot of great moments and is a very worthwhile addition to any Zeuhl fan's music collection.

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Weidorje = (biblical word pronounced Vay-dorge) is the waiting period for the arrival of a flying saucer that will , one morning, come to take us away with new values and in complete safety. Weidorje would then mean Celestial Wheel. Wow! Pretty eclectic sci-fi stuff! Perhaps not in our jaded, blasé and schizoid 21st Century , but back in the innocence of 1978, space travel was very much the common everyday fantasy and many a musician was puffing away looking at the stars and dreaming. Weidorje developed as a Magma side project with the blessing of leader Christian Vander, giving devoted members Bernard Paganotti and Patrick Gauthier the freedom to stretch beyond Kobaia and search out different Zeuhl territories. Together with a fabulous crew of newbies Kirt Rust on drums, guitarist Michel Ettori, keyboardist Jean-Philippe Goude and the Guillard brothers on assorted brass instruments, they have recorded this one shot monster that nearly equals many Magma album in terms of sheer musicality and daring inspiration. On the deliriously tasty 16 minute + "Elohims Voyage", Paganotti's bass style is very upfront and center, almost exorbitantly brash, a four string festival that illuminates the path with the drums providing the backbone, the dual keyboards swirling with grandiose diversity, both e-piano and organs ablaze and reinforced by solid trumpet blasts and occasional scat vocalizing. The piece sounds like the Raelian national anthem (those not familiar with this sect, their members await the arrival of the alien angel creators (elohim =Hebrew for angel) in Jerusalem, signaling the age of Revelation or Apocalypse). Not exactly Neal Morse but vive la difference! While the similarities with Magma (the Mothership!) are obvious, the differences are also palpable: no Kobaian language or message, little of that famed Wagnerian heaviness and of course, no Vander (there can only be one like him), here each composer imposes their own strong personality on the arrangement and it shows. "Vilna" is a dozen minute long Gauthier composition that concentrates on the repetitive weaving of electric piano and organ melodies in an almost hypnotic mid-period Soft Machine style, very "jazz- rock" as it was called then with a muted bass sound. A rippling Ettori lead adds to the manic groove and the brass really complete the deal. This is excellent instrumental music that will appeal to the jazz and rock fan without prejudice. "Booldemug" features Paganotti's mercilessly furious "rolling thunder" bass, totally upfront and very center , a ground hugging call to arms that should floor most bass fanatics (I am beyond fanaticism and a proud bass fetishist) , with Ettori's axe particularly grinding out some serious notes with some heady help from the conspiratorial Guillard brothers and some zipping solos from the Synth duo. This is unadulterated genius, easily one of the finest Zeuhl tracks anywhere! "Rondeau" is a J.P. Goude (or should I say "Good") composition which illustrates his considerable skills, favoring the violin-tone synthesizers as well as some trembling e-piano , with Paga's bass politely in the background and the brass (bass with an R) punching a few benchmark pleasure zones, a mid-tempo groove that glides along nicely with just a little "frénésie". The live "Kolinda" seeks out absurd aural pastures, with palpable Magma influences, with playfully woven guitar tapestries adding some balance to the intricate interplay, a complex in-concert jam that just sizzles, again highlighting Paganotti's incredible fretless virtuosity. Hey, "musique facile" this is not! Weidorje was another victim of the tough punky times and sadly, disappeared before a second album could be released. Dommage. A must for fans of bass guitar, Zeuhl or adventurous "heavy jazz-rock". 4 Godzillas.
Review by zravkapt
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This group was formed after bassist Bernard Paganotti and keyboardist Patrick Gauthier left Magma after recording the Udu Wudu album. Their name is taken from a song on that album. I'm not exactly sure how the word is pronounced, but I like to refer to them as "weed orgy". The sound here is similar to Udu Wudu. But compared to Magma these guys are more accesible and rock harder. Like Eskaton, there is more emphasis on guitar than most French Zeuhl.

This was originally an EP with 3 songs, but the CD release has two live bonus songs. It starts off with the 16 1/2 minute "Elohim's Voyage". I'm not sure what the title refers to but "elohim" is the plural of "god" in Hebrew. There are no actual lyrics on the album but there is vocals. The song starts off with bass, synths and hi-hat. Then some vocals in unison with the synths. Then drums play a steady beat with some awesome bass playing. I love Paganotti's bass tone. Guitars then join in and there is more vocals, but now in unison with the guitar. Then a great "hey nah hey" vocal part with back up singers.

After we get some trumpet. Then an awesome riff and a mini-bass solo. Operatic singing with Fender Rhodes and then back to that riff. Then operatic male voice and trumpet. Everything gets more dissonant sounding now. Later bell sounds with marching drums. Some more trumpet. The "hey nah hey" part comes back near the end. Great song. "Vilna" has some fusion-y Rhodes to start it. Then drums and percussion noises, followed by bass and guitar. Maybe some trumpet in there too. Later some vocals saying "vilna". After some trumpet. Later a guitar solo with fast bass playing. A trumpet solo. Tempo increases, getting almost punk sounding. More vocals in a scat style. Ends with drum fills and a beautiful Rhodes sound.

"Booldemug" is the shortest and weakest song. You can hear this one on PA. Starts with two Rhodes pianos. Then bass, drums and trumpet. What sounds like a violin comes in. The music is fast and uptempo at this point. The song calms down and picks up again throughout. Over halfway thru a guitar solo. The bass drops out at one point then comes back playing fast. Some synths near the end. Rhodes gets sped up to end it.

The two live bonus tracks have bad sound quality and are not as good as the three album tracks. Of note is "Kolinda" where an audience member keeps clapping because they think the song is over. Hilarious. Weidorje recorded a second album but it was never released; the songs on it were later recorded for Paganotti's and Gauthier's solo albums. This along with Eskaton's 4 Visions is a great place to start with Zeuhl. I would suggest getting one of Magma's live albums and those two albums before getting further into Zeuhl. Not a masterpiece but very close. 4 stars.

Review by colorofmoney91
5 stars Wow, I can't believe I haven't reviewed any zeuhl - it's one of my favorite genres here.

Anyway, this is some of the most accessible zeuhl you could ever hope for (that's kind of an iffy sentence). My introduction to the zeuhl genre was music by Koenjihyakkei and Magma, which I believe is the main reason why I avoided zeuhl for a while. Those are probably the absolute worst introduction zeuhl bands, but Weidorje, I feel confident in saying, is probably the best. Think vocal-less Magma with Parliament-Funkadelic basslines and a stronger jazz-fusion lean, and you'll be getting a picture of what this Weidorje album is like. Unlike most zeuhl, there really isn't much on this album pointing to avant-garde, which is fine - in a genre already defined by its weirdness, there really isn't a need for extra avant-garde-isms.

I've always thought the repetitive melodies on this album were of very strong quality. They have that power and glory kind of feel that Magmas best melodies have, but it all seems to be put into a context of much better and more straight-forward songwriting skills. Still, this isn't "easy" music. This takes a little bit of time to get used to, but once you give it time, it eventually shines through as an incredible gem.

Again, if you're looking for a great zeuhl introduction: this. Get this. Out of all the zeuhl I've heard, this is the only album that I feel the need to call a masterpiece.

Review by Warthur
4 stars Weidorje, like Zao, are a Zeuhl group made up of refugees from Magma. But whilst Zao opted to explore a musical avenue Magma did not take, Weidorje performed Zeuhl in the classic Magma style as it was at around the time of Udu Wudu. Whilst they might be regressive in intent, preferring to keep the Zeuhl sound where it was at that point rather than following the stylistic shift to Attahk, the band have decent enough compositions and a sufficiently killer rhythm section to do a really good job of emulating the style. Michel Ettori's raw and dirty guitar style is particularly notable. If you like Magma's classic albums at all, you'll find a lot to love in Weidorje.
Review by Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Weidorje was a short-lived splinter from the Magma family, even taking its name from the second piece on Üdü Ẁüdü. Their only official release is refreshingly not as repetitive as many Zeuhl albums can be, visiting a number of musical ideas, developing them, and then moving on. The vocals are extremely subtle, and the music throughout the album is varied and accessible. Weidorje is an excellent entry point in one progressive rock's most convoluted and divisive genres.

"Elohim's Voyage" The star of this psychedelic journey is Bernard Paganotti's fuzzy, flatulent bass. He develops a variety of grooves over which the more Zeuhl elements can hover. The singers are distant and foreboding, matched with lighter instrumentation. "Elohim's Voyage" ("Elohim" being the Hebrew word for God) crafts several builds that taper off into something different each time. It is a satisfying piece with plenty of substance.

"Vilna" Electric piano trickles in. As the piece gains intensity, a violin-like tone paints over the music. An adventurous trumpet bursts through as the tempo increases to a breakneck pace.

"Booldeug" The third and final piece has a fuller sound immediately, but an ethereal 1980s vibe sets in. This is the smoothest and jazziest cut. There is also a measure of symphonic style present, especially right before and during the wild synthesizer solo. The sudden appearance of the electric guitar is an invigorating surprise.

Review by siLLy puPPy
5 stars Zeuhl is one of those genres that just makes me feel happy and fuzzy inside. This sole album by WEIJDORE accomplishes just that. This band was in fact started by Bernard Paganotti and Patrick Gauthier from MAGMA after wanting to continue down the path of the excellent UDU WUDU' album sound and I have to say they did an outstanding job in capturing it and even surpassing it.

I absolutely love this album as much as anything MAGMA has done. 'Elohim's Voyage' is absolutely fantastic as it sets a scary atmosphere that takes you into the space of the alien realm and then ratchets its way up the musical ladder until the full zeuhl frenzy takes flight. 'Vilna" follows suit and continues the repetitive rhythms with lots of interesting influences added. The first two tracks are the longest but it's the third shorter track 'Booldemug' that just blows me away. It's just so....wonderful!

The bonus tracks on the CD are quite excellent live tracks that aren't just a repeat of the original albums three long tracks. It's funny because the music is absolutely spectacular and you'll hear at times a single person clapping as if they are playing to a room full of a handful of people at the most. The woes of playing complex prog in the late 70s when everyone was at a Dead Kennedys concert!

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars A much acclaimed album that has never in the five years I've owned it realized the potential power and greatness for which I've been waiting. Regardless, it's time to get this one reviewed and in the can.

1. "Elohim's Voyage" (16:33) seems to plod along at one fairly straightforward speed with one fairly simple and, eventually, obnoxious bass sound and riff. A solid but grossly under-developed Zeuhl song. (8.5/10)

2. "Vilna" (12:20) Every time I hear this song's opening I have to check to make sure I didn't push repeat 'cuz it sounds so much like the album's first song to me. By the end of the first minute I'm relieved as I recognize a new direction the band is exploring. But, unfortunately, the same plodding tempo is used. In the third minute we finally get some of the dark, heaviness that one comes to expect from the Zeuhl sub-genre, but it is short-lived. Then the bass player gets stuck in the fifth minute and can't seem to get out of his rut for the longest time. If the soli over the top were more exciting or even interesting then this might not be a problem but when you're bored with the melodies and treble artists, the bass and rhythm sections get picked apart. Finally, at the eight minute mark, the band gets something going that's exciting! Horns and fast-paced minimalist Steve-Reichian foundation that starts speeding up, carrying us into the frenzied state that we come to know and expect from Magma and its imitators. Even a decent ending! Yay! (9/10)

3. "Booldemug" (7:10) opening with a 'big' sound--everybody engaged and firing up their instruments to the max--I find myself enjoying and appreciating the collective weave and individual instrumentalists for the first time on the album. Love the frenzy all-out attahk of the sixth minute! This is what I'm talking about! Great music. (9.5/10)

Maybe Side One was just their practice/warm up.

Review by VianaProghead
5 stars Review Nº 422

According to Zeuhl definition on Progarchives, Zeuhl is an adjective in Kobaian, the language written by Christian Vander, drummer and founder of the French band Magma. But, Zeuhl is much more complex to define. In reality, Zeuhl is a much elaborated prog genre. Zehul is a kind of a combination of some strong repetitive bass lines, loose and wild drumming, a sense of improv and fevered chanting in a made up language. In the loose sense, maybe we could describe Zeuhl as an offshoot of prog rock, a little jazzier and a lot wackier, with a less structure and a more spirituality.

When considering the legacy of Magma, one must recognize the huge impact they left behind. Many of France's best musicians were once members, or associates of members, or somehow were touched by their influence. Thus, their pervasive effect on the French scene cannot be understated. After Magma, it would never be quite the same again.

But, as many of we know, Magma was never a very stable band, turning around most of their line up on what seemed like a yearly basis. A lot of this had to do with Christian Vander constantly moving the band's goalposts. In 1976, their fifth studio album, "Udu Wudu", went in a direction that was more fusiony and bass-heavy, and just like that, Vander decided to turn the band into some kind of alien funk outfit. Thus, two members of the band, Bernard Paganotti (bass) and Patrick Gauthier (keys), decided to split off and continue in that direction themselves. So, Weidorje was born. But, unfortunately, Weidorje only released a single album, their self-titled album. For some people, "Weidorje" would be a follower to "Udu Wudu". Though it's based of Magma's sound, I really think "Weidorje" is a better album than that one.

"Weidorje" is certainly a treat for all Magma's fans. Essentially, the album sounds like Magma, especially in the "Udu Wudu" phase. The music is mostly instrumental and the voices that are present are mainly scat, leaving our ears free to listen to the wonderful music being played. The really exciting factor about Zeuhl is the fuzz-bass. Bernard Paganotti is a master of that style. So, naturally, when I first heard this album, I was immediately struck by the thumping bass. But, there's more on "Weidorje" than just the fuzz-bass. Another former Magma personality is present on this album, Patrick Gauthier. He and Jean-Philippe Goude add some very dark and gloomy polyrhythmic sounds which add a superb atmosphere and rhythm, as does Michel Ettori on guitar that plays along with Paganotti's bass lines in many places.

Side one is encompassed by "Elohim's Voyage". Its title is the Hebrew word for "Gods". From the beginning, there's no doubt about the connection to Magma. It starts with a crunching bass sound but soon the keyboards add a chilling touch. The main rhythmic charge then begins, with the aforementioned scat vocals, the slowly increasing heavier drumming and then the guitar. This assault continues on throughout the sixteen minutes but with added surprises, such as the avant-garde saxophone. Approaching the halfway mark, the band is in full flow and, then, everything slows down once more, yet the track keeps together solidly. With four minutes to go, the tune reprises with trumpet and saxophone accompaniment. This reflects the classic Magma, but feels darker and more disturbing. It's a strong track to start the proceedings. "Vilna" named after the Lithuanian city, is a highlight. It's the strongest track on the album, beginning with a catchy keyboard riff that leads on until the bass. "Vilna" isn't as heavy as "Elohim's Voyage", yet is just as catchy, continuing on in true Zeuhl style with a relentlessness of rhythmic sound. "Booldemug" is a softer track. It's jazzier than the previous tracks, featuring much more saxophone and guitar and is a welcome break from what has gone before, making the band sound more diverse than we initially expected. It's here when we realise how much the keyboards dominate "Weidorje" sound without overwhelming all the rest. Ettori also unleashes his guitar skills here.

The 2008 reissue of "Weidorje" contains a couple of live tracks, presumably of pieces of what was to become their second studio album. The music itself is also great, even though it's too poorly recorded. But, what it's true is that they never got the chance to release them in studio properly. But, we were in 1978, a bad year to playing this kind of music.

Conclusion: Despite the use of catchy rhythms, "Weidorje" never get dull or boring, continuously and subtly changing things. The changes are often so subtle that you don't notice them. It's perhaps a lot more palatable than Magma tends to be. All of these tunes tend to hold onto their grooves, rather than constantly moving around, which I suppose is the result of having a bassist writing the music rather than a drummer. "Weidorje" is a great introduction to the genre, as I think it shows of what Zeuhl is capable. Though the group floundered out of the gate, the album was at least well known enough to get two CD reissues. This is a gem of an album and is an essential release for those who have discovered Magma, or who want to discover Magma in the future and a great introductory level album, if not the easiest of listens. If you're a great fan of Magma, this is a must hear. This is a brilliant avant-garde rock album and it's highly recommended.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Latest members reviews

5 stars Review #141! Hands down, my favorite Zeuhl album. Funky, fun, groovy, and horrifyingly beautiful, this album is a wild ride for any lover of prog, but it is very complex and inaccessible. To Me, there is nothing wrong with this album. The CD bonus tracks are nothing short of amazing, t ... (read more)

Report this review (#2966871) | Posted by Boi_da_boi_124 | Saturday, November 4, 2023 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This album was one of my first teachings in the world of Zeuhl, and I consider this a good thing because it is a spectacular album and at the same time easy to digest for someone who is not yet used to this music. Due to the fact that two ex-members of Magma participate here, it is impossible no ... (read more)

Report this review (#2632754) | Posted by Argentinfonico | Wednesday, November 10, 2021 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Paganotti & Gauthier formed a group to record this album under the name of a track they wrote and recorded for Magma's Udu Wudu album. As a result, this full Weidorje album takes themes from that track, and that era of Magma, to create 3 tracks, plus two live bonuses. The side-long suite Elohim's ... (read more)

Report this review (#2452640) | Posted by bartymj | Wednesday, September 30, 2020 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Weidorje was one of many one­off Zeuhl bands that emerged in Magma's wake. What makes them different however, is that it was founded by two ex­Magma members, Bernard Paganotti and Patrick Gauthier. Both of them had played on Magma's album, Üdü Ẁüdü, taking their name from a song the two wrote ... (read more)

Report this review (#1346365) | Posted by Glimpse | Friday, January 16, 2015 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Weidorje is one of the earlier non-Magma Zeuhl (NMZ) bands. Formed in '78, and led by two ex-Magma men, this short-lived Zeuhl group were of the first to suggest doing similar music as Magma, without merely regurgitating their sound. Even before them were Archaïa and Zao, the former Magma fans, an ... (read more)

Report this review (#159383) | Posted by Shakespeare | Sunday, January 20, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars In 1978, keyboardist Patrick Gauthier and bassist Bernard Paganotti decided to leave Magma and found their own band, Weidorje. In addition to a guitarist and a drummer, they also recruited a second keyboardist and two horn players to join them in this magnificent project. Their music is quite Ze ... (read more)

Report this review (#153187) | Posted by rileydog22 | Thursday, November 29, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Fabulous album, by a 1 album band. Having roots in magma, the influence isnt large, it's life seize. Completely absorbing and continuing the Magma sound, with throbbing bass, wordless chanting vocals, wonderfull drums, repeating paterns and just hypnotising deep jazzy music. Elohim's Voyage ... (read more)

Report this review (#91332) | Posted by tuxon | Saturday, September 23, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars A great tribute to zeuhl music style. With an impressive sound of bass and drums, Weidorge brings to us one of the best albums of that strange kind of music in their best era. Starting with "Elohim's Voyage", a very long and progressive piece that sounds like Magma's "De Futura" (from Üdü Wüd ... (read more)

Report this review (#74066) | Posted by progadicto | Tuesday, April 4, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Very close to Magma and exellent too.The musea rerelease includes 2 great bonus tracks. The music is repetative climactic a bit more jazzy and not so scary as Magma.Some times minimalistic fast and frentic with great playing from all the musicians including horns. Great from begining to end. ... (read more)

Report this review (#43596) | Posted by | Saturday, August 20, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is a slow grower least it was for me. But aren't all tha Magma albums the same ? all require a few spins before you get the hang of it. This is the same but a bit more accesible than most Magma albums. This will remind some of the UDU WUDU Magma album and comes as no surprise as this ... (read more)

Report this review (#35448) | Posted by | Monday, June 6, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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