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Zeuhl • France

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Vak biography
Founded in Paris, France in 2008

Training founded in 2008 by heavy drummer of the influence of Magma, VAK has over the years expanded its music wider and more extreme influences, metal experimental rock, to finally move today in a progressive rock both frantic and unstructured as heavy and atmospheric. In this odd rhythmic mist and disparate sensations, where atypical flute occupies the place traditionally reserved for horn in jazz-rock feel as though the echoes of the musical avant-garde rock of the 70s that the taste of those less famous today.

Their debut album entitled, Aedividea, which is released on the Soleil Zeuhl label, was originally going to be released as 2 EP?s (6 long tracks), but it didn?t happen. They recorded the music between 2011 and 2014.

Vladimir Mejstelman / Batterie
Thomas Bourgenot / Guitar
Joël Crouzet / Bass
Alex Michaan / Keyboards
Juliette Drigny / Flute
Aurélie SainteCroix / Voice

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Buy VAK Music

Soleil Zeuhl
Loud WindLoud Wind
Indie Uk 2019
$27.33 (used)
Soleil Zeuhl
Argument with the DiseaseArgument with the Disease
Perennity Records 2015
$89.18 (used)
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R&B Soul Mod 45 - Skyliters - Gonna Dance - Re-Vak - mp3 - obscure! USD $12.50 [3 bids]
4h 2m
Big Country- Various Artists - Cassette Tape. VAK1-0333 USD $4.48 Buy It Now 4 days
Vak - Argument With the Disease - Double 7" Vinyl - New USD $12.45 Buy It Now 6 days
VAK-LOUD WIND (UK IMPORT) CD NEW USD $14.93 Buy It Now 8 days
Escupemetralla Poison Of Dead Sun In Your Brain Slowly Fading CDR Nřvak 2017 USD $11.20 Buy It Now 8 days
VAK-LOUD WIND (UK IMPORT) CD NEW USD $15.49 Buy It Now 10 days
Ric Castle - Please Materialize/Everything I Touch... 45 Vak odd pop Strong VG USD $9.99 Buy It Now 10 days
VAK - LOUD WIND CD NEW+ USD $23.34 Buy It Now 11 days
VAK - Loud Wind (NEW CD) USD $17.12 Buy It Now 12 days
VAK 47177 Josep Carreras Canta A Catalunya USD $6.22 Buy It Now 13 days
VAK-AEDVIDEA-JAPAN CD Gi35 USD $30.99 Buy It Now 13 days
Sky 2 - Tape - Cassette Two - Aussie Rock - VAK20289 Scarce Audio Cassette Tape USD $6.85 Buy It Now 19 days
Vak - Loud Wind [New Vinyl] UK - Import USD $23.67 Buy It Now 20 days
Vak - Loud Wind [New CD] UK - Import USD $15.38 Buy It Now 21 days
VAK-LOUD WIND VINYL NEW USD $38.86 Buy It Now 22 days
VAK-LOUD WIND VINYL NEW USD $35.19 Buy It Now 22 days
Hovhaness~Vak, The Healer, Tzaikerk, Prayer of Saint Gregory~Ernest Gold USD $10.36 Buy It Now 23 days
Simon Park Orch "Eye Level(Theme To Van Der Vak")" 1973 7" Library archive copy USD $2.48 Buy It Now 24 days

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VAK discography

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VAK top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.07 | 32 ratings
4.00 | 56 ratings

VAK Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

VAK Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

VAK Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

VAK Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings

VAK Reviews

Showing last 10 reviews only
 Budo by VAK album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.00 | 56 ratings

Vak Zeuhl

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars This second release from this French Zeuhl band is very well constructed and produced. The compositions are complex and dynamic with rarely a dull moment or overly-prolonged passage and the musicians are equally up to the task of delivering this complex music in a powerful and jazzy fashion. The freshness or innovation does not go much beyond what bands Magma, Eskaton, and Ga'an have already done, but the second song, the 23-minute epic "Hquark" synthesizes sounds and stylistic elements from other related subgenres in the way that SETNA did with their 2014 masterpiece "Guérison."

1. "Budo" (27:28) opening with busy bass, steady drums and background keys before a jazzy chordal fabric is announced by keys and horns. Multiple keys and, later, voice and R&B guitar chord play are introduced to fill out the sound in a second section. Aurélie and Alexandre play off each other harmonically to create melody lines out of voice and synth until 3:30 when there is a slowdown bridge for a syncopation display from the rhythm section. Then we briefly recapitulate the vocal-synth melody before a stripped down section allows the bass to be on display. Keys and playful drums provide background as Aurélie enters and scats and soars á la Stella Vander. A "power chord" bridge of piggy-backed bass, guitar and keys follows before another recapitulation of the vocal-synth theme. Then around 7:15 there is another breakdown in which bass and keys offer their solos. Aurelie supports as bass and drums fall away and only provide simple, syncopated support until the tenth minute when prominent drums play beneath and within the keys. Bass is sliding up and down the fretboard, back and forth. At 10:30 guitar announces its turn with a couple of loud chord strokes and a deep, wailing wah-ed sound. Nice solo, nice drum play. Another thematic shift at 12:00 before keys take a Brian Auger/Eumir Deodato-like solo over a blues-rock like foundation from the rhythm section. At the end of the fourteenth minute the synth and bass get pretty creative as the drums maintain an often straightforward rock tempo--shifting into an odd time signature just as multiple saxophone (two) tracks enter with their mutually exclusive soloing. This section ends up being the most prolonged of the song as the saxes keep jamming for over three minutes--even over a thematic shift in the seventeenth minute just before the slowdown and spacious shift that leads back into a pretty Fender Rhodes arpeggio-based section over which multiple tracks--voice, synth, and guitar--present and carry forward the melody. At 19:30 we again shift as the Fender alone carries the music into a more cinematic section in which cymbal play is the keyboard's main companion. Eventually, by the 24th minute, drums, gentle bass, and space-guitar notes are added over the Magma-esque keyboard foundation. The weave that is slowly built is quite cool--definitely moving toward a climax. Voices, saxes, and everything but the kitchen sink is thrown into the mix before the crescendo is maxed out mid-26th minute. A long, slow deconstruction and fade is then slowly executed to reach the quiet, complete end. It's hard to find fault with this awesome pure-Zeuhl epic. Perhaps the frenzies and crescendo's do not reach the fanatical heights achieved by the Vander-Magma masters. (46.75/50)

2. "Hquark" (23:03) drum sticks, bass tom, and triangle create a rhythmic MAGMA-esque weave to open this one. Single note "horn," piano, and wordless vocals soon join in and eventually supplant the rhythmic weave sounding very much like something off of the two GA'AN albums. At 1:50 drums kick in as synths and full volume voice and electric guitar carry the song into its full form (at 2:05). Aurélie's vocals play a dominant role in the establishment of this, even as electric guitar takes a stab at soloing and the full band bursts into a section of loud power drive. Soft and heavy dynamic shifts seem to be the key to this one not getting stale, and this is never so well demonstrated as the first downshift that occurs at the five minute mark. Aurélie scatting wordlessly (and without consonants)--even via multiple tracks--while Fender Rhodes and very cool bass play proceed until the keyboard-guitar(and, later, -synth) weave double their speed at the end of the seventh minute. Drums and vocals increase intensity commensurately until everything slows down to a walk at the 8:20 mark. Keyboard, synth, and scratchy electric guitar solos start and duel in a crazy frenzied dance until the 10:00 mark. There follows another ominous slowdown section--even coming to a full stop at 10:32 before a pretty, gentle, SETNA-like Fender Rhodes solo initiates a new slow section over which Aurélie sings a complex melody line of "hey dah yah"s and more. The music slowly but insidiously picks up pace and intensity with drums paving the way while Aurélie's work remains fairly constant. Cool! At 13:45 there is yet another stoppage and slow entry of a solo Fender keyboard--this one not as melodic or autonomous as the previous one. While Aurélie and drums and bass rejoin fairly quickly, the rebuild is quite slow and protracted. Aurélie's repeating pattern reminds me of Amanda Parsons' work with National Health. In the eighteenth minute an entirely new groove is established with bass and drums sounding, in fact, a lot more like the aforementioned NATIONAL HEALTH than Zeuhl founders Magma. Even the keyboard solo is more Dave Stewart--though the backing guitar and bass work is definitely Zeuhlish. Fender Rhodes gives way to synth while complex rhythm section and a more in-the-background Aurélie provide the foundational support. This is easily the most sophisticated section of the song. By the end of the twenty-second minute we are fully and firmly back into the land of Kobaďa--and this is how the song flows to its end. The middle section of sparsity with keys, bass, drums, and lone female voice treading softly for several minutes is, I have to admit, my favorite part. I love Aurélie's more loose and melodic "lead" vocals as well as the the Fender Rhodes theme here. I think Aurélie unique talents are much better put to use--"set free"--here than on "Budo." Overall, this is another great song--creatively and skillfully melding several styles and influences from within and the fringes of Zeuhl World into something engaging, interesting, and definitely begging for repeated listens. I like this one better than the opener--probably because of its expansive inclusion of other styles as well as the greater range, freedom, and prominence in the lead capacity given to the vocalizations of Ms. Sainte-Croix in the first two of the three middle sections. (47/50)

3. "Au fond des creuses" (8:19) opens slowly with a slow bouncing Zeuhlish Fender Rhodes chord sequence accompanied by simple drums and bass while Aurélie sings her vocalise. The tempo and intensity pick up in the middle of the third minute. Again, I am quite reminded of Chicago's GA'AN's two 2011 releases. At the five minute mark a cool guitar and Fender Rhodes weave sets up support for the entry of solo flute. This is very cool! But, alas! It ends all too quickly; at 6:30 we are back to a slow, plodding section--though this one is heavier due to the guitar's "power chords." The song then softens as it deconstructs toward the very delicate Aurélie Sainte-Croix-led end. (17.5/20)

Five stars; a masterpiece of progressive rock music. It is so difficult for me to find fault with Zeuhl music because it's usually so well-constructed and takes such instrumental prowess to render. Plus, there often seems to be present an underlying emotional and even spiritual component to this music. I think of the recent UNIT WALL, PioL, CORIMA, and even this year's PinioL and ALL TRAPS ON EARTH albums as other examples of this fact. Perhaps this subgenre is the pinnacle--or synthesis--of all that is best about progressive rock music. The wordless vocals of Aurélie Sainte-Croix are awesome and so very welcome--they're as good as another lead instrument--and yet I feel that they have not yet been fully liberated--that they are not yet realizing their fullest potential. Perhaps in future releases!?

 Budo by VAK album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.00 | 56 ratings

Vak Zeuhl

Review by Nogbad_The_Bad
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl & Eclectic Team

5 stars VAK are back with their second Soleil Zeuhl release three years after their debut. The core of the band is the same with Aurélie Saintecroix (wordless vocals), Alexandre Michaan (keyboards), Joël Crouzet (guitar & bass) & Vladimir Mejstelman (drums). The sound is filled out with guests Michaël Havard & Nora Froger on sax's and flutes respectively.

Their sound is heavily influenced by Eskaton, particularly the wordless vocals, and Magma. They have a very retro zeuhl sound with driving rhythmic bass and drums with keys primarily leading the composition. If you like long instrumental pieces that suck you in with the a groove that grooves and grooves you'll love this. One of the highlights of the year.

Mastered by Udi Koomran and a very happy return of the Soleil Zeuhl label who have been quiet for a couple of years.

 Aedividea by VAK album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.07 | 32 ratings

Vak Zeuhl

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The album-length take on Aedividea by Vak consists of material orignally released on two separate EPs - a self-titled release from 2012 and the original "Aedividea" EP. Completists will be bugged by the absence of Reeht, from the Vak EP, an 8 minute track which there would have certainly been room for here, but as it stands I think the running time of this release is just about perfect to satisfy me without making my attention wander, so perhaps leaving it off was the right call. Musically speaking, Vak play zeuhl in a style heavily influenced by Eskaton (and Magma, of course, but everyone who does zeuhl is influenced by Magma) but with a markedly updated sound, especially when it comes to the keyboards.
 Aedividea by VAK album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.07 | 32 ratings

Vak Zeuhl

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

5 stars I was pretty much stunned after my first listen of this album leaving me wondering why this album and band aren't being talked about a lot more than they are. Then I found out it was the fourth highest rated 2015 release on the Gnosis site, and then I discovered that one of my favourite reviewers Tom Hayes had given it 4.5 out of 5 stars and yes I felt vindicated I suppose. VAK are a young band out of France who bring to mind ESKATON, EIDER STELLAIRE and MAGMA. The guitar is a nice touch and it can be aggressive at times. Also the flute is quite prominent bringing to mind DUN at various moments. This album was mastered by Udi Koomran so it sounds fantastic. The keyboardist created the album cover. By the way this album was initially going to be released as two Eps but instead they combined the recordings. I am such a sucker for Fender Rhodes driven Zeuhl but then add some guitar and flute and well I'm in heaven.

"IJKL" has this bass intro as it starts to build. How freaking good is the Fender Rhodes here. The guitar starts to make some noise then the tempo picks up before 2 minutes with the guitar playing over top. Vocals follow and man this reminds me of EIDER STELLAIRE with the guitar and Fender rhodes especially. Fuzzed out guitar after 3 minutes then it settles back but the guitar continues. So good! It turns more powerful then the Fender Rhodes comes to the fore.

"Aedividea" is spacey to start and the flute joins in at 1 1/2 minutes, then drums as it builds. Female vocals 3 minutes in. I love this stuff! It kicks into gear at 4 minutes with heavy guitar expressions eventually joining in. Check out the fast paced vocals too. It does settle back some as the flute plays over top but it's still uptempo with busy drums. A calm before 8 1/2 minutes but then it turns powerful again rather quickly. It settles back 9 1/2 minutes in female vocals and guitar standing out. The vocal melodies and drums sound incredible before 11 minutes then we get another calm a minute later as it turns trippy. Great track!

"Alzh" opens with Fender Rhodes, vocal melodies and drums as guitar melodies come and go. It's a slow burn at this point. The pace picks up with guitar, Fender Rhodes and drums leading the way. The vocals are back before 2 minutes then the flute comes in playing over top. A calm before 5 minutes then it becomes heavier but still a slow burn with vocal melodies and more. A spacey calm of almost silence before 8 minutes to the end. "Zeom" sounds amazing when it kicks into a higher gear 1 1/2 minutes in with the vocals, guitar and drums standing out. The vocals stop a minute later as the heaviness continues but with flute this time. The vocals are back before 4 minutes as it settles down some. A MAGMA vibe after 5 minutes as the flute seems to go in circles with random drum patterns. It picks up some before winding down 8 1/2 minutes in.

"Ellien" is led early by the drums, vocals and guitar as it builds. It lightens before 1 1/2 minutes as the Fender Rhodes comes in. It picks up again then it's the guitar/ piano show after 4 minutes. The vocals are back late to end it. "Periscopy" features some complex instrumental work early on. Vocals before 1 1/2 minutes and these soprano vocals bring a eerie vibe to the proceedings not to mention that it's darker here after 3 minutes. It picks up a minute later as the vocals are replaced by the flute. Check out the drumming before 7 minutes. A calm follows and we get some nice guitar a minute later.

I am so stoked about this record. The first track is like Zeuhl 101 and I love it but the second half of this album especially is quite dense at times and a bit of a challenge which I appreciate. A top three album for me for 2015.

Thanks to octopus-4 for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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