Ork Alarm! # 18

February 1994

CONTENTS

  • Yochk’o Seffer Interview (Alain Juliac)
  • Viva Paga
  • “Tambours, trompettes et tout le Bataclan”
  • Myrbein Myrornas krig (APM 9302)
  • Art Zoyd No Future, French-style – (Chris Cutler)
  • Magma – “Les Voix” (AKT I) (Peter Thelen)
  • Heldon Electronique Guerilla / Always Rock ‘n’Roll (Cuneiform 51/52) (Peter Thelen)
  • Theleme Box Set (Musea 6001) (Alain Juliac)
  • Thierry Zaboitzeff Dr Zab and his Robotic Strings Orchestra (Peter Thelen)
  • Mestari Mestari (Charlotte CD590131)
  • Anekdoten Vemod (Virtalevy VIRTA 001)
  • Richard Raux (Jean-Pierre Daubresse)
  • Paga Group Pornic 05-09-92 (Jean-Christophe Alluin)
  • Ork! Update

Yochk’o Seffer Interview

Alain Juliac (Musea Magazine #4)

The reissue on CD by Musea of the ZAO albums ‘Kawana’ end of 1991, ‘Shekina’ late 1992, ‘Z=7L’ summer 1993 was the ideal reason to meet Yochk’o Seffer to talk to him about that glorious era, but we also talked a little about his current musical activities.

AJ:     What are your feelings, after more than fifteen years, to see ZAO’s music released on CD?

YS:     ”It is really very pleasing to see that the folks today want to revive this music which I think was a high point of that era. It is all thanks to Musea for their good work, notably on the booklets which present an interesting biography and unpublished photographs.”

AJ:     ZAO, was this the first offspring of Magma?

YS:     ”I don’t know, in any case it was while we were with Magma in 1972 that Faton and I had the idea to found our own group.”

AJ:     Were you not feeling happy in Magma?

YS:     ”Magma was a very rich experience for us, but at that time the group was becoming more and more a vehicle for Christian Vander, the rest of us had some personal ideas we wanted to try and we could not do that, except in a new group.”

AJ:     What was your main wish in creating ZAO?

YS:     ”A fierce wish to be ourselves and to be different to everyone else. Proposing a music which integrated our European roots but which left room for improvisation, this was not the case in Magma.”

AJ:     The success of ZAO, before all the good understanding that you formed with Faton, it’s a difficult thing to comprehend because you had very different personalities. What are your thoughts on this subject?

YS:     ”It’s true that Faton and I were very different; with opposing views, but at the same time we were very complimentary, it’s that which I think explains the terrific fusion that existed between us.”

AJ:     Apart from Faton and yourself, the group always had musicians with great talents: Mauricia Platon, Joël Dugrenot, Jean-Yves Rigaud, Jean-My Truong, Gérard Prevost, the Margand string quartet, Didier Lockwood. What have they brought to Zao’s music?

YS:     ”Much. Zao was never my group or that of Faton’s; it was wide open and the arrival of each new musician allowed an opportunity for them to contribute to the originality and richness of the group. There was always this idea in Zao of a collective work in which each member gave equally, giving the best from themselves in order to achieve the best for the ensemble.”

AJ:     When one re-listens to the four albums by Zao that you created together with Faton, one truly gets the impression that each time you were embarking towards different shores?

YS:     ”Without doubt, but that is due to the fact that there is a mobility in the music. Each new arrival in the group, by their interpretation, turned the writing upside down and brought a new breath of life. It was a very good thing which sheltered us from the lassitude that one feels when you listen to other groups who always play the same thing.”

AJ:     Of those four albums, is there one that with the benefit of time, you prefer today?

YS:     ”No, they are different but all very interesting. The music has not aged; the sound however is a bit worn. Nowadays when we enjoy digital recording there are more possibilities, all the same with their arrival on CD we have achieved an honourable result.”

AJ:     At the time of the release of the ‘Kawana’ album, when it was thought that Zao had finally achieved a well-earned notoriety, you decided to leave the group. Why did you quit?

YS:     ”Quite simply because it transpired that I was the only one who wanted to follow the musical path which ran deeper inline with my work started with ‘Shekina’ with the Margand string quartet. I had started NEFFESH MUSIC, which in the final reckoning was an extension of Zao. On his part, Faton also wanted to do his own thing, it was therefore inescapable that the group would stop, nevertheless this did not prevent us, two years later, from joining again in ETHNIC DUO, to go to play in the United States and record an album in Philadelphia.”

AJ:     Is a release on CD of the albums by Neffesh Music envisaged?

YS:     ”Moshé-Naïm who are the producers of these albums and who gave the group the name Neffesh Music (Music of the soul) intend to get them out, but no precise date is fixed, because before that they want to release a big part of their voluminous catalogue, which is a long and costly task So be patient.”

AJ:     Could you tell us something about your current musical activities?

YS:     ”I have two CD’s coming out soon. The first, on the Charlotte Records label, distributed by Adda, is an album by the MESTARI group which I formed with François Mechali (doublebass), Thierry Maillard (keyboards) and Patrick Buchmann (drums/percussion) we get together and we have recorded the disc, rather jazz-rock, at Gerard L’Homme’s studio in Chennevières. The second, entitled ‘Nickel’, is an album produced by Moshé-Naim on which I play acoustic saxophone, soprano and tenor, over the top of computers driven by Philippe Gisselmann, an old accomplice from the days of Neffesh Music. This is an interesting association in which I take much pleasure to produce because I am very curious.”

AJ:     What relationship is there between these two records and the music of Zao?

YS:     ”There is a piece ‘Iron Bird’ which is found in two different versions on the two discs and which is partially composed from the debris of ‘Czardas’, a track which you can find on ‘Osiris’, the second Zao album. If you listen hard, in the ethnic map you will find all my solos, all this melancholy from my country of origin: Hungary; it was effortless, finally I play what I am.”

AJ:     We have found some tapes of Zao in concert, of quite good quality, which we would like to release on CD. What’s your opinion on that matter?

YS:     ”Those which I have heard are really interesting. From more than two hours of recordings there are good parts that could be extracted, different versions of some pieces and similarly an unreleased track of Faton’s that we played with the first formation of Zao. After cleaning the tape, boosting and reworking the sound, I think there is material to present a document which would interest the fans of the group.”

Zao Discography

LP Z=7L        Vertigo 6499738     1973
CD Z=7L        Musea FOBG 4081.AR  1993
7" Bakus/Joyl  RCA 42055           1975
LP Osiris      Disjuncta 000004    1975
CD Osiris      Musea FGBO          1994 
LP Shekina     RCA FLP1 0097       1975
CD Shekina     Musea FGBG 4067.AR  1992
LP Kawana      RCA FLP1 0178       1977
CD Kawana      Musea FGBG 4039.AR  1991
LP Typhareth   RCA PL37121         1977
CD Typhareth   Musea FGBO          1995

Viva Paga

Paga Group – New Morning Club – Paris 13-1-94

PAGA group’s equipment was laid out on the red-carpeted stage. Bertrand Lajudie had Korg and Roland keyboards and a Macintosh. Lead vocalist Klaus Blasquiz had lots of small, obscure percussive instruments; bells and shakers mostly, but also some Dynacord electronic pads and a few cymbals. Eric Séva had his own personalised equipment rack for his DX electric wind instrument and the score was laid out on a music stand in front of him. François Laizeau had his Gretsch-Sonor-Pearl kit and Paga would use a variety of basses. An evening of serious entertainment ensued.

With no announcements, Paga Group strode out and slid into ‘Jazzobizz’, Lajudie’s instrumental composition from the album released last autumn, ‘Gnosis’ (pronounced ‘guh-Noe-ziss’). Bernard Paganotti (Paga to his friends) played his Chapman Stick. While Klaus, dressed in the familiar black leather trousers and matching waistcoat, added assorted percussion, towards the end he sang a wordless refrain. The second morsel was ‘Haunted’, an interesting melody but those strange lyrics by Paga’s old colleague, Ronnie Bird, still disturb me (they just seem too bland for the complex fusion that these musicians produce). However, when Bernard or Klaus chant wordlessly it’s fine.Klötsz Zaspïaahk then introduced the line-up before returning to the new album for ‘Coup de Blues’ with Paga still on Stick and Eric on tenor sax. Klaus remains a very expressive singer, gesticulating and raising his arms as he gathers energy.

The fourth song was a sweet rendition of ‘Urantia’, one of the best post-Weidorje pieces, tonight played in a gentle, ‘cocktail lounge’ mode. Midway through, Paga switched to his wide-neck Jacobacci six-string bass and then Eric took a short solo before the coda.

After a short intermission, Klaus strapped on his white Fender bass and stood between François Laizeau and Paga for ‘Nicklaw’. This soon led to an opportunity for an exuberant solo on the Roland from Bertrand, scurrying over the top of Klaus’ omnipresent bass line. Then as the tempo increased, it was Eric’s turn on tenor sax, which ushered a wild 6-string solo from Paga himself. Klaus returned to the front of the stage for the lead vocals on a much better Ronnie Bird song; ‘Caravan’. The bass melodies in this are enchanting and after a few verses, Klaus harmonises with them. This song built in power and velocity as it advanced, until the transition from a jazz-fusion combo to a progressive rock band was complete. Next up was the Gothic Fusion of ‘Memorial’ (although Klaus misread his set list and announced ‘In a Spiral’, which was subsequently the source of a little humour from Bernard) for which Paga used the Chapman Stick again. At last Bertrand Lajudie booted up the Macintosh for the repetitive sequences that are so essential to Paga’s finest music. Eric sat this one out.

After joking that they had already played this, Paga used his black 5-String bass for the frantic Gothic piece ‘In a Spiral’ from the ‘Haunted’ album, another real highlight in this show. Eric soloed powerfully on his DX3000 and the audience appreciated it, Klaus summoned all his breath for the chorus. Bertrand and François paid a brief homage to Weather Report and brought ‘En Spiral’ to a close. The penultimate number was ‘King for a Day’ again with the Macintosh providing sequencer backing (via a midi interface to a Prophet synth, I think). This one featured a glorious drum solo from Laizeau (who is not just ex-Offering, but works in countless other formations). For an encore, we were treated to ‘Talk Back’ from the eponymous first solo album by Paga (which incidentally, has the best collection of pieces of the three albums since Weidorje).It was indeed a spiritual communication with Paga that night in Paris, but now we must wait for them to tour the rest of Europe with their intriguing mix of jazz, fusion and progressive music.

Paganotti Discography

LP  Weidorje             Weidorje   (Cobra 37014)           1978
CD  Weidorje             Weidorje   (Musea FGBG 4058.ar)    1992
LP  Bernard Paganotti    Paga       (Cream 120)             1985
CD  Bernard Paganotti    Paga       (Columbia 468441 2)     1991
LP  Paga Group           Haunted    (BIeu Citron BLC 004)   1988
CD  Paga Group           Haunted    (BIeu Citron BLC-D 004) 1988
CD  Paga Group           Gnosis     (Bleu Citron BLC D 016) 1993

Tambours, Trompettes et tout le Bataclan

Take one Bataclan, fill it to the brim with eager fans from all over Europe. Seat most of them at tables and provide waitress service. Supply them with suitable souvenirs. A three hundred and twenty minute concert is about to begin. Dim the lights and fade out the intro tapes….   The show began with an ensemble rendition of something possibly called ‘Attention’ by the entire UZMK (ensemble of musicians) who were performing at the Bataclan that night. Gradually more and more people appeared out of the darkness to strike the drums, toms, cymbals and any other percussive item arrayed on stage that all the groups would later share. The whole collective began to chant in many different languages; “Your attention please!” “Hamataï”, “Achtung”, “Attention”, “Attenzione” etc. Then they began to scream while synths wailed eerily. Quite simply, as intros go, it was stunning.

This segued into the first set, by the Patrick Gauthier Group. They commenced with ‘Des Pygmees dans la ville’. Patrick played piano and controlled the Macintosh, which replayed all the electronic sequences. Antoine Paganotti drummed while monitoring the rest of the band on headphones. Philippe Bussonnet (ex-Zukunft) had replaced Marc Eliard on bass. Sadly, the drum and bass sound was far from perfect, perhaps the vibrations were coming from the tabletops in the audience, but sometimes it just sounded like someone was kicking down a door! The volume was loud enough to provoke one member of the audience on the third night to beg for it to be turned down. ‘Eleutheren’ followed, I don’t suppose the song made any sense to you in the way it was presented in Ork Alarm #17, so here is a proper translation.

Eleutheren

Patrick Gauthier

Translation by Stavros Magistre

Somebody Free, comes
What rules One is God
One is the devil in nature
One is God in nature
Everything is evolving
The Law of nature
The King prevails
One is the tree in the existence and it is on a stone and everything is equal
Around nature in nature in the universe
One is the sea and nothing exists nothing exists and one is the sky and nothing exists and everything is evolving
The Devil and one is God
The strange is one God and is the Devil pain of reasoning in nature Shrewd Power (God)
What exists is God the one against does not exist and he came ancient and everything is evolving Force (Devil)
Nothing does exist

‘Le Train Fantôme’ swiftly followed, André said to me on the second night that this was the best thing they played. Personally I preferred the final song. Certainly the piano solo ‘Odessa’ did not fit well in this set, and ‘Eleutheren’ was not as gratifying as the album version. For the record, ‘Sur les Flots Verticaux’ was released in October 1993, not 1992 as it implies on the outer sleeve! ‘Zawinul’ closed the set, and even though Stella Vander did not join them this time, it was almost as good as the performance at the New Morning club. I know some of the audience were not immediately struck by the Patrick Gauthier Group at the Bataclan, let me assure them that the album is much better and so was the gig in October. Most of the audience were caught unawares when, as soon as Patrick left the stage, Christian Vander started playing piano at the back of the hall and sung ‘J’ai plongé dans les lacs’.

Simon Goubert started the next set with a drum solo and immediately grabbed everyones attention as he led his Quintet into ‘Agenda’. Goubert is such a fine drummer that I often feel that Vander has wasted Simon’s talents with Offering and Magma “les voix” – but there are already enough drummers in Offering and of course, only one is required for most pieces by Magma. The group showcased the limitless talents of Michel Graillier and the Belmondo brothers running through the ‘Couleurs de peaux’ album culminating with Vander’s ‘Day after Day’. Overall it was a very fine set, and the Quintet deservedly drew a large percentage of the applause when all the musicians were introduced at the end of the show.

The Christian Vander Trio immediately took up their places on the left of the stage and played ‘Brazilia’, Christian used the black Gretsch kit while Simon Goubert had used the red one to the right of it. Borghi’s ‘Tensions’ followed and then Coltrane’s ‘Lonnie’s Lament’. The trio then excelled with a sunny rendition of ‘Doktor Pitt’, which led to ’65!’ with its swirling piano figures and hyperactive drum work.  As the Trio Vander left the stage, Michel Graillier at the back of the hall (the Bataclan is more akin to a ballroom than a theatre) performed a solo piano version of ‘The Deerhunter’. Swiftly, the lights went out and atmospheric tapes heralded the entrance of Stella Vander. For her first solo number she sat on the edge of the piano stool and sang ‘Nature Boy’ accapella, then moved into the spotlights, presenting ‘Après un Rêve’, accompanied by Lydia Domancich on piano. This song was written by Gabriel Faure in 1877, and first performed in Paris almost exactly 115 years ago, is currently unreleased, but hopefully it will be on the next Stella Vander solo album. Most of her band (i.e. Offering minus all percussionists) joined her for the next piece, ‘J’ai vu le Roi’. Which was very well received. Then Christian played piano for ‘Ronde de Nuit’, the smoky air strained Stella’s voice a little but the backing vocalists helped her admirably and once again it was a really emotional performance. Stella, wearing a black dress with red boots and a red belt that made her look like France Gall, then played keyboards on a new scat number, somewhat like `Tous Ensemble’ in its simplicity. Then Christian, still on piano, sung the Kobaïan introduction to another new piece; ‘L’enfant Dormi’ which was absolutely mesmerising. The start of this one is dense like ‘Zëss’ or ‘Makiavelïk Stürme’, then it builds into a round more like ‘Ronde de Nuit’. – Overall, a magical set.

New intro tapes swiftly signalled the return to the stage of “La musique préservée aux intacts”; Offering, which meant a quick costume change for Stella. They began with ‘Cosmos’ and then the slower album version of ‘A Fiïèh’ against an azure backlighting. Emmanuel Borghi returned to the piano while the drummers were Marc Delouya and Jean-Claude Buire. Isabelle Feuillebois and Addie Deat provided backing vocals. Stella, Christian and Julie Vander took the lead vocals at the front of the stage.

Christian then took over the Yamaha grand piano and each night they performed different versions of ‘Les Cygnes et les Corbeaux’. On the 21st of January the piece began very strangely, and several of us could not be sure what they were playing for a while. The first ten minutes seemed a hybrid song based on ‘Swans and Crows’. Later performances seemed more direct and concise versions of the song as we knew it in the late eighties. Each night, the twin drummers beat out a convoluted and frenetic backdrop for the awesome combination of the backing vocalists screams (the swans) and Christian’s growling (the crows). Stella, Lydia and Pierre-Michel Sivadier added very sombre keyboards. The combined sound frequently veering towards the realms of Art Zoyd. I have often heard Offering referred to as an “acoustic Magma”, but anyone who saw this show would not dismiss them so glibly. The second distinct segment was a five-part vocal chant for Alex and the ladies, set against minimal piano and balmy percussion which seemed to reflect parts of ‘Tons Ensemble’ before returning clearly to the familiar chorus of ‘Swans and Crows’. The third section begins with Christian stating one of his classic motifs, one note repeated ostinato on the piano with varying force (The Zeuhl Dance Beat). Gradually the refrain grows, reaching a peak and the “ZDB” becomes a recognisable tune. The band break off into a jazzy, fast tempo mode as the drummers play twin solos, and the keyboards trill while Stella does one of the most amazing things I have ever seen with Vander’s combos. She conducts a choral section of astonishing beauty, by waving her right arm while playing keyboards with her left hand. Christian’s belief that in order to increase the strength of the drums you should add a second drummer, is clearly demonstrated in this section where both Delouya and Buire exceed the normal bounds of most drummers.

The fourth phase is when Stella sings a short scat melody, similar to ‘Tons Ensemble’ and also reminiscent of the fifth song in her solo set. Part five, after about thirty minutes, is the 5/4 jazz section with tenor sax solo that was used on the late 1991 tour. Alex’s sax solo is followed by a reprise of phase four. The climate darkens, the crows attack the swans, and Christian abruptly halts the song. Stella sings the chorus, accompanied by just piano and cymbals for the final time.

The structure of ‘Les Cygnes et les Corbeaux’ is too complex for it to become a memorable classic like ‘MDK’ but it certainly contains some extreme moments of breathtaking intensity, and should make a lovely album when it finally gets released in a year or two.  After a break, Magma “les voix” (as they were billed at the Bataclan) filed onstage accompanied by another new intro tape. They gave us a real feast of ‘Theusz Hamtaahk parts 1, 2 and 3′, (i.e. abbreviated choral versions of ‘Theusz Hamtaahk’, ‘Wurdah Ïtah’ and ‘Mekanïk Destruktïw Kommandöh’). After that tremendous onslaught, every member of all the bands took a bow and then the entire collective finished the show with ‘Ehn Deïss’. They played different versions each night, sometimes with sax and trumpet solos. I am hoping that some of you will supply full reviews of “les voix” and perhaps more extensive studies on the other sets in the Bataclan concerts for the next issue of Ork Alarm! So get your crayons out and start scribbling. Also any photographs from these concerts would be most useful for a future feature.


MYRBEIN

Myrornas krig (APM 9302)

Another classic Swedish reissue on the Ad Perpetuam Memoriam label. This one was an ultra-rare progressive rock LP in 1981. Now it has been lovingly remastered for CD with a tremendous bonus track recorded at a MYRBEIN re-union last September. For the most part, the album is a melange of RIO and Canterbury band influences, with the quirkiness of the Samla Mammas Manna “oval-meter theory” (rapid variations in tempo) and liberal doses of Frippian dynamics. Some elements of Zappa’s pastiche work also make sporadic appearances on about a third of the album, but the overriding feel is of HENRY COW meets Von Zamla. The oddball line-up of MYRBEIN is Bosse Lindberg (guitar / trumpet / guitar-synth), Mats Kroulhein (piano / organ / clarinet), Anders Lönnkvist (percussion / vocals) and Johan von Sydow (bass / trombone / vocals).

‘Ur spar’ is one of those enchanting pieces that contains twisted quotes from Zappa’s ‘Uncle Meat’ period. ‘Kurt pa taket’; a dense morsel of luxuriant beauty features Arnold Ö Sterlund guesting on violin. The bonus track, a cover of ‘Larks’ Tongues in Aspic, part II’ is quite superb, it begins just like a Crimson concert performance from 1974, enter the Canterbury-esque organ and it feels very different indeed. Perhaps a hint of the Hatfields? The chaotic conclusion is a magnificent tribute to the unnerving energy of the live KC, in fact it’s even more emotive than the original studio version! This is a limited edition of 1000 copies. ‘Myrornas Krig’ would make a fine addition to any collection of Rock In Opposition music, especially for followers of the Scandinavian branch like LARS HOLLMER / VON ZAMLA. And for progressive fans it’s a must… Exquisite.


No Future, French-Style

Génération Sans Futur

Chris Cutler (1980)

UK

It is not easy for us in the UK to realise that there are lines of musical development within rock music other than the “new wave”, for in this country all “progressive” innovation and experiment seems to happen under the new wave banner, thus relating in some way to the musical style a “philosophical” outlook of that movement. We could crudely delimit its stylistic territory as electronic experiment on the one hand and “pop” music forms on the other. But within these limits, the total range of the new wave is probably broader in terms of the variety of forms it includes in itself than was any other popular music “wave” in the past. In fact I think it would be fair to say that the new wave is not so much a matter of a clearly defined musical style as it is of a social attitude. That is to say, the definition of what new wave is, is to be found in the outlook of its audience rather than any simple musical or sartorial formulae. What this audience shares is an impatient demand for a “new” culture: the word and spirit “industrial” permeates it: the confusion and anger (converted into a commodity) of alienated and dispossessed urban youth gives it its existential location: essentially we could say that a general tendency to replace the organic with the mechanical permeates it and unites both its social ideology and its musical practice into a mutually expressive whole.

In this country the new wave is acting under pressure – time seems to be short and the screws are on – and it feels that it has to break with the past and with “culture”. This certainly gives it its urgency and the “sense of reality” which constitutes its validity for its audience – but it also cuts it off from the very means of realising its own self aims: from the essential mine of all human learning and experience which is embodied in culture-as-a-whole. Partial and dismembered, the outlook and practice of our new wave thus falls easy prey to commercialisation and self-defeat, hence its relative cultural sterility.

France

In France, however, things are quite different. Where in the UK advertising hoardings predominantly sell alcohol and cigarettes, in France they sell furniture and fashion, the family, home and comfort. This is not yet a desperate culture and there remains some sense of affluence and security that we knew in the late Fifties, (when we’d never had it so good!). And in France too there is a strong sense of continuity, of the value of a traditional culture and of a “civilised”, unflustered approach to the problems of the modern world. In short, they do not feel desperate and bullied in the way that we do in the UK, and they are not in such a hurry to get out as we are. This is not to say that criticism is less swingeing or pressing in France, nor that their awareness of strain and injustice is any less acute than ours, only that they are still able to take a cooler and longer view of it – they are not yet so caught up in the problem that they have merely become a part of it. There is still that distance, that contemplative gap which allows them to see and engage with their criticisms in a conscious, analytical way – not as we are reduced to doing, by merely reacting reflexively and unconsciously like so many severed nerves galvanised willy-nilly by an electric charge.

As we would expect, therefore, the new wave in France is far more concerned with fashion and surface phenomena than with existence. In fact their closest approach to the alien and mechanical is through a formal, rather “elegant” school of synthesiser music. Some few French “punks” may ape our antics, but their hearts are hardly in it, I think.

In France, side by side with the imported new wave and their own electronic fringe, is a still flourishing sector of mainstream “progressive” music, which grew up around Magma in the late 60s. This “school” is especially characterised by two main qualities: 1. The use of European sources and styles (notably the musical lexica of Bartok, Stravinsky, Orff, etc); 2. The use of apocalyptic subject matter and an emotionally intense presentation.

Art Zoyd belong loosely to this school, though they are in no way derivative or imitative. Their line-up tells the first part of their story: violin, cello/bass, piano, trumpet, non-jazz saxophone and guitar – no drums. The whole is almost an electric chamber ensemble. But they do not play or approach their music like a “classical” chamber group, nor do they treat their instruments merely as acoustic instruments writ large, but have a clear approach to and understanding of them as electric instruments. This quality is hard to quantify exactly: electrification gives a power, dynamic range and tonal potential that acoustic instruments do not possess – a kind of attack and fullness that is unique to them. Also, electric instruments and the special qualities associated with them still belong properly to the generation which grew up with rock music ethos – in this context, while Art Zoyd certainly do use the harmonies and sonorities of “classical” music, they proceed from an ensemble style of rock music, which as we have said is crucially to do with an attitude, an alignment, an ethic – and also perhaps with a particular approach to rhythm and to repetition. This is “contemporary” music, it is also “rock music” – its precise strength is that both worlds could claim it.

‘Génération Sans Futur’ is Art Zoyd’s third record (the first two were: ‘ART ZOYD III’ and ‘Musique pour l’Odyssée’). From the evidence of this record they are still developing and improving; they have retained the extraordinary urgency and power they had before (do not be misled by their lack of a drummer – it accentuates rather than diminishes their attack, for their music is, by virtue of the group’s extraordinary articulation, very “percussive”). But now they also have a broader, more lyrical, less tense component in their music which both deepens and heightens their emotional expressiveness and poignancy, lending a perspective to their work largely absent before.

Listening to Art Zoyd is stimulating, revealing and stirring. They explore their instruments within the unique form they are developing with subtlety and intelligence. For all the “cultural” elements in their music, their emotive power and expressivity is every bit as charged and vital as the best of the new wave – and rather more balanced. Here is a reminder that there are other ways than our own rather drastic “kill-or-cure” approach, that there is plenty to be grown from the older, more “cultural” traditions of Europe before we abandon them in the hectic race for the “original” – or worse, try and build, a new musical edifice on the shifting hostile sands of commerce.

It takes a culture with a remnant of faith in its ability to survive and in the propriety of its survival to try to build critically on the old and to have the sense of time and space to follow this through. Here is a product of such culture. If you think it’s worth preparing in case we live past the day after tomorrow, then this record, its title notwithstanding, is one well worth listening to.


Magma

“Les Voix” (AKT I)

Peter Thelen (Exposé #1)

Magma’s Christian Vander has decided to follow in the footsteps of Frank Zappa, Andy Latimer, and others in an effort to fight the bootleggers, and has started his own record label AKT to release live shows and other special material from his own personal archives.

‘Les Voix’ is the first release on this label, recorded at the Douarnenez concert, August 2, 1992. The line-up at this point featured Christian (vocals, piano & drums), Simon Goubert (piano, keys), Pierre-Michel Sivadier (keys), Philippe Dardelle (contrabass), and in keeping with the title (“The Voices”), Stella Vander and seven other vocalists grace this show with a constant flow of high-energy choral work. As might be expected from this mostly acoustic line-up, the musical style here is more in keeping with the recent OFFERING albums than the early Magma of the 70′s; drums are used only sparingly. The albums four tracks include three from the vintage years: ‘Ëmëhntëht-Rê’, ‘Zëss’ and a sixteen minute version of ‘Wurdah Ïtah’; in each case the chorus has been used to implement the parts originally done by guitars and synthesizer. The end result is nothing short of stunning. The recording quality is superb; it’s easy to forget this is a live one!


Heldon

Electronique Guerilla / Always Rock ‘n’Roll (Cuneiform Rune 51/52)

Peter Thelen (Exposé #1)

The Reissue of Heldon’s first album is one that this writer has surely been anticipating for quite some time. What’s even better is that Heldon’s very elusive double third album has been combined with it to make this excellent 2CD set. For the uninitiated, Heldon’s sound could be described as a mixture of superb Frippian guitar and harsh aggressive electronics, although there is no one formula used throughout, which gives these two albums such a unique character, alternating between styles within this electronic-industrial realm. Richard Pinhas pays regular homage to Fripp, without sounding particularly derivative of King Crimson or anything else Fripp has done for that matter, as Heldon is infinitely more anarchic and hostile, yet at times the music lapses into an almost peaceful meditative mode. This is very unique music, and stands as strong today as it did when it was new.


Theleme Box Set

Musea 6001

Alain Juliac – Musea Magazine #5

Theleme: A mythical name for the generation of prog fans confounded by the many styles of early seventies prog. At that time, the sectarianism was not as outrageous as it is today and many groups were considered progressive if they were not content to play pop in the style of Creedence Clearwater Revival, Bee Gees etc … Whereas the French groups were ignored by the public and even more so by the record companies, so that they began to produce their own records like the English groups. Laurent Thibault, the original bassist and manager of Magma, decided to found his own label, uniquely dedicated to quality French music. A perilous undertaking which only lasted for two years and only six albums and a few singles saw the light of day.

Save for the compilation ‘Music is my Honey’ (composed of tracks on the other five albums) and the gentle-folk album by MOR, Musea have decided to offer in this box set the four best albums from the label, all very close to Magma and their innovative music from that era.

We find therefore the album by ERGO SUM, which was released separately by the Musea label at the end of 1992, one of the best progressive albums from that time, with complex melodies, a rich instrumentation (violin, flute, guitar, piano, organ) and the exceptional vocals of Lionel Ledissez.

Then Theleme released the album by UNIVERÏA ZEKT, ‘The Unnamables’, which gathered together the musicians from Magma who had played on ’1001° Centigrades’ (except for Toesca, who was replaced by trumpeter Tito Puentes) and a few guests such as Zabu, the first singer with Magma, Lionel Ledissez, the singer with Ergo Sum and Claude Engel, the fabulous guitarist on the first Magma album. The music of Univerïa Zekt serves as an introduction and a gentle initiation to the music of Magma, which was leading astray and still frightening the public, accustomed to rock ‘n roll. Also, the first side included two songs evoking the brass bands of that epoch (Chicago, Blood Sweat & Tears, Flock) and then with the end of the first side and all the second side, the listener discovers Magma in a perfect sequel to their first album with ‘Africa Anterïa’, a long track by Vander, illuminated by his unique discographic drum solo and it’s savage eruptions, and ‘Ündïa’, a calm and melodic piece, sung by Klaus in Kobaïan. Without doubt, for the listener, all the components of Magma are reassembled on this disc: energy, madness, savage and complex rhythms, mind-boggling horns by Lasry and Seffer, martial drumming by Vander, the ample and majestic singing by Klaus, the unique bass of Moze, the stretched harmonies and work of Cahen and principally the raging, aggressive guitar of Claude Engel. A strong, energetic album allowing one to listen to Magma with their first vocalist and the themes which were written at the beginning of their mastery of new music.

The double album ‘Puissance 13+2′ represented a tentative promotion by Laurent for French rock. His ambitious programme to unite the “best” French groups in a live situation and present the unreleased pieces was courageous and in defiance of the big labels, and if the most well known groups of that period (Triangle, Variations, Zoo, Martin Circus) did not figure on that album, he replaced them with the groups who had not had a chance to record an album: such as the fabulous CONTREPOINT and their Soft Machine-esque jazz, VOYAGE and their progressive rock in the style of Jethro Tull, DESIGN and their rock which was a precursor to ATOLL, SOLITUDE and their white-blues similar to Taste and the Groundhogs, full of feeling and emotion. And then the better known groups: ERGO SUM with their marvellous track ‘All’s so comic’, MAGMA and the first recorded version of ‘Mekanïk Kommandöh’, CATHARSIS for their last recording with their singer Charlotte and their floating music, ALAIN MARKUSFELD for a theme of discovery and virtuosity, CATHERINE RIBEIRO + ALPES with a superb ‘Aria Populaire’, Claude ENGEL for a fine melody on acoustic guitar, SPECTRE the phantom group formed by Dominique Blanc-Francart which displayed his talents on moog, ZABU with a solo piece and Dan Ar Bras’ folk-rock group MOR. Two folky Americans completed this musical tapestry, which ranges from blues to progressive rock, via folk, the neo-jazz of Contrepoint and the new-music of Magma.

Finally, the fourth album of the box set, ‘My Coffin’s Ready’ by Zabu, an urban blues, full of energy and feeling, just like the best black American bluesmen. With the accompaniment of the best musicians on the label, Lasry, Seffer, Moze, Vander from Magma, Perru, Magnani, B.B. Brutus from Ergo Sum and others from Mor and Design. (Contrary to what was implied in Ork Alarm! #17, this CD is not available separately, unless the box sets have been improperly broken up and sold for inflated profit by unscrupulous record dealers – Ed.)

The recording quality, effected in the best studio in France (Hérouville), the budget and time devoted to the recordings and sleeves which exceeded those of the big labels (did you know that the first Magma album was recorded in just three days?!!) made the Theleme label unequalled, respecting the listeners, the musicians and their music, and providing a way to appreciate music which was ahead of its time. Please note there is a bonus track by Solitude on ‘Puissance 13+2′ and 4 extra songs on ‘Mexico’ by Ergo Sum.


Thierry Zaboitzeff

Dr Zab & His Robotic Strings Orchestra (1992 CD)

Peter Thelen (Exposé #1)

Zaboitzeff is the Bass Guitarist/Cellist for Art Zoyd. This solo project shows him in a more electronic setting, as it is done mostly using synths and sequencers. There are 22 tracks of varying length and styles, but firmly in the neo-classical/electronic style. The album is brilliant, and strikes a good balance between melodies and dark Zoydian textures. It’s one that tends to grow on the listener, but not one that will alienate on the first listen; in fact this album is sufficiently accessible that even folks who have had problems adapting to the dark and angular worlds of bands like Art Zoyd and Univers Zero should have no problem with this.


Mestari

Mestari (Charlotte CD5901 31)

Forty-Seven minutes of Yochk’o Seffer on soprano, tenor and bass saxes, Francois Mechahi on double bass, Thierry Maillard on piano and keyboards and Patrick Buchmann on drums and percussion. This is one of the best albums I can recall from Yochk’o since he disbanded Neffesh Music. After a long period experimenting with Thelonious Monk’s music he has returned with a new group, MESTARI, in parts to a blend of jazz-rock almost in the Zao style. I qualify that because there is no violin on this album, and that would be crucial if it was to sound totally like a return to his seventies excursions with Jean-Yves Rigaud and Didier Lockwood. About 50% of the work is unremarkable modern jazz but the album contains many cuts that are quite extraordinary.

The opening number ‘Dr Ozone’ is blinding, ethnic Hungarian sax solos and quirky rhythms over eccentric percussion like a reprise of the ‘Osiris’ album. The second piece by Mechali is a soothing, more conventional jazz excursion as its title ‘Calmement’ suggests. ‘Iron Bird’ as Seffer said in the interview is another return to his music of 1975, in which he takes the main themes from ‘Czardas’ and reworks them. Anyone who has the first four Zao albums will find this CD indispensable.


Anekdoten

Vemod (Virta 001)

Lore

In February 1990 guitarist Nicklas Berg and bassist / vocalist Jan Erik Liljeström started to discuss tile possibilities of forming a band together. They had been playing in Swedish combos since the early 80′s, but never in the same group. They were both interested in progressive rock and wanted to explore this field of music more thoroughly.

In May 1990 the first incarnation, called KING EDWARD, with Peter Nordin on percussion, started to rehearse. They started out as a King Crimson cover band, in fact the first song they played together was ‘Larks’ Tongue in Aspic, pt 2′. In August Peter left the village where the group were based, moving to Stockholm. The band was laid to rest, but five months later it was resurrected, when Peter moved back home.

In January 1991 the trio became a quartet with the addition of Michael Thörne (from the group BOUGANVILLE) on keyboards. This line-up didn’t last for long, as Michael had to move back to his native town. He is now part owner of the CD-label APM together with Ulf Danielsson. King Edward continued as a trio, but they kept searching for a fourth member.

Anna Sofi Dahlberg had seen the group perform at a gig in May. She had been playing folk and classical music on the cello, but only done one guest appearance with a rock group previously. As she had wanted to play in a progressive rock band for a long time she approached Nicklas about joining the group. Rehearsals began with Anna Sofi in August 1991 and this marks the starting point of ANEKDOTEN. Inspired by the new possibilities, the group started to write more original material and this change of direction made them change the band’s name.

In December they recorded Demo #1 which included three songs destined for their debut CD ‘Vemod’. One tune ‘Karelia’ is inspired by Van der Graaf Generator. Most of the rest were heavily in the King Crimson vein. Demo #2 which featured the remaining songs for ‘Vemod’ was recorded a year later on Jan Erik’s portastudio. The demos were sent out to different record companies and the response was enthusiastic. Anekdoten started to look for suitable recording studios. When they heard the highly praised ÄNGLAGÅRD’s ‘Hybris’ album, recorded at Studio Largen, the decision was made.

Between March and April 1993 they laid down seven tracks, which were mixed onto DAT, and sent out to some record companies and then the group waited… Even though eleven companies had shown an interest in releasing their music, in July ANEKDOTEN decided to release it themselves. With the help of Änglagård, they found distributors all over the world and when ‘Vemod’ was released in September it had pre-sales orders of over 1000, mostly to distributors in USA, Japan and Sweden.

On the 25th of September they played at a Progfestival in Stockholm along with Änglagård, Landberk and the reformed SAMLAS MAMMAS MANNA. The initial pressing of 1500 copies was sold out within three days of the release in Sweden! Currently they are trying to sell off the second pressing of 1500 copies to distributors all over the world. The Norwegian label Colours are also going to release the recordings on LP with a gatefold cover and an A2-size full colour poster in the first 300 sleeves.

Specification

Nicklas Berg – Guitar, Mellotron
Jan Erik Liljeström – Bass, Vox
Anna Sofi Dahlberg – Cello, Mellotron, Vox
Peter Nordin – Percussives

Mysteries

Q: Why is Ork Alarm! devoting two whole pages to ANEKDOTEN?

A: It’s not just the amazing symbiosis of King Crimson with Van der Graaf Generator that intrigued me, it is the juxtaposition of those “paeleo-progressive” musics with the phenomenal similarity in some of bassist Jan Erik’s playing with that of Jannick Top at his most raucous peak.

Q: Yes, O.K. so the bassist sounds like Jannick, I’ve heard that before…. But you said they were very heavily influenced by King Crimson, I suppose that means the drummer is another Bill Bruford?

A: Cynic! No, actually you probably won’t believe me, but Peter whips up a percussive storm with all the fury of Christian Vander when he needs to, yet the subtlety is not lost in the quieter passages. And as for the bassist, trust me! Just listen to the third cut on this album.

Q: So then, what we’ve got is a sort of “Jannick and Christian” playing “Fripp and Hammill”?

A: Um, right… Yes I suppose you could say that. But it’s not just that, this stuff is fantastic music, sure it’s not Zeuhl Music but it’s unquestionably inspired by some of your favourite combos. Have I mentioned the mellotrons, yes there are two real mellotrons on this (not the insipid sampled versions that Julian Cope plays).

Q: Two Mellotrons… and I notice that as well as the bass guitarist there’s a classically trained cellist. I think I’m beginning to get the picture, but could you be more explicit in these comparisons with other groups?

A: Well, try to imagine the mood of VDGG’s ‘Still Life’ album cross-bred with the dynamics and melodies of KC’s ‘Red’ or ‘Starless and Bible Black’ yet with the underlying growl of ‘Köhntarkösz’. But before you melt at the thought of that, I must say that the vocals on ‘vemod’ are not of that ilk. Instead they remind me more of the second generation of Fripp’s work, the gentler aspects circa ‘Lizard’ perhaps.

Q: O.K., that does sound very appetising indeed, but is it all like that or do Anekdoten spice the album up with some other variations? I get the impression that Anekdoten are still virtually a King Crimson clone band, does it verge on the excesses of their heroes ‘Earthbound’ or ‘USA’ albums?

A: No, it’s not what Audion magazine would term a “variable” album. There are no duff tracks on this one. But it is not all flash and HM thunder either. The first piece is an instrumental called ‘Karelia’ which is quite awesome. Then there are some dreamy ballads and instrumentals, then more violent material such as ‘The Wheel’. It really is a good blend, and yet you perceive, correctly, that it could very easily be mistaken for a studio album by King Crimson from 1976. Nick, the guitarist, sounds like he spent a bit too much time learning every one of Robert Fripp’s licks: he is very proficient, but if he develops his own style then Anekdoten will truly progress.

Q: I can’t figure out what the cover artwork is trying to say. What’s the deal?

A: “One more red nightmare?”


Richard Raux

Horn Culture

Jean-Pierre Daubresse

There are two or three things you’ve got to know about Richard Raux:

He’s a jazzman first and foremost. Out of necessity, or out of passion. Without holding back, with total generosity. You only need to hear him blowing into his saxophone once to understand just how he’s burning with mad love for this tender yet violent, solemn yet easy-going free and joyously unreasonable music, which is – Jazz.

He’s Creole. Although he was born 1945 in Périgueux, France, he spent his entire youth from age two onwards, on the island of Madagascar. This explains his love for métis or “mixed” music, swaying dance rhythms, cadences that move.

He is self-taught. He learned at the best school; that of his ears. He started off on drums in Jeannot Rabeson’s band; the great pianist, the “locomotive” of Madagascan jazz. Listening carefully to him and later, to other great masters of jazz piano like Mal Waldron and René Urtreger, he learned and discovered his vocation as a saxophonist.

He’s a tenor, and a good one. To say he studied sax would be misleading. Rather, the saxophone took hold of him, body and soul. His experience, ranging from Magma in 1970 to HAMSA MUSIC via Sonny Grey’s Big Band, has turned him into a true musician, totally able to handle the difficult heritage of Coltrane. Today he can proudly claim this “horn culture” as his own, the one that is so dear to Rollins.

Music pours from his saxophone, sometimes in velvety-smooth waves and other times in a scorching flood of passion, intimately blending emotion, energy, and joy. This is jazz, which doesn’t pretend to be what jazz once was or to be avant-garde, but simply “happening”, now.


Paga Group

Pornic 05-09-92 (Jean-Christophe Alluin)

If this formation which reunites Bernard Paganotti with his sidemen is rarely seen on stage it is not due to lack of vitality or generosity. The virtuoso qualities of PAGA are well known, as is the propensity of Klaus Blasquiz to make the music breath as only he knows how. There is also the human aspect, a smile from them, a joke to make light of a musical mistake from the band, in order to retain the impression of a vast spirit, a real respect for the people. Their facility is of course stunning but here it’s not mere technical exhibitionism. And then it’s true that these are musicians that are always a pleasure to see and hear, by faithfulness to a certain past, this is undeniable. But where endless anonymous studio work has broken some dreams, it is comforting to see some musicians who have kept this will to suggest something that the accumulation of sessions has not succeeded in erasing. PAGA GROUP is also one of the few attempts to make fusion music which is not uniquely founded on cross-Atlantic influences, but which takes the European heritage into reckoning. In fact they are evidently the continuation of WEIDORJE but also tangible proof that all the work of MAGMA, in their grand era, was not in vain.


Ork! Update

CONCERTS

CHRISTIAN VANDER QUARTET

(The CV Trio with Eric Lelann on trumpet)

17-02-94 to 19-02-94      Le Sunset, 60 rue des Lombards, 75001 Paris

WELCOME

(Septet formed from the CV Trio & the Simon Goubert Quartet)

02-03-94 to 05-03-94      Le Sunset, Paris

LES VOIX DE MAGMA

12-03-94                  Théâtre 71, Malakoff (near Paris)

LYDIA DOMANCICH QUARTET

(Featuring Stella Vander) (Support: Sophia Domancich Trio)

01-03-94                  New Morning, Paris

SIMON GOUBERT QUINTET

28-04-94 to 30-04-94      Le Sunset, Paris

LES GENIES DU ROCK

LES GENIES DU ROCK: Issue #38 was an absolutely superb CD compilation of Magma and Art Zoyd tracks, which have been digitally remastered and licensed from Seventh and Mantra records. The Editions Atlas CD is titled MAGMA-ART ZOYD: ‘MEKANÏK DESTRUKTIV Kommandöh’. Even though you probably already have the tracks, this is destined to be a real collectors item and personally I think the remastering of most of it is quite stunning. Another issue that has a similar collectors item is the sampler CD by SOFT MACHINE.

MUSEA RELEASES?

Musea still insist that Patrick Gauthier’s ‘Bébé Godzilla’ and Jean-Philippe Goude’s ‘Drones’ albums will soon be released on CD.

CHRISTIAN VANDER TRIO

The Christian Vander Trio played a short promotional gig at Virgin Records, Paris on 20-01-94.

XAAL

XAAL are currently searching for a new bass player, but Jad Ayache assures me that Xaal continues.

TAPE NEWS

An interview with Christian Vander was shown on the Canal+ satellite TV show “Nulle Part Ailleurs” on the 19th October 1993, during which part of the near mythical video of Magma live at the Hippodrome du Pantin on the 14th May 1977 was shown. This clip is part of the Antenne 2 TV show broadcast originally on 29-12-77. The forty-five minute Pantin tape was a pretty rare item until it showed up in Finland recently, any tape collectors still searching for this one should contact their friends immediately to see who has got a copy! Another rare-ish video item that was brought to my attention recently is the thirty-minute tape of OFFERING in concert at the Karen in Turku from 21-11-84 that was made by Finnish TV. Sadly the cretins at the TV station erased the master tape and the only surviving extract from the entire concert tape that I’ve heard of is an interview with Christian and three pieces which are each repeated twice. If you know of a better version, please contact to us at the usual Palais d’Ork address.

Still on the subject of video tapes… the ‘Le Cercle de Minuit’ performance by the Christian Vander Trio was broadcast on France 2 TV was shown on the 19th October 93, therefore it was obviously not recorded at the New Morning gig that month. And yet more news on the video front is that the CV Trio made an appearance on France 3 TV in a programme called TEMPO in December 1993. Also Christian, Stella and Julie Vander were interviewed on the ‘Génération sous influence’ programme on ARTE on 9-1-94. Finally, on the 15th and 16th of January, M6 TV showed, a program called ‘Culture Rock’ which dealt with the history of music in 1975. This featured a very short clip of Magma (circa summer of 1974) with Jannick and Didier in the line-up. Did anyone video it? I saw both broadcasts but naturally, I did not have a VCR handy either time. The 1974 clip was supplied by INA in case that is of any use to video collectors.

JEAN PASCAL BOFFO

After releasing ‘Rituel’, composer and guitarist JEAN PASCAL BOFFO (ex-TROLL) has spent three years trying to find instrumentalists and chorists capable of interpreting his compositions for a fourth album. These efforts have finally broken down and Boffo has now composed the material for a fifth album, with much simpler orchestration. This will allow him to get this new work recorded much more easily and therefore the “fifth” album will precede the symphonic fourth album in the chronology of his releases.

SEVENTH RELEASES

The musical score for piano and four voices of ‘Mekanïk Destruktïw Kommandöh’ was released by Seventh Records on 22-12-93. The ‘Partitura’ is in the form of a 90 page book with all the words and naturally the music. The ‘Un homme, une batterie’ video is now available direct from Seventh in the European Pal format as well as the French Secam version. The latest news from Georges Besnier on the ‘Retrospektïw’ volumes I et II’ CD situation is that it has been decided to release these as two separate discs, i.e. ‘Retrospektïw’ volume II’ will feature ‘Theusz Hamtaahk’.

UK ELECTRONICA VIDEO

The Video of the UK Electronica 1993 is now available. It contains excerpts from the following sets: The Land of Yrx, Michael Law, Mooch, Ioanni, Mark Jenkins, Paul Nagle…. but if you fast forward through that heap of high-tech excrement you will get to the excellent performance by RICHARD PINHAS, his first concert in ten years.

ZAO TO REFORM!

Thanks to the excellent sales of their CD reissues, Yochk’o Seffer and François Cahen plan to reform the group at the beginning of 1994 in order to record a new studio album. Jean-My Truong (drums), Dominique Bertram (bass) and Patrick Tilleman (violin) have agreed to participate in this venture. They are searching for a female singer to complete the group. It remains but to hope that they will be granted a subsidy to enable them to achieve this project, because without the grant, they will have to abandon the plan. Also planned for 1994 is the Musea CD release of Zao’s ‘Osiris’ album, however the stereo master tape for this one has been lost, so the album will have to be remixed this year, presumably from the original Studio Davout 24-track recordings.

YOCHK’O SEFFER

Meanwhile, Yochk’o Seffer is returning with a fanfare. After the CD release by Musea of Zao’s ‘Z=7L’, Moshe Naïm have finally announced the imminent release of four albums by NEFFESH MUSIC, (‘Delire’, ‘Ima’, ‘Ghilgoul’ and ‘Noce Chimique’; an unreleased album with Horvath Lajos on violin, Dominique Bertram on Bass and Francois Laizeau on drums). These four albums will be gathered together in two double CD’s. The Seffer/Gisselmann collaboration ‘Nickel’ will also be released very soon.

HARMONIA MUNDI

March 1994 is the 35th anniversary of Harmonia Mundi, apart from their classical catalogue and obviously Seventh Records, they distribute many other French jazz labels, just thought you’d like to know.

STROMBOLI

Does anyone have any information on Michal Pavlicek’s STROMBOLI? Their 1987 double album on the Czech Panton label is a wonderful blend of Eloy / Omega / Magma / Anaïd, but I know nothing about them except for the sleeve notes, which I can’t read…

KULTIVATOR / JASON MARTZ

The KULTIVATOR album we told you about in OA #16 has sold out its first pressing and a second issue is due shortly. The APM label are also planning CD’s of Arturo Meza’s ‘Requiem’ and the intriguing album by JASUN MARTZ and the Neoteric Orchestra, ‘The Pillory’ which features Ruth Underwood.

ART ZOYD

ART ZOYD premiered (I think) their new work based on the story of Faust at the Espace Georges Pompidou, Vincennes on the 25th January as part of the Sons d’Hiver festival. Please send us any reviews.

LYDIA DOMANCICH

Reviews of these in the next issue, I hope, but I thought I should mention the latest two albums I picked up at the Bataclan by Lydia Domancich: ‘Mémoires’ (1992) and ‘Chambre 13′ (1993), the most recent one features Stella Vander on vocals and both have Pierre Marcault on percussion.

BIRDSONGS OF THE MESOZOIC

BIRDSONGS OF THE MESOZOIC have a CD called ‘The Fossil Record 80-87′ which should interest most Zeuhl fans, this American band emulate ART ZOYD and UNIVERS ZERO and this release is a collection of previously unpublished recordings spanning their career.

HAMTAÏ

HAMTAÏ are the new Zeuhl band that Marc Delouya has formed from the ashes of ZUKUNFT, I don’t know the line-up yet, but I guess that Philippe Bussonnet may have left to join the Patrick Gauthier group. Hamtaï have a concert in Strasbourg on 27-02-94.

LACRYMOSA

LACRYMOSA the Japanese Zeuhl / RIO ensemble, have their mythical ‘Bugbear’ LP reissued on CD with bonus tracks taken from their E.P. and some live tracks too. They were certainly the most influential Japanese group in the ART ZOYD / UNIVERS ZERO new music genre. Mind you I still have not heard Happy Family…

MORE VIDEOS

Absolute final word about videos for this issue: I almost forgot to mention that a crew filmed the entire Bataclan show on the last night (23-1-94) and hopefully this will emerge on TV, or even better for the fans outside of France, let us hope that Georges Besnier can get at least the last three hours for a Seventh Records video release. Pirate video recordings of the Bataclan concerts are likely to be quite hard to find.

FRANK ZAPPA

And finally, FZ has just left the building, but please remember him as a Serious musician and 20th century composer, with Zappa, image and reality were often at odds. In the last months you have probably all read an awful lot of tripe by ill-informed columnists, I simply urge you to listen attentively to the following albums: ‘Hot Rats’, ‘Waka/Jawaka’, ‘Grand Wazoo’, ‘Sleep Dirt’, ‘The Yellow Shark’ and ‘Civilization phase III’.
Uncle Frank ‘A Vie, A Mort et Après’
Born: 21-12-40
Died: 04-12-93


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