Monday, March 14, 2011

3 New Releases From 'Soleil Zeuhl'

Read after the jump what Alain Lebon of Soleil Zeuhl posted on Progressive Ears about these 3 new releases.

SCHERZOO : 01 (Soleil Zeuhl 28) 
Scherzoo is F. Thollot's 3rd CD, with a new band, featuring Anthony Béard (bass), François Mignot (guitar), Jeremy Van Quackebeke (piano), Guillaume Lagache (sax alto) & François Thollot (drums). 
This is his most accomplished effort so far, the band plays tight & the music is an unlikely fusion of Zeuhl & mid/late period of Soft Machine. 6 tracks (including a 19 minutes re-written version of "Voyage au bout de la nuit" which was part of Thollot's first CD -in 2002, then recorded alone as a multi instrumentist). 
Streamin' audio - by courtesy of our friend Udi : 

STRAVE : First (Soleil Zeuhl 27) 
Reissue of Serge Bringolf's first album (1980), Strave is an impressive effort. Classified as zeuhl, but including lots of jazz in it, it has a unique sound. Since Bringolf being a drummer, the drums are very important on this album. Add the incredible bass work of François Grillot, the impressive brass section consisting of Jean Golanet (trumpet), Philippe Gisselmann (saxophones) and Pascal Beck (trombone) & you have a good idea of what the music sounds like. You just need to throw in some great wordless (scat) vocals. The album consists of 4 long tracks, ranging from fifteen to approximately twenty minutes. A truly inspiring mixture of genres. 
The first track of the album, "Délire", is probably my favourite as it shows the intensity that Bringolf's band is able of. It is a perfect example of fusion between jazz and zeuhl. 
"Strave" is good too. It is not the greatest piece of the album though but some powerful violin parts are quite impressive, giving an almost folk note to the composition. This piece also features a great drumming performance. 
"Utopie" is more of a 'classic' zeuhl piece. I love its intriguing, but lively mood. The vocals are particularly worth a special mention and the level of composition is once again great. It also features some of the greatest bass lines I have heard, and this is definitely Grillot's best performance on this album.
The album ends with "Jodwerssen", track that may be described as a synthesis of the previous tracks, mixing the best elements of each - notably the bass and trumpet remarkable performances, the drums' jazzy feel, the virtuoso violin and the vocal works. 
Tsevir Leirbag (from Progressive Ears web site) 

NOA : Same (Soleil Zeuhl 26) 
"Reissue of an obscure underground French album from 1980. NOA features a histrionic female vocalist, piping the French language and enunciating syllables just like another instrument. The music of Noa is of the jazzy Zeuhl variety, with plenty of sax (some shrieking), soaring flute and the expected rhythms of the genre." Tom Hayes. 
Although the general mood of the album is Zeuhl-influenced (the dark vibe & the female voice that reminds Eskaton), the main influences claimed by the band are Henry Cow & Art Zoyd. The fact is that the use of the female voice has something to do with HC's Dagmar Krause era. Line-up includes guitar, bass, flute, sax, drums, percussions & female vocals. 
This album, sadly the sole recording of the band, is a real curiosity, a pretty experimental record that could have only come out in France during this period, at the turn of the 70s. 


  1. Ordered Strave already, and when I have more cash I'm hoping to order the other two. Great trio of albums!

  2. I was also waiting for my paycheck to come in and in the meantime I see Noa has already sold out on Wayside. Hope Steve brings some more. Can't seem to find it elsewhere right now (Squidco, SynPhonic,et al.).


Any comments?