Género: Zeuhl / Avant Prog
Género: Zeuhl / Avant Prog
Lista de Temas:
5. Bitonio (alternate)
6. Arrakis (alternate)
7. Eros (alternate)
8. Acoustic Fremen (unreleased)
5. Bitonio (alternate)
6. Arrakis (alternate)
7. Eros (alternate)
8. Acoustic Fremen (unreleased)
- Laurent Bertaud / drums
- Jean Geeraerts / electric guitar, acoustic guitar
- Bruno Sabathe / piano, synthesizers
- Alain Termol / percussions
- Thierry Tranchant / bass
- Pascal Vandenbulcke / flutes
Philippe Portejoi /sax
- Laurent Bertaud / drums
- Jean Geeraerts / electric guitar, acoustic guitar
- Bruno Sabathe / piano, synthesizers
- Alain Termol / percussions
- Thierry Tranchant / bass
- Pascal Vandenbulcke / flutes
Philippe Portejoi /sax
Alberto nos trae otro disco de la putísima madre, un disco de un género del cual desconfío mucho como catalogación (me refiero a lo que se llama "Zeuhl") porque a mis torpes oídos se me asemeja a un Avant Prog (o un R.I.O. según el caso) pero con ciertas similitudes con el estilo de Magma (creadores del "Zeuhl" que a mi modo de ver no es otra cosa que un Avant Prog / R.I.O. compuesto e interpretado de manera muy original). Pero dejando los tecnicismos y la catalogaciones de lado, les diré que este es un verdadero discazo, les recomiendo que se lo lleven y después de escucharlos catalóguenlo como quieran.
Eso sí, advierto que esto no es música fácil. Hay muchos que visitan este blog y no están habituados al genero progresivo en particular (cada vez tenemos más visitantes de esa clase) y menos que menos habituados a escuchar (y digerir!) Zeuhl. Si cualquiera que pasaba por acá se lleva esto y se agarra una indigestión auditiva, que no diga qu no se lo advertí. Pero si te gusta el R.I.O., el Avant-Prog y el Zeuhl, llevate este disco de cabeza!
Vamos con el comentario de Alberto que es lo que vale porque él trajo el disco:
En el inmenso mundillo de la música existen casos de grupos que han aparecido y han dejado, pese a su corta existencia, obras de un valor musical asombroso, este es el caso de DÜN y su trabajo Eros, un disco que marcó un precedente único en el ZEUHL o el Avant Prog. (movimientos extraños si los hay) y hoy es considerado como una obra maestra del género, aún siendo éste el único trabajo del grupo.Alberto
Este es un proyecto instrumental con una mezcla rara de Zappa y Soft Machine, este sexteto francés nos ofrece una producción muy avanzada a la época, aún cuando el grupo sólo estuvo activo unos 4 años; del 78 al 81 aproximadamente, el proyecto Eros es por demás interesante y no te da un ápice de respiro, contiene increíbles solos de sintetizadores, bases de bajo y guitarra entrelazadas, disonancias extremas, y fraseos típicos del progresivo de la época, y arreglos de vientos que no desentonan con la propuesta en general.
Básicamente, esta es una obra interesantísima despojada de clichés, impredecible y con una impronta instrumental que apenas uno deja de escucharla retornan a tu cabeza pequeños fragmentos que te gustarían volverlos a escuchar, una obra realmente recurrente.
Los franceses siempre alcanzaron notoriedad por este tipo de bandas, y hoy podríamos englobarlas en un movimiento con identidad propia, tal como sucede con la movida nórdica y otras similares.
Si sos amante de la música intrincada con ese tinte atmosférico cuasi psicodélico, este disco encaja perfecto en esa preferencia. Este tipo de música rondara como fantasma en cuanta discoteca progre exista, si hasta su tapa parece indicartelo.
Seguramente no te vas a tatuar esta banda en tu pinche piel pero seguro va a dejarte un sabor distinto y por demás sugestivo. En el blog cabezón habitan por demás este tipo de rarezas así que dale también la oportunidad a DÜN. ¡¡Bocatto di cardinale!! -perdon- ¡¡creme de la creme!! - désolé.
Una obra instrumental musicalmente muy emocionante, con mucha intensidad rítmica, mucho color y texturas, muy agradables atmósferas, sonidos exuberantes y densos llenos de tambores frenéticos, buenas melodías de flauta, gran trabajo del teclado, la batería y en general de todos los diferentes instrumentos que aquí entran en juego.
Increible obra maestra la tenemos aquí. Ya, spoiler más grande no hay.Jesu
Eros de Dün es una obra maestra no solo del Zeuhl, sino también de la música en general. Nadie debería morir sin que antes haya pasado esta música por sus oídos. Y es que la increíble fusión de instrumentos y música que tenemos acá no tiene comparación. Jazz Fusion, Canterbury Scene, Symphonic Prog, algo de Folk por ahí, y está todo orientado a lo más Avant-Garde posible, desde ya que es música muy de vanguardia. En sí, es toda una gran mezcla de distintos tipos de música. y que es deliciosa.
No van a encontrar dos compases iguales en este álbum. Constantes cambios de tiempos y de atmósferas. La presencia más fuerte es la del bajo y la batería, ellos conducen la música. La flauta tiene gran importancia durante pasajes sinfónicos y calmos, suena con una dulzura que te envuelve, aunque también esta presente en los demás momentos de la música. Hay ocasionales solos de guitarra, que aparecen más bien como "muestras" a modo de ejemplo de las genialidades que pueden salir de semejante mezcla.
Un álbum único que están obligados a bajar. No es fácil de escuchar, pero cuando le agarrás el gustito te vas a dar cuenta de la increíble música que tenés en frente tuyo.
Todas las canciones son muy complejas, pero éste material no es especialmente atonal o disonante, la música es muy "pesada" pero no por la distorción y machaques de las guitarras distorsionadas o su doble bombo resonando en tu cabeza, sino que su pesadez radica en las propias melodías; que son muy complejas y oscuras. Una batería muy sensible, flexible y creativa, teclados vitales y cósmicos, un sutil pero preciso (y lleno de buen gusto) trabajo de guitarra, agresivos bajos, un maravilloso piano / sintetizador enredándose entre las texturas tejidas por una flauta, mientras armonías maravillosas junto con una gran tensión llenan el aire.
Eros, es el testimonio de la vanguardia musical que estaba aflorando a finales de los años 70 en Francia. Muchas otras agrupaciones que nunca llegaron a grabar son el testimonio de una búsqueda artistica desafiante por parte de los franceses, donde muchas veces fusionaban música con otras artes escénicas y audiovisuales. Pero hasta aqui no llegaba la apuesta. Grupos como Magma y Dun, demostraban un verdadero interés por hacer una música totalmente en contra del mainstream. Para lograr esta música sin restricciones, primeramente las bandas de rock se alimentaron con instrumentistas mas ligados a la música acádemica, y es asi que instrumentos como el oboe, fagot, corno, chelos y un largo etc. encontraron su lugar en una banda de "rock".Gustavo Mejía Rodas
Dun es considerada una banda Zehul, y si bien aparecen similitudes con Magma (zeuhl por autonomasia), la música de este grupo es a veces más frenetica y oscura. Dun, esta en el medio de Magma y Univers Zero. Un poco de Jazz, rock y múltiples acercamientos a otros estilos. Rítimicas cambiantes y complejas, y un gran contrapunto por parte de los instrumentos. La flauta ocupa uno de los roles principales, junto al piano y en menor medida los teclados que ambientan. La versatilidad de la bateria termina de cerrar la propuesta bizarra. Los demás instrumentos siempre acompañan casi improvisando sobre la alquimia musical.
Amigas y amigos, los dejamos con la banda francesa DUN y esta única y magistral obra se llama EROS.
Este disco es una obra maestra olvidada. Del año 1981, esta banda francesa saco un excelente álbum de que mezcla los rítmos hipnóticos y frenéticos del Zeuhl con la destreza técnica del mejor Jazz-Fusion y un poco de cambios de ritmo y disonancias del Avant-Garde más arriesgado. Se podría considerar que este disco es parte de la vanguardia musical que se gesto a finales de los 70 en Francia con bandas como Magma y Art Zoyd donde se incorporan instrumentos de corte más académico como flautas, oboes, xilófonos, violines, etcétera y se les da más protagonismo en las composiciones.
El sello francés Soleil, una vez más volvió a publicar una grabación rara y maravillosa de una banda poco conocida de rock progresivo vanguardista. Evolucionando a través de varias formaciones, Dun comenzó su vida como Vegetaline Boufiol, luego se convirtieron en Kan-Daar, a continuación, Dune, antes de asentarse finalmente como Dun. En esta banda se reconocen influencias de la Mahavishnu Orchestra, Frank Zappa, Henry Cow, pero fundamentalmente de sus compatritas de Magma.
Musicalmente el álbum es compacto, coherente y sus temas se cohesionan en sus distintas influencias, desde el jazz, avant-garde y, obviamente, el Zeuhl combinados con una maestría incomparable. Lo único negativo del disco es su producción, el sonido debería ser mejor para este tipo de obra,pero en fin, es lo que hay, y seguramente esto es así porque es un trabajo totalmente independiente y sin intención económica, y eso lleva su coste. Pero aquí hay belleza real hecha sonido. No es una belleza fácil de capturar, hay que buscarla, sumergirse en las notas y sonidos hasta lograr encontrarla, pero la belleza está allí. No es del estilo de belleza de la música sinfónica (aunque creo que esta obra está llena de valor sinfónico aún siendo tan cercana a la estructura del jazz), esto es belleza compleja, rara, anómala pero brillante, intrigante, intrincado, aventurero, salvaje, inteligente, imaginativo y pasional. Este es un disco fantástico que recomiendo encarecidamente a todo aquel que se interese por la música no convencional.
Desde Francia han llegado grandes bandas con propuestas siempre interesantes o inovadoras, basta citar a Magma, Weidorje, ZAO, Art Zoyd, TAAL, Eider Stellaire y un largo etcétera para darse cuenta de ello. Además, es el país donde nace el Zeuhl, uno de los géneros que ofrece más rarezas, complejidad y libre expresión del rock progresivo. Pues resulta que Dün no es la excepción en la esfera del talento francés, con una propuesta única, influenciada tanto por Frank Zappa como por Magma, y con cierto acercamiento al RIO y al rock sinfónico. Su único pero excelente álbum, Eros, es experimental en todo momento, y se apoya sobre todo en bajo, piano y xilófono, éstos dos últimos aportan una buena sección rítmica en conjunto con las demás percusiones. La manera de hacer Zeuhl de Dün es bastante original, revolucionaria y de estructuras complejas, pero también suele manejar partes melódicas que le dan cierto carácter accesible, lo que marca una diferencia importante con otras bandas de este extraño género. Otro aspecto relevante es que encuentran el balance perfecto entre pasajes instrumentales tranquilos y otros más enérgicos, pero sin hacer cambios demasiado bruscos.Kob
Eros es considerado como una obra maestra al día de hoy, a pesar de ser relativamente breve, demostrando una vez más que la calidad está por encima de la cantidad.
Me gustaría escribir más de este disco pero no tengo el tiempo necesario y quiero traer otras cosas en el día de hoy, para terminar y antes de pasar a la lista de comentarios realizados por terceros y en inglés, diría que este disco será de interés para los fans de grupos como (por supuesto) Magma, pero también Gentle Giant, King Crimson, Henry Cow, los mexicanos Nazca, Frank Zappa y Captain Beefheart... entre otros.
"Eros" is an incredible album, and ranks as some of the best prog to come out of France. DÜN's brand of prog is complex, aggressive, and fast of ideas. It owes plenty to Zeuhl, but listeners will find tons of ZAPPA, Indonesian gamelan, and fusion-jazz influences. The CD consists of four 10-minute epics from the original album, and 4 bonus tracks (3 of which are early live versions of album tracks). Some of the featured instruments include flutes, vibraphones, and synths. But, like most Zeuhl music, the bass and drums play a very dominant role. The guitarist even adds a fusion sound to the compositions that is rather unique. Overall, "Eros" ranks right up there with ESKATON's "4 Vision".Steve Hegede
Another must have album within such "Zeuhl Music" from France . A lot of fine dissonances and also their taste for some strange time signatures characterize this complex album... Highly recommended, even though it is very difficult to understand, like the whole "Zeuhl school" ( MAGMA, ART ZOYD, UNIVERS ZERO, and so on...)Lorenzo
Dün only released one album, but it was a darn good one.Chris
This instrumental Zeuhl band has a heavy bass and percussion prominence, which is a trademark of the sub-genre. The rhythm section is great; obtuse rhythms and basslines, with auxiliary percussion (mostly xylophones) to add even more flavor. The flautist has a strong presence. Guitars and keys are also here, but they stand out the least.
All four pieces are excellent. Complexity and creativity are the strengths of this album. In an attempt to describe the sound: Magma and Zappa are the only artists I can name as influence, but various Fusion and some ethnic sounds are incorporated into the mix. It's quite different, you'll have to hear it for yourself. The only issue I have with the compositions is that they don't really evoke much of an emotional response. It isn't just a mindless jam-session, but it fails to have a lasting impact on the listener. No doubt will it be impressive during the listen, however.
Progressive music was in somewhat of a slump in the early 80s. While Neo-Prog rebirthed prog in terms of success, creative/unique/avant-garde music didn't have another boom until the 90s. Dün's Eros stands out as one of the most interesting prog release of the decade, and ranks among the finest in the Zeuhl school.
Aw man, this is obtuse stuff! Not for the faint of heart, believe me. This is persistently hard-rocking instrumental avant-garde rock with a disdain for convention that makes Gentle Giant seem like commercial sell-outs. Eros, the solitary album by this French band came out in 1981, but it mantains a rich organic sound that one would not associate with that decade. The compositions are doubtless very tough to penetrate, but this remains one of the best records of its kind ... precisely because there isn't anything else that sounds quite like it.Martin Vengadesan
The opener L'epice is an unrelenting prog assault. It really seems to go on and on, changing pace effortlessly, but never giving up its driving attack. Arrakis has a more subtle start, with Pascal Vandenbulcke's flute and Bruno Sabathe's piano initially leading the way, but it also grows into a difficult beast, especially once the screechy guitar lead gets going, and then halfway through the ferentic "rocking out" phase has a bewildering chaotic edge, with complex harmonies and frequently unpredictable shifts in direction ... I swear there's a little Balinese music in it and whatta a drum solo from Laurent Bertraud (although Alain Termol is also credited with percussion) ... absolutely unique!
Bitonio, begins with stuttering flute, used almost like it's tapping out Morse code, then a running melody which dances from piano to bass and back ensues. 2 minutes into the piece, they thankfully stop to let you gather your breath. The respite doesn't last long, however, and by the time the closing title track comes into play, you're likely to be wishing for the ride to come to an end already. It's got a slow build-up, intense attacks, free-flowing flute melody and eventually a counter-melody too, and the by-now de rigeur deft shifts of tempo and mood. The unrelenting attack that finishes the piece off is almost nausea-inducing by virtue of the shrieking synths and sheer energy of the band's playing.
You could listen to this album three times in a row, and still be totally surprised the next time around. But be warned, it is confusing stuff that one is unlikely to ever feel emotionally attached to. In fact, even deciding to play it is like declaring war on your senses. In my opinion, Eros is heavier (not to mention infinitely more intriguing) than most metal ever gets. ...
A few months ago (at the time of this review), I became aware of this thing called Zeuhl. With some investigation, Magma came forward. It was like nothing I had ever heard before, and made me an instant fan. As my Magma collection grew, I kept seeing the names DÜN, and Eros. However, I could not find this highly touted album. After some time, my curiosity won out, and I ordered it. That was a very good decision, because this is an incredible album.H.T. Riekels
It doesn't have the operatic influences characteristic of Magma, but it is just as challenging. You also don't need to learn a sci-fi languange to get all of it, as it is entirely instrumental. The sound is more updated, but not immoveably rooted in the '80s. The style itself is very unlike any of its time. It seems to be an avant-jazz fusion, with some heavy guitar, flute, and xylophone. It sometimes reminds me of Zappa. But, where he would use the xylophone as a sort of musical comic relief (that doesn't mean I doubt how serious Zappa was about his music), it sounds as if it is necessary here. The flute is bold, and at times would even make Ian Anderson jealous.
"L'Epice" is a full band workout (like any of this isn't), and features nice little duels, and duets with the players.
"Arrakis" starts out mellow, but with a hint of something malevolent. In the middle, we get a great jam. For some reason it always puts me in the mind of "Weather Report" (the bass is a lot like Jaco Pastorius). That feeds into a drum free for all, yet it never seems to be without structure. The end is a choppy weirdness that would make Robert Fripp proud.
"Bitonio" is ... well ... sort of ... everything really. It has spots that seem like space rock, symphonic, straight jazz, or folk. You name it, and it's probably there. Somehow, it all fits together.
"Eros" begins quite spacey, and very flute dominated. It then gets very spacey. The bass line discretely picks up tempo, and before you know it, it's a jam. Then, oops, I lied there are lyrics. The band shouts "Eros, Eros, Eros" for a few bars. it gets to a Gentle Giant like place, and CRASH!. At the end, it just fritters away.
I like to reserve my reviews to the original album, so I won't go into the bonus tracks.
Unless I misunderstood, this is supposed to be inspired by the writings of Frank Herbert. Even being a fan of the "Dune" series, I just don't make that correlation. Who cares though? Listen to the music, and don't try to make it a soundtrack. It is a marvelous piece.
Zeuhl is a genre which Im not very familiar with, that being primarily `cause I don´t know much of it other than Magma. So I might not be a big favorite of mine, and I must admit I do not really bother getting into it ...then I heard Eros!Matias Boettner
I´m not quite sure how Dün is Zeuhl, as I see almoust no connection with Magma, just the fact that the rythmic section is very important overall, and incredibly good I might add. But more than that, I can´t see it. But then again, I´m no expert.
Well, back to the album. Wow!!! thats all I can say, wow!!! I knew I was in for a treat as a friend of mine (the one who gave me a copy of the album) was already becoming a big fan of the album, and I trust his judgment...but this was more than a pleasent surprise! All the songs are instrumental, and although I can say there are some jazz, Crimson and even some Avant-garde influences, Dün manages to sound like nobody else, which is always more than welcomed on my part. The stand outs are L´Epice and Arrakis...and Bitonio...and Eros... really the four studio tracks are all so good, its incredibly hard to pick a favorite. It´s a sad thing Dün released only one album, and yet at the same time it´s great! I love those one shot bands, and if their album is a masterpiece...then well, what more can I ask for? Dün will forever be remeberd as the band that did everything perfect...cause they only did this one thing and its perfect.
If I could I would give the album 4.5 stars, as 5 stars is not just for anybody, but as I can´t, here are this 5 stars for Dün´s Eros. Highly recommended for...anybody into prog!
One of those early 80's prog gems that was still stemming from mainland Europe, when everything else was next to dead (prog-wise) in the Anglo-Saxon world. This rare album really shows that France's original prog boom started fairly early but ended rather late, this being mostly due to groups playing Zeuhl and RIO music. This group originated from the Nantes region and remained nevermore than a local curiosity (even if they played a few higher profile gigs with Magma, Art Zoyd and Etron Fou) and was the brainchild of flutist Pascal Vandenbulcke and guitarist Jean Geeraerts (most likely both of Northern France or Belgian origins) and they had changed names a few times (from Vegetaline Bouffiol in 76 to Kandaar) before settling on Dunes first (due to both leader's infatuation with Frank Herbert's sci-fi saga) then changing to a more Kobaian- like Dün. Apparently, flutist Vdb had also develop his own wind-instrument from Swiss cheese called the Gruyèrophone but unfortunately (?), it is not heard on the album.Sean Trane
To describe Dün as a Zeuhl group is not only misleading (there are some Magma influences), as we are closer to a cheerier version of RIO stalwarts Univers Zero and Chamber Prog ala early-Maneige or Swiss group Circus. Their instrumental "Chamber Zeuhl" is highly original as it is rather difficult to really liken their sound with other groups, but if you are a fan of flute and a bit tired of Anderson's Mad-Flauter style, this album is for you, because it is loaded. Termol's many percussion instruments also provide a very Maneige ambiance as well, while Tranchant's bass has Kobaian accents. Only four tracks (mais de haut-voltige, mon cher monsieur), which are best described as demented, twisted but on the whole they are much happier than all the groups mentioned previously (bar the joyous Maneige) and a bit reminiscent of Pierre Moerlen's Gong. All four tracks ranging from 7 to 10 minutes are fairly equal in quality, but the title track is maybe the closest to atonal music, but it makes up for it by being slightly more brilliant.
While their album was well received in 81 by some critics, the group never managed to sell much (one pressing of 1000 albums) and by the end 83, they had folded (the two leaders formed a Latin-jazz group) after a few line-up changes. The re-issue presents four bonus tracks, recorded prior to their album (and therefore of a slightly-lesser recording quality), of which three are previous versions (and sometimes fairly different) of album tracks, so they are adding a bit more of the same, extending the Cd longer than desirable, especially that the only non-album track Acoustic Fremen comes last, and it is the most different as it was an acoustic mid-concert interlude with only flute, sax and acoustic guitar. The fact that the bonus tracks have an added saxman does not change much to their overall sound, but these versions are sufficiently different to have their own lives.
A true rare gem from the early 80's (too bad nobody heard it back then) that is still not easy to get a hold of nowadays, but if you get a chance for it, by all means be my guest and run for it. A very worthy release, which will grace the real connoisseur's collection.
DUN originally started out doing MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA covers.They were influenced by MAGMA, HENRY COW and ZAPPA. UNIVERS ZERO recommended Sunrise Studios in Switzerland to DUN (where they had recorded "Heresie" and "Ceux Du Dehors") and so that is where "Eros" was birthed. I was a little surprised at the sound of this record as I had read that this was a heavy record (bass and drums). Well, it definitely isn't heavy at all, at least not my definition of heavy.The most prominant instruments on this recording are the flute and the xylophone which create a lighter sound if anything. Zappa would be so proud of the xylophone melodies.John Davie
"L'epice" opens with a drum roll and I must say that ANGLAGARD came to mind during this song a few times. If you replaced the xylophone with mellotron then I think it would be more obvious. Nice raw guitar solo 2 minutes in that is replaced by flute as the song becomes tranquil. More piano and xylophone on this one. I would say this one is my favourite song on "Eros" followed by the next song "Arrakis". Flute leads the way on "Arrakis" with some great guitar 3 minutes in. The tempo picks up after 4 minutes with the drums leading the charge. Lots of xylophone as the song gets insanely fast paced 6 minutes in. Heavy drums after 8 minutes.
"Bitonio" is a piano and flute laden beauty that brought to mind SINKADUS ! The final song "Eros" has a lot of xylophone, flute and light drums before it really kicks in after 5 minutes becoming an uptempo song with flute and xylophone leading the way. On my disc we get alternate versions of the last three tracks as well as a previously unreleased song called "Acoustic Fremen" which is a pastoral tune with flute dominating the soundscape.
If you like complex, intricate instrumental music then you need to check this out.
You know, there are albums that are essential for any Prog-music devotee. Some are well-known (like “Foxtrot” or “Dark Side of the Moon”), some are lesser known (like “Script for a Jester’s Tear” or “Scenes from a Memory”), some are almost obscure to a major part of Prog listeners (like “Trout Mask Replica” or “Dedicato a Frazz”). “Eros” definitely belongs to that last group, it’s very hard to find, but it’s a worthy one. I ain’t an Avant fan (in any form), but I appreciate good playing (crazy xylohones and flutes!!!) and challenging nature of the pieces...I even like them! Some tracks have very melodic parts, close to Symphonic Prog, others are more Jazz-determined, but I won’t call it Zeuhl (personally I have another description of this genre, and DUN doesn’t fit there!) just in order not to fright away melodists and Symphonic Prog fans. Try it – it’s worthy of trying and buying.Igor Sidorenko
DÜN, the name of the band, refers to Dune, the Sand Planet serial of Science-fiction books by Frank Herbert. At least I think the name is related - one of the track is named Arrakis, which is certainly inspired by Herbert.Moris Mateljan
And let me explain why. I'll try to be brief.
"Eros", the one and the only album by this crazy French combo is not thematic or conceptual. At least I don't think so. However, it's focused, powerful - and it's bursting with ideas - you will hear more ideas by listening to "Eros" for five minutes than some bands' entire discographies. This is dense. This is mean.
Ideas, themes, sounds, melodies, bursts of energy are swirling, intersecting each other, bumping into each other, transforming themselves. Like a structure of a sand, every tiny little piece will randomly end up somewhere, and the whole sand picture will be beautiful, over and over again.
This is one of those rare records that sound like the band came out of nowhere and invented the music for themselves, knitting it with wisdom, love and passion.
Influences? Similarities? Jazz, Gamelan music, Debussy? Take the best of all of them.
I'm sure like many people here I was quite dismissive of the zeuhl genre because I had heard some of magma's works and didn't really enjoy them, then on a whim I decided to get Eskaton's 4 visions album and this album and they quickly became 2 of my favourite albums of all time.Richard Ingham
DUN's first and unfortunately only album is a fantastic piece of music, it's such a shame that a group of such talented musicians would come together record such an amazing album then promptly disband anyway I guess we should be thankful they released this excellent album. Eros is not for the faint of heart, with dense technical and often oppressive melodies it is a demanding piece of music, it does have quite a few relatively light moments though but minor and diminished tonality is almost always prevalent in the music (which is primarily instrumental). It's hard to single out a highlight track due to the amazing variance in the music but if I had to I would choose the title track eros with it's beautiful flute, frightened bass harmonics and frenetic jamming would be worthy.
The instrumentation on this album is fantastic as it is in most zeuhl with 3 layers, the drums and percussion obviously providing a beat, the guitar and flute being the melodic part and the bass and piano contributing the meat and potatoes as I like to call it rhythm and drive. As you might expect from a zeuhl album the drums and percussion are the best of the lot. Xylophone features heavily in Eros in all of the songs and it adds a great deal to the music as it incorporates both a percussive and a melodic element, the drums are quite jazzy and syncopated and as mentioned before top notch. The guitar in this album is superb and it really deserves to be acknowledged as it is easy to overlook in this type of music and it's amazingly hard to play guitar well for this kind of music, it often interplays with. The piano and bass work very well together, I particularly like the bass, it has a very fat and groovy tone and adds a tremendous amount to the music.
Eros is a masterpiece of avant-garde music, highly recommended to anyone who enjoys challenging music, instrumental prog and even symphonic prog, fans of bands like ATLAS, ESKATON and I might even go as fat to say FANTOMAS would enjoy this album.
As a complete Zeuhl and Dun lay person I'm not going to pretend to have any expertise with this challenging genre, or delve into the group's story. I'm simply going to offer a few thoughts on the music, recorded in Switzerland in '81. Without having knowledge of Magma as a reference point the chief influence I hear on Eros is undoubtedly King Crimson but with different instrumentation and a bit softer edge most of the time. There are definitely Frippian guitar overtones in places and a similar spirit to the jamming. The four pieces of Eros come across as pure experimental instrumental overload. The rhythm section is absolutely tight but mind-blowing in their eclecticism, strutting and jerking around, holding everything together and yet instigating chaos pushing things apart. The lead guitar smokes in a big way one moment or rings with sustained stoicism the next. (For a taste check out the 30 second lead from about 2:45 to 3:15 of "Arrakis." Delicious!) The flute work is the highlight for me personally. It is through the flute that the most memorable melodies are delivered and they are stunning. If I have one criticism with Eros it would be the xylophone. It's an instrument to be used very sparingly in my opinion and they occasionally drive me nuts with it, to the point where I'd like to take a few swings at it (the xylophone, that is) with a tire-iron. But it's a minor quibble when speaking of such an inspired and unique album of music. Eros is an album for anyone who likes adventurous music executed brilliantly, and it does a reasonable job at the difficult task of bringing together intellectually stimulating (so called difficult music) with the emotional, melodic sides. It's not currently an easy album to find but it's worth the trouble for any progger. The CD booklet in the year 2000 pressing I have come with a nice bio and some photos along with four bonus tracks. Great stuff!Jim Finnforest
Dun´s sole album Eros has swept my feet away and totally blown my mind. This is a wonderful album, one of the best Zeuhl albums I have ever heard. Frank Zappa´s Sleep Dirt and Conlon Nancarrow´s polyrythmic experiments are the first things I think about when listening to Eros and then of course Magma. The most sinister flute playing I have ever heard on any album is here. There is generally a very dark atmosphere on Eros. A very strong element in Dun´s sound is the percussion from Alain Termol which reminds me very much of how Zappa uses the xylophone in his more avant garde compositions. The bass from Thierry Tranchant is also very dominant in the mix.UMUR
There are only four songs on Eros if you don´t count the alternative versions of the songs which are basically bonus tracks.
L'Epice which starts the album is the most accessible song on Eros. It´s still a very challenging song though and only for people who like to be challenged to the extreme. Dun´s music is very complex yet memorable and even though there are hooks here and there you have to pay attention all the time to get the full amount of listening pleasure out of the album. One of the things I want to note in L'Epice is the piano part in the middle which sounds very much like the polyrythmic mechanical piano pieces composed by Conlon Nancarrow.
Arrakis starts soft but ends with a bang of technical playing and grooves. I´m just blown back in my seat by this wonderful song.
Bitonio actually starts pretty melodic ( well as melodic as Dun gets) but ends with a pretty avant garde part. I´ll say you have to have a strong stomach for avant garde to enjoy the last half of Bitonio.
The title track is the most difficult song to get into. It´s extremely challenging with avant garde parts that can seem very disturbing to the listener. It grows on you though and in time becomes more accessible and memorable.
As you can see from my short description of the songs they are very complex and hard to access but Dun is very different compared to most other bands that play music this complex as they make very memorable music. There are lots of sections in every song and even more highlights which is a great thing if you want to hold the listeners attention. In that respect Eros is one of the best albums I have ever heard that are this complex. It´s a great place to start if you are curious about Zeuhl/ avant garde music. Fans of Zappa´s instrumental pieces like The Black Page and Sinister Footwear should be forced to listen to Eros as I´m sure they will love it.
The musicianship is beyond outstanding. These musicians are masters of dynamics. The complex time signature changes and polyrythmic playing is never forced but rather seems natural. This can only be done with exceptional musicians like Dun. I won´t be lying if I say this is one of the best instrumental performances I have ever heard.
The production is very good and again Zappa comes to mind as this could have been one of this late seventies start eighties productions. The production follows the high standard of the music.
It´s hard to do an album this wonderful justice but I have given it a shot. This is a sure 5 star rating and one of my favorite instrumental albums. Intelligent and challenging while maintaining groove and memorability. Eros is highly recommendable to fans of Zeuhl but also fans of avant garde should be pleased with this album.
Formed in the mid-70s, French ensemble Dün had to wait until the early 80s to release their first and only album "Eros", which turned out to be one of the best one-shot albums in French progressive rock's history, let alone, one of the best avant-prog albums ever. The band's strategy is based on an exciting combination of Magma's tension and Univers Zero's mystery, perhaps emphasizing the jazz factor in the elaboration of cadences, pulsations and counterpoints. There is also the presence of some 73-75 Zappa's Dadaist playfulness, as well a few hints to the jazz-dirven lyricism of the Canterbury trend. Sophistication and somber ambiences go hand in hand until they fuse together in a single sonic source - this is what Dün is all about. The agile use of flute and tuned percussion may superficially remind us of kinder bands such as Maneige, but the fact is that the pairing of drummer Laurent Bertaud and bassist Thierry Tranchant set the sonic nucleus for the whole band's integral sound, clearly stating the zheul element. Simultaneously, Bruno Sabathe explores the psycjodelic potentials of his synthesizer in alternation with the pounding chords on piano, in this way forcing the guitar and the flute to move in fusion-driven ornaments: that's how the lyrical facet comes into play. The album kicks off with 'L'Epice', with a sinister majesty started in a most ceremonious fashion.When things begin to get jazzier, we can notice that the energy hasn't decreased an ounce, not even when the acoustic guitar solo comes into action. The dissonant climax that ends the track is simply priceless. 'Arrakis' begins on a more subtle note, with a piano-flute duet that still delivers an unmistakable sense of restlessness. It won't be long before things become a mixture of "Expresso"-era Gong and "Üdü Wüdü"-Magma. The last third of the track features a vibrating highlight of the drum and percussion inputs. 'Bitonio' keeps the momentum going, with a Zappa-inspired twist that had already been announced in the opener. The opener closes down the album's official repertoire with a 10 ½ minute span. The band remains strictly loyal to its pattern of repetitive dissonant counterpoints, while the avantgarde arrangements add color to the Spartan compositional schemes. The synth solo is arguably the best in the album, and also distrubing enough to threaten to break the weird set of harmonies that make the track's main motif: eventually, this is reinstated in the last 2 minutes. The CD edition comprises 4 bonus tracks, three of them being earlier versions of official tracks. The other one, 'Acoustic Fremen', is a candid bucolic serenade performed by teh duet of flute and acoustic guitar: 6 minutes of pure magic as if it were a dream of sound that passes by in an instant. Shame on the ones who were in charge of the sound production! Or... shame on the ones who developed those poor machines! Anyway, beauty can be hurt but never killed. I'm a bit afraid to tell this lousy Freudian joke, but this "Eros" is actually very thanatical according to the rules of zheul and Francophone RIO, but Dün takes a peculiar approach to the subgenre. If you ever wondered what UZ would have sounded like had they been less sinister and more pastoral, or what Henry Cow would have sounded like if they had exploited the lyrical side of their debut album further, Dün is the answer, a masterpiece answer, to be more specific.César Inca
Dun's sole album, Eros, is a masterpiece. Any prog fan who likes adventurous instrumental music owes it to him/herself to check the album out.Salty Jon
The first track, "L'Epice", is a good indication of things to come on the album. The drums start in like quietly rumbling thunder, then after a few seconds the rest of the ensemble joins in with some fairly dissonant sounding chords. The music starts to become a little complex at this point. There's a lot of dissonance going on throughout, and as has been mentioned, the drum and bass work on the album are simply incredible. About 5 minutes in, we get to a jarring section with lots of odd rhythmic action, which is joined before long by flute and guitar here and there. This continues on for a while, then the band breaks down with a slight tempo change. The song continues on with complexity and dissonant chords here and there until the end. A VERY solid opener. 9.5/10
Next up is my personal favorite track, "Arrakis". The song starts off simply with keyboards playing, and flute joins in before long. The song stays quiet for a while, with occasional percussions joining in at around the one minute mark and guitar before two. Bass joins in at two and a half, with a nice warm fretless sound. The calm stays around for a while longer, with subdued playing by the band on the whole, with the bass starting to jump around a bit. Then, after four minutes, we're thrown into the chaos of the battle for the planet Arrakis. While the album as a whole doesn't come off as a concept album to me, this song in particular brings to mind scenes from Frank Herbert's "Dune" series, going from calm and controlled to chaotic, back to a different sense of control. The last bit of the song is almost entirely percussion, and some odd shouted vocal bits near the very end. 10+/10
"Bitonio" builds up, first the xylophone, then guitar, then keyboards, then bass and drums take over the scene. We're given some jarring sequences at this point in the song, then things calm down a bit as we're brought to a section which is closer to melodic than we've been so far in the song. At almost two minutes in, quiet piano, xylophone, and flute bring us a bit of calm in the eye of this storm of an album. It doesn't last for long, though, as the bass and percussions are back at it again. At 2:30 or so the bass goes funky. The keyboards get spacey in the background for a while. Nearing the four minute mark, the music begins to build quiet tension through some dissonant bits. Nearing five minutes, the bass brings us into a new theme in the piece. There's a lot of contrasting loud and soft bits in this section of the song. At six minutes it changes again and we have some very brief caveman lyrics. The instrumental bits bring the beginning of the song back to mind, then speed up with some more caveman grunts, then back to the beginning for the end. 9/10
"Eros" is the closer of the original album. The beginning of the song sounds like the atmospheric music in some horror movies, with quiet, child-like percussion over an ambient backing. Drums join in around the minute mark, and the complexity continues. The band gives us another break from the insanity in this song, but close to three minutes in it starts to break through again, though it manages to stay mild for a bit. As is the norm in Zeuhl, the track builds up through repetition over the next minute or two, with some odd vocal/flute combination nearing five minutes. After the five minute mark we're back into the thick of things. The music has grown wild by now, though the basic beat keeps up the repetition with some avant garde sounding flute and keyboards breaking in. Near 6:30 things change up, bringing in spacey keyboards again over more funky bass and drums, with the xylophone keeping up the basic melody of the section. Things stay spacey for a while, then break down into a different section after eight minutes. In another of the rare moments of the album with vocals, we hear the members of the band chanting Eros for a short time. The song continues on its hectic path to the end, bringing the complex masterpiece that was the original album to its finish. 10/10
The next three tracks are all alternate versions of previous songs, namely Bitonio, Arrakis, then Eros. They all provide an interesting different view of the original song, and include the group's saxophone player, who didn't stay with them for the recording of the final product. The last track, "Acoustic Fremen", is a piece for guitar, flute, and again the saxophone player. It's very different than the rest of the album, as it's not so much in your face incredible complexity and isn't changing as constantly as the rest of the album does. It provides an interesting look at the band's other repressed side, and according to the booklet was used as a break during concerts so that some of the musicians and the crowd could regain their bearings. The sound quality of these four songs isn't as good as the first four, but it's to be expected as they're more demos than the finished product.
As I said at the beginning of my review, this is a masterpiece, especially if you enjoy a band with an incredible bassist and very, very strong percussion. It served as my introduction to the zeuhl genre as a whole, and I think it's a good starting point for anyone. You get the complexity and unusual nature of the music, but hardly any of the vocals, certainly not those of Magma and company. So if you've been toying with the idea of checking out Zeuhl but the operatic vocals make you turn away, you won't be upset by this album. It's a shame that the band didn't make any more music, but at least that which they did give us is of the highest quality. Very highly recommended, I don't think my review can do it much justice. Any prog collection would benefit by adding this album. The music will completely blow you away.
Yes, believe me or not when I say that this album is accessible by my opinion. Or maybe my thinking is so much altered by prog music that I'm not able to evaluate music normally. Nope, let's stick with Eros (actually, these 2-3 lines before this bracket are lies anyway).Marty McFly
Album that can be titled as: "Why to make it nice when you can have hell on Earth, am I right ? Oh yeah, you are, so let's make it as hard and complex as possible. But what about listeners ? Well, they does not matter so much, as casual listeners will never stumble over our work and if they'll eventually by accident did, they will run away in fear from our mighty sounds. And prog fans ? Most of them respect Zeuhl style so they'll love this. A lot. We're safe man, this will be masterpiece for those we want to impress."
However, I found some nice, symphonic-like parts, which of course aren't necessary here and I don't blame them for it. In terms of Zeuhl, as I understand it, it's great album. In terms of how I like it, it's worse. But I can enjoy it, as I love these complex, rumored to be hard-to- get-into things.
4(+), not feeling to give more. Not feeling to be converted enough.
My 30th review: The album to scare the hell out of peopleProgressiveAttic
For my 30th review I decided to write about one of the greatest and least known albums in prog. Surprisingly enough this was released during the early 80s...
I've always said that if you want to scare the hell out of people, you just have put on a Zehul album (preferably Magma) and make them believe you are into some sort of cult or something. This time you don't even have to say anything and before the second note is played you'll see fear in people's eyes... but what you'd expect from an album that intends to unify every single prog sub-genre?
This French group of extremely talented musicians decided to embark on a pretentious and highly dangerous project: to fuse every single style of prog known into a new and very original sound during the very dawn of the classic era of prog. It was dangerous because it could easily end in massive bombastic pretentious prog chaos and/or be relegated to obscurity. Fortunately the goals where fully accomplished and this naturally produced prog heaven but, sadly, it was in fact relegated to obscurity.
The final result is a very tasteful and equilibrated blend of jazz-rock, free jazz and symphonic progressive rock with a touch of psychedelia, all joined together by a masterfully engineered Avant/Zehul aesthetic. With these influences the natural references are Frank Zappa, John Zorn and, to a lesser extent, Magma. And not only that, the instrumentation used is also a reflexion of their eclectic influences: we have the typical setup of guitars, keyboards, bass and drums/percussions, enhanced by the addition of a vibraphone and wind instruments(flute and sax on the bonus tracks).
So...do not expect a Magma album here, although it is labeled under Zehul this work has little to do with Magma's operatic "cult" style. On the other hand, they both share a heavy reliance on percussions and are rooted in jazz. This one could've easily fit under Avant/RIO but Zehul is also an appropriate denomination.
The music is very complex with lots of dissonance and every single musician and instrument has its chance of shining without disrupting the coherence and natural flow of the piece (although it isn't very smooth to start with).
The album gets started with L'Ã?pice, which, as the entire album, is a very challenging piece of music with lots of turns and time signature changes dominated by polyrythmic arrangements. L'Ã?pice comes off as a team effort featuring sections that highlight the guitar, vibraphone and piano, the later played in a very rhythmic fashion complementing the work of the dominant percussions.
Arrakis is a piece that builds from a subtle rhythmic piano playing similar to the one on the previous track and is joined by a flute which plays the main melody (although not really melodic.... if you know what I mean...) while the rest of the instruments are added delicately one by one to the musical mix (sort of like Mike Oldfield does in Tubular Bells). The xylophone comes first, then the bass, the electric guitar appears playing some subtle (but not less weird and complex) lines and finally the percussions appear to lead the music into a dynamic explosion of mad jamming.
Bitonio follows with the most melodically rhythmic (if such a term exists) piece of the album with mind-blowing solo piano sections and an impressive rhythmic work by the bass, percussions and vibraphone. The secondary participation of guitars and flute contributes to produce the overall avant feeling characteristic to the piece. This is the kind of thing that would give Robert Fripp a heart attack and makes me want to yell: "AVANT HEAVEN!"
Eros finishes the album with an intriguing avant style. It starts featuring the flute more than aptly backed and joined by the so called "rhythm section" (if you can identify a particularly percussive group of instruments) comprised by bass, percussions and vibraphone. The piece gradually develops into a heavier establishment with spacey keyboards that disappear while the intensity of the jamming increases to later finish very subtly... with the risk of being repetitive: Avant Heaven!
The bonus tracks are also amazing, featuring earlier and somewhat different versions of Bitonio, Arrakis and Eros with the addition of a sax to the instrumentation. Acoustic Fremen closes the album with the only previously unreleased bonus track, the only acoustic piece performed by the band featuring only the flute, sax, and acoustic guitar. Very enigmatic and soft track, still complex and very avant but allows the listener to take a breath after all the previous madness (which, apparently, was the purpose of the piece during live performances).
The musicians involved here are all highly talented and deadly precise with a mind- blowing capacity of jamming and writing extremely complex and coherent music. Here they recorded an album intended to be of a very challenging nature and revolutionary.
Listening to this album, more than a musical experience, is an intellectual challenge. What can I say?...I love challenges!
5 stars for one of one the few true progressive albums. Here the band tried to push the boundaries of music and they accomplished it in a brilliant way.
Recommendation: before your first listen make sure you have your good diapers on, more so if you are new to prog.
Not recommended for the faint hearted and prog newbies.
Dun's Eros is a classic Zeuhl instrumental album that appears on prog lists all the time as one of the best so eventually I knew I would take the plunge.Scott Tuffnell
I was not disappointed. I thought it might be good, but I didn't know it would become one of my alltime favourite prog albums. In fact I was astounded at the ferocious unassailable approach of no holds barred prog these guys adopt. They are unbelievable virtuosos of the craft and it takes some getting used to the way the music shifts into different directions. The time sigs keep metronomes busy and I am in awe of how complex the metrical patterns are.
L'epice begins with a drum roll and then a strange melody heralds the arrival of this incredible band. Portentous music ensues with guitar vibrations and blasts of keyboards that provide a very watertight ominous sound; it stops and starts and shudders and the flute is outrageous played with finesse.
The guitar solo consists of crazy, fret melting riffs and dynamic shifts in time sigs. It settles into a peaceful acoustic section; the chord changes are off kilter and way out of bounds. Elaborate glockenspiel and flute trade off in a weird timeless passage where there does not seem to be any structure, yet it hold together by peculiar bass lines and cymbal crashes. It moves into a serious of different directions that are outside the realm of description. It is chaotic music that grabs hold and refuses to let go. Simply brilliant prog.
Arrakis starts with pounding piano bass and a soft melodic flute motif that sounds almost medieval. Keyboard pads follow and the two sections are a constant on this track, but it threatens to spiral out of control yet the next section is a lead guitar solo of very accomplished musicianship. Then it explodes in to a fast paced pattern with heavy drums and bass and an awesome flute solo. The track has completely changed into an unrecognizable section. It builds faster and faster and makes the heart beat quicker as we are treated to a dynamic guitar, drum, flute and keyboard juxtaposition of sound. It is inspiring and progressive to the core. A wood block, glockenspiel section finishes the piece and a powerful commanding drum solo adds icing to the cake. Fantastic beyond belief.
Bitonio is a delicious slice of prog with interchanging time sigs that go all over the place and there is a tinkling percussive beat and huge blasts of keyboards and flute. And that is just the beginning of it. A kind of melody follows though it is impossible to grasp it completely as the melodies twist and turn in a myriad of directions. It settles into a lulling piano solo that is quite beautiful. This is shattered by a bizarre droning bass synth riff. Everything goes quiet for a moment and there is a jazz fusion improvised section. A fuzzed guitar kicks in with flute and no time signature at all at one point. The flute is ever present keeping it all together. But then it breaks out into a fast choppy jazz fest. How they played this live I have no idea, but this is as intricate as it gets. The hyper complex music becomes sporadic to the Nth degree and even has a strange Magma-like vocal, 'uh uh uh uh', at one stage. A wonderful track in every respect.
The title track is a Tangerine Dream soundalike of glacial landscapes of sound with mellotrons and tribal drums. The flute and percussive xylophone breaks the ambience. The tones of light and dark are a feature of this album and this track is no exception. This is the epic of the album and as brilliant as the previous tracks if not the best on the album. At 7:50 it takes a new approach with spacey synth and choral chants. The guitars try their best to keep up with the crashing drums and piano. The flute becomes wild and out of control at times. There is a massive passage of staccato stabs of every instrument that just pound like there is no tomorrow launching into the stratosphere. I am running out of superlatives so let's rap this up.
Dun's Eros is a world class masterpiece. I would rate this album as high as deserving a place in the top 10 prog albums of all time. You have to admire the inventiveness and sheer originality of this Zeuhl album. Based on Frank Herbert's Dune and better than the novel, it is a showcase of musical virtuosity. I love the way it does not hold back and treats your ears to a new music that you may never experience again at the level of this genius. The ears take a while to get adjusted to this complex prog, but it is a delightful excursion into tension and release, shades of beauty and dark fractured pandemonium.
Ok, for those who think progrules can't appreciate a piece of solid and true prog: think again because here we have an example of hardcore prog of the highest caliber I believe and I think I really like this one. Although I have to admit I have been tossing and turning in between 2 and 4 stars as possibilities for this unique Zeuhl output.Henk van der Hoff
But I have to agree with earlier reviewers who claimed this album is just borderline Zeuhl. This can't by any means be compared with the Magma kind of Zeuhl. And it's a fact that Zeuhl is Magma's invention and therefore Dün will have to be "degraded" to an inferior sort of Zeuhl and I would like to call it a mix of eclectic prog with some Zeuhl and even symphonic prog. Anyway it is prog of very high standard and realizing it was made in 1981 makes things even more admirable. Because in 1981 prog was as good as dead as we know and you had to have some nerve to create something like this in those days.
And I have the opposite opinion to Ivan's who preferred Magma to Dün. This Eros release suits me a whole lot better than the much more extravagant Magma Zeuhl. My favorite tracks are the title track and the later released Acoustic Fremen. But also L'Epice and Arrakis are very much worth while to me though they are somewhat less accessible. That leaves us the odd Bitonio which is least appealing according to my taste. Nevertheless this album is a crown jewel within progworld and should in fact be checked out by us all. I have to admit this isn't 100% my personal cup of tea but still I learned to appreciate it and even like it a lot now. Because of this I choose to reward this near masterpiece with 4 stars if it were only for it's significance in our favorite genre ...
However, this album is by no means beautiful, in the Western sense. Dün was a short lived but rather important Zeuhl band from the late 70s and early 80s, releasing only one album then dissolving sadly into oblivion. The album, Eros, named after the Greek god of beauty, may be one of the most breathtaking displays of avant jazz fusion I've ever seen. Possessing a masterful skin of dissonance and melodic grace, the album fuses the spectacular peculiarity Magma championed and fused it with the effortless beauty of classic and orchestral jazz for one of the most innovative and incredible listening experiences of my recent musical endeavors. The sex(sometimes sept)tet crafts a rhythmically and melodically beautiful album, composing harmonies and themes set beyond the stars and meant for truly celestial listeners. However avant or peculiar these stings of notes may be, they form into a purely genius display of music.Andy Webb
The album was originally four tracks, each around 10 minutes, but the 2000 revealed four bonus tracks, three of which are alternate takes of the tracks and one an unreleased track. I really can't express my love of this album. From the haunting beauty of L'Epice to the sweeping grandeur of Arrakis to the incredible mastery of Bitonio to the everlasting joy of Eros, the entire album is overall a blast. All throughout the tracks the numerous instruments used to craft the music meld into a spectacular array of pure bliss ? from flute melodies complimenting piano chords to bass lines contrasting glockenspiel runs, the whole atmosphere conjured by these superb musicians is truly sublime. Even the little things, from the backing percussion lines to the often very minor keyboard runs, make this album truly special; adding just that little extra spice is all that's needed to make this a true masterpiece.
As in many Zeuhl records, the bass and drums are very much an important aspect of this record. And incredibly so. Some of the bass lines are some of my favorite in all of music, and much of the percussion seen on the album is very innovative and superbly rhythmic. The density of the output of even just these two (three, including the percussionist) musicians is more than most band's exert in their entire discography. This is just one of the reasons why I absolutely love this album.
Most notably Bitonio (I'll get to that), this album is full of some emotional stuff, full of the blood, sweat and tears put into composing the mastery that is output from your speakers as this album rotates. This music is no one-night composition. This has obviously taken fine tuning and picking through every note and making it perfection. This album certainly delivers. However, this is not to be taken lightly. This music is no doubt avant-garde, full of dissonant passages and runs of highly "out there" themes. But with this avant-garde nature comes a certain degree of beauty in the "odd" feel of the music. In the end, the pure joy exerted from this record is supreme, and it certainly doesn't stop me from loving it every second of the way.
I'd now like to talk solely about Bitonio, which is by far my favorite song on the album. Possessing a jazzy and almost metallic fire about it, the song has some of the most incredible moments on the entire album. Listeners may know what I'm talking about. The distorted bass "solo" may be one of my favorite moments in all of music. The entire atmosphere of the track is spectacular, fusing wonderfully jazzy chord progressions with spectacular improvised solos and wonderful thematic elements. Overall, the track is purely sublime, and reaches the echelons of perfection.
This album, in short is perfection. Every juicy track is full of purely sublime music, feeding the senses with their incredible skill and compositional jewels that scatter the album. Whether it's the spectacular jazz fusion that caresses the album or the avant-garde quality of the music, the entire album has a truly incredible feel to it and is not to be missing in any progressive rock fan's collection. This truly is a perfect album.
This one-album wonder group produced an excellent release in the form of Eros, a concept album inspired by Frank Herbert's classic Dune. The group play a variant of Zeuhl which incorporates a lot of influences from various fusion traditions. In itself, that isn't too new - after all, Magma themselves started out playing fusion - but what makes it different is the specific fusion inspirations: thanks mainly to the talented percussionist Alain Termol, the group draw heavily on inspirations such as Pierre Moerlen's incarnation of Gong, Frank Zappa's mid- 1970s work, and the Canterbury scene. The resulting mixture is a more up-beat reimagining of the Zeuhl style, and an album which will appeal to fans of fusion, Canterbury, and RIO just as much as Magma fans.W. Arthur
I have the impression that this celebrated one shot album was originally conceived as a concept.Luca
Dun stays for "Dune", "L'Epice" is "The Spoice" and whoever has read Frank Herbert's cycle of novels knows very well what Arrakis and the Fremens are, but there are a couple of things that are outplaced: Eros and Bitonio. So what's the truth?
The official website says that the two Herbert's inspired tracks were composed previously, when the band name was KAN-DAAR and the principal influncers were, other than MAGMA, Frank Zappa and the MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA.
Now the music. This is the kind of "light Zeuhl" that even fitting perfectly in the genre is far from the military marches and heavy brasses of MAGMA. "Arrakis" in particular is very atmospheric and is closer (and probably inspirer) to some recent acts like SETNA and XING SA. The flute on this track deserves a mention.
Despite the mentioned SETNA, there are also paroxysmal moments as the central crescendo on the mentioned Arrakis.In its final part, starting after the intense drum solo I can see even the connection with Mahavishnu.
Herbert's novel ends with side A. The B-side contains "Bitonio" and the title track. The first of the two is a sort of "classic Zeuhl", if anything like this exists. I'm often impressed by the fact that music apparently disconnected is totally orchestrated and what appears improvised is "written" instead. The apparent chaos of the second half of Bitonio shows what I mean.
The title track opens dreamy with the guitar strings played out of the board (or are they grandpiano strings?) then the flute in a Canterbury mood proceeds with this magic journey. We are quickly hypnotized by the repetition, mainly thank to the high notes played by, I think, the bassist. It's a drum roll that transforms everything into rock. Still a repetitive riff as base but under a rock tempo while the keyboard can remind to the ELP of Picture At An Exhibition.
The demos on the CD re-release are a curiosity, even though there are different parts respect to the "official" versions, like there have been "cuts" at the t ime of the original release.
Of those, the most interesting is obviously the one which is not just a "re-release". "Acoustic Fremen" is a challenging track but it's quiet and dreamy as well. I don't see how it can have connection with the story, as the Fremens were a people of warriors and the music is quite relaxed, instead. However is another very good track which evolves in a sort of dark suite with a contemporary classic feeling on which the flute is the foreground instrument.
I see this album as an incomplete work so I don't rate it as a masterpiece, but it's surely an excellent addition to any "Zeuhl" or "RIO" collection. Give it a try.
The band that became known as DUN actually started in 1976 by the name of Vegetaline Boufiol in Nantes, France and in1978 changed their name to Kan-Daar playing covers of the Mahavishnu Orchestra. They eventually changed their name to Dune but ultimately settled for DUN, which was inspired by the novel "Dune" by Frank Herbert but you would never be able to figure that out solely by listening to this music. It does, however, have an other-worldliness sound to it.Silly Woof
DUN released this one album with only 1000 copies made but gained a loyal following by touring with Magma, Art Zoyd and Etron Fou Leloublan. They almost became part of the Rock In Opposition lineup of bands in Europe but due to technicalities and self professed laziness failed to do so. This album really should be totally unknown considering all the obstacles stacked against it, but because of the superb outcome of musicianship and dedication to re-releasing it, it has taken on many new lives of its own. I know for sure that I never would have known of this album if not for the dedication of reviving it throughout the decades.
This is one of those touched-by-God albums where the lofty ambitions actually resulted in a desired outcome. They seamlessly combine the influences of Magma, Zappa, Henry Cow, Mahavishnu Orchestra and add their own fluffy touch of prog interpretation and create a bona fide masterpiece. This is one of the few albums in all existence that I find lives up to its title which in this case is EROS. For me this interesting and unique album truly creates musical ecstasy which despite my admiration for many a genre rarely guarantees such results. In the case of DUN I find myself feeling like a touch of heaven has finally projected itself into this realm of constant devolution and this coming from one of the least progressive years of 1981, it is a sign from somewhere that spectacular music can occur in the most unlikely of places and times.
I have the 2012 remastered edition by Soleil Zeuhl and although I NEVER rate albums with the bonus tracks in the mix, I have to say that I would give the bonus tracks on this release a 5 star rating alone if they were to find themselves on an independent release. Although four of them are alternative versions and only one is an unreleased track, they are truly excellent and worth the price of admission alone.
Dün came to life in Nantes, France around 1976 as Vegetaline Boufiol with Francois Teillard on guitar, Laurent Bertaud on drums, Jacques Bretonnierre on piano, Michel Blancart on bass and Pascal Vandenbulcke on flute.Two years later they were renamed to Kan-Daar, trying to escape from the Magma, Mahavishnu Orchestra and Frank Zappa covers, composing original material.Philippe Portejoie was added on sax and Thierry Tranchant, Bruno Sabathe and Jean Geeraerts replaced Blancart, Bretonnierre and Teillard respectively.The band gigged around the Nantes area, playing in small venues in front of a few people, and then changed its name to Dün.The song titles started to be influenced by Frank Herbert novels and, despite the departure of the saxophonist and the coming of Alain Termol on percussion, Dün would travel to Switzerland and visit the Studio Sun Rise in Kirchberg to self-finance what was going to be their only album ''Eros''.They never actually searched for a proper distributor and the album was pressed in around 1000 copies in 1981, sold at concerts.apps79
Listening to this album I have a feeling that Dün could actually become the next hottest name in the French Avant Prog scene, if they weren't so lazy and took their music more seriously, even if the time was not the proper one for playing intense, progressive music.What the guys proposed in ''Eros'' was four long, instrumental tracks, somewhere in the middle between MAGMA and SUPERSISTER, delivering dense and frenetic interplays with dissonant plays and charming instrumental interactions.The music contains elements from R.I.O., Chamber Music, Jazz and Zeuhl, but the basis is a schizophenic Progressive Rock with instrumental changes and different protagonists in each segment.Excellent use of dominant and haunting piano lines next to sharp synth moves, beautiful and virtuosic flute parts by Pascal Vandenbulcke, a fiery, jazzy rhythm section and an excellent rhythm guitarist, which accompanies the chaos of powerful interplays.But then again there are some more ''symphonic'' and laid-back tunes with flute and synthesizer leading the way along with MAGMA's throbbing, operatic musicianship.Vandenbulcke and pianist Bruno Sabathe are also the reasons why this album should be strongly linked to R.I.O. with the rhythm section and the guitar playing the supporting roles and the two instrumentalists covering the sound with their impressive technical skills.You should listen to these parts, when all members torture their instruments at the same time and the very next moment the music becomes calm and smooth with light jazzy and Classical colors.And this material seems actually to go somewhere despite the overall very complex sound, the tracks are great full of spot-on battles and rhythm changes.
In 1982 Dün had to face the departures of Thierry Tranchant and Alain Termol.They were replaced by bassist Christian Mellier and sax player Christian Dupont with the sound switching to a more improvised/jazzy enviroment.After a year or so Dün disbanded.Several members would appear in 1982 on Alain Tristan's ''Marechal coeur de reve'' album, while Alain Termol also appeared on Roland Becker's ''Fallaën''.Pascal Vandenbulcke played also next to renowed Magma guitarist Jean-Luc Chevalier.
Devastating, intricate and captivating Zeuhl/Fusion with extremely fascinating work on all instruments.One of the best of the style and among the highlights of the year. Highly recommended.
Here we have a most tantalising Zeuhl curiosity! This album is the sole release of French Zeuhl minstrels Dün. What a shame that they didn't give us more of their refreshing and sparkling take on this style of music.Miss M.
Zeuhl is sometimes defined as being oppressive or sinister, which this music certainly is not. It is really exuberant stuff, rather more light-hearted than Magma. A generous swirl of flute and tuned percussion ripples through the music, giving it an airy texture. It's fast-paced, too. The ideas speed by, hopscotching from one snippet to the next rather than fixating on endless repetitions. (If music was psychiatry, I guess Magma's diagnosis would be OCD, and Dün's would be ADHD!) That's not to say that it feels annoyingly episodic or choppy - but it certainly doesn't fall into the 'ever-mounting epic' category of Zeuhl.
But it's Zeuhl for sure. Twitchily-precocious rhythms alternate with more straightforward time signatures. There's intelligent, responsive, semi-jazzy drumming, and a sense of the music being 'pushed from the back' rather than 'led from the front' (i.e. the rhythm section is the prime mover, rather than some showy guitar hero). Also, of course, there's that outta-this-world touch: the album (and the band's name) was apparently inspired by Frank Herbert's 'Dune' SF novels. (Speaking of the band's name, previously it was spelled 'Dune' before being changed to 'Dün'. I've no idea whether this is correct, but according to those purported 'Kobaïan dictionaries' out there on the internet, 'dun' is the Kobaïan for 'heart'. Probably not significant, but a cute coincidence for besotted Magma nuts anyway!)
The first piece on the album, 'L'Epice', has that leaping-from-one-lily-pad-to-the-next feel referred to earlier. It's over 9 minutes long, but you'd never guess that if you weren't watching the counter on your stereo. It's quick, dramatic and punchy, and zips past like an insect in a hurry.
'Arrakis' is the piece that first got me interested in Dün - you can hear it on their page of this website. Dün seem to make a speciality of leading their listeners from the soft-and-pretty, through tightening tension, and into speedily spirited explosive outbursts, and that's just what they do in this piece. The playing is both disciplined and vibrantly enthusiastic. From the gentle, resonant opening chords on piano and synth, soon joined by melting flute and guitar, to the climax, all frothy tuned percussion and effervescent drums, it's fun, beautiful and energetic.
'Bitonio' starts out stately, but takes on a vehement tone as it gets going. After a gentle piano and flute interlude, the bass rasps rudely back into life and a tight, tense section flares into being. Again, mood swing after mood swing buffets the ensemble from one direction to the next, without the flightiness becoming irritating or making the music feel rootless.
'Eros' unfolds from spooky sounds (think harps resonating in a light breeze) into mellifluous meanderings on flute. There's an eerie section in which the flute and synths make sounds like a rainforest at dusk - reminiscent of exotic birds and insects and monkeys, cooing, chirping and howling. A spot of enthusiastic yelling of the title can only add to the cheerful briskness of the closing minutes. The piece falls away into the same misty reflections with which it began.
If the four original album tracks aren't enough for you, there are also four bonus tracks on the CD. Three are early alternate versions of 'Bitonio', 'Arrakis' and 'Eros', and the fourth is the almost Medieval-sounding 'Acoustic Fremen', which was apparently something the band used to play live. The alternate versions are interesting enough, but not quite as 'together' as the final versions. At that point there was a saxophonist in the band, but the distinctive Dün tuned percussion is missing. As a result, the bonus tracks aren't as successful (to my ears) as the official album tracks. The precision of the album versions seems submerged somehow, missing the authoritative grammar-and-punctuation of the percussion. That said, any extras are worth having with a band whose career was as short as Dün's!
There's a joyful, flamboyant feel to this music: it's got a confident certitude about it - no hesitation, no apology. It's all, like, "We're Here, We're Dün, Get Used To It"! The compulsory Zeuhl hallmark of 'whole band unity' doesn't prevent each band member getting his moment in the spotlight, but we aren't forced to sit through a relay race of witless soloing. I suppose the quick-change aspect helps on that front.
This album is held in high esteem by many music lovers. As I write this, 'Eros' is apparently the fiftieth most popular album on this site, which is saying a lot for a one-album obscurity! But the quality really does shine through. It's complex without being tricksy, varied without being unfocused, disciplined without being overly slick, and idiosyncratic without being weirder-than-thou.
I am a Zeuhl newbie. I only own one Magma album and this one by Dun. The Magma album is interesting and I am still not sure if I like it or not. But, I really like this album. It is complex instrumental prog (except for the odd Ha Ha Ha!), and features weird percussion (xylaphone maybe) and excellent flute work. Anyways, if you tried Magma and decided that you didn't like Zeuhl, so you are avoiding this album. I would advise you to give this one a shot. Not quite a masterpiece, but close!Doug L.
This album quickly made it into my top 30 all time favorite. Zheul with a small hint of Zappa can only be good! With magnificent xylophone playing, extraordinary drumming, very powerful rhythms and sublime melodies. 4.5 stars and it is very hard not to put it into my top five favorite with 5 stars. The first song is one of the most powerful album opening I ever heard, and this insanity follows you for the length of the album. This album really needs to be released again on CD, as it's near impossible to find. Recommended greatly for everyone enjoying prog, as it's not a hard listen.Astrodomine
Y me cansé de copiar comentarios, tengo más pero mejor lo dejamos ahí... ni vale la pena seguir. Otra obra maestra escondida que rescatamos del olvido y le damos el lugar que se merece, un discazo sumamente complejo y agradable al mismo tiempo. Van a escuchar en este disco valgo que jamás oirán de cualquier otra banda, y eso, ya sea que te guste o no el resultado, coloca a éste disco en un sitial de honor que pocas bandas han alcanzado: la suma originalidad.
Discazo muy ultra-recomendado si estás dispuesto a que sufras de indigestión auditiva. Un material muy denso, lleno de la síncopa, cambios de ritmo bruscos... este álbum es una obra maestra en la historia de la música progresiva, y si no creen, escuchen este disco muchas pero muchas veces y después me cuentan.