Zeuhl/Avant-Prog/Etc.

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Zeuhl/Avant-Prog/Etc.

Postby Mr Technique » Wed Nov 27, 2013 15:41

A general depository for things classic and new.

None of these are obscure to people aware of the genres..

Eskaton to start, they were in full force as Magma started to enter a dark age in the 80s (have you heard Merci?). Perhaps a bit more accessible than Magma overall, they traded in Kobaïan for their native French.

4 Visions (the first four tracks are the album proper, the rest are bonus tracks)

Next up, Present, an offshoot of Univers Zero formed by guitarist Roger Trigaux after Heresie. There were a lot of similarities to UZ early on, but with a reduced instrumental line-up. Between Zeuhl and RIO, but there is a lot of overlap there anyway. A compilation of their first two albums.

Triskaidekaphobie/Le Poison Qui Rend Fou

Shub-Niggurath- I'm tempted to say Bob will hate them (even though he will likely be the only one to listen) :P . Slower, less rhythmically intense than a lot of Zeuhl, RIO inflected, and featuring some noisy guitar.

Les Morts Vont Vite
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Re: Zeuhlies

Postby Snardbafulator » Thu Nov 28, 2013 14:46

Mr Technique wrote:Eskaton to start, they were in full force as Magma started to enter a dark age in the 80s (have you heard Merci?).

Ooh, baby (I wish we still had the VomitMan smilie). I'm not even too keen on Udu Wudu and Attahk, even though live performances of some of those pieces (especially The Last Seven Minutes and Nono) are among my favorite Magma tunes. But Merci is just embarrassing.
Perhaps a bit more accessible than Magma overall, they traded in Kobaïan for their native French.

4 Visions (the first four tracks are the album proper, the rest are bonus tracks)

They make the best case I've heard so far for Zeuhl as a distinct genre. Definitely more directly Magma-sounding than anything by Koenji. You've got the fatass fuzz bass, the electric piano, the chanting classical vocals. I've played these tracks a number of times now and they're all quite enjoyable, although I don't think they begin to hold the attention that Magma does at its best. But for carrying the banner forth in the 80s, props where props are due.
Next up, Present, an offshoot of Univers Zero formed by guitarist Roger Trigaux after Heresie. There were a lot of similarities to UZ early on, but with a reduced instrumental line-up. Between Zeuhl and RIO, but there is a lot of overlap there anyway. A compilation of their first two albums.

Triskaidekaphobie/Le Poison Qui Rend Fou

While I agree that there's much overlap (and it's hard to imagine fans of one rejecting the other), I do think Zeuhl is distinguishable from RIO, even though the two Belgian groups are probably the most Zeuhlish of RIO bands. Denis was recruited into UZ from being Vander's second drummer in Magma so there's a genetic link there. However, I think the lack of vocals but especially of fluid bass grooves (as opposed to classical ostinatos) prevent calling this aesthetic Zuehl proper. There's a huge similarity to Ceux du Dehors and Crawling Wind-era UZ.

I'm very glad you linked these, my goodness. I think I like the first record a little more than UZ. I went wild on them some months back and collected everything save the live Relaps from their mid-80s years (with the Heatwave lineup), but they can only reach a certain level with me. I wouldn't say it has to do with the aesthetic, I just think Denis is a less imaginative composer than Vander. But this stuff here is very good (Heresie is not my favorite UZ record; that would have to be Uzed, even though UZ fans are somewhat dismissive of it. Presage is incredible). I think what makes Present, at least on this first record, is the keyboard player.

The soprano vocal on Le Poison Qui Rend Fou is great; too bad it looks like she's only in there for a minute although she might come back. There's some of the best Trigaux guitar I've heard on this track, too. The aesthetic diverts from UZ in that there are more section changes and less repetition-based development which usually works for me. Also sounds a bit more beefily Stravinskified than UZ, although the melodic motifs themselves are quite similar. Heh, if this keeps up the way it's going in this track for the rest of the album, I may well have to collect at least these two as well. Can't own almost all of UZ when this stuff seems to exceed it.

Anyway, I'll get to the Shubbies when I get back from the holiday. I've got a 5-hour train trip in front of me (and a new Pynchon novel to read during it), so I'll sign off with a link to the Proggy Treats! thread on the first page of Home of Fadeless Splendour, that is, until the furniture spambot pushes it off (which should be any second now :evil: ). In it, we talk about Eider Stellaire and Weidorje among others. On the last track now, and the record held up!

Happy Thanksgiving everybody (including the Brits) !

Bob
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Re: Zeuhlies

Postby Mr Technique » Thu Nov 28, 2013 15:04

Zeuhl is a distinct genre, but RIO is not really a genre at all. I mean we kind of know what someone means when they say something sounds like RIO, but the actual collective was pretty diverse and linked by political views and a general anti-commercial stance to music. We use avant-prog to describe bands descended from one or more of the core RIO bands, and, again, we pretty much know what someone means when they use that term, but it can still be pretty diverse. I am considering changing the title of the thread to include avant prog.

I am aware of the Proggy Treats thread and I considered posting there but at the last minute transferred the post to a new thread. There may be some overlap with bands mentioned in passing on that thread. Anyway, I don't want to interrupt all the talk of furniture, chocolate, and who is or isn't an asshole :lol: .

Üdü Ẁüdü does have De Futura which is a killer track and a clear influence lot of the modern aggressive Zeuhl, including early Ruins.

Recent releases from Present are good as well, but Grooveshark lets me down in that regard. Dave Kerman has been their drummer for a while now, dude gets around.

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Re: Zeuhl/Avant-Prog/Yadda Yadda Yadda

Postby Mr Technique » Thu Nov 28, 2013 19:33

Japanese Thanksgiving Feast! (with plenty of left overs for post Holiday consumption)

I posted Bondage Fruit's first album in the Ruins thread. Here is their second.

II

Happy Family was discussed at length in the Proggy Treats thread but I'mma go ahead and put both albums here anyway. Really looking forward to their forthcoming album, a demo of which I put in the PT.

Happy Family

Toscco

And then we come to the "etc." portion of the meal. Not at all zeuhl, quite a bit avant prog, andjazz/fusion, and a bit similar to Zappa's jazz rock excursions, here is Tipographica. Just a wee bit nutso rhythmically. Final two albums.

God Says I Can't Dance

Floating Opera
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Re: Zeuhlies

Postby Snardbafulator » Sat Nov 30, 2013 02:04

Mr Technique wrote:Zeuhl is a distinct genre, but RIO is not really a genre at all. I mean we kind of know what someone means when they say something sounds like RIO, but the actual collective was pretty diverse and linked by political views and a general anti-commercial stance to music. We use avant-prog to describe bands descended from one or more of the core RIO bands, and, again, we pretty much know what someone means when they use that term, but it can still be pretty diverse. I am considering changing the title of the thread to include avant prog.

Well, you're 100% right but I'm still going to quibble with you anyway :mrgreen: While Zeuhl is a distinct genre and RIO more like a diverse collection of the like-minded, both are stable terms that can be defined pretty objectively (as objectively as you can define music genres and categories, anyway). Avant prog, OTOH, is an unhelpfully squishy term (a retronym coined by ProgArchives for older music) that only merits use because of its currency, like "jazz fusion."

Firstly, it's redundant at face value. "Progressive" and "avant garde" mean essentially the same thing (check the etymology); the difference is only one of degree. While not all progressive music is avant garde by any means, we should hope that all avant garde music would also be progressive, since "avant retro" or "avant roots" would be incoherent terms (let alone meaningless portmanteaus like "avant goth," a self-description of Kayo Dot which instantly put me off to the band). So avant prog would seem to be music with a mixture of avant garde elements and progressive elements (which are themselves mixtures with straighter music). The problem is instantly apparent: How much of each? That can't be defined in anything but subjective ways. I have my own definition of avant prog which may not jibe with others.

For instance, I think there's a considerable bunch of RIO that I wouldn't call avant prog. Avant prog from my perspective needs either a rock approach to free improvisation, various 20th-century composition techniques such as stark dissonance and convoluted structures, or both. Clearly Sleepytime Gorilla Museum and Art Bears make it into avant prog just for their use of dissonance alone, but does News From Babel? I don't think so. Take away the Tim Hodgkinson clarinet piece Caucasian Lullaby from the Henry Cow / Slapp Happy record Desperate Straights, and the rest isn't avant prog at all. I'd also think that most of Samla, Etron Fou, Aqsak Maboul and Stormy Six couldn't be called avant prog, even though the Cow and UZ clearly are. And I'd go so far as to wonder if Miriodor, a band firmly established as RIO from the Quebecois music actuelle scene, was avant prog as opposed to very high-level progrock because of its relentless focus on melody, harmony and progrock song structures.

Can all this be debated? Absolutely. That's precisely why avant prog isn't as useful a term as either Zeuhl or RIO. I'm not really interested in ProgArchives's definition of "avant prog."
I am aware of the Proggy Treats thread and I considered posting there but at the last minute transferred the post to a new thread. There may be some overlap with bands mentioned in passing on that thread. Anyway, I don't want to interrupt all the talk of furniture, chocolate,

You should post your fave 2013 albums in the thread there, though ...
and who is or isn't an asshole :lol:

The technical name for that incident is butthurt. Being a gentleman, of course I deleted my replies, but I have to admit I thought it was kind of funny at the time. And I can say that here confident that I won't ruffle any feathers because since the Freakazoid Invasion of Cardiacs Alike (kind of like the British Invasion, only by Kobaïans), I don't think the most passionate partakers of chocolate and furniture bother to even read this forum anymore ... *shrug*
Üdü Ẁüdü does have De Futura which is a killer track and a clear influence lot of the modern aggressive Zeuhl, including early Ruins.

It was enormously influential, but it's not anywhere near one of my favorite Magma tunes. I think Jannik Top's a pretty overrated bass player among Magma fans (I prefer Moze and Paganotti, let alone the all-time monster Philippe Bussonnet) and his own Zeuhl outfit, Infernal Machina, I found to be pretty meh, hot Slavic babes on the grand piano nonwithstanding.
Recent releases from Present are good as well, but Grooveshark lets me down in that regard. Dave Kerman has been their drummer for a while now, dude gets around.

I got the impression from AllMusic that they started veering off into a minimalist / repetitive direction from their earlier stuff ... and yes, Dave Kerman surely does get around.

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Re: Zeuhl/Avant-Prog/Yadda Yadda Yadda

Postby Mr Technique » Sat Nov 30, 2013 02:35

I don't disagree with you assessment of avant-prog, both in its redundancy and nebulousness as a concept, but I went with it anyway.

I don't think Avant- Prog was coined by Progarchives though, I think like every other classification on their site, it was a preexisting term that they adopted.

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Re: Zeuhl/Avant-Prog/Yadda Yadda Yadda

Postby Snardbafulator » Sat Nov 30, 2013 12:18

Mr Technique wrote:I don't disagree with you assessment of avant-prog, both in its redundancy and nebulousness as a concept, but I went with it anyway.

Nothing wrong with that (or particularly confusing); we all know what it means (well, speaking for the freakazoid delegation, anyway). As long as you included it with RIO, it's clear enough.
I do't think Avant- Prog was coined by Progarchives though, I think like every other classification on their site, it was a preexisting term that they adopted.

That might be strictly true, but once resource sites like PA and Gibraltar Encyclopedia of Progressive Rock adapt terms like that, the instantly fill the critical lexicon and lazy reviewers (is their any other kind?) start using the terms without thinking much about them. The biggest problem with PA, and when they were here I've discussed this with Hemulen / Trouserpress and SaltyJon, who are both PA avant prog contributors, is that PA doesn't use multiple genre tags. This leads to absurdities like including Kind of Blue in a list of most important progrock albums. Hell, there's a question whether Kind of Blue, incredibly important and influential as it is, is even a progressive jazz album, considering there was a progressive jazz scene at the time which Miles and Gil Evans deliberately moved away from. Or calling Jethro Tull's A Passion Play "prog folk." Multiple tags would easily solve this problem. Without them, a term like avant prog becomes even more problematic and runs the risk of calcifying into a term defined more by associations than musical description, the way "progressive rock" includes Pink Floyd with Hatfield and the North, two bands with nothing musically in common.

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Re: Zeuhl/Avant-Prog/Etc.

Postby Snardbafulator » Tue Dec 10, 2013 07:12

Christ on a pogo stick ...

I was in the midst of a huge post responding to the Shubbies and Bondage Fruit and my computer died. It's not a software problem, it's a hardware problem; I've worn out about five different plugs for this laptop (we have a box of old wall warts ripe for cannibalizing) and it's prone to losing power if you happen to touch it wrong. I'd thought I'd be okay because this has happened before and after rebooting, I'd find my in-progress reply intact. So i went to sleep.

Idiot.

The reply is stored, all right. On Frosty's server. If you log back in before your login times out, you're fine. I've gone for as long as 45 minutes with power cord issues and managed to get my reply back. But not for several hours. The server -- Jesus f'cking DUH -- will eventually refresh and kill its memory of your login. The really frustrating thing is knowing that my reply is still intact in a deleted file that isn't plowed over until the server runs its cleanup routines, usually scheduled on a weekly basis, and could be easily undeleted from Frosty's end.

I can't email him and ask him to undelete the file, because like any server admin who isn't a complete sap, his response would naturally be "why are you asking me go out of my way when you were the idiot who let this happen?" And he'd be 100% right, of course ...

So I have to re-do from scratch, which will of course take me several hours ...

Criminy.

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Re: Zeuhl/Avant-Prog/Etc.

Postby Mr Technique » Sun Jan 19, 2014 01:31


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Re: Zeuhl/Avant-Prog/Etc.

Postby Mr Technique » Sun Feb 09, 2014 17:38

Posting here again...

Another great 90s American RIO release is up on the tube in it's entirety for what I am sure is a short time (It's a Cunei). U totem was a "super group" of sorts a combination of 5UU's (Dave Kerman and the keyboardist) and the band Motor Totemist Guild. They released two albums, this is their first.

One Nail Draws Another
Two Looks At One End
Dance of the Awkward
Both Your Houses
Yellow Umbrella Gallery
The Judas Goat
Vagabonds Home
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Re: Zeuhl/Avant-Prog/Etc.

Postby Snardbafulator » Tue Feb 11, 2014 17:25

Mr Technique wrote:5uu's- Hunger's Teeth

This is totally, totally excellent. Had me by the first chorus, and has drawn me in to the pure sound experiments, too. Restless, ballsy, rhythmically excellent, apparently good lyrics.

AllMusic talks about the Yes influence in Crisis In Clay which I noticed on TPlague's In Extremis and you said had to do with Bob Drake's voice, and which I can hear here, too. Is that record as good? The references to sympho have me concerned, because this isn't quite sympho.

I think I may wind up liking this more than TPlague ...

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Re: Zeuhl/Avant-Prog/Etc.

Postby Mr Technique » Tue Feb 11, 2014 17:56

I think Crisis should work for you if you liked Teeth. I don't find it to be any more sympho, but I did once see someone mention a direct quote from Topographic Oceans in one song, I'm not familiar enough with that one to pick up on it, I don't care much for Yes outside of Close to the Edge and few earlier songs (obviously I'm not a big symph guy). They are both on ReR and you know Cutler hates all those prog guys with the intensity of a thousand suns and wouldn't support some "Neo" garbage. I'd still place it firmly in the "avant" camp even if there are nods to Yes.
There is one song on youtube. These are the only two albums with that lineup, afterwards it would billed as both 5uu's and Dave Kerman solo, still good though (a sample, I have no idea what is up with the sound quality, it doesn't actually sound that bad).

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Re: Zeuhl/Avant-Prog/Etc.

Postby Mr Technique » Fri Feb 14, 2014 14:16

A few tracks from the late 70s-early 80s Swedish trio Kräldjursanstalten (Reptile Asylum). Lead by madman drummer/vocalist Michael Maksymenko and featuring twins on guitar and bass, they are generally regarded as one of the finer bands displaying a genuine Captain Beefheart influence.

I Bland Om Vardagarna
Den Stora Coupe-Finalen
Hon Fångade Min Blick
Minst Varst
Der Loser Sig
Fet Och Feg
Ta Over- weirdly cuts to a few seconds of a pop song about 30 seconds in...not sure what's up there.

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Re: Zeuhl/Avant-Prog/Etc.

Postby Mr Technique » Thu Feb 27, 2014 16:53

I'm keeping this thing alive without rhyme or reason. :evil:
Random and nonsensical, because that's how I roll. 8)

Begnagrad (Slovenia 1982)
Pjan Ska
Romanticna
Bo Ze Ce Bo
Cosa Nostra Waltz
Narodna
Coc n Rolla
Zvizgovska Urska
Jo Di Di Jo
Tazadnatanova

Ahvak (Israel 2004, Kermanator on drums. The long self-titled track is missing and I left out the final track which is just a minute of noises)
Vivisektia
Bherta
Regaim
Melet
Hamefahakim

Factor Burzaco (Argentina 2007)
Factor Burzaco

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Re: Zeuhl/Avant-Prog/Yadda Yadda Yadda

Postby Snardbafulator » Sat Mar 15, 2014 03:49

Trying to play a little catch-up here ...
Mr Technique wrote:And then we come to the "etc." portion of the meal. Not at all zeuhl, quite a bit avant prog, andjazz/fusion, and a bit similar to Zappa's jazz rock excursions, here is Tipographica. Just a wee bit nutso rhythmically. Final two albums.

God Says I Can't Dance

Nabbed this one in a .flac. The sound quality of this recording is sooo good. I decided I liked it a bit more than Floating Opera and since I could only get that one in a .flac, too, made the decision to preserve HD space (which is quickly running out) and stick this one in my Single Albums folder. Makes a nice contrast to both Mike Keneally and Jono El Grande as Zappistas.

One thing that Jono has over this album is a Zappoid sense of humor (I don't think Japanese humor translates all that well), but boy does that trombonist ever sound like Bruce Fowler, sheesh. The tunes are all incredibly busy, and Tsuneo Imahori sure as hell has Zappa's guitar style down -- and even jams through progressions, something Mr. Z never learned how to do.

Be interesting to hear those records he did with Tatsuya ...

Re: 5uu's:
I think Crisis should work for you if you liked Teeth. I don't find it to be any more sympho, but I did once see someone mention a direct quote from Topographic Oceans in one song, I'm not familiar enough with that one to pick up on it, I don't care much for Yes outside of Close to the Edge and few earlier songs (obviously I'm not a big symph guy).

Close to the Edge and Fragile were the only two Yes records I collected as a teen, but they were both very important to me. I consider CttE a genuine masterpiece, but like old Genesis, don't have much of a reason to have it on my HD currently, since it's burned into my brain.
They are both on ReR and you know Cutler hates all those prog guys with the intensity of a thousand suns

I know, he's almost as bad as I am, innhe :rolleyes: And yet he got all comfy with post punk. Heh. Of course, most punk is much more politically righteous than those lamely Labourite proggers.
and wouldn't support some "Neo" garbage. I'd still place it firmly in the "avant" camp even if there are nods to Yes.

As Frank's adorable daughter would say, totally. Just nabbed both Hunger's Teeth and Crisis In Clay and had kind of a time doing it. For the first one, I called on the assistance of my Russian friends, a fairly dependable mp3 site which doesn't have quite everything though it's stood me in a pinch a good many times. Clay was impossible to find on the Anglophone net. I wound up registering on three different Russian sites (gods bless Google Translate), only to find the hosts had removed it. So I wound up venturing into the Russian equivalent of google and found an mp3 site with a thunderous dl speed (that one's a keeper). The files are 256bps, but hey ...

Both records are completely excellent. The Yes echoes don't really bother me. And now I've made an American RIO folder in case I decide I need to collect U Totem and later Kermanator.

There is one song on youtube. These are the only two albums with that lineup, afterwards it would billed as both 5uu's and Dave Kerman solo, still good though (a sample, I have no idea what is up with the sound quality, it doesn't actually sound that bad).

I think next up I'm going to explore Present, since you caused me to revisit UZ profitably ...

And of course I've got to get to the other woefully unresponded to stuff on this thread ...

Bob
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