Tuesday, August 02, 2011

"alien rock opera".

so, let's get back to my turf.

today, i'd like to bring to your attention a band i first listened at simona's place, some years ago (she's the one that introduced me to this entire zeuhl thing, thank you very much). they're called koenjihyakkei and they're so badass, that all the speed metal death trash black rap core bands can just fuck off and start playing plastic xylophones for the deaf-eared remainder of their sorry lives.

being a newbie listener, there's nothing i could say right now that would do proper justice to this kind of music, so i'll just be a good boy and copy-paste from wikipedia and the band's page:
Zeuhl (pronounced [tsɔɪl]) means celestial in Kobaïan, the constructed language created by Christian Vander. Originally solely applied to the music of Vander's band, Magma, the term zeuhl was eventually used to describe the similar music produced by French bands, beginning in the mid-1970s. Although primarily a French phenomenon, zeuhl has influenced recent avant-garde Japanese bands.

Zeuhl typically blends progressive rock, symphonic rock, fusion, neoclassicism, avant-rock, and vocal elements of African-American spirituals and Western military call and response. Common aspects include dissonance, marching themes, throbbing bass, keyboards including piano, Rhodes piano, or organ, and brass instruments. Zeuhl shares much in common with the Rock in Opposition movement, and many bands have participated in RIO festivals.
a very cool description on what zeuhl sounds like comes from dominique leone, in a review of magma's 2004 album k.a. on pitchfork media:
Zeuhl sounds like, well, about what you'd expect an alien rock opera to sound like: massed, chanted choral motifs, martial, repetitive percussion, sudden bursts of explosive improv and just as unexpected lapses into eerie, minimalist trance-rock.
now, i've listened to many things in my life, including whale songs and macaque mating calls (which proved to be pretty cool), but this is literally awesome, especially if you hear it for the first time; your breath does stop for a couple of moments, under the overwhelming feeling of "what the fuck just happened":
what's there left to say:
I'm probably going out on a limb here, but from my vantage point, this is not only the most brilliant of all of contemporary Japanese bands, but perhaps the greatest group currently operating in the world. - Alternative Press

p.s. i got three albums with these guys. if anyone's interested, hit me up.