Eider Stellaire — I
(Soleil Zeuhl 30, 1981/2011, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2013-04-011981 was the year that Magma released their Retrospective albums, two live LPs (one a double-set) recorded at L'Olympia in Paris, recapping some of the band's best work to date, collecting various musicians that had played with the band over the previous ten years. The only new song was the side-long "Retrovision" that pointed toward the direction that Magma would take in the 1980s – Merci. So it's against this backdrop that several new bands emerged capturing the essence of the style that Magma originally pioneered and taking it forward into a direction that Magma had abandoned. Drummer Michel LeBars' band Eider Stellaire was one such group, a five-piece of guitar, keyboards, bass, drums, a dedicated female vocalist, and guests on flute, sax, and additional vocals. There never was an Eider Stellaire album titled I – this is a reissue of the first of two self-titled LPs that were issued privately in micro-quantities five years apart, one of those records that until recently everyone said would never be reissued because the master tapes were lost. Surprise! Leave it to Soleil Zeuhl to even find a bonus track in an alternate (three minute longer, and arguably better) version of album closer "Nihil." Their sound here is pure zeuhl through and through, the vocals (mostly scat propelled), the throbbing bass, the delightful angular piano jabs and electrifying keyboard work, some blistering guitars applied judiciously, and the ever-busy hyper-drumming of Le Bars. Anyone who appreciates the mid-70s Magma style (MDK through the Live album) will surely find this reissue essential.
Related artist(s): Eider Stellaire
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Cabezas de Cera and Jack o' the Clock, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more
Acoustic Festival of Britain 2017 Announces Eclectic Lineup – The Acoustic Festival of Britain has been going since 2006, and this year's event sees a number of outstanding artists on the bill. Fairport Convention, Tir na nOg, and Martin Turner are some of the artists we've covered, and there are many more, including The Men They Couldn't Hang, Howard Jones, Chantel McGregor, and many more. The festival runs June 2-4, 2017 at Uttoxeter Racecourse in Staffordshire. » Read more