Exposé Online banner

Setna — Cycle I
(Soleil Zeuhl 17, 2007, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2008-10-01

Cycle I Cover art

It’s good to see some new releases on SZ again, after what seems like a long hiatus. Setna is a French six-piece of drums, bass, soprano sax, two keyboards (Rhodes and Mini-Moog), and female singer Natacha Jouët, along with guests on guitar (James MacGaw from One Shot, no less), percussion, additional Rhodes and vocals. Cycle I is their first album, though it sounds like the work of seasoned professionals with many previous releases to their credit. The band has that innate and keen ability to slowly build tension and energy in a dark, linear, chamber sort of way, much like the long, building passages of Köhntarkösz, with the overall steady rise in power increasing as a piece goes. Overall, the music tends to have a quiet, cyclical and introspective vibe, although somewhat jazzy due to the extensive use of Fender Rhodes (sometimes double and triple layered) and sax soloing. The vocals tend to fluidly mix together with all the other instrumentation, becoming a unifying factor in the compositions as opposed to a focal point for a piece. There are nine tracks here of varying length, but any one tends to feed the one that follows, morphing as it goes; in the end the disc seems like one long multi-part suite, although it still manages to hold up strong taken one track at a time. All said, this is a very impressive debut.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 36, 2007 releases

Related artist(s): Setna

Latest news

2021-04-01
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more

2021-03-25
Return of Jerry Lucky's Progressive Rock Files – After much consideration and surprisingly, positive feedback, Jerry Lucky is announcing the launch of the progressive Rock Files podcast, featuring the latest progressive rock music from around the world. » Read more

2021-03-14
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more

2021-03-11
RIP Roger Trigaux – The sad news has come to our attention that Roger Trigaux, the guiding force of Present and former member of Univers Zero, passed away on the evening of March 10, 2021 after a long ilness. » Read more

2021-02-14
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Ken Watson - Assembly – Originally released independently in 1985, Watson's home-brew project has stood the test of time: until this CD came out, that vinyl release with its low-budget black and white cover would find its...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues