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

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more

2017-09-06
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more

2017-08-22
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more

2017-07-27
Yestival Dates Beef up the Beat – Word reaches us that Dylan Howe (son of guitarist Steve Howe) will be joining Yes on their "Yestival" tour, drumming alongside longtime band member Alan White. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Percy Jones - Tunnels – Jones, who is probably best known for his impeccable and highly energized fretless bass work in Brand X, brings that pedigree to this, his newest project band. Also featured in the lineup are drummer...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues