Exposé Online banner

Xaal — Seconde Ere
(Musea FGBG 4149.AR, 1995, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 1995-11-01

Seconde Ere Cover art

Finally, the long overdue second Xaal disc that almost never materialized, and were it not for the persistence of Bernard Gueffier and others at Musea, it could have remained in the vaults forever. Fans of the first CD (1992's En Chemin) will not be disappointed, as the style remains essentially intact, albeit more intense and enveloping. Fans of their 1990 cassette release will also be pleased at the reworking of "Piège," one of that album's best tracks. The core of the lineup remains the same: guitar, bass, and drums, with synths added by drummer Patrick Boileau and guitarist Jad Ayache, with guest saxes and trumpet involved where required. The album opens with a very tense "Ràh," a nine minute monster that rises slowly, stretches, and finally destroys everything within ears' reach. "Al Abad" is an eleven minute journey across north Africa, with its Arabic themes and lighter improvised/acoustic feel – bassist Nicolas Neimer playing an acoustic bass instead of his usual punchy Magma styled electric fretless, and soloing on soprano sax followed up by a blistering solo by Ayache, while "Jamais Tranquille" may in fact remind of "Talisman" on the last album, with Neimer offering a very fluid bass solo at the beginning, recalling Weidorje's self-titled album, before launching full throttle into a rippin' guitar jam. But perhaps the album's gems are tracks four and five, the aforementioned "Piège," and "Force," which uses synthesizer liberally, showing the band moving into some new territory, and closing the album nicely. In short, this is everything one could have hoped for, based on the strengths of their earlier releases. Highly recommended.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 8, 1995 releases

Related artist(s): Xaal

Latest news

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

King Crimson - Vrooom – This is Fripp's next go around with a name too familiar for an explanation, and to be honest I was expecting little from this group. Usually 70s dinosaur reunions are enough to make one run screaming...  (1995) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues