Xing Sa — Création de l'Univers
(Soleil Zeuhl 24, 2011, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2013-11-24Just based on the record label — Soleil Zeuhl — most zeuhl fans will open their wallet and trigger the purchase. And indeed, fans of that style will not be disappointed, even though as a trio of keyboards (Nicolas Goulay), bass (Christophe Blondel), and drums (Nicolas Candé) this lineup may seem a little lean for the job, but they (along with guests on vocals, chau gongs, and tenor sax) are definitely up to the task. All three are members of Setna (another excellent French zeuhl ensemble), although of late Goulay is making Xing Sa his home. The prominence of Fender Rhodes and Minimoog may remind listeners of certain styles encompassed in the solo albums by Patrick Gauthier and Benoit Widemann, both one-time keyboard players for zeuhl mothership Magma. Other cuts take on a more bombastic, introspective or ambient sound, creating alternate modes of zeuhlian expression. The vocals, where present, are mostly a gentle melodic counterpoint to the keyboards, carrying forward a somewhat heavenly experience. The thirteen tracks here are organized into five suites, each calling to bear different moods and feelings that reflect the creation concept of the title: “Feu” (fire), “Terre” (earth), “Metal,” “Eau” (water) and “Bois” (wood) each bring to mind the origination of their existence. While Création de l’Univers is conversant in the zeuhl idiom, it does at the same time stretch that style out into many new and fresh directions.
Related artist(s): Xing Sa
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more
10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more
Bill Bruford Ventures into Uncharted Territory – Drum master Bill Bruford, veteran of some of the most creative bands in history (King Crimson, Yes, Genese, etc.), is sharing some of what he's learned about being a drummer and a musician in his new book, Uncharted: Creativity and the Expert Drummer, out on University of Michigan Press. » Read more