Exposé Online banner

Zao — Osiris
(Musea FGBG 4130.AR, 1974/1995, CD)

by Rob Walker, Published 1995-11-01

Osiris Cover artZao's second album was recorded in 1974, and originally released on Richard Pinhas' startup Disjuncta label. Despite the minimal resources available to Pinhas, Osiris fared well, surpassing sales of Zao's debut album. Unfortunately, the label went under in 1975, and its albums, including Osiris, were deleted. Now twenty years later, Musea's reissue has finally revived this early zeuhl classic. As on their first album, Zao's music bears a cursory resemblance to the early Magma sound, but Osiris finds them starting to develop more of an original, fusion-based style. Founding members Francois Cahen and Yochk'o Seffer bring a jazz sensibility to the group, but the repetitive riffs driven by a heavy fuzz bass and the slow, deliberate tempos give this album first and foremost a very strong zeuhl feel. The soloing is moody and atmospheric as opposed to jazzy and technically showy, and the few vocal sections are quite reminiscent of Magma in their dark and ethereal nature. The CD reissue includes a 12-minute bonus track, recorded by Cahen and Seffer in 1973 with a different band, which is probably the strongest piece on this release. The lively tempos and active instrumental performances avoid the slight tediousness which occasionally afflicts the tracks on the album proper. Zao would not hit their peak until a few years later, but Osiris remains an interesting and compelling album that has thankfully received its long overdue reissue.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 8, 1995 releases, 1974 recordings

Related artist(s): Yochk'o Seffer, Zao

Latest news

2018-01-18
Christian Burchard RIP – Multi-instrumentalist Christian Burchard, who founded the seminal band Embryo in 1969, has died at the age of 71. His January 17 passing was announced on the band's Facebook page. » Read more

2018-01-05
Ray Thomas RIP – On Thursday, 4 January 2017, the world lost Ray Thomas, founding member of the Moody Blues. Thomas sang and played flute, and was responsible for writing a number of the band's most memorable songs. He was 76. » Read more

2017-12-22
Roswell Rudd RIP – Jazz trombonist Roswell Rudd, one of the distinctive players of his instrument in many strains of music, has died at the age of 82. With a career stretching back to the early 60s and over a hundred recordings featuring his playing, he leaves behind a substantial legacy. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2013. » Read more

2017-11-16
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more

2017-11-02
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Black Stage - Black Stage – This is a project featuring Keiji Haino (electric guitar, flute, harp, voice), Natsuki Kido (acoustic guitar), and Yuji Katsui (violin) that – despite its release date – was recorded live...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues