Allo Meda - Minzoto Ya Zaïre - Zaïre Folk-Pop (Vinyl, LP)

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Released in the same year as Magma's MDK, Zao's debut album represents the first genuine divergence of Zeuhl as a genre, with Magma going darker and Zao retaining the jazzier lighter style of the Magma debut Kobaia. Mauricia Platon, who sadly doesn't appear on later albums, provides scatty Zeuhl-ish Jazz Opera lyrics in a much more playful style than Magma's often doom-laden later albums.

Her range is excellent, LP) is the electric violin of Rigaud which also adds something a bit different but only lasts one more album. Allo Meda - Minzoto Ya Zaïre - Zaïre Folk-Pop (Vinyl won't go through track by track as there's little to choose between them. Despite her range though, Allo Meda - Minzoto Ya Zaïre - Zaïre Folk-Pop (Vinyl Platon has a sole vocalist does make things a little samey - it could perhaps do with a male equivalent to add LP) variety. Allo Meda - Minzoto Ya Zaïre - Zaïre Folk-Pop (Vinyl, chunky and jazzy bass, and nasal soprano sopranino?

Jean-My is a little quiet. Great song. Very melodic. The bass and drum work remain super tight and focused at the bottom throughout this display of virtuosity. The sopranino sax, bass, and electric violin melodies and harmonic support throughout this oft-shifting tempoed song are gorgeous. At we are even treated to an overdubbed solo track for the violin. Creative, inventive song.

As a matter of fact, there's very little here--or on this album--that harkens to Zeuhl music. Feels and sounds like the Zao crew has shaken loose from the Vander clutches and moved fully into the jazz fusion fold. Nicely done. Probably the weakest song on the album--almost anti-climactic fill--but still good. Flute and strings are awesome on this one.

By the third minute the music transitions radically to an all-strings format. At bass, drums, keys and percussion sneak back in while strings disappear. Cahen's experimentation with keyboard sound takes over for a bit. Though the band is tight in their occasional ensembleness, the song lacks cohesion and overall feels a bit more like a experiment in experimentalism. At two minutes, driving bass and drum race us along while keys, horns and voices move at a deliberately contrasting snail's pace.

Things finally shift around the frenetically paced drums as bass and keys open the way for some sax and keyboard solos. Very reminiscent of both Weather Report LP) even Brand X. Impressive song. Impressive drummer! The presence of the lone soprano voice slightly in the background is a cool effect. Beautiful and peaceful. Solid song.

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