“Eros” is an incredible album, and ranks as some of the best prog to come out of France. DÜN’s brand of prog is complex, aggressive, and fast of ideas. It owes plenty to Zeuhl, but listeners will find tons of ZAPPA, Indonesian gamelan, and fusion-jazz influences. The CD consists of four 10-minute epics from the original album, and 4 bonus tracks (3 of which are early live versions of album tracks). Some of the featured instruments include flutes, vibraphones, and synths. But, like most Zeuhl music, the bass and drums play a very dominant role. The guitarist even adds a fusion sound to the compositions that is rather unique. Overall, “Eros” ranks right up there with ESKATON’s “4 Vision”…….by Steve Hegede ………….
Another must have album within such “Zeuhl Music” from France . A lot of fine dissonances and also their taste for some strange time signatures characterize this complex album… Highly recommended, even though it is very difficult to understand, like the whole “Zeuhl school” ( MAGMA, ART ZOYD, UNIVERS ZERO, and so on…)….by lor68 ………….
Aw man, this is obtuse stuff! Not for the faint of heart, believe me. This is persistently hard-rocking instrumental avant-garde rock with a disdain for convention that makes Gentle Giant seem like commercial sell-outs. Eros, the solitary album by this French band came out in 1981, but it mantains a rich organic sound that one would not associate with that decade. The compositions are doubtless very tough to penetrate, but this remains one of the best records of its kind … precisely because there isn’t anything else that sounds quite like it. The opener L'epice is an unrelenting prog assault. It really seems to go on and on, changing pace effortlessly, but never giving up its driving attack. Arrakis has a more subtle start, with Pascal Vandenbulcke’s flute and Bruno Sabathe’s piano initially leading the way, but it also grows into a difficult beast, especially once the screechy guitar lead gets going, and then halfway through the ferentic “rocking out” phase has a bewildering chaotic edge, with complex harmonies and frequently unpredictable shifts in direction … I swear there’s a little Balinese music in it and whatta a drum solo from Laurent Bertraud (although Alain Termol is also credited with percussion) … absolutely unique!
Bitonio, begins with stuttering flute, used almost like it’s tapping out Morse code, then a running melody which dances from piano to bass and back ensues. 2 minutes into the piece, they thankfully stop to let you gather your breath. The respite doesn’t last long, however, and by the time the closing title track comes into play, you’re likely to be wishing for the ride to come to an end already. It’s got a slow build-up, intense attacks, free-flowing flute melody and eventually a counter-melody too, and the by-now de rigeur deft shifts of tempo and mood. The unrelenting attack that finishes the piece off is almost nausea-inducing by virtue of the shrieking synths and sheer energy of the band’s playing.
You could listen to this album three times in a row, and still be totally surprised the next time around. But be warned, it is confusing stuff that one is unlikely to ever feel emotionally attached to. In fact, even deciding to play it is like declaring war on your senses. In my opinion, Eros is heavier (not to mention infinitely more intriguing) than most metal ever gets. … 71% on the MPV scale….. by Trotsky ………
Zeuhl is a genre which Im not very familiar with, that being primarily `cause I don´t know much of it other than Magma. So I might not be a big favorite of mine, and I must admit I do not really bother getting into it …then I heard Eros! I´m not quite sure how Dün is Zeuhl, as I see almoust no connection with Magma, just the fact that the rythmic section is very important overall, and incredibly good I might add. But more than that, I can´t see it. But then again, I´m no expert.
Well, back to the album. Wow!!! thats all I can say, wow!!! I knew I was in for a treat as a friend of mine (the one who gave me a copy of the album) was already becoming a big fan of the album, and I trust his judgment…but this was more than a pleasent surprise! All the songs are instrumental, and although I can say there are some jazz, Crimson and even some Avant-garde influences, Dün manages to sound like nobody else, which is always more than welcomed on my part. The stand outs are L´Epice and Arrakis…and Bitonio…and Eros… really the four studio tracks are all so good, its incredibly hard to pick a favorite. It´s a sad thing Dün released only one album, and yet at the same time it´s great! I love those one shot bands, and if their album is a masterpiece…then well, what more can I ask for? Dün will forever be remeberd as the band that did everything perfect…cause they only did this one thing and its perfect.
If I could I would give the album 4.5 stars, as 5 stars is not just for anybody, but as I can´t, here are this 5 stars for Dün´s Eros. Highly recommended for…anybody into prog!………by el böthy ……………..
One of those early 80’s prog gems that was still stemming from mainland Europe, when everything else was next to dead (prog-wise) in the Anglo-Saxon world. This rare album really shows that France’s original prog boom started fairly early but ended rather late, this being mostly due to groups playing Zeuhl and RIO music. This group originated from the Nantes region and remained nevermore than a local curiosity (even if they played a few higher profile gigs with Magma, Art Zoyd and Etron Fou) and was the brainchild of flutist Pascal Vandenbulcke and guitarist Jean Geeraerts (most likely both of Northern France or Belgian origins) and they had changed names a few times (from Vegetaline Bouffiol in 76 to Kandaar) before settling on Dunes first (due to both leader’s infatuation with Frank Herbert’s sci-fi saga) then changing to a more Kobaian- like Dün. Apparently, flutist Vdb had also develop his own wind-instrument from Swiss cheese called the Gruyèrophone but unfortunately (?), it is not heard on the album.
To describe Dün as a Zeuhl group is not only misleading (there are some Magma influences), as we are closer to a cheerier version of RIO stalwarts Univers Zero and Chamber Prog ala early-Maneige or Swiss group Circus. Their instrumental “Chamber Zeuhl” is highly original as it is rather difficult to really liken their sound with other groups, but if you are a fan of flute and a bit tired of Anderson’s Mad-Flauter style, this album is for you, because it is loaded. Termol’s many percussion instruments also provide a very Maneige ambiance as well, while Tranchant’s bass has Kobaian accents. Only four tracks (mais de haut-voltige, mon cher monsieur), which are best described as demented, twisted but on the whole they are much happier than all the groups mentioned previously (bar the joyous Maneige) and a bit reminiscent of Pierre Moerlen’s Gong. All four tracks ranging from 7 to 10 minutes are fairly equal in quality, but the title track is maybe the closest to atonal music, but it makes up for it by being slightly more brilliant.
While their album was well received in 81 by some critics, the group never managed to sell much (one pressing of 1000 albums) and by the end 83, they had folded (the two leaders formed a Latin-jazz group) after a few line-up changes. The re-issue presents four bonus tracks, recorded prior to their album (and therefore of a slightly-lesser recording quality), of which three are previous versions (and sometimes fairly different) of album tracks, so they are adding a bit more of the same, extending the Cd longer than desirable, especially that the only non-album track Acoustic Fremen comes last, and it is the most different as it was an acoustic mid-concert interlude with only flute, sax and acoustic guitar. The fact that the bonus tracks have an added saxman does not change much to their overall sound, but these versions are sufficiently different to have their own lives.
A true rare gem from the early 80’s (too bad nobody heard it back then) that is still not easy to get a hold of nowadays, but if you get a chance for it, by all means be my guest and run for it. A very worthy release, which will grace the real connoisseur’s collection……by Sean Trane ………….
DUN originally started out doing MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA covers.They were influenced by MAGMA, HENRY COW and ZAPPA. UNIVERS ZERO recommended Sunrise Studios in Switzerland to DUN (where they had recorded “Heresie” and “Ceux Du Dehors”) and so that is where “Eros” was birthed. I was a little surprised at the sound of this record as I had read that this was a heavy record (bass and drums). Well, it definitely isn’t heavy at all, at least not my definition of heavy.The most prominant instruments on this recording are the flute and the xylophone which create a lighter sound if anything. Zappa would be so proud of the xylophone melodies. “L'epice” opens with a drum roll and I must say that ANGLAGARD came to mind during this song a few times. If you replaced the xylophone with mellotron then I think it would be more obvious. Nice raw guitar solo 2 minutes in that is replaced by flute as the song becomes tranquil. More piano and xylophone on this one. I would say this one is my favourite song on “Eros” followed by the next song “Arrakis”. Flute leads the way on “Arrakis” with some great guitar 3 minutes in. The tempo picks up after 4 minutes with the drums leading the charge. Lots of xylophone as the song gets insanely fast paced 6 minutes in. Heavy drums after 8 minutes.
“Bitonio” is a piano and flute laden beauty that brought to mind SINKADUS ! The final song “Eros” has a lot of xylophone, flute and light drums before it really kicks in after 5 minutes becoming an uptempo song with flute and xylophone leading the way. On my disc we get alternate versions of the last three tracks as well as a previously unreleased song called “Acoustic Fremen” which is a pastoral tune with flute dominating the soundscape.
If you like complex, intricate instrumental music then you need to check this out…………… by Mellotron Storm ………………..
DÜN, the name of the band, refers to Dune, the Sand Planet serial of Science-fiction books by Frank Herbert. At least I think the name is related - one of the track is named Arrakis, which is certainly inspired by Herbert. How appropriate!!
And let me explain why. I’ll try to be brief.
“Eros”, the one and the only album by this crazy French combo is not thematic or conceptual. At least I don’t think so. However, it’s focused, powerful - and it’s bursting with ideas - you will hear more ideas by listening to “Eros” for five minutes than some bands’ entire discographies. This is dense. This is mean.
Ideas, themes, sounds, melodies, bursts of energy are swirling, intersecting each other, bumping into each other, transforming themselves. Like a structure of a sand, every tiny little piece will randomly end up somewhere, and the whole sand picture will be beautiful, over and over again.
This is one of those rare records that sound like the band came out of nowhere and invented the music for themselves, knitting it with wisdom, love and passion.
Influences? Similarities? Jazz, Gamelan music, Debussy? Take the best of all of them……….by clarke2001 ……………
Formed in the mid-70s, French ensemble Dün had to wait until the early 80s to release their first and only album “Eros”, which turned out to be one of the best one-shot albums in French progressive rock’s history, let alone, one of the best avant-prog albums ever. The band’s strategy is based on an exciting combination of Magma’s tension and Univers Zero’s mystery, perhaps emphasizing the jazz factor in the elaboration of cadences, pulsations and counterpoints. There is also the presence of some 73-75 Zappa’s Dadaist playfulness, as well a few hints to the jazz-dirven lyricism of the Canterbury trend. Sophistication and somber ambiences go hand in hand until they fuse together in a single sonic source - this is what Dün is all about. The agile use of flute and tuned percussion may superficially remind us of kinder bands such as Maneige, but the fact is that the pairing of drummer Laurent Bertaud and bassist Thierry Tranchant set the sonic nucleus for the whole band’s integral sound, clearly stating the zheul element. Simultaneously, Bruno Sabathe explores the psycjodelic potentials of his synthesizer in alternation with the pounding chords on piano, in this way forcing the guitar and the flute to move in fusion-driven ornaments: that’s how the lyrical facet comes into play. The album kicks off with ‘L'Epice’, with a sinister majesty started in a most ceremonious fashion.When things begin to get jazzier, we can notice that the energy hasn’t decreased an ounce, not even when the acoustic guitar solo comes into action. The dissonant climax that ends the track is simply priceless. 'Arrakis’ begins on a more subtle note, with a piano-flute duet that still delivers an unmistakable sense of restlessness. It won’t be long before things become a mixture of “Expresso”-era Gong and “Üdü Wüdü”-Magma. The last third of the track features a vibrating highlight of the drum and percussion inputs. 'Bitonio’ keeps the momentum going, with a Zappa-inspired twist that had already been announced in the opener. The opener closes down the album’s official repertoire with a 10 ½ minute span. The band remains strictly loyal to its pattern of repetitive dissonant counterpoints, while the avantgarde arrangements add color to the Spartan compositional schemes. The synth solo is arguably the best in the album, and also distrubing enough to threaten to break the weird set of harmonies that make the track’s main motif: eventually, this is reinstated in the last 2 minutes. The CD edition comprises 4 bonus tracks, three of them being earlier versions of official tracks. The other one, 'Acoustic Fremen’, is a candid bucolic serenade performed by teh duet of flute and acoustic guitar: 6 minutes of pure magic as if it were a dream of sound that passes by in an instant. Shame on the ones who were in charge of the sound production! Or… shame on the ones who developed those poor machines! Anyway, beauty can be hurt but never killed. I’m a bit afraid to tell this lousy Freudian joke, but this “Eros” is actually very thanatical according to the rules of zheul and Francophone RIO, but Dün takes a peculiar approach to the subgenre. If you ever wondered what UZ would have sounded like had they been less sinister and more pastoral, or what Henry Cow would have sounded like if they had exploited the lyrical side of their debut album further, Dün is the answer, a masterpiece answer, to be more specific……..by Cesar Inca ………….
Dun’s sole album, Eros, is a masterpiece. Any prog fan who likes adventurous instrumental music owes it to him/herself to check the album out. The first track, “L'Epice”, is a good indication of things to come on the album. The drums start in like quietly rumbling thunder, then after a few seconds the rest of the ensemble joins in with some fairly dissonant sounding chords. The music starts to become a little complex at this point. There’s a lot of dissonance going on throughout, and as has been mentioned, the drum and bass work on the album are simply incredible. About 5 minutes in, we get to a jarring section with lots of odd rhythmic action, which is joined before long by flute and guitar here and there. This continues on for a while, then the band breaks down with a slight tempo change. The song continues on with complexity and dissonant chords here and there until the end. A VERY solid opener. 9.5/10
Next up is my personal favorite track, “Arrakis”. The song starts off simply with keyboards playing, and flute joins in before long. The song stays quiet for a while, with occasional percussions joining in at around the one minute mark and guitar before two. Bass joins in at two and a half, with a nice warm fretless sound. The calm stays around for a while longer, with subdued playing by the band on the whole, with the bass starting to jump around a bit. Then, after four minutes, we’re thrown into the chaos of the battle for the planet Arrakis. While the album as a whole doesn’t come off as a concept album to me, this song in particular brings to mind scenes from Frank Herbert’s “Dune” series, going from calm and controlled to chaotic, back to a different sense of control. The last bit of the song is almost entirely percussion, and some odd shouted vocal bits near the very end. 10+/10
“Bitonio” builds up, first the xylophone, then guitar, then keyboards, then bass and drums take over the scene. We’re given some jarring sequences at this point in the song, then things calm down a bit as we’re brought to a section which is closer to melodic than we’ve been so far in the song. At almost two minutes in, quiet piano, xylophone, and flute bring us a bit of calm in the eye of this storm of an album. It doesn’t last for long, though, as the bass and percussions are back at it again. At 2:30 or so the bass goes funky. The keyboards get spacey in the background for a while. Nearing the four minute mark, the music begins to build quiet tension through some dissonant bits. Nearing five minutes, the bass brings us into a new theme in the piece. There’s a lot of contrasting loud and soft bits in this section of the song. At six minutes it changes again and we have some very brief caveman lyrics. The instrumental bits bring the beginning of the song back to mind, then speed up with some more caveman grunts, then back to the beginning for the end. 9/10
“Eros” is the closer of the original album. The beginning of the song sounds like the atmospheric music in some horror movies, with quiet, child-like percussion over an ambient backing. Drums join in around the minute mark, and the complexity continues. The band gives us another break from the insanity in this song, but close to three minutes in it starts to break through again, though it manages to stay mild for a bit. As is the norm in Zeuhl, the track builds up through repetition over the next minute or two, with some odd vocal/flute combination nearing five minutes. After the five minute mark we’re back into the thick of things. The music has grown wild by now, though the basic beat keeps up the repetition with some avant garde sounding flute and keyboards breaking in. Near 6:30 things change up, bringing in spacey keyboards again over more funky bass and drums, with the xylophone keeping up the basic melody of the section. Things stay spacey for a while, then break down into a different section after eight minutes. In another of the rare moments of the album with vocals, we hear the members of the band chanting Eros for a short time. The song continues on its hectic path to the end, bringing the complex masterpiece that was the original album to its finish. 10/10
The next three tracks are all alternate versions of previous songs, namely Bitonio, Arrakis, then Eros. They all provide an interesting different view of the original song, and include the group’s saxophone player, who didn’t stay with them for the recording of the final product. The last track, “Acoustic Fremen”, is a piece for guitar, flute, and again the saxophone player. It’s very different than the rest of the album, as it’s not so much in your face incredible complexity and isn’t changing as constantly as the rest of the album does. It provides an interesting look at the band’s other repressed side, and according to the booklet was used as a break during concerts so that some of the musicians and the crowd could regain their bearings. The sound quality of these four songs isn’t as good as the first four, but it’s to be expected as they’re more demos than the finished product.
As I said at the beginning of my review, this is a masterpiece, especially if you enjoy a band with an incredible bassist and very, very strong percussion. It served as my introduction to the zeuhl genre as a whole, and I think it’s a good starting point for anyone. You get the complexity and unusual nature of the music, but hardly any of the vocals, certainly not those of Magma and company. So if you’ve been toying with the idea of checking out Zeuhl but the operatic vocals make you turn away, you won’t be upset by this album. It’s a shame that the band didn’t make any more music, but at least that which they did give us is of the highest quality. Very highly recommended, I don’t think my review can do it much justice. Any prog collection would benefit by adding this album. The music will completely blow you away…………by SaltyJon …………..
I’ve always said that if you want to scare the hell out of people, you just have put on a Zehul album (preferably Magma) and make them believe you are into some sort of cult or something. This time you don’t even have to say anything and before the second note is played you’ll see fear in people’s eyes… but what you’d expect from an album that intends to unify every single prog sub-genre?
This French group of extremely talented musicians decided to embark on a pretentious and highly dangerous project: to fuse every single style of prog known into a new and very original sound during the very dawn of the classic era of prog. It was dangerous because it could easily end in massive bombastic pretentious prog chaos and/or be relegated to obscurity. Fortunately the goals where fully accomplished and this naturally produced prog heaven but, sadly, it was in fact relegated to obscurity.
The final result is a very tasteful and equilibrated blend of jazz-rock, free jazz and symphonic progressive rock with a touch of psychedelia, all joined together by a masterfully engineered Avant/Zehul aesthetic. With these influences the natural references are Frank Zappa, John Zorn and, to a lesser extent, Magma. And not only that, the instrumentation used is also a reflexion of their eclectic influences: we have the typical setup of guitars, keyboards, bass and drums/percussions, enhanced by the addition of a vibraphone and wind instruments(flute and sax on the bonus tracks).
So…do not expect a Magma album here, although it is labeled under Zehul this work has little to do with Magma’s operatic “cult” style. On the other hand, they both share a heavy reliance on percussions and are rooted in jazz. This one could’ve easily fit under Avant/RIO but Zehul is also an appropriate denomination.
The music is very complex with lots of dissonance and every single musician and instrument has its chance of shining without disrupting the coherence and natural flow of the piece (although it isn’t very smooth to start with).
The album gets started with L'Ã?pice, which, as the entire album, is a very challenging piece of music with lots of turns and time signature changes dominated by polyrythmic arrangements. L'Ã?pice comes off as a team effort featuring sections that highlight the guitar, vibraphone and piano, the later played in a very rhythmic fashion complementing the work of the dominant percussions.
Arrakis is a piece that builds from a subtle rhythmic piano playing similar to the one on the previous track and is joined by a flute which plays the main melody (although not really melodic…. if you know what I mean…) while the rest of the instruments are added delicately one by one to the musical mix (sort of like Mike Oldfield does in Tubular Bells). The xylophone comes first, then the bass, the electric guitar appears playing some subtle (but not less weird and complex) lines and finally the percussions appear to lead the music into a dynamic explosion of mad jamming.
Bitonio follows with the most melodically rhythmic (if such a term exists) piece of the album with mind-blowing solo piano sections and an impressive rhythmic work by the bass, percussions and vibraphone. The secondary participation of guitars and flute contributes to produce the overall avant feeling characteristic to the piece. This is the kind of thing that would give Robert Fripp a heart attack and makes me want to yell: “AVANT HEAVEN!”
Eros finishes the album with an intriguing avant style. It starts featuring the flute more than aptly backed and joined by the so called “rhythm section” (if you can identify a particularly percussive group of instruments) comprised by bass, percussions and vibraphone. The piece gradually develops into a heavier establishment with spacey keyboards that disappear while the intensity of the jamming increases to later finish very subtly… with the risk of being repetitive: Avant Heaven!
The bonus tracks are also amazing, featuring earlier and somewhat different versions of Bitonio, Arrakis and Eros with the addition of a sax to the instrumentation. Acoustic Fremen closes the album with the only previously unreleased bonus track, the only acoustic piece performed by the band featuring only the flute, sax, and acoustic guitar. Very enigmatic and soft track, still complex and very avant but allows the listener to take a breath after all the previous madness (which, apparently, was the purpose of the piece during live performances).
The musicians involved here are all highly talented and deadly precise with a mind- blowing capacity of jamming and writing extremely complex and coherent music. Here they recorded an album intended to be of a very challenging nature and revolutionary.
Listening to this album, more than a musical experience, is an intellectual challenge. What can I say?…I love challenges!
5 stars for one of one the few true progressive albums. Here the band tried to push the boundaries of music and they accomplished it in a brilliant way.
Recommendation: before your first listen make sure you have your good diapers on, more so if you are new to prog.
Not recommended for the faint hearted and prog newbies……by ProgressiveAttic …………………
Dun’s Eros is a classic Zeuhl instrumental album that appears on prog lists all the time as one of the best so eventually I knew I would take the plunge. I was not disappointed. I thought it might be good, but I didn’t know it would become one of my alltime favourite prog albums. In fact I was astounded at the ferocious unassailable approach of no holds barred prog these guys adopt. They are unbelievable virtuosos of the craft and it takes some getting used to the way the music shifts into different directions. The time sigs keep metronomes busy and I am in awe of how complex the metrical patterns are.
L'epice begins with a drum roll and then a strange melody heralds the arrival of this incredible band. Portentous music ensues with guitar vibrations and blasts of keyboards that provide a very watertight ominous sound; it stops and starts and shudders and the flute is outrageous played with finesse.
The guitar solo consists of crazy, fret melting riffs and dynamic shifts in time sigs. It settles into a peaceful acoustic section; the chord changes are off kilter and way out of bounds. Elaborate glockenspiel and flute trade off in a weird timeless passage where there does not seem to be any structure, yet it hold together by peculiar bass lines and cymbal crashes. It moves into a serious of different directions that are outside the realm of description. It is chaotic music that grabs hold and refuses to let go. Simply brilliant prog.
Arrakis starts with pounding piano bass and a soft melodic flute motif that sounds almost medieval. Keyboard pads follow and the two sections are a constant on this track, but it threatens to spiral out of control yet the next section is a lead guitar solo of very accomplished musicianship. Then it explodes in to a fast paced pattern with heavy drums and bass and an awesome flute solo. The track has completely changed into an unrecognizable section. It builds faster and faster and makes the heart beat quicker as we are treated to a dynamic guitar, drum, flute and keyboard juxtaposition of sound. It is inspiring and progressive to the core. A wood block, glockenspiel section finishes the piece and a powerful commanding drum solo adds icing to the cake. Fantastic beyond belief.
Bitonio is a delicious slice of prog with interchanging time sigs that go all over the place and there is a tinkling percussive beat and huge blasts of keyboards and flute. And that is just the beginning of it. A kind of melody follows though it is impossible to grasp it completely as the melodies twist and turn in a myriad of directions. It settles into a lulling piano solo that is quite beautiful. This is shattered by a bizarre droning bass synth riff. Everything goes quiet for a moment and there is a jazz fusion improvised section. A fuzzed guitar kicks in with flute and no time signature at all at one point. The flute is ever present keeping it all together. But then it breaks out into a fast choppy jazz fest. How they played this live I have no idea, but this is as intricate as it gets. The hyper complex music becomes sporadic to the Nth degree and even has a strange Magma-like vocal, 'uh uh uh uh’, at one stage. A wonderful track in every respect.
The title track is a Tangerine Dream soundalike of glacial landscapes of sound with mellotrons and tribal drums. The flute and percussive xylophone breaks the ambience. The tones of light and dark are a feature of this album and this track is no exception. This is the epic of the album and as brilliant as the previous tracks if not the best on the album. At 7:50 it takes a new approach with spacey synth and choral chants. The guitars try their best to keep up with the crashing drums and piano. The flute becomes wild and out of control at times. There is a massive passage of staccato stabs of every instrument that just pound like there is no tomorrow launching into the stratosphere. I am running out of superlatives so let’s rap this up.
Dun’s Eros is a world class masterpiece. I would rate this album as high as deserving a place in the top 10 prog albums of all time. You have to admire the inventiveness and sheer originality of this Zeuhl album. Based on Frank Herbert’s Dune and better than the novel, it is a showcase of musical virtuosity. I love the way it does not hold back and treats your ears to a new music that you may never experience again at the level of this genius. The ears take a while to get adjusted to this complex prog, but it is a delightful excursion into tension and release, shades of beauty and dark fractured pandemonium……… by AtomicCrimsonRush ………………..
Dün came to life in Nantes, France around 1976 as Vegetaline Boufiol with Francois Teillard on guitar, Laurent Bertaud on drums, Jacques Bretonnierre on piano, Michel Blancart on bass and Pascal Vandenbulcke on flute.Two years later they were renamed to Kan-Daar, trying to escape from the Magma, Mahavishnu Orchestra and Frank Zappa covers, composing original material.Philippe Portejoie was added on sax and Thierry Tranchant, Bruno Sabathe and Jean Geeraerts replaced Blancart, Bretonnierre and Teillard respectively.The band gigged around the Nantes area, playing in small venues in front of a few people, and then changed its name to Dün.The song titles started to be influenced by Frank Herbert novels and, despite the departure of the saxophonist and the coming of Alain Termol on percussion, Dün would travel to Switzerland and visit the Studio Sun Rise in Kirchberg to self-finance what was going to be their only album “Eros”.They never actually searched for a proper distributor and the album was pressed in around 1000 copies in 1981, sold at concerts. Listening to this album I have a feeling that Dün could actually become the next hottest name in the French Avant Prog scene, if they weren’t so lazy and took their music more seriously, even if the time was not the proper one for playing intense, progressive music.What the guys proposed in “Eros” was four long, instrumental tracks, somewhere in the middle between MAGMA and SUPERSISTER, delivering dense and frenetic interplays with dissonant plays and charming instrumental interactions.The music contains elements from R.I.O., Chamber Music, Jazz and Zeuhl, but the basis is a schizophenic Progressive Rock with instrumental changes and different protagonists in each segment.Excellent use of dominant and haunting piano lines next to sharp synth moves, beautiful and virtuosic flute parts by Pascal Vandenbulcke, a fiery, jazzy rhythm section and an excellent rhythm guitarist, which accompanies the chaos of powerful interplays.But then again there are some more “symphonic” and laid-back tunes with flute and synthesizer leading the way along with MAGMA’s throbbing, operatic musicianship.Vandenbulcke and pianist Bruno Sabathe are also the reasons why this album should be strongly linked to R.I.O. with the rhythm section and the guitar playing the supporting roles and the two instrumentalists covering the sound with their impressive technical skills.You should listen to these parts, when all members torture their instruments at the same time and the very next moment the music becomes calm and smooth with light jazzy and Classical colors.And this material seems actually to go somewhere despite the overall very complex sound, the tracks are great full of spot-on battles and rhythm changes.
In 1982 Dün had to face the departures of Thierry Tranchant and Alain Termol.They were replaced by bassist Christian Mellier and sax player Christian Dupont with the sound switching to a more improvised/jazzy enviroment.After a year or so Dün disbanded.Several members would appear in 1982 on Alain Tristan’s “Marechal coeur de reve” album, while Alain Termol also appeared on Roland Becker’s “Fallaën”.Pascal Vandenbulcke played also next to renowed Magma guitarist Jean-Luc Chevalier.
Devastating, intricate and captivating Zeuhl/Fusion with extremely fascinating work on all instruments.One of the best of the style and among the highlights of the year.Highly recommended……….. by apps79 …………….
The band that became known as DUN actually started in 1976 by the name of Vegetaline Boufiol in Nantes, France and in1978 changed their name to Kan-Daar playing covers of the Mahavishnu Orchestra. They eventually changed their name to Dune but ultimately settled for DUN, which was inspired by the novel “Dune” by Frank Herbert but you would never be able to figure that out solely by listening to this music. It does, however, have an other-worldliness sound to it.
DUN released this one album with only 1000 copies made but gained a loyal following by touring with Magma, Art Zoyd and Etron Fou Leloublan. They almost became part of the Rock In Opposition lineup of bands in Europe but due to technicalities and self professed laziness failed to do so. This album really should be totally unknown considering all the obstacles stacked against it, but because of the superb outcome of musicianship and dedication to re-releasing it, it has taken on many new lives of its own. I know for sure that I never would have known of this album if not for the dedication of reviving it throughout the decades.
This is one of those touched-by-God albums where the lofty ambitions actually resulted in a desired outcome. They seamlessly combine the influences of Magma, Zappa, Henry Cow, Mahavishnu Orchestra and add their own fluffy touch of prog interpretation and create a bona fide masterpiece. This is one of the few albums in all existence that I find lives up to its title which in this case is EROS. For me this interesting and unique album truly creates musical ecstasy which despite my admiration for many a genre rarely guarantees such results. In the case of DUN I find myself feeling like a touch of heaven has finally projected itself into this realm of constant devolution and this coming from one of the least progressive years of 1981, it is a sign from somewhere that spectacular music can occur in the most unlikely of places and times.
I have the 2012 remastered edition by Soleil Zeuhl and although I NEVER rate albums with the bonus tracks in the mix, I have to say that I would give the bonus tracks on this release a 5 star rating alone if they were to find themselves on an independent release. Although four of them are alternative versions and only one is an unreleased track, they are truly excellent and worth the price of admission alone…by…siLLy_puPPy ………..
For many, including myself, Dün’s sole title was a highly requested candidate for a CD reissue. I was fortunate enough to buy the original LP in the early 1990s, and had long wanted a companion CD to go along with it. Musea had announced their intention to reissue the album as far back as 1991, but they apparently had trouble locating all the members. After many years of waiting, it was Soleil Zeuhl who finally stepped in and managed to release it (in a regular jewel case), with the addition of 4 bonus tracks. This release helped cement Soleil Zeuhl as a world class player in the reissue market - a badge of honor that they still carry. Over time, the original CD eventually sold out, and there was new demand for a repress. As well, Soleil Zeuhl was looking for the right album to test the LP market with - since vinyl seems all the rage again. So in 2012, Dün was reissued on CD, mini-LP (from Belle Antique in Japan), and a vinyl reissue. Typically I do not buy LP reissues of albums I already own as an original, but I made an exception here for a few reasons: It’s an all-time favorite album; the cover is cool; and I wanted to support Soleil Zeuhl in their drive to perhaps reissue other albums on LP (most notably Eskaton “4 Visions” that we spoke of recently). While purists scoffed, I was pleased that Soleil Zeuhl altered the look of the reissue ever so slightly, which gives the release a uniqueness about it. Some examples include: The lettering is gray instead of blue; the top “frame” line has been removed; a different photograph on the back cover; and the band name and title are now on the spine. The LP also comes with an insert, a download card (to retrieve the detailed CD booklet and bonus tracks), and is pressed on white vinyl. A great package overall.
Notes: For my tastes, Dün’s “Eros” is most certainly a Top 75 album ever. Maybe even Top 50. There are tons of reviews out there already that will provide you all the detail you could possibly want about this album. I think it’s a bit miscategorized as a Zeuhl album, which seems to be the main source of the detracting vote. While those elements are present (primarily represented in the bass work), I think the album is truly unique. Instrumental Frank Zappa, and the Canterbury scene also get call-outs, but again these are faint references rather than direct influences. It’s complex, very complex in fact - but also very melodic. And it rocks hard in places, so it’s not an academic snoozer. About the only album I can think of even close to “Eros” is Picchio dal Pozzo’s 1976 debut. Not that they sound alike, but rather they both attack music composition in an entirely unique way. Music like this is wonderful to my ears, as each listening session provides a different result. Truly a brilliant work of art………….