One Shot — Vendredi 13
(Soleil Zeuhl 06, 2001, CD)
by Dean Suzuki, 2001-12-01:
Get in line, put down your money and get yer Zeuhl fix right here. Satisfaction guaranteed. One Shot, featuring Emmanuel Borghi (keyboards), James MacGaw (guitar), and Philippe Bussonnet (bass), all members of the 90s Magma line-up, plus drummer Daniel Jeand’heur, churn out instrumental Magmoidisms that will excite and give great satisfaction to all those who love the legendary French group which spawned Zeuhl music. The music derives from Magma’s Üdü Ẁüdü period with all of the requisite sounds, style, gestures, and more. The opening track features the band riffing on motifs which are inspired by “Zombies.” Borghi favors the Fender Rhodes electric piano with fat, juicy, and weird harmonies, nervous figuration and erratic rhythms. The heavy vibrato and upper register synthesizer of “Blue Bug” is reminiscent of the Moog line at scattered throughout “Tröller Tanz.” Bussonnet has captured the sound and spirit of Jannick Top and Bernard Paganotti. His work is spotlighted throughout in “No.” While it does not focus on virtuoso technique, Bussonnet showcases are more trebly and brittle sound than that of either Top or Paganotti, though when he rips into his instruments, he elicits that famous and devastating buzzing sound that is the calling card of Magmoid bassists. “In a Wild Way” features a tasty bass part that features little strummed chords, as if played on rhythm guitar, and a wah-wah pedal, breaking a bit from tradition. Also, the tune breaks into a straight-ahead jazz fusion passage and even moves into a funk groove, but one with that wonderfully weird Zeuhl component. Additionally, while Magma only occasionally included guitarists, MacGaw’s guitar is in keeping the style and specter of those few guitarists; think of the guitar work by Gabriel Federow on Magma’s live albums. He is a remarkable virtuoso and often playing front and center. While Jeand’heur does not quite imitate Vander’s sound and style, his playing fits in perfectly, full of fire and explosive power. The kicker is that this is a live recording and One Shot proves to be one tight and overpowering group. Stunning!
by David Ashcraft, 2001-12-01:
Anyone who has seen Magma play recently has seen three of the four members of One Shot. The leader of the band is Emmanual Borghi on keyboards, and his compatriots are James Mac Gaw on guitar and Philippe Bussonnet on bass. Drummer Daniel Jeand’heur has some very large shoes to fill, and he wisely plays in a lighter, jazzier style that avoids the inevitable comparisons to the intensity of Christian Vander. This five-track CD was recorded live in France on April 13 (hence the title) and it features a band in the process of developing their own identity. Clearly there are Zeuhl aspects to the music, especially in the throbbing bass lines and repeating keyboard patterns (all of the tunes are written by Borghi and Bussonnet by the way). The tracks have a somewhat loose, organic, and improvised sound about them and there are many extended solos. Mac Gaw’s guitar work is quite inspired and it provides some real highlights when the tracks build to a climax. The electric piano is used more in a supporting role than a soloist, but it functions effectively in setting the atmosphere. Overall this is a talented group of players but they are still finding their own compositional voice.
by Mike McLatchey, 2001-12-01:
While this current Magma line-up offshoot began their side career with a fusion album that barely hinted at their Zeuhl progenitors, the quartet of Emmanuel Borghi, James MacGaw, Philippe Bussonnet, and Daniel Jeand'heur have come full circle here on their follow up, entitled Friday 13. This is definitive Zeuhl music — the growling bass, angular melodies, and sprinklings of diminished and augmented electric piano chords. While you could name a lot of comparisons to this album such as Potemkine, and of course, instrumental Magma, the album this piece reminds me of the most is the first album by the similarly inclined Eider Stellaire, although with less compositional restriction. Vendredi 13 was recorded live on that date in April 2001 and features the tremendous playing you would expect from musicians who accompany Vander. The music grooves darkly, with a lot of space for guitar and e-piano solos, and it sounds nicely free, with four out of the six pieces timing at over ten minutes. The particular standout here is MacGaw's guitar playing, and he is given the room to improvise some outstanding solos. All in all, an excellent set of Zeuhlish jazz rock and a no brainer for the fan.
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santana, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more
M.I.A. - Transparencias, Mágicos Juegos del Tiempo & Cornonstipicum – Belle Antique has gone all out on their most recent set of reissues — the backlog of the brilliant Argentine ensemble M.I.A. M.I.A. was multi-instrumentalist (mainly keys) Lito Vitale's late... (1995) » Read more