Exposé Online banner

Vak — Budo
(Soleil Zeuhl 55, 2018, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2019-05-10

Budo Cover art

With a lean basic instrumental lineup of drums, bass and keys, fronted by female vocals, Budo is Vak’s second full length CD release – the first CD Aedividea from 2015 was actually a compilation of two earlier EPs from 2011 and 2014, and had I known about them back in the day I would have been singing their praises as well, but in fact I just learned about the band with this release. We are definitely folowing the path explored and refined by Magma and its many offshoots, in fact the label Soleil Zeuhl is completely dedicated to unearthing and promoting this kind of music, both new releases by current bands, which is exactly what we have here, as well as finding forgotten (by some) jazz-rock and zeuhl relics from the past that haven’t made their way to reissue. The band features singer Aurélie Saintecroix right up front, her voice an integral part of the band’s sound, mostly wordless. Drummer Vladimir Mejstelman and bassist Joël Crouzet are the keepers of the the growling and incendiary bottom end, the current that drives this music, and their ability to bring things up to a restless boil at will, and take it down to a smooth simmer when needed is the fuel that keeps it all going. Crouzet also plays guitars on the first two tracks as well (there are only three, guest guitarist Hyder Aga plays guitar on the closer, “Au Fond des Creuses”). Alexandre Michaan is the band’s keyboardist, an everpresent guidepost within their sound, mostly in the form of electric piano, supporting all the melodic structures therewithin. At almost 28 minutes, the opening title track is an aggressive and hard driving tour-de-force made even more powerful by the guest saxes (alto and sopranino) of Michaël Havard, presented seamlessly in three long sections, composed by Mejstelman and the band. Second up is “Hquark” in four sections, written by Michaan and the band, for all its 23 minutes it seems to take a slightly different twist compositionally with a more complex and restless experimental approach, and a more prominent role for Saintecroix. The aforementioned closer, by Mejstelman, brings the sound back to the more direct and aggressive approach of the opener, though shifting around a bit more, adding flute from guest player Nora Froger. All said, this is truly a ride through zeuhl heaven. Credit must be given to Michaan and Udi Koomran for for the mixing and mastering that make this complex and dense music sound so good.


Filed under: New releases, 2018 releases

Related artist(s): Vak

More info
http://vak-prog.bandcamp.com/album/budo

Latest news

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

The Third and the Mortal - Nightswan & Painting on Glass – Somewhere between Hawkwind at half speed and Ozric Tentacles at quarter impulse lies The 3rd and ghe Mortal – floating out into space at a pace that'll make you swear you're moving in...  (1996) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues