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Archaia: self-titled (CD, 50:52); Soleil Zeuhl SZ 01 Ah, new chthonian rumbles from the invisible subterranean, otherworlds of Magma. Ancient echoes of '77 and '78 are unearthed. They form reflected, digital, light-bursts into 1998. Zeuhl lives anew and obviously Magmoid aliens have inserted their DNA into Archaļa. It isn't exactly Magma but who wants that anyway? It is Magma stream-lined, re-worked, reinterpreted in the spirit of WEIRD but worthy. No sweet female vocals nor castrated Vanderian screeches here. It is more on the sombre, creepy, advancing armies of darkness, side of things. In other words -- cool. I enjoyed this Magmaesque madness. There are 11 tracks, (3 are bonus cuts, last 2 live), for 1998 CD re-release. This is delightfully whacked-out guitars, bizarre French vocals, and rampant-in-heat, bass work with tons of effects twisting and turning it all into crazed Zeuhlian dimensions. Hope you like fuzzy guitars, interesting synths, distorted bass, and ritualistic vox. Definitely dated, late 70s stuff but hey it is more fun than a barrel of Vanders! You'll hear traces of Tonto's Expanding Head Band synths, that Manuel Gottsching, Gibson SG guitar noodling, and more goodies I leave for you to discover on your own. You can't go wrong here with Pierrick Le Bas on guitars, keys, and vocals. Michel Munier is superbly twisted and innovative bass. Phillippe Bersan is vocals, keys, and percussion. Alain Evrard is drums and keys on live tracks alongside Patrick Renard on drums. Recommended strongly for Zeuhlians and Magmadytes. ~ John W. Patterson
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