Get in line, put down your money and get yer Zeuhl fix right here. Satisfaction guaranteed.
One Shot, featuring Emmanuel Boghi, keyboards, James Mac Graw, gujitar, 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 Udu Wudu 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 “Troller 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, Mac Graw’s guitar is in keeping the style and specter of those few guitarists; think of the guitar workby 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!
Dean SUZUKI (Expose – Issue 23 – December 2001)