Jannick Top

Soleil d’Ork (2001)


Solo compilation from the legendary bass player and co-composer of Magma collecting the material he recorded between 1974-80. Jannick was a member of Magma during their best years (from Mekanik through Üdü Wüdü) and his approach to the bass was arguably the defining characteristic of the band (and of Zeuhl in general), so if you’ve heard Magma you probably know what to expect here. There’s even a cover of “De Futura” from Üdü Wüdü (with a drum machine instead of Christian Vander, hah), an excellent unreleased Magma song “Mekanik Machine”, and a reworking of “Soleil d’Ork” also from Üdü Wüdü. Jannick’s bass here is as nasty as it ever was, maybe even moreso than his days in Magma. Sound quality and production values vary a bit from song to song due to the nature of the compilation, but nothing too drastic. The album ends on a surprisingly dull note with the more subdued “Glas” but other than that it’s solid Zeuhl all the way.

000 (Triple Zero)

Crypto Sensus (1985)


Only album by this Instrumental French band featuring two members of dark Zeuhl monsters Shub Niggurath. The general sound is something similar, but much more frantic than most of Shub Niggurath’s output. Another guy joins them on electronics, giving this trio a somewhat different sound than the other Zeuhl/RIO bands of the time. I’m reminded of Ruins on tracks where the bass and drumming get really frenzied like on “Part II”, and may also think of “Red”-era King Crimson as an overall influence. The bonus track included on the reissue suggests to me that had this band continued, they probably would have gone in a more electronic-driven direction. An album to check out for anyone into the darker side of prog.