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• The story of Setna began in june 2001 at the occasion of a concert given by the jazz rock group Badjada at the "Bâteau Ivre" in Rouen. It was around midnight when the Jazz quartet led by the Parisian saxophonist Gilles Wolff walked in for the jam session.

• At this very moment, a jam session took place between the musicians of the two groups, which gave birth to the creation of the future rythmical section of Setna : Nicolas Candé (drums), Christophe Blondel (bass), Florent Gac (Rhodes) and Nicolas Goulay (keyboards). At the time, Badjada was looking for a drummer and Nicolas Candé, who was seeking musicians to develop a first repertoire of compositions, offered his services.

• Two years elapsed during which a great many concerts took place, thus contributing to the cohesion of the young rythmical section, who added Nicolas Anème (saxophones, bass clarinet and flute), already a
Thanks to snobb for the addition

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SETNA Cycle I album cover 4.38 | 4 ratings
Cycle I
Jazz Related Rock 2008
SETNA Guérison album cover 3.91 | 2 ratings
Jazz Related Rock 2013

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SETNA Guérison

Album · 2013 · Jazz Related Rock
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Sean Trane
Second and much awaited album after their tremendous debut album called Cycle 1, although it was a slower process than originally announced. Although not named as such, Guérison delivers what was promised as most of the album is related since the opening 3-movement suite is named Cycle II. The group is now only a quintet (KB-man Goulay is listed as a guest), but numerous guests are contributing, the better-known being Benoit Widemann on the minimoog. This is not the only surprise as this album contains vocals (not just chants), but not the sublime Natacha voice present on the debut, replaced by Yannick Duschene, who also takes part in the mixing and mastering (along with the ever-excellent Udi Koomran). As for the artwork, it looks like some tantric “sand painting” and the back cover feature a wink to the five musicians in stylised silhouettes.

Opening on the 10-mins Cycle II, the album takes off where its predecessor had left things at, with a delightful and serene Zeuhl music (we’re nowhere close to Magma’s oppressive climates). The following three-part 8-movement Triptyque, of which the first part is surprisingly dedicated to Supertramp’s Roger Hodgson, but fear not, it’s only in the spiritual mode, not in the musical realm. Nevertheless, the lengthy 26-mins suite plunges deep in the inner throes, while remaining fairly lightweight, the JR/F moods being never far away.

The closing 15-mins Guérison (Healing) suite presents slightly different soundscapes, sometimes passing through the Canterbury-ian counties, with some delightful Kentian meanders and detours - most notably the fuzzed organ is track 14. The two bonus tracks are a bit awkward, the Parasite bit being mainly a drum solo (from the Guérison suite), while Hymne Au Soleil (from the first Triptyque piece) is mainly a Rhodes and vocals thing. While both bonus tracks don’t clash with the album proper, they do sound and feel a bit less thought-out as the three main suites.

The logical continuity of their first album, Guérison just doesn’t repeat the formula, but expands on the universe developed before. Easily as good as their first effort, hopefully, they’ll concentrate on the main Setna project, instead of spreading themselves a bit thin on side-projects like Xing Sa.


Album · 2008 · Jazz Related Rock
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Sean Trane
French sextet that produced one of the most exciting 90’s and 00’s Zeuhl album, along with maybe One Shot’s debut album; the album’s subtitle of From Darkness To Consciousness speaks mountains of the music held within its coded information sealed in some type of silicone matter. Under a very bland artwork, the double Fender-Rhodes attack sextet give you one of the most essential Zeuhl adventures, helped out by a few buddies, namely a third Rhodes player Bugela and especially One Shot’s guitarist James Mc Gaw, who offers an amazing and lengthy spine-chilling guitar solo on the closing Unité track. A striking feature of this album is the simply amazing sound of the album, partly due to the awesome work of Udi Koomran.

Nine superb and melancholic mostly-instrumental tracks (even though Natacha Jouet’s superb vocals appear frequently) ranging from almost 3-mins to 13-mins bring plenty of musical orgasms to anyone willing to simply sit back and surrender to a spellbinding music. Indeed the early part of the album starts hypnotizing slow with the album-shortest Ombres (shadows), but slowly picks up speed with the awesomely chanted Tristesse (sadness) and reach grandiose status with the amazing Intuition. Incredibly enough Jouet’s slightly ethnic chants manage to push even further the spell on the chilling Voir (see), which sets your average Magma track back to the drawing board (IMHO) and the crescendo continues with Ouverture-Conscience, and the intense Connaître where main composer Nicolas Goulay switches to a deep-droning minimoog underlying Laurent’s superb soprano sax.

Definitely one of the 00’s best oeuvre, one that saw a first sequel into their offshoot project of Xing sa, where three of the Setna members develop a similar but rawer or to-the-bone oeuvre of Création Du Monde. Less than a year after that XS release, Setna will release the second Cycle of their oeuvre, and I just can’t wait for it.

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