Yochk'o Seffer

Ghilgoul

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Although front-cover credit is given to saxophonist/pianist Yochk'o Seffer, 1978's Ghilgoul is actually the second album recorded by his ill-starred combo Neffesh Music (loosely translated as "Music of the Mind"). This short-lived group was part of the second wave of the French art rock scene, with Seffer and bassist Dominique Bertram having done time in scene overlords Magma and Zao, and this album is roughly equivalent to, say, Hatfield and the North's The Rotter's Club: a relaxed, playful record that extends and refines the work of the participants' earlier bands. Arguably more accessible than the more difficult Magma and Zao, Seffer, Bertram, and company (drummer Francois Laizeau and a string quartet) play a surprisingly melodic version of art rock akin to the lighter moments of David Cross-era King Crimson and the Italian group PFM. The 15-minute title track, alternating passages of ghostly overdubbed, wordless vocals and liquid saxophone solos, is the standout, but all five tracks are superlative avant-garde rock. The 1995 CD reissue includes three previously unreleased tracks recorded by Seffer and an entirely different lineup in May 1980.

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