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Zeuhl is a style of progressive rock that originated in France in the 1960s. Pitchfork's Dominique Leone says the style is "about what you'd expect an alien rock opera to sound like: massed, chanted choral motifs, martial, repetitive percussion, sudden bursts of explosive improv and just as unexpected lapses into eerie, minimalist trance-rock."[2]

The term comes from Kobaïan,[3] the constructed language created by Christian Vander of the band Magma.[4] He has said that it means celestial;[3] that "Zeuhl music means 'vibratory music'"[5] and that zeuhl is "L'esprit au travers de la matière. That is Zeuhl. Zeuhl is also the sound which you can feel vibrating in your belly. Pronounce the word Zeuhl very slowly, and stress the letter 'z' at the beginning, and you will feel your body vibrating."[6]

Originally applied solely to the music of Magma, the term "zeuhl" was eventually used to describe the similar music produced by French bands beginning in the 1970s.[7]

List of bands[edit]


  1. ^ Wagner, Jeff (2010). Mean Deviation: Four Decades of Progressive Heavy Metal. Bazillion Points Books. p. 242. ISBN 978-0-9796163-3-4.
  2. ^ "Pitchfork: Album Reviews: Magma: K.A". Retrieved 2010-02-08.
  3. ^ a b Stump, Paul (July 1995). "Different Drummer: Magma – interview with Christian Vander, page 3 (dead link)". The Wire. Retrieved 2009-10-16.
  4. ^ Culshaw, Peter (1 October 2009). "Magma interview for Celestial Mass". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 2009-10-16.
  5. ^ Allan MacInnis (30 March 2015). "Immersing oneself in Magma: a Christian Vander interview". Big Takeover. Retrieved 2018-05-17.
  6. ^ a b John "Bo Bo" Bollenberg (Winter–Spring 2000). "Marching to the beat of a very different drummer". Progression, issue 34. Retrieved 2018-05-17.
  7. ^ Anderston, Chris (2010). "A many-headed beast: progressive rock as European meta-genre". Popular Music. Cambridge University Press. 29 (10): 417–435. doi:10.1017/S0261143010000450. JSTOR 40926943.
  8. ^ "Ye Gods: The Twenty Greatest Prog Rock Record Sleeves". The Quietus. 11 February 2018. Retrieved 2018-05-17.
  9. ^ Dominique Leone (11 March 2002). "Koenji-Hyakkei: NIVRAYM Album Review". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2018-05-17.
  10. ^ Leonard Pirce (14 January 2010). "Japanese noise-rock". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2018-05-17.
  11. ^ Laurent Berger (14 April 2015). "Los Imprescindibles del Progresivo, Parte III: Cos - Viva Boma" (in Spanish). Rock the Best Music. Retrieved 2018-05-17.