This album is a series of compostions based on the poems of Arthur Rimbaud and directed by Hector Zazou. It features, among others, Bill Laswell, John Cale, Gerard Depardieu, Ryuichi Sakamoto and Hector Zazou.

  1/  I'll Strangle You                          (Rimbaud,HZ,Laswell,Drecker)  5.09
  2/  First Evening                              (Rimbaud,Zazou,Condon)        6.30
  3/  Ophelie                                    (Rimbaud,Zazou,Sylvian)       6.18
  4/  Lines                                      (Rimbaud,Zazou,Gogan,Pion)    3.30
  5/  Youth                                      (Rimbaud,Zazou,Perry,Gerrard) 5.31
  6/  Hapolot Kenym                              (Rimbaud,Zazou,Birnbach)      4.57
  7/  Hunger                                     (Rimbaud,Zazou)               4.35
  8/  Sahara Blue (Brussels)                     (Rimbaud,Zazou,Gogan,Condon)  6.04
  9/  Amdyaz                                     (Rimbaud,Zazou,Khaled)        5.30
  10/ Black Stream                               (Rimbaud,Zazou,Perry,Gerrard) 3.55
  11/ Harar et les Gallas                        (Traditional)                 4.26
  12/ Lettre au Directeur der                    (Rimbaud,HZ,Laswell,Sylvian)  4.41
       Messageries Maritimes
  13/ I'll Strangle You (12" Version)            (Rimbaud,HZ,Laswell,Drecker)  6.15

          Recorded at Greenpoint Studio, Brooklyn, New York, Studio Davout, Paris,
            France, Jet & Daylight Studios, Brussels, Quivvy Church Studio, Eire and
            Skyline Studio,New York
          Produced and arranged by Hector Zazou
          Additional production and mix on track 1 by Tim Simenon
          Executive Producers : Jacques Pasquier and Tanis Kmetyk
(1) Anneli Drecker & Gerard Depardieu: vocals; Tim Simenon: beats, sample programming; Bill Laswell: beats, effects, basses; Keith Leblanc: percussion; Kenji Jammer: guitars, guitar effects; Christian Lechevretel: claviers; Guy Sigsworth: keyboards; Hector Zazou: electronics; (2) John Cale: vocals; David Sylvian and Kent Condon: guitars; Renault Pion: bass clarinet; Elizabeth Valetti: harp, sensual background vocals; Hector Zazou: claviers; (3) Dominique Dalcan: chant; Ryuichi Sakamoto: piano; Kent Condon: guitar; Renault Pion: clarinets; Steve Shehan: brushes; Hector Zazou: electronics; (4) Barbara Gogan: vocals; Kent Condon: guitars; Renault Pion: clarinets, saxophones; Hector Zazou: claviers; (5) Brendan Perry: vocals, bodhran, percussion, darbuka, tin whistle; Lisa Gerrard: vocals; Sussan Deyhim: middle vocals; David Sylvian: guitars; Nabil Khalidi: oud; Christian Lechevretel: trombones; Daniel Yvenec: bass; Hector Zazou: synth, sampled guitars; (6) Samy Birnbach and Sussan Deyhim: vocals; Ryuichi Sakamoto: piano; Elizabeth Valetti: harp; Steve Shehan: percussion; Renault Pion: bass flute; Hector Zazou: electronics; (7) John Cale: vocals; Vincent Kenis: guitar; Christian Lechevretel: organ, trumpet; Renault Pion: saxophones, clarinets; Steve Shehan: percussion; Daniel Yvenec: bass; Lightwave: special effects; Hector Zazou: electronics; (8) Barbara Gogan: vocals; Mr. X and Yuka Fujii: walkie talkies; Kent Condon: guitars; Lightwave: special effects; Steve Shehan: percussion; Hector Zazou: claviers; (9) Khaled and Malka Spigel: vocals; Vincent Kenis: guitars, bass; Denis Moulin: percussion, guitar; Daniel Manzanas: acoustic guitar; Hector Zazou: electronics; (10) Lisa Gerrard: vocals, yang ch’in; Brendan Perry: synth; Lightwave : synth, electric percussion; Ryuichi Sakamoto: piano; Hector Zazou: synth, samplers; (11) Ketema Mekonn: vocals; Ryuichi Sakamoto: piano; Renault Pion: saxophone; Hector Zazou : claviers; (12) Richard Bohringer and Sussan Deihim: voix, vocals; Mr. X: vocal ending, guitars; Bill Laswell: basses, effects, beats; Matt Stein: computer programming, loops; Eric Henrion: additional drums; Hector Zazou: claviers, guitars.

          1992 - Crammed Discs/TriStar Music (France), WK 57779 (CD)
          1992 - Crammed Discs/Columbia (France) COL 472126-2 (CD)
          1992 - Made To Measure (Belgium), MTM 32 (CD)
          1992 - Dolphin/Made To Measure (Australia), DOL0018-2 (CD)
          1992 - Crammed Discs/BMG (Germany), 74321 11208-2 (CD)
          1992 - Crammed Discs/Sony Music (Japan), SRCD 5975 (CD)
          1992 - Crammed Discs/Sony Music (Japan), SRCD 6979 (CD)
Note: Only the second Japanese edition contains track 13.


We pass to sweetly. Actually it was impossible to name music HECTOR ZAZOU perhaps, never = sweet =. If you always considered, that in France there is only one representative electronic sound performing Jean Michel Jarre - that you, unfortunately, were mistaken. The tireless unordinary experimenter, founder of the new musical forms and emotional spaces HECTOR ZAZOU. Famous of the project 92 years, which was published under the name = SAHARA BLUE =. This work shakes not only musical material, but also quantity of the representatives of "clever" music, which in him took part. I shall name some names: RYUICHI SAKOMOTO, DAVID SYLVIAN, RENAULT PION, JOHN CALE, duet LIGHTWAVE and duet DEAD CAN DANCE, STEVE SHEHAN, BILL LASWELL. As you can see, set more than impressing. Yes, has not overlooked nearly, this work, certainly, conceptual and is based on the same poem Arthur Rembo. The greatest meaning in this project I have allocated directly itself Zazou and French electronic duet LIGHTWAVE. Just due to diligence by this triangle the album has that inimitable, electro-acoustic atmosphere, which is so strict, as well as is mysterious. Minimalistic arrangements on a background of an electrical atmosphere are perceived is underlined elegantly and “thinking”. On my sight, this international project was event of year, year 92, about which, alas!, the world of professional musical journalism as has kept silent. Welcome in the illusory world of light-blue sand.

Martin (courtesy of the Back o the Universe website)


Unlike Anything Else

Forget the fact that there's an all-star cast on this, as on many other Zazou albums. And don't let the first track deceive you either, great though it is. Sure, starting an album with a Gerard Depardieu poetry-reading vocal over a disco rhythm with a pumping Bill Laswell baseline gets thing off on a flying start, but the rest of the album is much more quietly, electronically atmospheric, with some great French and English vocals from John Cale and Barbara Gogan especially. "Sahara Blue" is a collection of songs set to lyrics (some sung in the original French, some in English translation) by "poete maudit" Arthur Rimbaud. The album has an internationally oriented, ambient atmosphere with a bite that defies description. It may have something to do with the fact that Frenchman Zazou, who was born and raised in Algeria but was forced to move to France, appears to be uprooted and permanently caught between at least two worlds. He has been trying to unite the best of both worlds musically. "Sahara Blue" is a musical trip (in both senses), a mind-blowing experience that will leave you hungry for more. In that case, explore "Songs from the Cold Seas" with a similar all-star cast from around the North Pole Circle, "Lights in the Dark", Zazou's Irish record, or the hard-to-find "Nouvelles Polyphonies Corses" on Philips, with the most amazing vocals of all, weird and age-old-sounding vocals from Corsica, to which he provides an outspoken yet fitting accompaniment.

5 stars out of 5

J.W. Reitsma (courtesy of the Amazon.com website)