Eider Stellaire was founded in 1980 by drummer Michel Le Bars which played in Offering. The group had a previous incarnation under the name of Astarte, in which were 3 members of Eider’s lineup – Michel Le Bars (drums), Patrick Sinergy (bass) and Jean-Claude Delachat (guitar). This lineup existed for 3 years. They separated in the beginning of 1980 and reformed at the end of that year as Eider Stellaire with several new members. Pierre-Gerard Hirne (piano, organ) was able to perform on piano the new musical ideas they wanted to develop. Veronique Perrault joined in as a vocalist. This line up along with Marrie-Anne Boda (flute, vocals) and Michel Moindre (saxophone) as guests, recorded their first and excellent self titled album. This album had the sound they were after but several more lineup changes occurred. Pierre Minvielle entered as the keyboards player, Ann Stewart (Shub Niggurath) became the vocalist, Frank Coulaud joined forces with Le Bars as percussionist and finally Marie-Anne Le Bars played the flute. This lineup recorded the second album released in 1986 and also named Eider Stellaire (therefore it is referred to as Eider II). Though perceived as more accessible than the first one, those two albums define the unique sound of Elder Stellaire: The Zeuhl influence from Magma (prominent bass and drums parts) spiced up with fierceness, only not as theatrical and somewhat similar to Eskaton’s approach, and with a generous amount of jazz-rock. They recorded their third and last album called Eider III in 1987. Their albums have not yet been released on CD and the vinyl records are hard to come by and expensive. The first two albums are highly recommended for Zeuhl fans, especially those into Eskaton.
Like a number of excellent French progressive rock releases from the 70s, Eider Stellaire’s self-titled debut is an album that has criminally gone without CD issue since its original vinyl release. The style here is Zeuhl, and you all know what that entails; growling bass, thunderous drums, heavenly Fender Rhodes, organ and synthesizer motifs. Still, Eider Stellaire present a style that is perhaps more infectious and melodic than that of their forbearers, Magma, aligning themselves closer to the Eskaton interpretation of straight up ass kicking.
Eider Stellaire - Onde: