Yūgen is a prose-poem set to music, a "mutus liber" where each song has words, but there is no vocalist to articulate it. The listener "oculatus abis" (depart(s) seeing) through the phenomenological musical-emotional interpretation of the (no)-text. The listener can interpret the (no)text without the linguistic-conceptual framework of the author.
It is a musical-conceptual journey that represents the inner-structures and sequential stages of psycho-existential evolution - from the archaic to the supra-personal.
Yūgen was inspired by the work of Ken Wilber, Carl Jung, Jan Smuts, Friedrich Nietzsche, Shakyamuni Buddha, Arthur Schopenhauer and the Alchemists.
The musical style of the album was influenced by the Japanese concept of yūgen - which describes the subtle profundity of things, revealed or suggested beauty, at once elusive and meaningful.
released June 6, 2009
All music written by Guy du Plessis, additional riffs and harmonies by Wayde Holland
Guy du Plessis: Guitars, Programming, Synths, Bass Guitar, & Vox.
Wayde Holland: Lead Guitar
Arranged & Produced by Guy du Plessis
Recorded & mixed by Guy du Plessis, Muizenberg, Cape Town over the period of March 2007 to June 2009.
Mastering done by Matthew de Nobreye at
Additional drums - Andrew Austin (Philosopher's Stone)
Backing vocals - Millie Oosthuizen (Dissolution)
Additional vocals and keyboard - David Hut (Dissolution)
Art direction: Guy du Plessis
Cover design: Millie Oosthuizen
Yūgen is dedicated to my brother Jurie Germishuis (1971 - 2004) Horridas nostrae mentis purga tenebras.
Review by Chavdar from Avante-Garde Metal.com:
I liked the approach of ZARATHUSTRA on "Yugen” and downloaded their album. On the one side of the spectrum the songs varies from dark ambient, industrial or alternative electronica to a kind of new age feel, the signifying of which, under my impression at least, owes a lot to the fine blending of clean, smooth, drawn-out guitar solos..thus, both synthetic and organic, often unifying echoing space with flat bases, the unusual and difficult to pinpoint order of "Yugen” is like various cohabitations of magnitude and additional diversity. Guy du Plessis says:"I used the alchemical stages as a metaphor to represent the different levels of consciousness and correlated these as identified by Carl Jung with the developmental stages of Western psychology as identified by Ken Wilber. From a recording and programming perspective I wanted to avoid the conventional drumming patterns associated with metal and industrial-metal and chose a more minimalist electro drum style to make space from the atmospheric elements and create a hypnotic-dreamlike experience while using metal elements. My intention was to use metal-based guitaring, but to create a relaxing effect instead of an energizing effect which most types of metal have on the listener.Furthermore, we used a visual approach to the songs, thinking what visual imagery the combination of all the elements at different times conjure up for the listener, instead of focusing primarily on the harmony or melody. Although I kept strong melodic elements, the intention was for the melody and harmony to serve as a vehicle for the more subtle timber-like and atmospheric elements. I wanted to create a much layered effect, while maintaining a minimalist feel and the experience that the music is not rushed. We also used the same approach with the lead guitaring, instead of focusing on conventional busy and flashy lead breaks we wanted the lead guitar to retain a minimalist feel that accompanies the music instead of experienced as a separate element. The album was intended to have a feeling of restraint and space, while at the same time providing the listener with a dense sonic experience. Although we started off with certain conceptual ideas each song developed without a specific musical style in mind and took on a life of its own, which was part of our original intention to create an album without any specific boundaries or genre. Moreover, the album was done without any desire for commercial success or monetary gain in mind, and consequently we did not have to conform any of the album's elements to serve the need of attracting a certain audience. Tthe writing and recording process took me and Wayde nearly three years to complete”
Zarathustra is an integral avant-garde band from Cape Town, South Africa. Zarathustra aims to use Art (in the
Schopenhauerean sense of the word), as a vehicle of meaning-creation, without reverting to religious/spiritual metaphysics, but rather beginning form the philosophical foundations of existential nihilism and dyteleology....more