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Univers Zero - Live CD (album) cover


Univers Zero



3.98 | 39 ratings

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4 stars Univers Zero - Live

20100515 Three tracks from The Hard Quest, (one of the few UZ albums I've yet to get), one from a Daniel Denis solo album, one from Crawling Wind (now an album from it's original 3 track beginnings - hey, progressive... the albums don't remain the same) and two from Implosion.

UZ feature the usual line up of violins, clarinets, oboes, and keyboards along with drums and bass. The playing and production is first class.

The album begins magnificently. Xenantaya is all dread and menace. The band is tight and the drum solo (not really expected of UZ IMHO) merges as a longer intro into Falling Rain Dance; the bass links in with the ease born of quality performance and rehearsal. The audience is present but one is only aware in between tracks.

Honestly I'm not really sure what to expect of an official UZ live album. I have a feeling a 2 CD (or 2 CD / DVD) set might have served better and with more material, possibly some unreleased material.

However the playing is all one would expect of this magnificent band. Toujours Plus l'Est is the closest to a golden familiar oldie (and this term is a totally inappropriate way to refer to UZ music.) It is improvised at times but the return to the theme is as tight and focused that unless one knew the original one might not realize just how much other work is done on it. Additional keyboard harmonies really bring out the lustre of this piece. Really this is marvelous stuff.

The music is time less, the performances superb. If you are a UZ fan you'll love it. I can only give it four stars, essential to a UZ collection and fine addition to anyone with a serious progressive or art rock type collection.

Actually a three star album is all what one can reasonably expect of most bands (to provide cohesive, original, well performed and recorded material for the most part) but this is Univers Zero. I just think a 2 CD set might have done more them better justice. You see, as far as the material goes performance and atmosphere wise it's there. But there is no sense of concert climax. It could be a middle bit but the live album just doesn't act as a concert; it's too short.

Still, apparently this gives an indication of the performance sequence, unfortunately I cannot confirm... I have a feeling there is more to a UZ concert than the hour or so here. Like I say, a 2CD set is needed. Still there are always the performances on Relaps to enjoy as well as this gem.


uduwudu | 4/5 |


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