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Univers Zero - Implosion CD (album) cover


Univers Zero



4.04 | 115 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars Since UZ had released the groundbreaking Uzed album in 86, the connoisseur was grumpily saying that the formula they had achieved on that album had not really (or little) been renewed as such, for the last three albums (spanning over some 17 years), but with this album, Implosion, this was about to be remedied to. If you are to look inside the (tiny) booklet, you will see an extended line-up (namely with the return of the original members Michel Berckmans), but on the following tour (the first one since their re-formation in 99), UZ will have a more conventional and restrained line-up (where surprisingly long-time collab Descheemaeker will not be included);

The thing that strikes most when looking at the track listing is the sheer number of them (an unprecedented 16) and the average length (or should I say shortness). Once your disc is inside your deck and spinning the shock comes right away: never had you heard such (and so much) synthesised/sampled music before on a UZ album. What must be known is that most of these tracks came with their pictorial montages that made them essential for the future tour, even if this is not quite so obvious on the album. If I said in the above paragraph that the music had evolved, please do not be afraid of not finding the typical UZ ambiances: everything is still there and very much in the same spirit as before with the sombre but haunting atmospheres evoking the mysterious mid-east (somewhere between the Egyptian empires and the Sumerian era), but so much more. As one of the highlights, Temps Neuf (and its reeds reminding of Art Zoyd's JP Soarez and Pietton), or the lengthy finale Meandres are representing the classic UZ, there are times when this album borders a bit too close for comfort techno-id music in the short interludes.

Most proghead should lend an attentive ear to the two Mellotronic themes (which are definitely not what you would expect), but this album is must-hear for everyone enjoying challenging music. As much as I love UZ's music, it would never occur to me to play an album of theirs while wanting to get cosy with the mistress in distress, but it is still highly recommendable to everyone as long as they are not getting turgid ;-)

Sean Trane | 4/5 |


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