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Art Zoyd - Les Espaces Inquiets CD (album) cover

LES ESPACES INQUIETS

Art Zoyd

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.41 | 28 ratings

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zravkapt
Special Collaborator
Post/Math Rock Team
4 stars Art Zoyd was/is one of the better groups in Avant-Prog. One of the greatest things to come out of France. They are similar in sound to Univers Zero but are generally more eclectic and weird. They formed in 1968 and originally were influenced by the Mothers Of Invention and Captain Beefheart. The first album was self-released in 1976. This is Zoyd's fifth album(not including the 1980 remake of the debut).

Leave it to Art Zoyd to start one of their albums with the most avant song on it. The first "Legendes" song, subtitled "La Foret Qui Avance", is a strange and mysterious piece. It's mostly strange noises and creepy voices whispering. The only real music here is the strings which come and go. One of the reasons I like this album so much, despite the odd beginning, is that it has two of my favourite AZ songs here: "Ceremonie" and "Migrations". Those two songs are really great prog music for 1983; they make Neo-Prog sound like Duran Duran in comparison. Of course with Duran Duran we're talking about a completely different "Rio".

"Ceremonie"(which you can listen to on PA) begins with dramatic organ before going into the main part of the song. Simple but effective bass playing with jangly acoustic guitar and some percussion. Then there is some great trumpet before some almost metal-like screeching from electric guitar. The end of the song is very avant though, with some weird Magma-esque vocals. "Migrations" is a song that every progger should hear at least once in their life. This song has some great bass from Thierry Zaboitzeff(why isn't he on PA yet?).

About 4 minutes in there is a great section with bass and a repeated piano part. Eventually we get another piano playing over top with viola, then some organ before it goes back again. This leads to a dissonant section with trumpet and more organ. Around 7 1/2 minutes we get a drum machine pattern with some very nice piano playing. Overdubbed trumpets appear. Later we get a very bizarre sound that goes back and forth in the left and right channels. I can only describe it as a cross between hearing a train go by and a bowling ball knocking over pins.

Of the three "Images" songs, "Cortege Des Officiels" is the most interesting. The last song and second "Legendes" piece, "La Bruit Du Fer", has some programmed drumming which almost sounds like the real thing. The bass part is unique sounding; this reminds me of a song that Einsturzende Neubauten did in the 90s. Art Zoyd are one of the only "rock" groups without a drummer. Beginning on this album they use drum machines and synths. Previously they were an almost acoustic group with electric bass and occasionally electric guitar and electric piano. After this album they dove headfirst into synths and programming, but not quite abandoning the violins and trumpet just yet.

Art Zoyd is a group that should be more known. It doesn't help that their music is expensive. Les Espaces Inquits is not their most consistent album but has some of the best music they did. For 1983 this is very heady and adventurous stuff. 4 stars.

zravkapt | 4/5 |

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