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Art Zoyd - Symphonie Pour Le Jour O¨ Brűleront Les CitÚs  CD (album) cover

SYMPHONIE POUR LE JOUR O┘ BR█LERONT LES CIT╔S

Art Zoyd

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

4.28 | 37 ratings

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octopus-4
Special Collaborator
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
4 stars The ART ZOYD debut album was released in few copies and it's a collection item. Any other band wishing to re-release the debut would probably reprint it. Art Zoyd decided to re-record it instead, even with a different lineup.

I have never heard the original debut, so I can't make any comparison but the fact that Zaboitzeff is classically trained makes me think that it shouldn't be very different.

The album is made of two long suites. The first which gives the title to the album exceeded the side A of the vinyl so the third part was on side B.

Let's imagine Magma without the Vanders. I mean that there is no drums and no operistic vocals, but the mixture of classic and jazz has a mood very similar to the Zeuhl founders, specially because of the use of brasses (Trumpet and alto sax) on which Zaboitzeff screams at the beginning of the first track. The orchestration is symphonic. The cello and the violin supported by the electric bass setup a dreamy classical ambient. I think that this is where the Hungarian After Crying can have take some inspiration even if probably both the bands have taken something from Stravinskij. After about 7 minutes a bass riff adds a bit of rock to the strings. The music is dramatic and engaging. Thinking to the "Special Brigades" of the title it gives the idea. The whole concept is dramatic: the album title means "Symphony for the day when the cities burned".

When the special brigades shut up the cello starts with a solo. This is "Masques" (Masks). The cello solo is melting, maybe it represents the cities after the fire. After a couple of minutes trumpet and bass break the melody and after few seconds of decoherence the bass takes the leadership. There is no rhythm of any kind. Neither the bass can lighten the situation while the trumpet plays an incredible number of notes and trills. The pathos increases. A bass note, it seems a voice, is now leading over a noisy but rhythmically static situation. After about 7 minutes it changes totally. I don't know what Zabitzeff repeats several times with his voice. It's another Zeuhl moment but the cello and the violin become suddenly rhythmic, between the Rites of Spring and After Crying's De Profundis. This is already "Simulacres" (mock), the last movement of the first suite.

This part is more rhythmic, thanks to the bass and sometimes to cello. The music is apparently unstructured but it's only an impression. The last minute is very intense with a frenetic rhythm set by bass and cello trills. It's a crescendo of tension and thrill that ends suddenly with a couple of orchestral accents.

The second suite is, I think, the avant counterpart of Dark Side of the Moon. "Deux Image De La Cite Imbecile" means "Two images of the imbecile city" and the first of the two is "The Ants". Let's imagine rows of people walking in line frenetically, like ants. Also Zaboitzeff's voice tries to give this idea when he cries something that I don't understand with a high- pitched and nasal voice. This music makes me think to some scenes of Fritz Lang's Metropolis.

"Carnival Scenes" is the second image. Effectively if you have ever been in a Mediterranean city during the carnival time (not necessarily Venice), but also looking to Rio de Janeiro, you can probably understand what Art Zoyd mean. Between the end of the first chaotic movement and the start of the symphonic second part, at about 2 minutes from the start, we can also clearly hear the guitar that's almost always present in the album, sometimes taking the role of the bass when the bassist is playing the cello. This second part is more structured, nearly rock, then there's an alternance of calm and chaotic moments. It's not properly what one can call "easy", but it's the most approachable part for who is not into this kind of music.

As always, when I review Avant/RIO albums I find difficult saying that an album of this kind is an excellent addition to "ANY" collection. One has to get used to this music before liking it is possible. However this is surely excellent and prog, so 4 stars.

octopus-4 | 4/5 |

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