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Univers Zero - Live CD (album) cover


Univers Zero



3.97 | 37 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars If UZ has reunited by the late 90's, they were mostly not a touring group. But for their recent studio album Implosion, Daniel Denis not only wrote one of his most groundbreaking and spellbinding albums, but also decided to take the group on the road. After a few months of touring, promoting the new album, they announced that they would be recording a live album the Halles de Schaerbeek in Brussels (more or less their hometown). For different reasons, including a purposely-delayed gig of their long- time cross-town rivals Present the same night downtown (UZ was playing uptown), this was a magical night. Only seeing UZ for the second time ever (about one year after the first).

With a fairly different line-up of musicians compared to the Implosion album (most notably the absence of long-time collab Descheemaeker, the gig was not very well attended (this was just the start of holidays), but the expectations were great and the reception was warm from us. UZ was simply brilliant and the musicians were clearly on the best niveau (level). UZ has never been a group of histrionics and shredding solos, but rather an incredibly tight group where improvisation is not absent, but tightly controlled still, keeping things concise (well most of the time anyway ;-) and the listener awake. The result is a sonically superb show with an interesting video montage and ambient stage lightning that are as much as feasibly possible shown in the lenghty booklet (for a change), but you had to be there - at least I did. The set list presented here is of course partly re-presenting the full show, but the selection is widespread throughout their discography, having chosen to feature only two tracks from their latest album, although not the shortest ones. The only changes I (yes, moi ;-) would've made on this album is keep away Kermesse Atomique, which I had not liked that night and I am confirming this now, and the Falling Rain Dance track (never been a fan of drum solos, however excellent the drummer as is the case here). Of interest is Electronica Mambo Musette, which sounds anything but mambo, but rather borrows on improv some of Ravel's bolero.

As we are now waiting for the DVD of a later show in Paris, this superb live album might only be of moderate use unless you are a confirmed fan. Don't know 'bout ya, but I am ;-)

Sean Trane | 4/5 |


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