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Art Zoyd - Le Mariage Du Ciel Et De L'Enfer CD (album) cover


Art Zoyd


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3 stars Le Mariage Du Ciel et de L'Enfer is Art Zoyd's ballet album. The music was composed for a ballet, and they likely purposely lightened up enough to give the dance a space in which to exist. There is therefore a visual element lacking to the album compared to other works like Berlin or Les Espaces Inquietes (usually included on a double CD with Phase IV).

It's an interesting album, just not their most dynamic. Still, it contains an incredible four minute showstopper in Sortie 134, at the end. A blistering anthem to power gone awry.

Report this review (#81669)
Posted Wednesday, June 21, 2006 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
Prog Folk
4 stars Although Art Zoyd remains active still today, I consider this sixth album of the last classic period, even if the music had already taken a slightly different twist with the previous Les Espaces Inquiets. Again a double album (as had phase IV had been) this is the music to accompany a Roland Petit ballet. If the name of Roland Petit rings a bell to progheads, it is because Pink Floyd did a project (un-finished and un-recorded) during the DOSTM sessions and Petit was never far away from the prog crowd. The line-up is by now very stable, the group is still without a proper drummer (Daniel Denis being busy in UZ) as the two composers are sharing the percussion work with Soarez and the compositions again fairly even between Hourbette and Zaboitzeff.

Bizarrely this ballet was first premiered in Milano in June 84 then recorded in Switzerland in October, mixed in Belgium during the winter and only organized for representations in France the next spring. Musically speaking the album is well in the line of the previous ones, slightly more accessible than Phae IV and less atmospheric then Especes Inquiets, on the whole, this album is maybe the closest to early Univers Zero's Heresie or Ceux Du Dehors. There are some superb moments, especially Cryogenese (in two parts of 18 and 15 mins) where the winds add an incredible out-of-this-world feel and the rythms are leading you in a transient state of mind, where musical particularities or tiniest details acquire a new meaning or importance. Another excellent moment is the two-part Mouvance, specially the second part which is called 1 - go figure it out for yourself - and that superb piano dictating an infernal rhythm even when it is not present, repeating a haunted crescendo: Du grand art, Monsieur!. Clearly this album actually really deserve its title: the marriage between heaven and hell. The second Cryogenese is the logical prolongation of itself, with some returning themes and its awesomely disturbing (dare I say mind-boggling?) debut section: Wow! And believe me that this is very danceable music also, so the ballet might be worth a viewing if the shows were filmed.

One of the weaknesses of this album is its duration time, because this kind of music is not that easy on the nerves IF you are not used to it, so listening to a double dose of it is usually driving to the overdose. Still quite an impressive and fully worthy AZ album, this could be one of Gerard Hourbette's finest hour.

Report this review (#82279)
Posted Friday, June 30, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars When I first listened to this album, I thought it was good but tiring at times and with a poor connection between the songs. Around the fourth time was when I started getting into the music really. What is really amazing about this album is that it's like watching a movie. It's like a story being told by the music and the effects. Art Zoyd is a band I had never heard before PA's collaborator Joren, suggested this cd to me. It's the only album I've listened by AZ so far and as the other reviewers have said, the music was composed for a Roland Petit's ballet. As I've read on the internet, AZ often create music for ballet and films so to an AZ fan this is not something new.

This album consists of 9 tracks and can be divided in groups of songs. This is a result of both their title and musical connection. I'm going to review every "group" separately.

"Sortie 134" (tracks 1,9). "Sortie 134 - part 1" is the opening track. The first odd sounds start coming out of the speakers, something like the sound of seals, and then the music starts. Other sounds like children laughs appear while after 2 minutes the first brilliant part of the album appears. An amazing idea based on the piano and accompanied by violin, cello and trumpet among other instruments and sounds such as strange percussion. Another great idea comes right after that, and may remind you a bit of Magma. The track ends with the children laughs (which you hear also in the beginning of the second track). "Sortie 134 - part 2" is the last track of the album. It is a more ambient/electronic track with very interesting vocals. The children laughs appear again to close the album.

"Cryogenese" (track 2,8). "Cryogenese - Rêve Artificiel" starts off with the children laughs. The music comes in and after a while everything stops to let room for a repeating sound to start. It's some kind of percussion that stays until the end of the track. "Cryogenèse - Les Portes du Futur" has many has also a repeating sound that is similar to the one on the second track.

"IO" (tracks 3,4,5). All three tracks are small tracks based on one idea each with effects being added here and there. The most interesting of those is "IO 3" which is based on a very nice idea. However I would really like to hear those three songs while watching the show really cause I don't think they can stand so well alone. Didier Pietton does a really nice job playing soprano saxophone in all three tracks.

"Mouvance" (tracks 6,7). Both are two piano based tracks. The first one is soft and magical while the second one is heavier with organ and wind instruments appearing here and there.

Overall it's very strange music and many times it's more like a mixture of sounds. Anyway, I would really like to be able to watch the visual performance in order to understand the music better. If you aren't used to such music (like me), it may seem to strange in the beginning. However, I managed, after many listens, to be able to enjoy this album but it's surely an album you have to be in the right mood in order to be listened.

Report this review (#99158)
Posted Thursday, November 16, 2006 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
5 stars This was released as a double album back in 1985 and was the music for Roland Petit's ballet called "The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell". It's hard to believe this was used as music for a ballet, although Petit was known for his theatrical productions. He apparently saw ART ZOYD on television and so contacted them about doing this. I must say I feel very fortunate to have this cd as it is the last of their chamber music period before they went heavily into electronics.This is the only one of their early period that is not out of print yet, and it's one of their best. I got my copy at "Wayside Music". What's it sound like ? Well my favourite place to listen to music is in my truck on my hour drive to and from work. I listen to the longer cds like this on my way home because I can take my time and go the long way. I've been listening to this all week at work and one customer gave me a hard time about it saying I should have Christmas music on instead of this depressing stuff, I decided to let him live. So tonight on the way home in the dark I had a careful listen to this recording.The closest reference in my opinion is UNIVERS ZERO, in that this is very intense and dark.This is more minimilstic and experimental but every bit as good, in fact I like it better than UNIVERS ZERO's early works.

"Sortie 134(Part 1)" opens with a lot of tension as dual piano melodies and trumpet lead the way before it calms down and we can hear children laughing. Some violin and piano before a full sound comes back 3 minutes in that comes and goes. A change before 6 minutes as we get lots of percussion and piano. Vocal melodies before 8 minutes.This is intense ! Great track ! It ends with children laughing again as it blends into "Cryogenese(Reve Artificiel)". The sound of a metronome ticking can be heard as trumpet blasts and piano comes in. A change 3 minutes in as the metronome stops and the trumpet and piano continue. Again this is so intense. Another change 5 minutes in as metronome returns with piano. I'm reminded of UNIVERS ZERO 6 1/2 minutes in. Trumpet a minute later. Actually an outbreak of trumpet 9 1/2 minutes in goes on for a minute. It becomes so intense and unrelenting. Another change 14 1/2 minutes in as some strange sounds replace the trumpet. Sounds like synths 16 1/2 minutes in as the piano stops. What a ride that was. "Io 1" features sax melodies that are at time dissonant. "Io 2" is eerie and haunting. A cool rhythm with sax comes in that stops and starts. I like this one.

"Io 3" opens with almost a pulsating sound as violin comes in. It stops and then continues but this time piano is added. It stops again and restarts.This part is kind of spooky. Vocal melodies join 4 minutes in. "Mouvance 2" incorporates these beautiful piano melodies. A full sound before 3 minutes. "Mouvance 1" features more piano but it's more aggressive. Trumpet comes in tastefully as we again have two pianos being played. The intensity is removed as the song settles down. Violin comes in as piano quietly plays on. "Cryogenese(Les Portes Du Futur)" opens with outbursts of piano. Percussion comes and goes. Organ and trumpet 1 1/2 minutes in. The outbreaks come back. Violin 3 1/2 minutes in. Vocal sounds. Metronome comes in. Organ 7 minutes in. The rest of the song is fantastic ! One of the best part of the album. It has more of a melody with trumpet blasts, piano and organ. "Sortie 134(Part 2)" has a good beat, and the children laughing are back. Vocal melodies and speaking as well. Great ending to this album.

When I finished listening to this I thought to myself "Was that just a bad dream I had ?" ART ZOYD have just been put near the top of my favourite Rio-Prog band list. Get this record !!

Report this review (#155893)
Posted Wednesday, December 19, 2007 | Review Permalink

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