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Univers Zero


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Univers Zero Live album cover
3.99 | 41 ratings | 4 reviews | 41% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Live, released in 2006

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Xenantaya (12:53)
2. Civic Circus (7:33)
3. Electronika Mambo Musette (7:20)
4. Kermesse Atomique (6:04)
5. Bonjour Chez Vous (5:00)
6. Méandres (10:33)
7. Falling Rain Dance (8:53) *
8. Toujours Plus à L'Est (8:21) *

Total Time: 66:37

Line-up / Musicians

- Michel Berckmans / oboe, English horn, bassoon, melodica
- Kurt Budé / clarinet, bass clarinet, tenor saxophone
- Daniel Denis / drums, percussion
- Martin Lauwers / violin
- Eric Plantain / bass
- Peter Van Den Berghe / keyboards

Releases information

Cuneiform Records Rune 220, recorded 24th June 2005 at "Les Halles de Schaerbeek" Brussels, Belgique and * 18th June 2005 at "Le Triton" Les Lilas, France.

Thanks to pirkka for the addition
and to ProgLucky for the last updates
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UNIVERS ZERO Live ratings distribution

(41 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(41%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(41%)
Good, but non-essential (15%)
Collectors/fans only (2%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

UNIVERS ZERO Live reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
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 ;-)

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars Well I do think this deserves 4 stars relatively speaking, but I feel that the power, intensity and darkness that draws me to this band is sorely missing from this live album. Sure we see glimpses of it but that's not enough.This just feels like a "safe" recording to me. This performance came after the "Implosion" album, a recording that contains those three attributes in a big way. Part of it might be because the lineup for this live release is about half of what was on the "Implosion" album. My least favourite UNIVERS ZERO album "The Hard Quest" is represented the most here as well. This is a really good album i'm just giving reasons why it doesn't thrill me like most of their recordings do.

"Xenantaya" is the song that comes closest by far to representing what I love about this band. The dark atmosphere for the first 3 minutes followed by the bass and drums is great. Violin 5 1/2 minutes in and check out the keyboards before 8 1/2 minutes as drums and bass support. Great tune ! "Civic Circus" is from "The Hard Quest" and it opens with heavy drums before settling into an intricate soundscape. Violin before 3 minutes as a calm with piano follows. "Electronika Mambo Musette" is from a Daniel Denis solo album. Odd sounds to open before it kicks in around a minute with horns leading. Violin then organ follows. Horns end it. "Kermesse Atomique" is from "The Hard Quest" and is laid back as different sounds come and go. Some dissonance to end it.

"Bonjour Chez Vous" is from "Ceux Du Dehors" and has a more Classical style to it with a rhythm. "Meandres" just doesn't sound as good as the studio version from "Implosion". Violin, drums and aboe stand out early. I like when it settles after 5 minutes with piano. Drums and bass join in. A dark calm before 9 1/2 minutes. Good song. "Falling Rain Dance" is also from "Implosion". It opens with a drum solo of sorts. Love when the chunky bass arrives 4 1/2 minutes in. "Toujours Plus A L'est" is from the "Crawling Wind" EP. It opens with piano as violin joins in. A full sound follows. A calm 4 1/2 minutes in with violin and flute. It kicks back in around 7 minutes.

I'm not giving up on this one yet, but I just wouldn't feel right about giving it 4 stars right now. Still if your a fan of this band i'm sure you'll love it. It's their only live album right now.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Univers Zero - Live 20100515 Three tracks from The Hard Quest, (one of the few UZ albums I've yet to get), one from a Daniel Denis solo album, one from Crawling Wind (now an album from it's original 3 track beginnings - hey, progressive... the albums don't remain the same) and two from Implo ... (read more)

Report this review (#282143) | Posted by uduwudu | Sunday, May 16, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Yes - I was on June 24, 2005 in Brussels, listening to this concert (first six tunes of this record are recorded there)! I specially travelled from Tallinn (the capital of my homeland Estonia) to Brussels with the aim to listen (and see) maybe (in my oppinion) the most important rock-related b ... (read more)

Report this review (#70731) | Posted by Rainer Rein | Tuesday, February 28, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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