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Univers Zero


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Univers Zero Phosphorescent Dreams album cover
3.95 | 181 ratings | 7 reviews | 23% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2014

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Shaking Hats (9:43)
2. Rêve Mécanique (4:46)
3. Très Affables (7:29)
4. Vocation (12:30)
5. Les Voleurs D'Ombre (9:57)
6. L'Espoir Perdu (5:25)
7. Phosphorescent Dream (12:43)

Total time 62:33

Line-up / Musicians

- Nicolas Dechêne / electric & acoustic guitars
- Antoine Guenet / keyboards
- Kurt Budé / clarinet, bass clarinet, alto & tenor saxophones, percussion
- Dimitri Evers /bass, fretless bass
- Daniel Denis / drums, percussion

- Nicolas Denis / drums & percussion (3)
- Hugues Tahon / trumpet (4,6,7)
- Adrien Lambinet / trombone (4,6)

Releases information

CD Arcàngelo ‎- ARC-1313 (2014, Japan)

Thanks to progshine for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy UNIVERS ZERO Phosphorescent Dreams Music

UNIVERS ZERO Phosphorescent Dreams ratings distribution

(181 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(23%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(40%)
Good, but non-essential (29%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

UNIVERS ZERO Phosphorescent Dreams reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Nogbad_The_Bad
FORUM & SITE ADMIN GROUP RIO/Avant/Zeuhl & Eclectic Team
4 stars I always look forward to a new Univers Zero album though I have to admit to a sense of trepidation given that this album would feature a new line-up. I first heard of the new line up in the run up to the Rock In Opposition festival when it was announced that Michel Berckmans (Bassoon & Oboe), Pierre Chevalier (Keyboards) & Martin Lauwers (Violin) had been replaced by Nicolas Dechêne (Electric Guitar) & Antoine Guenet (Keyboards).

Daniel had clearly decided to move to a more stripped down rock sound with fewer orchestral instruments. If it is an experiment it can be said to have worked. The sound is different but it is clearly Univers Zero, still bears a lot of their hallmarks and distinctive sound. Kurt Bude steps up on this record providing half the song writing on the album. It's a welcome addition to the album as Kurt's tracks are as strong as Daniels.

While I certainly miss Michel's Bassoon & Oboe which have been signature sounds for Univers Zero for many years. But the electric guitar is a welcome edgy addition. This album continues the renaissance started with Clivages. I view both these recent albums as almost as good as the classic 1313 to Heatwave run. Highly Recommended to all UZ fans.

Review by admireArt
5 stars Univers Zero and beyond....

Univers Zero's, 2014, " Phosphorescent Dreams", makes it quiet clear from start to finish how well this ensemble has aged for good. This release will even challenge the band's close followers by striking some brushes of a somewhat not very Univers Zero's commonly known musical language. But as all true owners of an own musical idiom these "new" approaches never, not even by chance, lose their "trademark" dark intentions.

So, to cut things short, expect a very strange and hypnotic tour through a bombastic, deep, bitter-sweet, obscure beauty. Tainted with "free-Jazz", some "happy melodic lines" here and there, splashes of very "heavy" electrics and subtle solos of the same, "medieval-like music intros and passages", a couple of piano based songs, marvelous instrumental arrangements and intelligent compositions full of extraordinary and daring ideas. All matched up with highly inspired performances by each member of this re-modeled version of the, somewhat movable ensemble involved under this band/name, to bring everything into perfection.

I myself, have been listening to it intensely for the past weeks and it only gets better and more difficult to turn down each time I play it. I know myself, and what really turns me on. This Univers Zero 2014 release is one of those things and of course a very good recommendation for ANY prog-audiophile.

Easy, *****5 PA stars. No less! Enjoy!

Review by Warthur
4 stars A new Univers Zero album is always worth paying attention to, and in this case the revived band have won me over in a way which The Hard Quest didn't manage to accomplish. Here, the clarinet and other woodwind instruments of Kurt Budé add a softer side to the band's music which doesn't really fit most listeners' impressions of Univers Zero as a terrifying musical chamber of horrors, but it actually suits the more contemplative direction the band steer the music in here. Not out to scare for the sake of spookiness here, the group even (to my ears) draw on the gentler side of the Canterbury sound in spots to create a better balance between heavy, foreboding material and more charming stuff.
Review by Sean Trane
4 stars Wow, this could be disputably the band's longest album title to date after their Ceux Du Dehors. Does this spell a change of attitude? Well DD certainly changed a few things in his lifelong project and maybe the most shocking one is the change of label. I'm still at odds at guessing why Daniel thought that he would get a better support than Feigelbaum's Cuneiform label, but the resulting album is not only a very expensive album, but it is not well distributed and not available widely on the web? and not at all in brick & mortar record store. Past that first consideration, the band's line- up has been revamped, with ex-PaNoPTiCoN and present day Wrong Object keyboardist Antoine Guenet and on guitar Nicolas Duchêne. Elsewhere, Dimitri Evers (bass, and Budé (winds) are alongside Daniel, but we're also seeing a few guests, such as sonny Nicola on drums for a track, and a horn section comprising of Hugues Tahon (trumpet) and Adrien Lambinet (trombone) on three tracks. Recorded and mixed at Didier De Roos's installations in Braine and Soignies throughout the second part of 2013, PD was released in January of the following year, with a post- atomic (or stormy) artwork, courtesy of Thierry Moreau.

Well, the corridor noises were that UZ's sound was (finally?) going to change a fair bit with the line- up changes and an electric guitar in the fold. The leastr we can say is that the sonic changes are not immediately audible, and maybe the prime culprit is the unchanged songwriting. Indeed seven tracks, ranging from almost-5 to almost-13-minutes, composed by Daniel (4 of them) and Kurt Dubé (the remaining three) are not much of a change in the light of UZ's overall discography. Are we looking at Clivages' obvious successor or at an Implosion-like venture? Little doubt that from the first notes of the 10-mins Shaking Hats, you're looking more at the first option than a divergence from the Universal (and absolute) Zero. Despite DD's French and Japanese liner notes as to turn the band to a more "electric sound" to remedy to what he was seeing the band's stagnation (my words, not his).

Technically, the electric guitar and keyboards (Pierre Chevalier was playing on digital synths anyway), but it's not like it brings a major contribution or change the band's soundscapes a great deal. My guess is that DD's near-pathological perfectionism saw that the band's impetus was waning and thought a revamp was needed. For the audible results on the album, I find the changes so un-remarkable that the risk he took angering the "sacked" long-standing Chevalier and Berckmans not worth it. I'm sure the former got over it (he's a busy man), but not nearly as sure for the later. As with the preceding Clivages and the anterior Implosion, UZ's general mood is relatively lighter than it was in the 80's and 90's, and though I wouldn't qualify PD of light-hearted danceable music, there are moments where a certain warmth reaches your vicinity. Of course, this doesn't apply for the sinister title track.

The big debate around RIO-heads is whether the very-high price of the album (and its shipping from Japan) is worth the investment. Obviously, if you're an unconditional UZ fan, it will be worth the important hassle and costs, but if you're a little more objective, you'll think twice or thrice before doing so, especially if you know that, outside the slight line-up change, Phosphorescent Dream is yet another "normal" UZ album. As such, I don't find it essential per se (the last to date was Implosion, IMHO), but it's a very worthy album nevertheless.

Review by Mellotron Storm
5 stars I must admit I was shocked when I heard that Berckmans, Chevalier and Kirk were not going to be on this album but then UNIVERS ZERO has always seemed to be a band in constant change. I read an interview with band leader Daniel Denis who said the lineup had to change for this album or he would have stopped the band because it was time for a change. The biggest difference in UZ's sound on this latest record is the guitar, not that there hasn't been guitar on previous albums because there has, but not like this where it's such a big part of the sound. It's odd that there is no accordion, aboe, english horn, strings of any kind, glockenspiel or bassoon. The music is what i'd describe as melancholic and Chamber-like but it's certainly not without the darkness and powerful sections. Lots of horns as we get clarinet and sax along with some guest trombone and trumpet. This has been a huge surprise for me because I rate this in my top three already behind "Heatwave" and "Uzed".

"Shaking Hats" has this determined beat of drums bass and piano as the clarinet plays over top. It turns dark before 2 minutes with some inventive guitar expressions. Great section! A calm with piano only follows then the clarinet and more join in. More guitar 4 1/2 minutes in as it becomes more powerful and it's quite dark here. Back to that opening sound after 7 minutes followed by a silent calm before sparse piano then clarinet arrive quietly to end it. "Reve Mecanique" is led by piano and horns early on in this mid-paced beauty. It turns fuller before 3 minutes but then calms right down and some marching styled drums join in as it builds. It's heavier 4 1/2 minutes in and I like the trumpet 5 minutes in. Back to the piano and clarinet then sax at 8 1/2 minutes as it continues to plod along, love this stuff. "Tres Affables" is melancholic with piano and clarinet to start. It picks up some and it's a little fuller too. A lighter sound takes over after a minute but those melancholic sections will come and go as well. Some nice piano melodies after 4 1/2 minutes. It's cool the way themes are repeated in this one.

"Vocation" has this piano intro with cymbals as affects and more slowly join in as it builds. It's quiet again after a minute as deep sounds come and go then some evil sounding guitar arrives after 2 1/2 minutes. It lightens up again late. "Les Voleurs D'ombre" and the title track are my favourites. This one has this rhythm that sort of sways as the clarinet plays over top, very cool. Guitar before 2 minutes and it's in the angular style. It will come and go and man this sounds so good. Lots of intrcate sounds 4 minutes in and some dissonant horns as well will follow. A change 5 minutes in as it becomes dark and quiet then it kicks in before 6 1/2 minutes and again I love the guitar. It's intense 8 1/2 minutes in to the end. "Lespoir Perdu" is mainly relaxed horns and marching styled drums. "Phosphorescent Dreams" features horns that blast away then some guitar joins in before 1 1/2 minutes. We get horns and guitar only then the horns stop blasting before 3 minutes as the keyboards and guitar lead the way. Horns are back before 4 1/2 minutes. It turns dark before 7 minutes with piano only then bass clarinet and drums take over. It's still dark. Guitar before 9 1/2 minutes as it's turning brighter, piano too. It's dark and heavy before 10 1/2 minutes again.

I am so impressed not only with this recording but with Daniel Denis and all the music this band has created since the seventies. Not worthy!

Latest members reviews

4 stars New Univers Zero album is always a great news to me even if this time it would be without the magnificent sound of bassoon. I was happy to see Kurt Bude still with the band as an active writer. I remeber talking to him after one of UZ shows when they played some of the new tracks. I've mentione ... (read more)

Report this review (#2508635) | Posted by Artik | Wednesday, February 24, 2021 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This is actually my first meeting with the Belgian band Univers Zero which is a part of the Rock in opposition movement. It released its first album 1977 and "Phosphorescent Dreams" is the band's tenth one. It has been possible to hear the record since january but I have heard it recently some ... (read more)

Report this review (#1226536) | Posted by DrömmarenAdrian | Wednesday, July 30, 2014 | Review Permanlink

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