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Art Zoyd


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Art Zoyd Berlin album cover
4.20 | 69 ratings | 4 reviews | 42% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1987

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Epithalame (20:12)
2. Baboon's Blood (5:35) +
3. Petit Messe à l'Usage des Pharmaciens - Offertoire (3:13) *
4. Petit Messe à l'Usage des Pharmaciens - Kyrie (3:32) *
5. A Drum, a Drum (20:20)
6. Petit Messe à l'Usage des Pharmaciens - Introit (2:59) *
7. Unsex Me Here (3:23) *

* Not on LP

Total Time: 59:14

Line-up / Musicians

- Thierry Zaboitzeff / vocals, bass, cello, sampler, tapes, keyboards, percussion
- Patricia Dallio / grand & electric pianos, keyboards
- Gérard Hourbette / viola, violin, grand & electric pianos, keyboards, percussion
- André Mergenthaler / cello, alto sax, vocals (bass)

Releases information

Artwork: Platel with Unsafe Graphics (design)

LP Cryonic Inc. ‎- MAD 3032 (1987, France)

CD Cryonic Inc. ‎- MAD 3032 CD (1987, France) With 5 extra tracks not on LP
CD In-Possible Records ‎- AZ 2004 (2003, France) Remastered

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy ART ZOYD Berlin Music

Berlin by Art ZoydBerlin by Art Zoyd
In-Possible Records
Art Zoyd - Berlin [Japan LTD Mini LP CD] HYCA-2064Art Zoyd - Berlin [Japan LTD Mini LP CD] HYCA-2064
3D Japan
$79.00 (used)

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ART ZOYD Berlin ratings distribution

(69 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(42%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(28%)
Good, but non-essential (20%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (6%)

ART ZOYD Berlin reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars The French ensemble Art Zoyd has never been interested in creating uplifting, high- spirited music: their style is traced by an overall tendency to play with gloom and density in a contemporary chamber-meets-RIO context. That being said, I will add that "Berlin" finds the band exploring the darker side of their musical ideology with a vengeance, but never getting rough; on the contrary, they always procure to keep an air of distinction as it is expected from the intellectual demands that the AZ members usually draw up for their musical ideas and performances. The albums kicks off with the 20-minute 'Epithalame', a solid exercise on minimalism and atonal layers in which the synthesizer and the grand piano alternate positions in the protagonist role. The synth- dominated passages are sustained on frantic harmonic sequences effectively punctuated by the cello and violin; as a result, they tend to portray a clear sense of tension, a tension that certainly does not reach an explosive level due to the minimalistic nature of the interplaying. On the other hand, the piano-dominated passages are more explicitly languid. At minute 11 the symphonic trait starts to get more obvious, subtly growing through a crescendo that leads to a Gothic orchestral motif in minute 13: the organ and the percussive storm assume the leading role, taking the track to an amazing climax. Once this climax is over, it is the dissonant touches of piano and the harp-like synth chords that take center stage until the opening synth motif states the coda: all this time, the recurring sound of synthesized bells and the string ensembles colours have been creating a permanent background that provided a cohesive unity for the various successive passages. Lovers of experimental prog (not exclusively RIO-heads) may feel captivated by this robust opener. I personally find the remaining repertoire not as outstanding as 'Epithalame', but it is not to be dismissed at all. 'Baboon's Blood' has a more recognizable motif for which the string ensemble assumes the leading role. The ambience is more somber, something like a soundtrack to a silent horror movie: the Expressionist airs are complemented by a weird chant, that stands somewhere between the ritualistic and the Dadaist. The 2-part 'Petite Messe a l'Usage des Pharmaciens' finds the band focused on the free-from use of massive electronic ambiences for the 'Offertoire' section; on the contrary, the 'Kyrie' section is more articulate, but not necessarily listener-friendlier, since the synth and piano motif is properly adorned by dissonant sonic streams on - violin and sax - and odd percussive punctuations. The other long track is 'A Drum, a Drum', which portrays a very tribal feel, as suggested by its peculiar title. This tribal atmosphere is not only provided by the percussive instruments and the ritualistic chanting, but also by the keyboards, sax, strings, sundry synth effects and lunatic narratives, which mostly give us the impression of a peculiar travel through the darkest corners of a wild jungle full of impending doom - potentially deadly safari! Although it's fair to say that the brief up- tempo motif that surfaces at minute 14 comes to show that AZ can also be fun. occasionally. Oddly enough (but hey, this is an Art Zoyd recording that we're talking about), the following number is the 'Introït' of 'Petite Messe': it is very Gothic in nature, an ambience effectively enhanced by the use of a keyboard-sampled choir. Finally, 'Unsex Me Here', despite the carnally violent implications of its title, stands as an eerie closure, as relaxing as AZ can be. In conclusion, "Berlin" is one of Art Zoyd's most accomplished works, and it's also a masterpiece of post-70s RIO.
Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars 4.5 stars. Gerard Hourbette and Thierry Zaboitzeff share in the creation of these songs fairly evenly as usual.Three of the four members play keyboards, we also get lots of percussion, cello, violin and piano.Yes the electronics are starting to become prominant in ART ZOYD's sound at this point in their carreers (1987). Some sampling in this one too. There are two 20 minute tracks as well as five shorter ones. This is quite dark at times although it's nothing compared to "Nosferatu" the next album from them.

The 20 minute "Epithalame" opens the proceedings.This is fast paced with piano, sax and percussion standing out. It settles before 3 minutes but kicks back in quickly. It starts to unwind until all you hear is piano before 6 minutes. Another piano comes in as they play together fairly slowly. It eventually it starts to build again before 9 minutes. So cool ! Sax 11 minutes in. It settles down 13 minutes in as organ and heavy drums come in. Piano and sax 16 minutes in. Great sound a minute later. Drums are back. "Baboon's Blood" has this catchy almost industrial beat. Drums and strings join in followed by rough theatrical vocals. He's laughing at times. "Petite Messe A L'usage Des Pharmaciens(Offertoire)" opens with electronics and other sounds that come and go. Bells and sax included. "Petite Messe A L'usage Des Pharmaciens (Kyrie)" opens with keyboard sounds as piano joins in. A haunting atmosphere comes and goes. Amazing soundscape here. Vocal sounds 2 1/2 minutes in.

"A Drum, A Drum" is the other 20 minute track. This one is an unreal ride into the unknown. A dark atmosphere as a beat and vocals pulse until it stops before 3 minutes. An eerie mood takes over. It sounds like a plague if that makes any sense. A new beat then comes and goes. Vocals 4 1/2 minutes in. Weird samples come and go too. A change 8 minutes in and drums follow. Keys followed by vocals and cello / violin. Another change after 13 minutes as spoken vocals come in. Check out the heavy beat with bass 14 1/2 minutes in. A heavier beat is back 16 minutes in. Violin and cello are joined by vocals. It's haunting late followed by keyboards. "Petite Messe A L'usage Des Pharmaciens (Introit)" features these water sounds throughout. Synths, percussion, vocal melodies and samples come in. "Unisex Me Here" is led by cello and violin. The vocals before 2 minutes are well done. Organ and sax help out. I like it !

No question about the 4.5 star rating on this one, in fact this is right near the top of my favourite ART ZOYD albums.

Latest members reviews

5 stars Dark, beautiful and stunning. That's all I can say about this LP by the French avant-prog band Art Zoyd. This album consists of two great epic tracks (both are really epic) and a bunch of shorter things. The highlights here are 'A Drum, A Drum', one of those long epics, and 'Baboon's Blood', a sh ... (read more)

Report this review (#954104) | Posted by ole-the-first | Saturday, May 4, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Berlin is a departure of sorts for Art Zoyd, as they discovered the world of sampling. Gone is the post-symphonic breathlessness of Les Espace Inquietes, in its place an equally haunting world, but a world driven mechanically, if you will. This is the music of dark Germanic nightmares- reg ... (read more)

Report this review (#81668) | Posted by davEy | Wednesday, June 21, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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