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DOMINION

Zopp

Canterbury Scene


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Zopp Dominion album cover
4.23 | 172 ratings | 18 reviews | 39% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2023

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Amor Fati (2:10)
2. You (10:57)
3. Bushnell Keeler (5:07)
4. Uppmärksamhet (3:14)
5. Reality Tunnels (4:11)
6. Wetiko Approaching (2:00)
7. Toxicity (14:22)

Total Time 42:01

Line-up / Musicians

- Ryan W Stevenson / Hammond organ, Mellotron, Hohner Pianet, piano, electric pianos, acoustic & electric guitars, bass, vocals, Korg MS-20, synthesizers, percussion, flute, field recordings, sound design
- Andrea Moneta / drums & cymbals

With:
- Sally Minnear / voice (1)
- Caroline Joy Clarke / voice (1,2,7)
- Jørgen Munkeby / tenor saxophone & flute (7)
- Mike Benson / tenor saxophone (2)
- Rob Milne / tenor saxophone & flute (7)
- Tomás Figueiredo / French horn (1)
- Joe Burns / gong & additional cymbals (7)

Releases information

Cover: Tom Adams
Label: Flat Circle
Format: CD, Digital
February 3, 2023

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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ZOPP Dominion ratings distribution


4.23
(172 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(39%)
39%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(37%)
37%
Good, but non-essential (16%)
16%
Collectors/fans only (7%)
7%
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)
1%

ZOPP Dominion reviews


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by siLLy puPPy
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JRF/Canterbury, P Metal, Eclectic
5 stars And for round two of the crazy about the classic Canterbury jazz, the Nottingham based ZOPP returns three years after the lauded self-titled debut took the prog world by storm and found the UK finding its way back into the world of the improvisational psychedelic jazz-rock that emerged from those fertile county of Kent soils over half a century ago. Yep, it seems the Japanese have been wresting away this little nook of progressive rock from its inventors but ZOPP proves that there is still more than enough steam in this little genre that was never supposed to be in the homeland that has become the staple of prog rock fanaticism.

DOMINION is the sophomore release of the duo Ryan Stevenson and Andrea Moneta and has just hit the world in early February to vie for top album of the year. Stevenson is back for the attack with his multitude of mellotrons, Hammond organs, pianos, synthesizers and all things classic era prog along with percussionist Moneta and seven additional guest musicians and vocalists. Keeping in line with the golden years of prog on vinyl, DOMINION features seven tracks that just squeak over the 42-minute mark with the closing "Toxicity" featuring all the pomp and excess that true prog lovers crave with a running time of over 14 minutes!

Slaving away in their Nottingham studios has been fruitful and the album strikes a pleasant note from the very beginning. Sounding like a classic Canterbury act graced with the benefits of modern mixing and production, "Amor Fati" wastes no time introducing a warm tone that sustains through the entire album. One of the first things that noticeably different from the debut is the use of vocals this time around with not only Stevenson offering his best utterances but also with the divine diva duo of Sally Minnear and Caroline Joy Clarke offering some feminine touches to the nerdy masculine musical workouts.

No sophomore jinx here as the band effortlessly and nonchalantly cranks out classic Canterbury sounds that never were but should have been with nice percussion driven rockers graced with atmospheric cloud covers with jazzy sax accompaniments and folk-fueled flute. The tracks are as diverse as the debut with chilled out psychedelic numbers ("You") followed by bouncy uplifting rockers ("Bushell Keeler") and then pastoral folk-fueled placidity ("Uppmärksamhet.") Knotty hairpin turn rich complexities a la National Health have been completely melded with angelic Hatfield & The North etherealness while Wyatt-free Soft Machine jazz-rock passages decorate the varying musical motifs in a menagerie of classic Canterbury crammed into every nook and cranny of the musical processions.

There has been a great boost of confidence on DOMINION as if these guys have come of age with strong compositions that evoke the visionary carefree craftiness of Supersister with a sense of defiant ambitiousness not heard since The Muffins. Vocal references from Hatfield & The North suddenly give way to electronic weirdness on "Wetiko Approaching" while the closing proggier-than-thou closer "Toxicity" rocks the classics Canterbury style with a vocal led guitar, bass and drum dominant number that showcases some of the tastiest piano playing in any era of Canterbury. And just as soon as it begins it feels like it's over, the sign of a true smashing success. You simply want more! Even Robert Wyatt inspired vocals come to the party!

These guys have scored another huge hit with DOMINION and although many a band has tried to catch those classic Canterbury sounds and bring them into the modern world, few have done so as convincingly as ZOPP and with a second classic album in a row, it seems there is no end in sight! Tightknit grooves - check. Canterbury warmth - here. Fuzz fueled organs and jittery rhythmic grooviness - oh yeah! Excellent compositions that offer more than enough variety to sustain an album's worth of material? Without a doubt! Honestly there's not a weak moment on this one. Add to that this album sounds totally original, not just another tribute to the past. Another major score for Nottingham. Sorry Canterbury, i think ZOPP has successfully usurped the throne and now we must call it the Nottingham Scene!

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Uber-talented multi-instrumentalist Ryan Stephenson is back after his very well received and highly acclaimed Canterbury-lite styled debut album of 2020. This one is a bit more sophisticated and imitative while drawing a few more distinctive styles into his purvey of musical vision (and execution).

1. "Amor Fati" (2:10) an exact and perfect duplication of the Hatfield & THE NORTH style for all those two-minute ear worms--even down to the quirky anti-rock construction, wordless vocals of two female vocalists (The Northettes 2.0!) and instrumental sounds. Brilliant! (5/5)

2. "You (10:57) Vocals! Really fine, melodic ones, at that. It's as if Dave Stewart joined 10CC instead of Bruford. A great composition as well as a very engaging and enjoyable song. (19.5/20)

3. "Bushnell Keeler" (5:07) The sound is still based in the Canterbury familiarity, the composition is a bit more straightforward and simple (not unlike much of the music on Zopp's debut album). I like the addition/use of the thick wall of horns and flute to bring/carry the melody lines. But, like so many of Dave Newhouse's compositions of the past ten years, this one feels under-developed and kind of one-dimensional--like a bunch of instruments and their highly- specified sounds just trying to get to an end point; the music feels like it's merely a means to and end. (8.75/10)

4. "Uppmärksamhet" (3:14) a song that takes its sweet time in defining itself much less a direction. It's more like an exercise or étude in creating a mood--a feeling of waiting, of Limbo. (8.5/10)

5. "Reality Tunnels" (4:11) rock-driven Canterbury sounds that attempt to cross over into the Hugh Banton/Van Der Graaf Generator realm of heavy prog (complete with Hugh's famous Hammond riff from "The Sleepwalkers"). It's quite successful at adopting that VDGG sound yet somehow it falls short in capturing the menace and gloom that Peter Hammill & Co. delivered. I think this is due to the fact that the music continues to remain mired in a palette of instruments and chords that comes from Ryan's Canterbury allegiances; it's as if the two styles (VDGG gloom and happy-go-lucky Canterbury-ness) are in conflict with one another. This conflict never seems to resolve itself and, to me, feels unsettling and deceitful. (8.75/10)

6. "Wetiko Approaching" (2:00) an interesting little dittie created out of a tonal étude--similar to the way Richard Sinclair and Dave Stewart used to work out interesting pieces from some of Dave's mathematical melodical explorations. (4.5/5)

7. "Toxicity" (14:22) opens with a clear attempt to fit into Gentle Giant's shoes. Not bad except that Ryan's Trevor Horn voice is not near enough to that of Derek Shulman. Still, this is a skillfully conveyed prog song of worthiness to stand on its own if we just let go of comparisons to the old masters. I love the Phill Miller-like guitar in the fifth minute. The BUGGLES-like lyrics and singing are actually quite enjoyable (and, of course, nostalgic) if a bit incongruous with some of the music. In the end it feels like a direction that a band of prog artists like ASIA could have taken had they wanted to retain their prog mantle and not travel so desperately into the radio-friendly pop realms. It does feel nice to hear someone finally giving props to Trevor Horn/Buggles (and maybe a little to Andy Partridge) with their vocal performance. In my opinion, they are both artists who are definitely worthy of more adulation and imitation. All in all, this is actually quite an enjoyable romp through some very pleasant soundscapes. While I'm not sure this would qualify as an "epic", it is definitely an excellent adventure that Ryan has taken us on. (27.5/30)

Total Time 42:01

Like countrymates ANTIQUE SEEKING NUNS (who turned into SANGUINE HUM), I guess Ryan just wasn't content to stay in the Canterbury lane, he had to branch out into other forms and styles of progressive rock music--which is fine-- especially considering the quality of the results! All fine melodic prog songs that continue to ring out nostalgic sound. The Dave Stewart keyboard sounds are all still here on this album, it's mainly some of the forms and flows that differ from the revered Canterbury styles of the 1970s. While I was not a fan of the simplistic "watered down" instrumental Canterbury-inspired music of Ryan's debut as Zopp, I am won over by this wonderfully mature and masterful collection of songs.

A-/five stars; a minor masterpiece of Canterbury-based nostalgic prog rock and an excellent addition to any prog lover's music collection. If Ryan continues in the future to develop and explore as he has to make this album, I will become an avid follower/admirer.

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars In 2020, a new band appeared on the scene with the rather odd name of Zopp, the delectable project of Ryan W. Stevenson, a talented British multi-instrumentalist from Nottingham whose fascination was squarely centred on the legendary Canterbury sound of yore made famous by names like Hatfield & the North, National Health and all its offshoots and all resident musicians who admire the style. The debut album was met with universal applause and lofty praise for being inventive in a somewhat restrictive genre, a fresh new chapter in its fabled history. Was it going to be a 'one and done' flash in the pan? The answer is happily, NO. I wanted to review this desperately but lingered patiently to see if there was going to be a sequel. Dominion has just now been released and it is a beautiful sophomore work that will undoubtedly be the talk of early 2023. In fact, the Zopp buzz has already hit the internet waves with glowing tributes from all around the globe.

Ryan has fielded his usual arsenal of vintage keyboards, from Hammond organ, Mellotron, Hohner Pianet , Korgs and assorted other synths , to electric and acoustic guitars, bass, flute and vocals. Once again, with Andrea Moneta (Leviathan) on the drum kit. The opening short intro "Amor Fati" wastes little time showing its credentials with guest Sally Minear's voice expertly meandering through the rivulets of twinkling e-piano, mellotron swaths, guitar shavings, bass rumble and drum sustenance. The banquet table is justly set , ready for the adventure to begin with the slickly titled 'You' (though not sounding at all like the celebrated Gong album), though Andrea Moneta really blasts his way across the rich sonic tapestry woven expertly by Stevenson. The nearly 11 minutes is just pure, unadulterated psychedelic bliss of the highest quality, displaying quirky, yet melodic tendencies, complex twists and turns where needed, and an overall feeling of accomplishment and exploration. Smooth vocals only add to the enjoyment. But when that murky organ rifles through the mist, things really get moist and sweaty. A series of four shorter pieces are sandwiched between the 4 epic pieces , starting with "Bushnell Keeler", a different kettle of fish that prefers seducing with bobbing simplicity, sounding like a playful Hillage track that decided to add some welcome saxophone parts (à la Didier Malherbe) , corpulent bass figurines and a more direct approach on the percussive side of things. As is so typical with the Canterbury sound, one needs to contrast with some bucolic countryside flavourings, just to relax a bit before moving back onto the road. The shimmering softness of "Uppmaarksamhet" (Swedish for 'attention') is nothing more than a pool of reflective beauty, and owner of a gorgeous melody that soothes the soul. As promised and wholly expected, "Reality Tunnels" clearly veers back onto the motorway with a revving engine pulsating from the hyperactive rhythm section, the burping bass a delightful fender for the chugging drumkit as Ryan clutches his ivories, pushing all the buttons at his command. A brief slowdown to take the curb without slamming into a ditch only adds to the pleasure before kicking back into gear. "Wetiko Approaching" is a mind virus named such by Native Americans that suggests a brief glimpse at imminent psychosis, mostly vocal and naturally weird. Perfect intro to the epic finale "Toxicity", a 14 minute+ arrival into the noxious town after such a delightful rural ride and the sound is profoundly urban decay, the vocals somewhat deadpanned, despondent, tired, nearly wasted. The screeching organ fuzzes through the moral pollution, a brief respite with a gentle flute section and back into the fury with shrieking trumpet and delirious sax adding to the noise. Just like driving through any harried metropolis, there is a sense of constant fracas, order followed by disorder, beauty and ugliness, happiness and despair. Conveying this musically is what makes prog such a gratifying journey, and having an astute audience that recognizes creative talent when displayed with such audacious brilliance. A modern take and a tried and tested musical style is a something to behold and cherish. Talk of the town and village!

5 territories

Review by DamoXt7942
FORUM & SITE ADMIN GROUP Avant/Cross/Neo/Post Teams
5 stars As you know enough, UK-based contemporary Canterbury Scene artist Ryan STEVENSON aka ZOPP won the award of "2020 PA Collaborator's Album Of The Year" with his debut eponymous album. Time passed quickly and we have looked forward to their second opus for almost three years. Our anticipation got the peak when they announced his new album would be released in early 2023. His latest creation titled "Dominion" meets our strong expectations finally. Such a crooked sleeve pic expresses his distorted but incredibly consistent, naturally integrated soundscape in a well- balanced manner.

So beautiful is the short impressive first shot "Amor Fati" featuring a gracious female chorus and complicated (but refined) keyboard or guitar works. Could I say the fervent prologue drives us into a dream? What a wonder. One of their masterpieces "You", already launched as a singlecut last year, is also enthusiastic. Deep heavy keyboard plays along with Andrea's strict, stalwart drumming craze us so badly. Cool melodic heavy rock structures in the middle part remind us of the similar vein to 70s British Rock legends like Led Zeppelin or Deep Purple. Guess such a catchy moment might be good for Legendary Rock fans, right? "Bushnell Keeler" involves favourable vibes regardless of eccentric, complex melody lines or rhythm bases. Fluent pioneering saxophone vanguards stabilize and humanize this universe, but there is no compromise all over the work.

Full of rich, matured, friendly texture is deep in "Uppmärksamhet", followed by "Reality Tunnels" that immerses us fully with uptempo solid attacks and old-fashioned aromatic psychedelic keyboard magic. Mysterious adventures in some dark tunnels in our real lives can be experienced. And their rigid, clear visions encourage us definitely. The last "Toxicity", despite a horrible theme, gives us fantastic pseudo-toxic-happiness fully utilized with rock-ish instruments and innovative sound touches by Ryan. Not virulent nor negative but clean and cool sound fusion should be perfect and professional. Why don't we call the Toxicity beneficial?

Come on everybody, wondering if we have already bumped into one of the best creations in 2023. Let me say it's not overestimating.

Review by Negoba
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Well Executed and Enjoyable Retro-Canterbury - Nothing More, Nothing less

I am a big fan of Dave Stewart's dirty organ. Not like that, Beavis. Clearly I am not alone, as Ryan Stevenson (Zopp being the name of his solo project) seems to have made a study of Stewart as part of his life's work. One of my favorite prog albums of all time, Khan's Space Shanty, is a Stewart showcase. As a result, from the opening minutes of Zopp's Dominion, my ears perked up quickly. To my delight, the entire album has Stewart's signature all over it, and not just the distorted keys. There are compositional choices, instrumentation, and overall tone that evoke not only Khan but Stewart's other projects such as Egg and National Health.

I am not a fan of all Canterbury. I like the jazzier, complex compositions and less the whimsy and completely avant garde attempts within the genre. (I don't like Caravan and Soft Machine as well as the aforementioned bands). Zopp / Stevenson hits the sweet spot for me in that regard. All the songs are very intentionally composed, have a lot going on at once, and utilize a broad palette of textures. Male and female vocals, horn sounds, guitars, and a wide variety of key sounds - all the ingredients are here. Most importantly, Z/S is a very good instrumental songwriter. I think the compositions develop well, move me through a range of emotional headspaces, and that the record is well mixed and performed.

Some reviewers have complained that this is derivative and it is. They state the originators including Stewart were boldly going where no one had gone before and that Stevenson is treading no new territory - and they are right. However, the same can be said of a vast number of bands, many of whom are all aping the same narrow set of musical acts. There aren't that many retro-Canterbury acts, especially this particular lane in the Canterbury style. As I've said in other reviews, you don't always have to re-invent the wheel. And there is only so many times I can re-listen to Space Shanty. Having new material in this wheelhouse is a great joy.

Finally, the fact that this music has some modern polish and is not swinging for seats and sometimes missing means that it could be a good entry point for fans of other segments of prog to try out Canterbury.

I don't think this is a masterpiece and doubt this will be my personal album of the year, but it's a great piece of work that I've listened to as many times as any other album in 2023 so far. Cheers to the artist.

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars This is very likely my album of the year for 2023. I need a couple of weeks to finalize that list but in the meantime after two spins of "Dominion" I'm thinking top ten for sure but it won't crack my top five. Well after 5 spins I'm adoring this record and hailing it as the best record I've heard from this past year. Ryan Stevenson plays just about every instrument known to man then we get LEVIATHAN's drummer making ZOPP a duo plus six guests including two females doing their Northettes impression. Three of the guests are playing sax with two of those adding flute.

Beautiful cover art and thanks for the post card version of it that came with the cd only this is a closer-up version of it with different colours. Funny picture of Ryan looking lost in the sea of tall grass too in the liner notes. I can't get over all the distorted keys and organ on here plus mellotron. Not fair! Too good to be true. I really like the drumming and the bass is upfront plus we get electric piano. The guest sax and flute really adds a lot to the sound here.

And while this is a straight-up Canterbury album a song like "Bushnell Keeler" is more Jazz Rock and brings so many bands to mind. A feel good track if there ever was one for yours truly. I like the RPI-like pulsating organ on "Reality Tunnels". This song hits the ground running and different instruments will lead. Lots of energy and Canterbury at 2 1/2 minutes.

The two tracks though that steal the show here are "You" at 11 minutes and the closer "Toxicity" at over 14 minutes. Dreams do come true. Man the emotion after 6 1/2 minutes on that closer is just a small piece of the joy this record brings me. Love the distortion, keys, vocals, sax and guitar late on "You" but the closer might be better, flip a coin but that's 25 minutes of some of the best music I've heard this year.

We are very fortunate to have a talent like Ryan Stevenson making our music and for me he just out-did his debut and then some.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Reports that I had to be dragged music wise into the 2000's and beyond are false. It was the 1980's onwards...but myself, the 15 guys and 2 teams of horses all parted ways on good terms. So, to accompany the above miracle, I just find it miraculous that young musicians ...and I know t'internet ... (read more)

Report this review (#3054678) | Posted by Nickmannion | Sunday, May 19, 2024 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Ok, this is new for me. I've seen reviews of this album for months, and although I've listened to some songs and even recommended them here, yesterday was the day and I took a walk listening to this album. What a surprise! I'm kinda new with this genre and musical style, not a big fan to be hon ... (read more)

Report this review (#2972306) | Posted by progrockeveryday | Friday, December 8, 2023 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I've discussed the Canterbury sound on this site a number of times. Its heyday?like much of progressive rock?was back in the early 1970s, but even then it was somewhat niche. Despite that, there are a few acts still keeping this sound alive, and Zopp is one of the best ones. Zopp's 2020 self-titl ... (read more)

Report this review (#2904602) | Posted by TheEliteExtremophile | Tuesday, April 4, 2023 | Review Permanlink

4 stars You could fit all I know about the Canterbury Scene on the head of a pin and still have room for the Chinese Army, but the good news is that that's the last of such clichés we will be employing in this review. I've enjoyed some Caravan and Soft Machine from time to time, but overall, the genre ... (read more)

Report this review (#2901677) | Posted by Hokeyboy | Saturday, March 25, 2023 | Review Permanlink

4 stars A second offering from one of the most exciting new bands on the prog scene. Here they gently push their sound beyond the Neo-Canterbury of their debut into the wider world of psychedelic and experimental rock. We still get lashings of distorted organ, jazz-tinged chord progressions, knotty rhyt ... (read more)

Report this review (#2899418) | Posted by runciblemoon | Wednesday, March 15, 2023 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Zopp is a one-man (person/AI?) band from Nottingham, UK. Ryan W Stevenson is composer, mixer, producerand performer, a trend we see more and more in these financially troubled times. Thankfully he employs the services of a real drummer in addition to a little help from his friends. His new off ... (read more)

Report this review (#2893997) | Posted by telefunk | Wednesday, February 22, 2023 | Review Permanlink

2 stars It's an almost 100% repeated musical product. If not recycled. A sort of a meal that once had been already eaten. Often compared to Egg or National Health, in other words, Ryan Stevenson as a composer is often compared to Dave Stewart as a composer. But Mr Stewart discovered and explored new mus ... (read more)

Report this review (#2883210) | Posted by proghaven | Sunday, February 19, 2023 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Some years ago I really wondered, why Wobbler´s "From Silence To Somewhere" was in the very high place in Progarchives All Time Progalbums list. Now the same seems to happen to Zopp's second album. I am not saying that Wobbler´s album is bad, but does it really belong in the all time prog albums ... (read more)

Report this review (#2883208) | Posted by Mortte | Sunday, February 19, 2023 | Review Permanlink

5 stars After some heavy stuff I listened to close 2022, this is exactly what the doctor ordered. What joy, creativity, and playfulness is this album by Zopp. Amor Fati is a great opener that has a great mood and melody 9/10 You is an absolute banger of an epic 10/10 Bushnell Keeler is funky at ti ... (read more)

Report this review (#2880728) | Posted by WJA-K | Monday, February 6, 2023 | Review Permanlink

5 stars In 2020, the world of progressive rock was treated to the sound of an exiting new band from Nottingham, namely Zopp. Move on three years, we have album number two, entitled Dominion. If Zopp One, was an amazing debut album, or in culinary terms, a tasty hors d'oeuvre. Dominion, is without doubt, ... (read more)

Report this review (#2880317) | Posted by Bill65 | Saturday, February 4, 2023 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I'm honored to be one of the first ones to review this spectacular sophomore effort from UK based Canterbury band, Zopp. This album will go down in history as one of the greatest Canterbury albums in history, hopefully bringing back the movement. I loved the debut from these guys but, I might like t ... (read more)

Report this review (#2880250) | Posted by AJ Junior | Friday, February 3, 2023 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This album is going to be among the best of the year, I am sure of that. The second album by Zopp is one of the best Canterbury albums ever made, for me it ranks among the best efforts by Caravan Soft Machine, Hatfield or Egg. The mix of experimentation, melody, rhythms and vocals is incredibly w ... (read more)

Report this review (#2880244) | Posted by Soul2Create | Friday, February 3, 2023 | Review Permanlink

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