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Zone Six biography
Founded in Berlin, Germany in 1997 - Still active as of 2019

The members of ZONE SIX have one intention - to play improvised music. Founded in 1997 by Dave Schmidt and Hans-Peter Ringholz the band is wellknown now in Germany for delivering a mix of psychedelic/space, trance and kraut. They played together with the Hawkwind members Nik Turner and Huw Lloyd-Langton in 1998 and have been seen on many festivals like Hawkfanmeeting or Burg Herzberg open-air. An important role for the band has a very special lightshow to deliver a trippy atmosphere.

Changing members and special guests is another part of the band's concept. With the first album they were supported by the female vocalist Jodi Barry. The current line-up consists of Dave Schmidt aka SULA BASSANA (bass), Martin Schorn (synths), Julius-K (guitar) and Walt Jahn (drums). The album 'Live Wired 2004' is an excellent documentation of their live qualities. Six songs as a mix of slowtempo and mind-blowing rocking parts with a total time of 87 minutes on LP - spacy guitars with delay effects and reminiscences to Hawkwind, Pink Floyd and Man. The band also produced the retrospective '10 Years Of Aural Psychedelic Journeys' in 2007 with rare & unreleased tracks of the first decade in the life of ZONE SIX.

Recommended to fans of trippy, psych and kraut improvised rock music.

Rivertree (Uwe Zickel)

ZONE SIX members and guest musicians:
- Julius-K / guitar
- Claus Bühler / drums
- Walt Jahn / drums
- Kay (DJ Shiva) / drums
- Martin Schorn / synthy
- Dave Schmidt / bass
- Jodi Barry / vocals
- Hans-Peter Ringholz / guitar
- Rusty Viltz / keyboards, toys
- Ben Coydog / lap-steel guitar
- Abul / drums
- Jens / saxophone
- Bime / vocals
- Michaela / vocals
- Nik Turner / saxophone, flute
- Huw Lloyd Langton / guitar

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ZONE SIX discography

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ZONE SIX top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 3 ratings
Zone Six
3.50 | 4 ratings
Any Noise Is Intended
4.00 | 5 ratings
Psychedelic Scripture
3.93 | 10 ratings
Zone Six / Vespero: ‎The Split Thing
4.00 | 5 ratings
Love Monster
3.83 | 4 ratings
Kozmik Koon

ZONE SIX Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.05 | 2 ratings
Live Wired 2004
5.00 | 1 ratings
Live At Sulatron Records Label Night
3.50 | 2 ratings
4.00 | 1 ratings
Live Spring 2017
4.00 | 2 ratings
Forever Hugo

ZONE SIX Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

ZONE SIX Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 5 ratings
10 Years Of Aural Psychedelic Journeys

ZONE SIX Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

ZONE SIX Reviews

Showing last 10 reviews only
 Kozmik Koon by ZONE SIX album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.83 | 4 ratings

Kozmik Koon
Zone Six Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by TCat
Special Collaborator Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

4 stars Zone Six, founded in Germany in 1997, has been made up of a variation of lineups through the years. They have also played and collaborated with members of Hawkwind. Their music is considered Space Rock, which it is, but it also borrows quite extensively from Krautrock styles, which produces a nice, trippy music which is mostly improvised. In December 2019, the band released their 6th album made up of music recorded between 2015 ? 2018 and named it "Kozmik Koon", the name being a combination of being named after Kozmik Ken who is the head of Kozfest and the amount of raccoons that inhabit the area where the band calls home.

Kozmik Koon features 5 tracks, 3 of those tracks exceeding 10 minutes. The line up consists of band founder Dave Schmidt (known as Sula Bassana) playing most of the instruments which include drums, synths, organ, mellotron, acoustic guitar and so on. Also joining him on this album is Lulu "Komet" Neudeck on bass, synths, tapes, fx and vocals; and Rainer Neeff on guitar and effects.

The music is definitely a nice mix of space psychedelia and krautrock jams. However, don't expect it all to be the typical space rock. "Maschinenseele" (12:52) actually is quite ambient at the beginning and moves along slowly, building a layer here and an effect there, following the Berlin rules of Krautrock but without a heavy or driving rhythm or sound. It is more of a wandering style as it floats along with mellotron and guitars and it stays interesting all the way through, capturing your soul and imagination as it takes your mind on a mostly relaxing journey. However, continuing on to the title track "Kozmik Koon" (10:58), the music suddenly gets more intense and full with a much faster beat and invigorating bass riff. The guitar effects improvise around this base, echoing and wailing as the background stays on one chord. The music boils along quickly and it is easy to get lost in it, even at the heavier and faster pace, it becomes quite hypnotizing, but the guitar remains front and center. Around 7 minutes, everything calms down as the music gets soft, but the effects make some interesting sounds as the bass keeps it moving forward quietly. Then layers of textured and manipulated guitars and keys take us into a psychedelic mood as the beat stays slow, yet steady to the end.

The two shorter tracks follow beginning with "Raum" (3:28). This one gives us layers of guitar and synth effects with no rhythm, just layers of sound ebbing and flowing, guitars moaning and synths whirling atmospherically. "Still" (3:37) takes the pulsating sound from the previous track and brings it to the fore before it is taken over by nice melodic layers of keys, mellotron and soft effects. It has a nice psych-pastoral feel thanks to the mellotron and electric piano, and is the most melodious of all of the tracks even though it still has the improvised feel to it. There is also some early Pink Floyd sounding guitar work throughout, and you actually wish this one went on longer as it could easily be something that PF would have recorded.

The last track is "Song for Richie" (13:52) which is dedicated to Richard Van Ess. This one has a moderate rhythm and follows a more psychedelic and meandering path that wavers from dark and intense to soft and pensive. The music intensifies as the beat moves along steadily while the guitar howls and builds thick layers of sustained sounds behind each note. Around 8 minutes, the tempo starts to speed up, sweeping up all of the guitar sound and enticing the guitar to play heavier and faster until it gets into a whirlwind of sound with the drone trailing off behind the sudden cascades of notes and riffs emitting from the guitar, the drums going along wildly until they gather everything together and slow it all down suddenly, reigning in the chaotic guitar and giving the drone to the keys to remain in the background as the guitar gets to have its final say.

The album is quite intriguing and in my opinion, one of the best psych/space albums I've heard in 2019. I found that I really enjoy the music on the album and if the last track had been a bit more engaging in the first half, this would have been a 5 star album. Even then, it is so close, but not quite there. The music is surprisingly variable even if it is inspired by krautrock tendencies. In all of the tracks except for "Song for Richie", there is an excellent mix of instruments that make this album unique among the many Psych/Space Rock albums released this year, and all of them get to build the soundscapes on this album. Even the shorter tracks are interesting and engaging, though I would have liked to hear more of the sound they developed on "Still" and less of "Son for Richie", then this could have been a strong 5 star album. Yet, don't pass this one by even as a 4 star album, because it's still excellent and some may even enjoy the droning and heavy guitar sound of the last track, I just found it too similar to what's already been done out there. Everything else is quite amazing.

 Love Monster by ZONE SIX album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.00 | 5 ratings

Love Monster
Zone Six Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator PSIKE Team & Band Submissions

4 stars With members permanently coming in and going out, ZONE SIX still exist as a rather loose project, since more than one and a half decade in the meanwhile. Multi-instrumentalist Dave Schmidt aka Sula Bassana and Martin Schorn aka Modulfix (synthesizer) are to name as the constants over the course, where Sula handles ... eh ... what is needed just at time, simple as that! For this recordings he also has bassist Komet Lulu at his side as always in the recent past, and Rainer Neef, a talented guitarist for sure, temporarily borrowed from The Pancakes.

Properly matching a vinyl length four songs are given, the concentrated result of some inspired jamming sessions, quite easily to imagine. While the band is on a relaxed expedition basically the Modulfix synths do appear rather modest, or restrained if you will. Only second track The Insight marks the exception from the rule somehow. So this is Rainer's show here more or less, which sometimes reminds me of Vibravoid's Christian Koch, for example Acidic is provided with a nice groove but also a very acid guitar style as the song title promises.

Can't name another genre musician who is that busy. Sula seems to act without any pause, be it at the fore or in the background. This always on a high level, which means you basically can't fail when purchasing an album he's involved with. And so headed by an empathic electric guitar 'Love Monster' offers proper space rock improvisations again, a recommendation in any case. This songs appeal even slightly better to me as the definitely prolific Electric Moon output, probably due to the more relaxed flow overall.

 Zone Six by ZONE SIX album cover Studio Album, 1998
4.00 | 3 ratings

Zone Six
Zone Six Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

4 stars Deep, dark, swirling freeform spacerock, Germany's Zone Six are a band without restrictions or boundaries. Totally improvised, their debut album is a mix of plodding and uneasy psychedelic noise bound to fascinate and terrify. Sounding like one long continuous bad trip through space, it constantly crashing down on top of you with maddening bass, liquid synth, dirty distorted squalling electric guitar and driving percussion. Jodi Barry's ethereal voice and tortured words convey a real sense of paranoia and confusion, and while the seductively meandering music is sometimes very floating and dreamy, it's more like an unpleasant nightmare, as the band has a superb grasp on delivering building tension and controlled fear.

Australian vocalist Jodi Barry comes across like a harder version of Beth Gibbons from Portishead, her voice sounding so lost and other-wordly one minute, often struggling to be heard above the feedback and distorted noise, and commanding and threatening the next. On tracks like `Barbwired Box' she really spits out her words, conveying genuine terror. She's sensual and beckoning on the reggae tinged `Dream Eyeland', sorrowful and pained on `Her Smell Hasn't Left Me', and because Barry also improvised the lyrics, they often come across as rambling stream-of-consciousness fragments.

`Barbwired Box' is menacing and heavy-going, with a very dark surreal lyric driven home by the pounding drums, and it also has a sinister mellotron outro with a vacuum of acid drenched guitar and keyboards swirling all around. `Empty Spaces' has a foreboding climbing bass line swamped in grumbling distortion. Bass player Dave `Sula Bassana' Schmidt really shines on this one, and Claus Bühler's drums are a perfect example of effective restraint and rising drama, and guitarist Hans-Peter tears through the track with a wall of feedback. Nine-minute standout `Three Elements' coasts through a range of sounds, beginning with a frantic spoken word piece by Barry, then purred vocals before an `Ummagumma'-era Floyd-esque psychedelic middle and finally morphing into a reggae space-out not far from the Ozric Tentacles.

Tracks like `Vacuum' and `Bubble Trouble' are essentially looped electronic experiments, while the three `Mindtrap' parts are walls of feedback and bridging snippets of sound. `Dream Eyeland' is a sprightly reggae-tinged piece filled with loopy electronics with a sensual vocal by Barry, but the music overall remains mysterious and spaced out. H.P's howling guitar licks kill on this one, and there's some bouncy bass and drumwork too. `Her Smell...' has almost middle-eastern motifs throughout, very hypnotic, with a wonderful acid drenched messy guitar solo, and a Gong-like section near the end is quite jarring, actually sounding kind of...malevolent! The Gong influence will surface again at the tail end of the album with the insane ditty `Oh Mary', which helps to lighten the mood after quite a lot of gloom and heavy moodiness!

The album ends on a rather reflective and somber piano/vocal piece sung hauntingly by Barry. It sounds like nothing else on the album, but the band clearly knew it was special when they heard it. Strangely enough, it's oddly uplifting and comforting, and her whispered lyric "I can still feel your shadow..." fills this beautiful piece with vivid imagery and stark emotion.

The sparse production on the album really lets the music breathe, never sounding messy or cluttered, and extra special mention must also go to the face-melting acid-drenched album cover painted by Franz Landel - good chance your mind might resemble it once you've listened to the album a few times! `Zone Six' is very emotionally draining and unnerving, really puts you through the ringer, but it's doubtful the band would have it any other way! Some of the music is a little tedious from time to time, and it's frequently all over the place, but it's always adventurous, fascinating, daring, captivating, groovy and highly original. Very recommended if you can find it!

Four stars.

 Zone Six / Vespero: ‎The Split Thing by ZONE SIX album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.93 | 10 ratings

Zone Six / Vespero: ‎The Split Thing
Zone Six Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars A truly international production, "The Split Thing" is an album divided between German space rock veterans ZONE SIX and Russian space rock band VESPERO. The former a rather loose band constellation with a history going back to the late 90's and with 8 CD and CD-R releases to their name, the latter a more structured group with a history that started back in 2003 and a total of 7 full length productions to their name. And in spirit with the international context of their joint effort, this CD was released by Swedish label Transubstans Records in the spring of 2012.

After investigating this production a bit, it is clear that we're dealing with two bands complementing each other fairly well in this case. They both share certain features: Both bands are all instrumental on this occasion, their compositions have a strong improvisational trait to them, and both bands are undeniably space rock in sound and style. But with some differences in expression that adds a nice touch to this disc.

Vespero are represented by three tracks that each clock in well before the 10 minute mark, and their excursions are marked by defined alterations in sound throughout. Rather than merely developing from one theme or lead motif over to the next one, this is a band that explore a theme or an idea, steadily developing it, and then moving on to the next one if they have an approach at hand that fits into the overall context or utilizing ambient interludes as they occasionally do to good effect on a few occasions. Otherwise their expression is one that employ the lighter parts of the tone range extensively, where careful guitar soloing combine with keyboard and organ motifs, while the flute is given room for details of a more careful nature. A dampened but tight rhythm section beneath cater for pace and intensity nice and efficiently. Generally Vespero choose to develop a theme from a slower careful start towards an energetic, high impact final phase prior to shifting themes, or to conclude the piece in question. Well made and well performed music through and through, lighter in tone and spirit than many other space rock bands but without ever loosing touch with the rock part of the proceedings.

Zone Six' contribution marks a distinct difference right away, as this is a monster excursion clocking in at just over 24 minutes. And unlike Vespero, Zone Six has the approach of one steadily developing theme towards a final conclusion. In the initial phase of their track here they have an intermediate phase where the first approach defragments and they jam along a bit until heading off into a new direction, this one sticking until the end. They don't utilize the more distinct shifts of their discmates, instead opting for a more directly improvised solution. Zone Six also employ a darker, gritter and harder edged sound with less room for keyboards, dominated by dark toned, compact and fairly gritty guitar riffs and backed by a rhythm section with a distinctly massive footprint. Synth effects and resonating guitar details cater for the space part quite nicely, and their gritty sound won't leave anyone questioning their rock credentials.

Of the two I found Vespero to be slightly more interesting on this occasion. While I generally enjoy Zone Six overall sound better, their piece here gets to be somewhat too long and uniform to make a markedly strong impression: Good quality space rock but without any elements to it that elevates it above similar efforts by others. Fans of the style and this particular expression will of course love this epic length space romp, and it isn't lacking anything in quality as such. Vespero's contributions are somewhat more varied in scope and expression, and they also leave room for finer details to appear. This adds a somewhat more refined feel to their undertakings, as well as arguably broadening the overall appeal ever so slightly.

All in all a good album for fans of instrumental space rock of the improvisational kind, and with two bands sporting somewhat different approaches to this type of music the scope and variation is broader than what standalone band productions of this kind tend to be as well. A good quality production that should please both avid and more casual fans of this style.

 10 Years Of Aural Psychedelic Journeys by ZONE SIX album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2007
4.00 | 5 ratings

10 Years Of Aural Psychedelic Journeys
Zone Six Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator PSIKE Team & Band Submissions

4 stars On the occasion of the band's 10th anniversary the ZONE SIX members checked the archives to collect some rare and unpresented recordings. This release lights up the recent ten years playing spacey psychedelic jam rock in their unique way. The band is known for extended and unpolished live improvisations - some of them can be found here on '10 Years Of Aural Psychedelic Journeys' in a chronological order and it's really turned out well. Dave Schmidt aka Sula Bassana playing the space-bass is the constant of the band which saw several contributors during the years.

It was a little bit surprising to figure out that ZONE SIX worked together with a female vocalist at the beginning. With the support of Jodi Barry - originally from Australia - the band is showing a new facet here for me. The first three studio songs - each with more than 10 minutes - are differing to the rest developing an interesting pleasant flow. They remained from a recording session for a new album which was not completed for unknown reasons. I first want to underline the openerSomething's Missing - the album highlight - expressing a special sort of easiness with (prog) hit character. The song has dynamic with a pumping bass but is also trancy with suitable somewhat breathy vocals, decent synth patterns in the background and a wistful guitar played by Hans-Peter Ringholz. Thanks for digging this out, Dave!

Knuf On Tog is the first live song and from a later phase where Jodi Barry had left the band already and they had to play totally instrumental futher on - a propulsive one which much tension. The following studio track Hiddenworld - left over from the recordings for the third album - serves a groovy triphop mood based on spacey synths like the band Fila Brazillia. Here we have another example that the band isn't limited to a special style.

The last three songs are live recordings from 2006 with jam character for what the band is known for predominantly. The first two from the Grateful-Dead-Head-Meeting 2006 are rocking grooving with lots of spacey guitar work with wah wah and delay effects by new guitarist Julius-K. with the support of Ben Basgard on lap-steel guitar. Finally Infernal Grande from the Burg Herzberg Festival in the same year - what name could be more suitable? - is wild and weird, near to krautrock and for one or two the song might be too hyped. Not my favourite too but another demonstration for versatility on the other hand.

From my experience in the meanwhile I can admit that every album with a Sula Bassana contribution can be recommended per se. Yet another example full of pleasant psych/space music. If you like long and spacey jams with some references to other genre bands like Pink Floyd, Hawkwind and Man you are right here and the album is also provided with three interesting excerpts from the early phase with female vocals.

 Live Wired 2004 by ZONE SIX album cover Live, 2005
4.05 | 2 ratings

Live Wired 2004
Zone Six Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator PSIKE Team & Band Submissions

4 stars Hard-wired but not hot-wired ...

ZONE SIX is known in Germany for playing improvised rock music within nearly ten years now. 'Live Wired 2004' is exemplary for their jamming style. The Double LP version contains 87 minutes with impulsive drums and a lot of excellent space guitar work, sometimes bloody rocking, sometimes in a trippy trance mood. Musically the musicians get along with each other perfectly and have contributed a fine live album which is not boring in any case. As you cannot watch their special lightshow at least use your headphones please and close your eyes. At the (space)bass we have Dave Schmidt, also known for several other project contributions and solo efforts as Sula Bassana.

Synthy soundcapes are opening the emotional Hopscotch which gets tempo after some time until it culminates into a furious finale. Spheroidise could also be an excerpt of a MAN gig but is a lot more dedicated to the delay effects of Julius-K's excellent space guitar work. The trippy Sod waterways remembers me at the band TRIBE AFTER TRIBE from south africa, played with Walt Jahn's djembe accompaniment but not so heavy and more relaxed - wonderful! Beach comber starts as a Pink Floyd reminiscence, later with heavy guitar delay effects once more. A stunning song which makes you high without any other help. Susurrus is delivered in two versions whereas I'm familiar with the shorter CD one. This song is also interesting for electronic fans - ambient with spacy synths and djembe percussion - fly, fly - up into the sky.

This live album is nearly perfect - recommended to fans of trippy space rock sounds which also like Hawkwind or the 70s psychedelic/space phase of Man.

Thanks to Rivertree for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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