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ZONE SIX

Psychedelic/Space Rock • Germany


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Zone Six biography
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

Zone Six official website

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10 Years of Aural Psyc10 Years of Aural Psyc
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ZONE SIX discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

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

3.95 | 2 ratings
Zone Six
1998
3.00 | 1 ratings
Any Noise Is Intended
2003
4.00 | 1 ratings
Psychedelic Scripture
2004
4.05 | 3 ratings
The Split Thing (with Vespero)
2012

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

4.00 | 1 ratings
Live Wired 2004
2005
0.00 | 0 ratings
Live At Sulatron Records Label Night
2011

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

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

3.95 | 3 ratings
10 Years Of Aural Psychedelic Journeys
2007

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

ZONE SIX Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Zone Six by ZONE SIX album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.95 | 2 ratings

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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, the band's debut album is a mix of plodding and uneasy psychedelic noise bound to fascinate and terrify. The album seems like one long continuous bad trip through space, 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. While the meandering music is sometimes very floating and dreamy, it's more like an unpleasant nightmare. The band has a superb sense of building tension and controlled fear.

Australian vocalist Jodi Barry comes across like a harder version of Beth Gibbons from Portishead. Her voice sounds 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'. Barry also improvised the lyrics, which mostly 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. It also has a sinister mellotron outro, with a vacuum of acid drenched guitar and keyboards swirling all around it.

`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 Buhler's drums are a perfect example of effective restraint and rising drama. Guitarist Hans-Peter tears through the track with a wall of feedback.

Nine-minute standout `Three Elements' floats through a range of sounds, beginning with a frantic spoken word piece by Barry, then purred vocals before an Ummagumma-era Floyd psychedelic middle, and finally morphing into a reggae spaceout 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. Love H.P's howling guitar licks on this one, and there's some bouncy bass and drumwork too.

`Her Smell...' has almost middle-eastern motives throughout, very hypnotic, with a wonderful acid drenched messy guitar solo. There's a Gong-like section near the end that is quite jarring, it actually sounds kind of....malevolent! The Gong influence will surface again at the tail end of the album with the insane ditty `Oh Mary'! I guess it lightens 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. Her whispered lyric "I can still feel your shadow..." is full of vivid imagery and emotion. Beautiful track.

(until the very abrupt and amusing ending that they should have faded out instead! I won't ruin it for you!)

I'll quickly mention that the sparse production really lets the music breathe superbly, and never sounds messy or cluttered, with perfect mixing. Great work from Claus and Dave.

Special mention must also go to the face melting acid drenched album cover painted by Franz Landel. Good chance your mind might resemble that once you've listened to this album a few times. Hey Sula/fellas, how about a reissue on vinyl to really show off that wonderful cover?!

Although the band is still in existence today, their music is now completely instrumental. I plan on checking some of their other albums out soon, but I would really love to hear another one with Jodi on vocals. Be interesting to see what the combination comes up with after all these years! She has an amazing and distinctive voice that deserves to be heard within this sort of music again.

I picked this CD from Cranium Records in New Zealand so long ago, and I admittedly found it quite difficult to listen to for many years! It's very emotionally draining and unnerving, really puts you through the ringer, and I doubt 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!

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 The Split Thing (with Vespero) by ZONE SIX album cover Studio Album, 2012
4.05 | 3 ratings

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The Split Thing (with Vespero)
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.

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 10 Years Of Aural Psychedelic Journeys by ZONE SIX album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2007
3.95 | 3 ratings

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

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator Psych/Space 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.

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 Live Wired 2004 by ZONE SIX album cover Live, 2005
4.00 | 1 ratings

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Live Wired 2004
Zone Six Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator Psych/Space Team & Band Submissions

— First review of this album —
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.

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Thanks to Rivertree for the artist addition.

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