Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography

ZS

RIO/Avant-Prog • United States


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Zs picture
Zs biography
To categorise these guys is about as difficult as the music they play. ZS's music could be considered as a combination between Avant-Garde/Free Jazz and Math Rock, only with a clearly tidy and structured vibe to it. In addition, their music is also extremely dynamic but also repetetive and requires patience as the music can get frustratingly intense at times, but it's all very energetic and fun to listen to. Their songs are loaded with odd meters and time-signatures and several "start-stop-start" sections are present and plays a significant role in their overall sound, something that could compare them to several bands labeled as Math-Rock. The melodies are often odd, dissonant and unpredictable with heavy minimalistic elements while also being tightly arranged. Stylistically they are looseley akin to Keith Tippett projects, such as Ovary Lodge and Centipede (minus the piano) and the sax playing at times has the stylistics of Elton Dean (from Soft Machine). The minimalistic tendencies are obviously reminiscent of Ennio Morricone and Philip Glass, but often with the more rock-orientated form of minimalism played by Third-era Soft Machine. The band currently consists of Charlie Looker (synthesizer/guitar), Ben Greenberg (guitar), Sam Hillmer (saxophone), and Ian Antonio (drums) although the group have gone through several line-up changes since their formation in 2000. This band is absolutely recommended if you like wacky and both technical and challenging music. Especially for fans of bands like Orthrelm, Ruins and Hella. They are not easy listening by any means but they are absolutely worth checking out if you are into stuff like this, although it may take some time to digest their releases properly.


===Written by Bj-1===

Zs official website

ZS MP3, Free Download (music stream)


Open extended player in a new pop-up window | Random Playlist (50) | How to submit new MP3s

ZS Videos (YouTube and more)


Showing only random 3 | Search and add more videos to ZS

Buy ZS Music


Score: The Complete Sextet Works 2002-2007Score: The Complete Sextet Works 2002-2007
Box set
Northern Spy 2012
Audio CD$16.53
$17.85 (used)
XeXe
Northern Spy 2015
Audio CD$6.99
$8.73 (used)
New SlavesNew Slaves
THE SOCIAL REGISTRY 2010
Audio CD$36.85
$21.00 (used)
GrainGrain
Northern Spy 2013
Audio CD$5.26
$2.99 (used)
The Hard EPThe Hard EP
EP
Three-One-G 2008
Audio CD$2.75
$2.72 (used)
ZsZs
EP · Limited Edition
Troubleman Unlimited 2003
Audio CD$10.93
$8.21 (used)
Xe by Zs (2015-08-03)Xe by Zs (2015-08-03)
Northern Spy
Audio CD$232.32
The Hard EP by Zs (2008-08-05)The Hard EP by Zs (2008-08-05)
Three-One-G
Audio CD$39.54
New Slaves by Zs (2010-05-11)New Slaves by Zs (2010-05-11)
The Social Registry
Audio CD$81.32
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
45rpm~BABYFACE,The~Tender Lover ?Vinyl 7" Record ?1989 ?ZS4-74003 Solar ?EXC USD $2.00 Buy It Now 2h 49m
EDDIE CONDON - Dixieland Jazz Party - Excellent Con LP Record Rediffusion ZS 162 USD $11.23 Buy It Now 5h 4m
Rosanella Love's Country LP RIM ZS42 (Rosanella - 1970) (ID:14775) USD $12.00 Buy It Now 9h 5m
Flamenco Virtuoso LP ZS 127 (Philip John Lee - 1972) (ID:14791) USD $18.35 Buy It Now 9h 6m
New Slaves Zs Audio CD USD $27.82 Buy It Now 9h 14m
steppenwolf 7" straight shootin woman/justice don't.. zs8 6031 vg+/m- USD $4.99 Buy It Now 10h
Bunny Sigler on PIR demo ZS8 3608 in VG + condition Somebody loves you /Same USD $4.00 Buy It Now 10h 6m
SAMMY JONES AND THE RUM RUNNERS "Reggae on my Mind " 1970 UK LP RIM ZS47 USD $11.23 Buy It Now 10h 9m
SPIRIT 1984 / Sweet Stella Baby 7" 45 rpm ODE ZS7-128 USD $2.48 Buy It Now 11h 29m
Crest Of Zs-Toushin No Monshou - Jam Project (Used Very Good) USD $4.97 Buy It Now 11h 39m
NORTHERN SOUL 45 RPM RECORD - BROCKINGTON SINGERS - TSOP ZS8 4763 USD $30.00 Buy It Now 11h 40m
CYMARRON 45 RINGS B/W LIKE CHILDREN VG+ ENTRANCE ZS7 7500 USD $4.00 Buy It Now 12h 3m
VARIOUS ARTISTS - THE GOOD OLD JANGLE DAYS = REDIFFUSION STEREO ZS 138 USD $5.00 [0 bids]
12h 26m
45rpm~SWAN,Billy~I'm Her Fool/I'd Like To Work For You?ZS8-8641?Vinyl Record??VG USD $2.50 Buy It Now 12h 36m
Zs - Xe NEW CD USD $13.26 Buy It Now 12h 43m
silhouettes of success howard blaikley orchestra LP 1968 rediffusion RIM ZS3 USD $6.23 Buy It Now 14h 25m
Light Of Day Joan Jett 7" vinyl single record USA promo ZS4-06692 CBS 1987 USD $22.42 Buy It Now 15h 23m
Grain - Zs (2013, Vinyl New) USD $22.63 Buy It Now 15h 58m
Kana Kapiolani and his Hawaiians - Songs of the Islands LP (1970) R.I.M.ZS45 USD $1.24 [0 bids]
16h 44m
SMALL FACES 45 rpm SINGLE IMMEDIATE ZS7 501 ITCHYCOO PARK / I'M ONLY DREAMING USD $9.99 Buy It Now 16h 48m
EXTRA LIFE Secular Works LP NEW SS 180g I And Ear Zs Charlie Looker math rock USD $12.99 Buy It Now 16h 48m
John Schneider Picture Sleeve EP 7" 45 Them Good Ol Boys are Bad/Still ZS5 02489 USD $4.99 Buy It Now 17h 57m
SCOTT McKENZIE 45 rpm SINGLE ODE ZS7-105 LIKE AN OLD TIME MOVIE / WHAT'S THE DIF USD $9.99 Buy It Now 18h 4m
PHYLLIS NELSON-I LIKE YOU (SPECIAL MIX) /REACHIN'-CARRERE ZS4 05719 NM 45 USD $3.98 Buy It Now 18h 29m
O'JAYS 45 rpm SINGLE PHILADELPHIA INTERNATIONAL ZS7 3524 LOVE TRAIN / WHO AM I USD $9.99 Buy It Now 19h 10m
ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA Shine A Little b/w Jungle 45 rpm 7" VG+ ZS8 5057 ELO USD $8.99 Buy It Now 19h 36m
O JAYS I Love Music Pt 1 b/w I Love Music Pt 2 45 rpm 7" 1975 ZS8 3577 Jukebox USD $7.49 Buy It Now 19h 39m
ISLEY BROTHERS That Lady Part 1 b/w Part 2 45 rpm 7" 1973 TNeck ZS7 2251 Jukebox USD $5.99 Buy It Now 19h 39m
O JAYS Back Stabbers b/w 992 Arguments 45 rpm 7" 1972 ZS8 3753 Jukebox USD $7.49 Buy It Now 19h 39m
O'JAYS Use Ta Be My Girl b/w This Time Baby 45 rpm 7" 1978 ZS8 3642 Jukebox USD $7.99 Buy It Now 19h 39m
MFSB TSOP b/w Something For Nothing 45 rpm 7" 1973 ZS7 3540 Jukebox USD $4.99 Buy It Now 19h 39m
ISLEY BROTHERS That Lady Part 1 b/w Part 2 45 rpm 7" 1973 TNeck ZS7 2251 Jukebox USD $6.99 Buy It Now 19h 39m
O JAYS Love Train b/w Time To Get Down 45 rpm 7" 1972 ZS7 3754 Jukebox USD $7.49 Buy It Now 19h 39m
RICK DERRINGER Hang On Sloopy b/w Skyscraper Blues 45 rpm 7" VG+ 1975 ZS8 2755 USD $5.99 Buy It Now 19h 41m
QUIET RIOT Cum Feel The Noize b/w Run For Cover 45 rpm 7" ZS4 04005 Jukebox USD $5.99 Buy It Now 19h 41m
QUIET RIOT Mama Weer All Crazee Now b/w Bad Boy 45 rpm 7" ZS4 04505 Jukebox USD $5.99 Buy It Now 19h 41m
QUIET RIOT Bang Your Head b/w Bang Your Head Live 45 rpm 7" ZS4 04267 Jukebox USD $5.99 Buy It Now 19h 41m
ZS 146 LOIBNER/VIENNA STATE OPERA great opera choruses volume 2 uk LP PS EX-/EX USD $13.73 Buy It Now 19h 45m
BILL MCGUFFIE BIG BAND S/T LP VINYL UK Rediffusion 1972 12 Track (Zs130) USD $8.48 Buy It Now 19h 57m
Single Bullet Theory - Keep It Tight Mint- 7" Vinyl 45 Promo Nemperor ZS4 03300 USD $8.00 Buy It Now 20h 20m
FABULOUS THUNDERBIRDS, THE (Tuff Enuff) CBS Associated ZS4-05838 = P/S ONLY!!! USD $3.00 Buy It Now 20h 23m
RARE PROMO The Day Zs CD single Certainly MARY JANE GIRLS Morris Day THE TIME ! USD $7.00 Buy It Now 20h 32m
SEVEN AGES OF MAN S/T LP VINYL UK Rediffusion 1972 8 Track (Zs115) USD $37.33 Buy It Now 21h 20m
BANJOS ARE BACK S/T LP VINYL UK Rediffusion 1971 12 Track (Zs91) USD $9.79 Buy It Now 21h 20m
JO STAFFORD Do I Hear A Waltz? LP VINYL UK Rediffusion 12 Track Stereo (Zs155) USD $9.79 Buy It Now 21h 20m
EDDIE PEABODY Great Banjo Man LP VINYL UK Rediffusion 1973 12 Track (Zs161) USD $6.23 Buy It Now 21h 20m
SIERRA LEONE MUSIC Zensor ZS 41 AFRICAN MUSIC LP USD $30.00 Buy It Now 23h 16m
Romantic Piano Favourites Vol 5 / Balázs Szokolay. USD $14.08 Buy It Now 1 day
"THE SAPPERS" BAND OF THE CORPS OF ROYAL ENGINEERS. 1972 UK LP ZS 107 USD $11.23 Buy It Now 1 day
BAND OF THE CORPS OF ROYAL ENGINEERS ALDERSHOT the sappers ZS 107 LP PS EX/VG+ USD $13.73 Buy It Now 1 day
Hey Paula... LP. Rediffusion ZS 143. 1973 compilation. Exc Vinyl. USD $1.87 [0 bids]
1 day
ZS 106 Sid Phillips - Plays Barrelhouse Piano - 1972 LP USD $12.48 Buy It Now 1 day
ZS 75 Binge Saxophone Concerto etc. / Voss / Binge USD $4.98 Buy It Now 1 day
Zs Higgins CD USD $33.52 Buy It Now 1 day
Small Faces Itchy cop Park / I'm Only Dreaming Immediate ZS7 501 VG 45 USD $1.50 Buy It Now 1 day
FABULOUS THUNDERBIRDS TUFF ENUFF USA 7" CBS ZS4 05838 1986 ROCK BLUES USD $3.73 Buy It Now 1 day
FREDDY FENDER "YOURS/Rock Down In My Shoe" STARFLITE ZS8-4900 (1979) 45rpm SNGL USD $3.00 Buy It Now 1 day
FREDDY FENDER "SQUEEZE BOX/Turn Around" STARFLITE ZS9-4904 (1979) 45rpm SINGLE USD $3.00 Buy It Now 1 day
THE BAND OF THE CORPS OF ROYAL ENGINEERS - BANDSTAND! - LP - REDIFFUSION - ZS140 USD $4.36 Buy It Now 1 day
Norman Harris I Wish PROMO 1980 Philadelphia Int'l Records ZS9 3104 USD $14.90 Buy It Now 1 day
Boogie Woogie 12" Lp The Stan Greig Trio Rediffusion-ZS 116 Stereo UK 1972 USD $6.23 Buy It Now 1 day
The Thunderbirds-45 PS-CBS ZS4-06270-Wrap It Up/True Love-1986 USD $8.99 Buy It Now 1 day
GREEN, Lloyd (I Can See Clearly Now) Monument ZS7-8562 USD $4.20 Buy It Now 1 day
THE OJAYS FOREVER MINE & GET ON OUT AND PARTY CBS RECORDS ZS9 3727 USD $7.99 Buy It Now 1 day
CYMARRON Rings / Like Children [45 Record] Entrance ZS7-7500 USD $2.85 Buy It Now 1 day
TEDDY PENDERGRASS Come Go With Me [45 Record] Phili Intl ZS9 3717 PROMO USD $3.00 Buy It Now 1 day
The Day Zs : The Day Zs CD (1990) USD $4.00 Buy It Now 1 day
45 RPM 7" Record Henry Lee Summer Hands On The Radio & Just Another Day ZS407986 USD $7.99 Buy It Now 1 day
45 RPM 7" Record Joan Jett & The Blackhearts I Hate Myself 1988 ZS4 07919 VG+ USD $6.99 Buy It Now 1 day
THE ANDREWS SISTERS - The andrews sisters - 1973 UK 12" Vinyl LP EX/EX - ZS 153 USD $6.55 Buy It Now 1 day
O'Jay's~45RPM Record Vinyl Album~"Who Am I" & "Love Train"~1972~CBS~ZS7 3524 USD $5.59 Buy It Now 1 day
ELO - Hold On Tight Mint- 7" Vinyl 45 1981 ZS5 02408 Jet Records USA Promo USD $7.50 Buy It Now 1 day
Isley Brothers Live It Up Part 1 7" Columbia ZS82254 EX 1974 Canadian pressing, USD $8.11 Buy It Now 1 day
Isley Brothers Take Me To The Next Phase Part 1 7" T-Neck ZS82272 EX 1978 US pre USD $8.11 Buy It Now 1 day
REDDINGS Class 7" VINYL US Believe In A Dream 1981 B/W Main Nerve (Zs502437) USD $3.92 Buy It Now 1 day
PAMELA MILLER Home In New Orleans 7" VINYL US Monument 1975 B/W Love (Zs88649) USD $6.23 Buy It Now 1 day
The Day Zs by Day ZS (CD, Oct-1990, Reprise) USD $15.00 Buy It Now 1 day
BITE THE BULLET Finished With Love 7" VINYL US Jet 1989 2 Track Demo (Zs468675) USD $5.25 Buy It Now 1 day
KANSAS Hold On 7" VINYL US Kirshner 1980 Demo Plays Same Both Sides (Zs94291) USD $5.23 Buy It Now 1 day
JUICY Bad Boy 7" VINYL US Private I 1985 Demo Plays Same Both Sides (Zs405422) USD $5.23 Buy It Now 1 day
BABYFACE It's No Crime 7" VINYL US Solar 1989 B/W Instrumental (Zs468966) USD $3.92 Buy It Now 1 day
ISLEY BROTHERS Midnight Sky 7" VINYL US Tneck 1974 Part 1 B/W Part 2 (Zs82255) USD $3.92 Buy It Now 1 day
PEOPLE'S CHOICE Here We Go Again 7" VINYL US Tsop 1976 B/w Mickey D's (zs84781) USD $6.23 Buy It Now 1 day
ISLEY BROTHERS I Wanna Be With You 7" VINYL US Tneck 1979 B/W Part Ii (Zs82279) USD $6.23 Buy It Now 1 day
ROMANTICS Talking In Your Sleep 7" VINYL US Nemperor 1983 B/w I'm Hip (zs404135) USD $3.92 Buy It Now 1 day
CYMARRON Rings 7" VINYL US Entrance B/W Like Children (Zs77500) USD $3.92 Buy It Now 1 day
DAN HARTMAN Instant Replay 7" VINYL US Blue Sky 1978 B/W Replayed (Zs8 2772) USD $3.92 Buy It Now 1 day
ELVIN BISHOP GROUP So Fine 7" VINYL US Fillmore Promo Mono B/W Stereo (Zs77002) USD $3.92 Buy It Now 1 day
ISLEY BROTHERS Live It Up 7" VINYL US Tneck 1974 Part 1 B/W Part 2 (Zs82254) USD $5.23 Buy It Now 1 day
45 ELLIOT RANDALL Samantha 1977 Promo KIRSHNER ZS8 4271 ex-STEELY DAN Tokens USD $6.95 Buy It Now 1 day
An Alto And Some Brass Bill McGuffie UK vinyl LP album record ZS48 REDIFFUSION USD $14.93 Buy It Now 1 day
Dan Hartman Instant Replay USA 7" vinyl single record ZS82772 BLUE SKY 1978 USD $13.68 Buy It Now 1 day
Dave Shepherd Mr. Shepherd Plays Mr. Goodman UK vinyl LP album record ZS30 USD $26.17 Buy It Now 1 day
Our World's Beyond by Elemer Bal Zs Group with Char. USD $18.41 Buy It Now 2 days
CYMARRON 45 ZS7 7500 RARE SINGLE 7" INDIA INDIAN 45 rpm VG+ USD $299.25 Buy It Now 2 days
Dave Shepherd Sextet. More Goodman Favourites LP. Rediffusion ZS 54. 1970. VG+. USD $1.87 [0 bids]
2 days
SEXY NUDE COVER CHEESECAKE ! THE HIT KIT ISLANDERS / Koi To Wine To Yoru ZS-1045 USD $145.99 Buy It Now 2 days
THE O'JAYS " YOUR BODY'S HERE WITH ME " 7" SINGLE 1982 ZS5 03009 DEMO USD $3.11 Buy It Now 2 days
45 RPM 7" Record The Isley Brothers Go For Your Guns & Livin In The Life ZS82267 USD $6.99 Buy It Now 2 days
BABYFACE (Tender Lover) Solar ZS4 74003 USD $3.80 Buy It Now 2 days

More places to buy ZS music online Buy ZS & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
ZS has no upcoming shows, according to LAST.FM syndicated events and shows feed

ZS discography


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

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

3.00 | 3 ratings
Zs
2003
3.45 | 8 ratings
Arms
2007
3.48 | 9 ratings
New Slaves
2010
3.09 | 2 ratings
Grain
2013
4.00 | 20 ratings
Xe
2015

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

4.50 | 2 ratings
Buck
2007

ZS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

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

4.00 | 1 ratings
Karate Bump
2005
4.00 | 1 ratings
The Hard
2008
3.09 | 2 ratings
Music of the Modern White
2009

ZS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Grain by ZS album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.09 | 2 ratings

BUY
Grain
Zs RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Lewa

3 stars ZS's most electronic album yet, even more abstract that previous efforts.

Grain features only two long tracks of about 20 minutes and has tons of distortion, drones, harsh electronics, sound manipulation and loops.

What drums and bells there are, are low in the mix buried under all the electronics. There seems to be a bit of saxophone, but it is distorted and almost indiscernible from the electronics.

The repetition typical for ZS releases is still present but both tracks seem more improvised, less structured and even less accessible than tracks on previous albums. This could almost be a remix album of previous ZS efforts. An appreciation for electronic sound manipulation is required to like it.

Overall this is recommended to fans of the band. First time listeners of ZS would probably have an easier time starting with Xe (or Arms or New Slaves).

 Arms by ZS album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.45 | 8 ratings

BUY
Arms
Zs RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Lewa

3 stars Sounds like a mix of Satie and math rock done with saxophone as the leading instrument.

There are drums, sax, guitar, keyboards/effects and vocals on this album.

Saxophone, drums and vocals are mostly played or sung in bursts. There is very little conventional drumming. The drums mostly follow the saxophone and accompany its most prominent notes by a drum burst. Other than that there's no rhythm. The guitar and keyboards are mainly used to produce noise.

The music is grounded in repetitive blasts and minimalist music seems to have been an inspiration. Phrases and musical fragments start, get repeated, stop and are maybe revisited later and probably repeated again. There is no gradual change or gradual building of anything. The whole album is a start-stop affair of bursts and phrases that are repeated a (seemingly) random number of times.

Regarding compositional style, the most similar piece I can think of is "Cinema: entr'acte symphonique de Relache" by Eric Satie. In rock music terms it does sound like math rock without drumming, where the saxophone replaces the guitar as the lead instrument.

This is especially recommended to listeners who really like Eric Satie (outside of the piano pieces) and can stand some heavyness and noise rock.

 New Slaves by ZS album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.48 | 9 ratings

BUY
New Slaves
Zs RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Lewa

3 stars Three main ingredients of previous albums are present here to about the same degree: Noise, improvisation and repetition of phrases (where phrases are discernible).

New is the heavy use of distorted guitar, that often drone out everything else, and more electronic effects. Due to this, "New Slaves" seems (to me) sonically more like other noise releases and a bit less unique than the preceding EP.

Parts of the album seem free and others highly structured. This, as well as the heavy use of repetition, makes for an interesting release in the end.

New slaves is recommended to listeners who like free jazz, noise rock and minimalism and want to listen to it at the time.

 Music of the Modern White by ZS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2009
3.09 | 2 ratings

BUY
Music of the Modern White
Zs RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Lewa

3 stars For noise rock and free jazz enthusiasts. Includes organic instrumentation and everyday sound imitations.

This album is more noisy, free and disjointed and seems a lot more improvised than previous Zs releases. It is essentially a mix of free jazz and noise soundscape.

I'm not an expert on the noise genre but I believe this might stand out from some other releases because of the instrumentation. Other noise releases (that I know of) seem to rely more heavily on electronics than this album. (This impression might be due to my limited genre knowledge, though.)

The main instruments here are drums, guitar and saxophone.

Other than that, I am unsure to what degree synthesizers/electronics are involved. Sound effects might be played on guitar.

Imitating various everyday noises seems to be a bit of a theme.

I believe I noticed the guitar (probably) try bees, (probably) honking car and (probably) motorcycle while the drums (probably) did machine gun and (probably) heavy rainfall.

The saxophone is the most versatile and tries to (probably) simulate a windy day and (probably) play a car that does not start, (probably) sound like a chainsaw and (probably) imitate a seagull and (probably) sound like various insects.

The rest is, well, noise.

 Xe by ZS album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.00 | 20 ratings

BUY
Xe
Zs RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by LearsFool
Collaborator Post/Math Rock Team

5 stars Somewhere between the recent post-punk revival and modern avant-prog lies Zs. These modern day pronks mix a very sparse guitar sound that mixes with use of horns that are unmistakably RIO-derived. The guitar lines go on and on and on, with the horns variously attacking like Peter Brotzmann's kind of free jazz, or playing along or in the background like a sickly corruption of smooth, urban feeling jazz, easily in part by way of Henry Cow. The minimalism only helps this album sound ever stranger, which is exactly where it needs to be. The artfulness of the result is best shown by the long, jaw-dropping "Corps" and title track, and how. Easily a front-runner not just for avant-prog album of the year, but for album of the year in general.
 New Slaves by ZS album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.48 | 9 ratings

BUY
New Slaves
Zs RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by progadicto

4 stars I really enjoy ZS albums and I'm expecting to get in my hands their latest release as soon as possible. At least for me they make a very singular kind of avant garde mixing a lot of known elements and influences to make some really interesting tracks full of surprising moments perhaps this one is an album a little different from their previous releases (because the constant presence of distorted instruments) I got to say that this one is a very weird but nice piece of experimental music. So meanwhile I wait for their new album I consider necessary to give another listen to "New Slaves", one of their most experimental releases.

"New Slaves" starts with "Concert Black" a kind of clock-rhythmical intro (at least for avant garde standards) layed by a mysterious atmosphere which matches with the complex work of distorted guitars and weird effects into an almost minimalist composition.

Next comes "Acres of Skin", a song based on tribal percussions as base for intricated distored instrumental sections. Dark atmospheres repeats here but with a strong emphasys on hard rhythmical sections and distorted and screamig sax.

Third is "Gentleman Amateur" in which distorted sounds takes definetively the lead even constructing a loud wall of minimal harmonics that repeats on "Don't Touch Me" in which ZS reaches a strong paronoid atmosphere full of distorted effects and metalic percussions playing repetitive but changing schizoid sections.

"Masonry" is the first song of the álbum which has some relation with the previous ZS releases. Is a quiet but dark song base don a slow rhythmical base and some atmospherical effects.

Then we have "New Slaves" and we ge tinto the most deep ocean of musical and atmospherical textures that ZS can give us. Some guitars "a la Frohmader" filling any quiet space and possible silences, repetitive rhythmical sections, slow but constant movements between some hard and raw sax solos? All of this elements turns this 20 minutes song into a real dark deep journey crossed by one of the most dense musical expressions that I've heard lately, reminding me some Henry Cow and Ne Zhdali best moments.

"Black Crown Ceremony" (Parts I and II) are the epilog for this album. Here ZS mixes quiet but still dark atmospheres with distorted sax and guitars building different sound layers that explodes in some really chilling moments.

At least for me it's the kind of avant garde that I really enjoy. Maybe not for all ears but surely a piece which deserves a place into any RIO discography? 4*

 Zs by ZS album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.00 | 3 ratings

BUY
Zs
Zs RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by progadicto

3 stars Zs first album it just a nice preview of what these guys do since 2003.

Like many first attempts, "Zs" has some lack of originalty perhaps is a good avant garde album. Reminiscences of the more experimental bands of the genre could be found easily in every song of this album but Zs has his stuff. Between scales and harmonies that looks like 5uu's or Birdsongs Of The Mesozoic outtakes, you can find some dark and addictive style related to build complex and progressive melodies in order to create oppresive atmospheres. "Mimesis" is the climax of this attempts; a quiet but thrilling track in which we can find the genesis of the singular Zs sound that we discover in their late production.

Not the best of this band but a kind of necessary prologue of the complex wotk of these guys. And of course, "Mimesis" is a worth to listen piece, really amazing and captivating... 3+*...

 Arms by ZS album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.45 | 8 ratings

BUY
Arms
Zs RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Chris H
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The maxi-minimalists?

Zs is a band that was formed in 2000 in New York, in the heart of the brutal chamber scene. However, one would challenge themselves day and night trying to name a genre that fits the style these guys play. One listen to this album and you will say they play one style, then listen to it again and you will say a different one. There is just no way to peg one single genre onto this album. It's too ugly and raw for jazz music, too complicated for minimalist music however too simple to be called avant-garde.

Arms is the first full-length studio album from this band, following up on two successful EP's and predating a live release, both recorded last year in 2007. If you are reading this review because you are looking for something that resembles music, I warn you to turn back now. Zs is not a band that plays music, Zs is a band that records art. Vocals are used sparingly, but they create a deep impact on the album, especially the chanting in Except When You Don't Because You Wont. Combined with the beating percussions, this piece could almost put you in a trance-like state. Also the vocals on I Can't Concentrate really sky-rocket the song itself and the album to a whole new level.

From the opening saxophone explosion of B Is For Burning, to the last shake of the tambourine on Z Is For The Zone, there is no let up on this album. Although sometimes the music may quiet down or shift itself, the thrills keep coming back. One mistake I do think that Zs might have made in their debut is the length of the album. They do a great job playing their repetitive, trance inducing music throughout the duration of the album, but towards the end the listener will tend to settle back into their seat rather than still be on the edge. Music like this needs to be full-out for a certain length and then stop without rest.

All in all, a very strong debut and one of the best in 2007. Work on those endings and the next Zs studio album will most likely be a winner!

 Arms by ZS album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.45 | 8 ratings

BUY
Arms
Zs RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by chamberry
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Calling this cerebral is an understatement.

Earlier this year, around summer, when I was discovering highly convoluted and elaborate music, I stumbled upon a band that was simply named "Zs". I remember reading an article about a little musical movement called "brutal prog" where bands like Upsilon Acrux, The Flying Luttenbachers and even Orthrelm are part of, or so the author of the article claims. Zs was the band labeled as "brutal chamber" and being a fan of this kind of music I didn't hesitated to check them out. The music does remind me of the previously mentioned bands so this is recommended for fans of this kind of music, especially fans of Orthrelm's Ov.

Zs' music takes parts of minimalism, chamber music, rock, jazz and mesh it to sound as ugly and dissonant as possible! This leaves no room for emotions so I hope that that isn't a problem. The music is repetitive and angular with disjointed and awkward sounding melodies wrapped with start / stop dynamics in every single moment of the album. Vocals aren't present on this album but in one song, "Nobody Wants To Be Had" which is one of the album's peak moments particularly because of its odd singing and even odder topic. This song in particular is the one that attracted me the most from them since it's the most easily rewarding song on the album as well as being a good representation of their sound. The only song that can top this one is "I Can't Concentrate" with its math rock-like song structure and long running time. Balk is an interesting song, it isn't as engaging as the ones before and after it, but the main melody is almost exactly the same as Faust's song called "So Far". This hasn't been affirmed by the members of Zs and it's only a little observation of mine so ignore it at will.

Zs' music is inaccessible and hard to grasp. Newcomers should keep away from this band, but Veterans should check Zs' as soon as possible. Arms is an elaborate and intriguing album that Avant-garde music fans will highly enjoy. The only problem here is "Z is for Zone" which isn't up to par with the rest of the material on the album and overstays its welcome, but this is still an enjoyable album.

3.5 out of 5

Thanks to avestin for the artist addition.

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives