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ZS

RIO/Avant-Prog • United States


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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===

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Buy ZS Music


XeXe
Northern Spy Records 2015
Vinyl$17.45
$100.00 (used)
New SlavesNew Slaves
THE SOCIAL REGISTRY 2010
Audio CD$29.54
$16.96 (used)
GrainGrain
Northern Spy 2013
Audio CD$4.99
$1.94 (used)
Score: The Complete Sextet Works 2002-2007Score: The Complete Sextet Works 2002-2007
Box set
Northern Spy 2012
Audio CD$16.56
$24.74 (used)
ZsZs
EP · Limited Edition
Troubleman Unlimited 2003
Audio CD$10.94
$4.35 (used)
Music Of The Modern White [Vinyl]Music Of The Modern White [Vinyl]
Social Registry 2009
Vinyl$11.68
$18.00 (used)
New Slaves Part II: Essence Implosion!New Slaves Part II: Essence Implosion!
THE SOCIAL REGISTRY 2011
Vinyl$4.75
$26.55 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
General Johnson-Only Time Will Tell-7" 45-Invictus-ZS7 1252-Northern Soul USD $1.99 Buy It Now 33m 54s
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Scott McKenzie: Like an Old Time Movie b/w What's the Difference Ode ZS7-105 USD $5.00 Buy It Now 1 day
1989 Henry Lee Summer Don't Leave / Treat Her Like A Lady ZS4-69041 45 rpm NM USD $3.90 Buy It Now 1 day
1989 Henry Lee Summer Hey Baby / Something Is Wrong CBS ZS4-68891 45 rpm NM USD $3.90 Buy It Now 1 day
THE O'JAYS 45 GIRL, DON'T LET IT GET YOU DOWN TSOP RECORDS ZS9 4790 USD $8.99 Buy It Now 1 day
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THE DAY Zs: s/t-1990LP EMB. COV. PROMO MORRIS DAY, Prod USD $7.49 Buy It Now 1 day
Scotti Brothers ZS4-05774 John Cafferty - Heart's On Fire/Small Town Girl 1986 USD $12.97 Buy It Now 1 day
Scotti Brothers ZS4-04871 Survivor - The Searh Is Over/It's The Singer Not The USD $15.97 Buy It Now 1 day
Scotti Brothers ZS4-05663 Survivor - Burning Heart/Feels Like Love 1985 7" 45 USD $15.97 Buy It Now 1 day
Tabu ZS4-05767 Cherrelle With Alexander O'Neal - Saturday Love/Will You Satisfy USD $15.97 Buy It Now 1 day
JO STAFFORD Do I Hear A Waltz? 1973 STEREO LP ZS155 USD $7.79 Buy It Now 1 day
LARRY JON WILSON 45 DEMO 1975 BERTRAND MY SON MONUMENT ZS8 8647 USD $7.19 Buy It Now 1 day
Cherrelle 45 Will You Satisfy?/Saturday Love Tabu Records 1985 #ZS405767 USD $9.99 Buy It Now 1 day
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Isley Jasper Isley- Insatiable Woman- 45- Cbs Zs4 05760 USD $2.99 Buy It Now 1 day
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LOU RAWLS LET ME BE GOOD TO YOU/LOVER'S HOLIDAY 1979 45 RPM PHILADELPHIA ZS83684 USD $3.98 Buy It Now 2 days
JAMES BROWN/VINCE DICOLA 45 SCOTTI BROTHERS ZS4-05682 USD $5.98 Buy It Now 2 days
Survivor 45 Burning Heart Scotti Brothers Records 1985 PROMO COPY #ZS405663 USD $9.99 Buy It Now 2 days
KINGFISH hard to love somebody 7" Mint- JET ZS8 5053 Vinyl 1978 Record USD $12.00 Buy It Now 2 days
THE ROMANTICS TALKING IN YOUR SLEEP & I'M HIP 45 RPM ZS4 04135 VINYL RECORD USD $8.00 Buy It Now 2 days
DAVIS, Paul (Darlin' // Ride 'em Cowboy) Bang ZS8 5201 = REISSUE copy USD $3.80 Buy It Now 2 days
BURRITO BROTHERS Closer To You / Coast To Coast 45 Curb Records ZS5 02835 (1982) USD $5.99 Buy It Now 2 days
vinyl LP FREDDIE RANDALL & HIS FAMOUS JAZZ BAND zs84 stereo USD $11.70 Buy It Now 2 days
ART MOONEY AND HIS ORCHESTRA - CHA CHA CHA LP - POP SCHALLPLATTEN - ZS 10046 USD $23.39 Buy It Now 2 days
O'JAYS i love music / part 2 ZS8-3577 WITH JUKEBOX TITLE STRIP NEW 45 USD $1.69 Buy It Now 2 days
LP CHICAGO and ALL THAT JAZZ, Sid Phillips and his Band, rediffusion zs27 USD $7.80 Buy It Now 2 days
Quiet Riot 45 Run For Cover/Cum On Feel The Noise Pasha Records 1983 #ZS404005 USD $9.99 Buy It Now 2 days
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45 RECORD KRIS KRISTOFFERSON - EASY, COME ON B/W ROCKET TO STARDOM ZS8 8658 USD $5.09 Buy It Now 2 days
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THE ISLEY BROTHERS-WHO LOVE YOU BETTER-45-PROMO-ZS82260 USD $2.99 Buy It Now 2 days
THE ISLEY BROTHERS Fight the Power part 1 & 2 45 TNECK ZS8 2256 USD $1.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Reel to Reel Soviet Army Chorus & Band Angel 4 Track 7 1/2 IPS ZS 35411 VG USD $5.99 Buy It Now 2 days
PETER NOONE You Got Me Anyway Mono/Stereo WLP Promo! Johnston '82 #ZS5 02838 USD $10.00 Buy It Now 2 days
O'JAYS WORK ON ME/LET'S SPEND SOME TIME TOGETHER 1977 45 RPM ZS8 3631 USD $4.98 Buy It Now 2 days
VG+ ISLEY BROTHERS THE PRIDE PART I & II 1977 45 RPM TNECK RECORDS ZS8-2262 USD $4.98 Buy It Now 3 days
JERRY BUTLER nothing says i love you like i love you 7" Mint- 45 Promo ZS8 3673 USD $12.00 Buy It Now 3 days
Derringer 45 Sleepless/Lawyers, Guns and Money Bluesky Records 1978 #ZS8 2770 USD $9.99 Buy It Now 3 days
SURVIVOR EYE OF THE TIGER/TAKE YOU ON A SATURDAY. SCOTTI BROTHERS 45#ZS5 02912 USD $10.00 Buy It Now 3 days
1989 BABYFACE Whip Appeal / Instrumental 7" 45 rpm Solar ZS4 74007 NM Vinyl USD $3.25 Buy It Now 3 days
Slade 45 Run Runaway/Don't Tame A Hurricane CBS 1984 #ZS404398 USD $9.99 Buy It Now 3 days
VG+ SLADE MY OH MY/HIGH & DRY 1984 45 RPM CBS RECORDS ZS4 04528 USD $2.98 Buy It Now 3 days
JULIE ANTHONY China Blue 7" Label Australia 1980 ZS-576 ?? USD $7.53 Buy It Now 3 days
BAND OF ROYAL ENGINEERS CHATHAM bandstand ZS 140 LP PS EX/EX USD $14.35 Buy It Now 3 days
Bertie Higgins 45 Key Largo/White Line Fever Kat Family Records 1981 #ZS502524 USD $9.99 Buy It Now 3 days
GRANDPA JONES Coal Camp/Here I Am Makin' Plans 7" 45 Monument ZS7 8539 VG+ PROMO USD $5.79 Buy It Now 3 days
"THE SAPPERS" BAND OF THE CORPS OF ROYAL ENGINEERS. 1972 UK LP ZS 107 USD $6.23 [0 bids]
3 days
Weird "Al" Yankovic Like A Surgeon 7" 45 Rock 'N' Roll ZS4 04937 1985 Vinyl USD $4.99 Buy It Now 3 days
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1979 McFadden & Whitehead Ain't No Stoppin Us Now / Do You ZS8-3681 45 rpm NM USD $3.90 Buy It Now 3 days
LOVE UNLIMITED high steppin hip dressin fella / instrumental 7" VG ZS9 1409 USD $10.00 Buy It Now 4 days
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SPIRIT I Got A Line On You / She Smiles 7" 45 rpm Ode ZS7 115 VG+ USD $3.25 Buy It Now 4 days
Music of the Modern White - Zs New & Sealed LP Free Shipping USD $22.07 Buy It Now 4 days
Survivor - The Search Is Over *PROMO* 45 RPM Vinyl Record ZS4-04871 Scotti Bros USD $8.49 Buy It Now 4 days
The Bill McGuffie Big Band Bill McGuffie vinyl LP album record UK ZS130 USD $18.64 Buy It Now 4 days
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THE O'JAYS let me make love to you / survival 7" VG+ ZS8 3573 Soul 1975 USA 45 USD $12.00 Buy It Now 4 days
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CORBIN & HAMMER - BROKEN MAN ZS8 1173 - 45 USD $7.99 Buy It Now 4 days
45 RPM Record-TNeck-1975-ZS8-2256-The Isley Brothers-Fight the Power Part 1 USD $2.99 Buy It Now 4 days
VINYL LP - MICHAEL JOHN SINGERS - CHRISTMAS - ZS92 USD $14.03 Buy It Now 4 days
Rick Derringer Something Warm bw same Todd Rundgren Produced 45 promo ZS9 2783 USD $4.97 Buy It Now 5 days
Robey One Night In Bangkok bw Same 1984 WLP 45 CBS/Silver Blue ZS4 04774 USD $4.97 Buy It Now 5 days
1985 Isley Jasper Isley Caravan Of Love 7" 45 rpm CBS ZS4-05611 NM Vinyl USD $3.90 Buy It Now 5 days
Maria Callas in Paris - Great Arias from French Opera Vol. 2 - Angel ZS 36147 USD $0.99 [1 bids]
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Steve Walsh Schemer-Dreamer (That's All Right) bw Same Kirshner ZS9 4287 DJ 45 USD $4.97 Buy It Now 5 days
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The Force Dirty Dog Part I bw Dirty Dog Part II 45 WLP single CBS ZS9 3719 USD $4.97 Buy It Now 5 days
The O'Jays For The Love Of Money / Sunshine Part II ZS8-3757 45 rpm NM- Vinyl USD $5.20 Buy It Now 5 days
1977 Dexter Wansel Holdin' On / Dance With Me Tonight 7" 45 rpm ZS8 3629 NM USD $5.20 Buy It Now 5 days
Billy Pail July, July, July, July / When It's Your Time To Go 45 rpm ZS8 3572 NM USD $3.90 Buy It Now 5 days
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More places to buy ZS music online Buy ZS & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
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ZS shows & tickets


  • Zs + ZA! at Jazzhouse, KÝbenhavn K on 7 Jul 2015
  • Wavelengths on 10 Jul 2015
  • Hopscotch Music Festival 2015 on 10 Sep 2015
  • Incubate 2015 on 14 Sep 2015
  • Zs at Manufaktur, Schorndorf on 23 Sep 2015

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
3.52 | 6 ratings
Arms
2007
3.76 | 8 ratings
New Slaves
2010
4.00 | 1 ratings
Grain
2013
4.50 | 5 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
4.00 | 1 ratings
Music of the Modern White
2009

ZS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Xe by ZS album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.50 | 5 ratings

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Xe
Zs RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by LearsFool

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.

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 New Slaves by ZS album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.76 | 8 ratings

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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 √°lbum 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*

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

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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+*...

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 Arms by ZS album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.52 | 6 ratings

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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!

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 Arms by ZS album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.52 | 6 ratings

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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

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