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Art Zoyd - Berlin CD (album) cover


Art Zoyd



4.11 | 94 ratings

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3 stars The Belgian avant gardistes experimenting with 1980s technologies. I hear a lot of the influence of Phillip Glass and Christian Vander here.

1. Epithalame (20:12) weird weave of tribal sounds pulsing like a Phillip Glass soundtrack with C. Vander-like castrati singing in the background. Hypnotic in an African drum-circle, Joni Mitchell "Dreamland" kind of way. (34/40) 2. "Baboon's Blood" (5:35) obviously the band was experimenting with a lot of the new sounds and technologies that the digital, MIDI, and computer world were making available to the art world. The vocals are laughable, the Art of Noise samples and sounds embarrassing, but the strings contributions are okay. (8/10)

3. "A Drum, a Drum" (20:20) what opens as a creepy soundtrack to a horror film turns more musical in the fifth minute--though still scary/creepy (The vocals are just weird. I like the band much more as an instrumental band.) The Middle Eastern-sounding saxophone can get a little grating. Then a drawn out washy coda turns into an almost-Berlin School section reminding me of some of Mike Oldfield's poorer passages. The use of some of the 1980s technologically available innovations only serves to date and mire this music in anachronistic time capsule. I'd love to hear the 21st Century, all-acoustic version the band would do of this today. Overall, I'd say this song is quite a failure. There is nothing exceptional, virtuosic, engaging, or even particularly fresh much less entertaining. (30/40)

Total Time: 46:14

Overall I think this album is a sad testament to the limited and limiting technologies coming available in the 1980s--sounds that have either been vastly improved upon or simply (and with embarrassment) discarded. I'm glad they went back to their unplugged acoustic sound palette.

C-/2.5 stars; a brick of an album that is more historically valuable for the example of how wrong a band's experimentation with latest technologies can go.

BrufordFreak | 3/5 |


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