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Univers Zero



4.51 | 36 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Like the "Crawling Wind" EP this is a compilation of live tracks from the mighty UNIVERS ZERO. While that EP consisted originally of music from the 1981-1983 lineup who created "Ceux Du Dehors" and performed live many, many times. In fact that was the most stable and active of UNIVERS ZERO lineups. This album features the final two eighties lineups including four tracks from the quintet who created "Uzed" and four tracks from the septet who released and composed "Heatwave".These final two lineups barely toured at all with only six and three concerts between them respectively. While the "Ceux Du Dehors" lineup played over 30 gigs there was a lot on tension within the band. Andy Kirk relates on the final concert this lineup performed. "We weren't playing together anymore...we were playing against each other ! Daniel and I both played as if it was the last show on earth. As usual we finished with "The Funeral Plain" and in the final section, Alan and Dirk left the stage, Guy threw his bass to the ground, and Daniel and myself finished the concert alone...No one could have stopped either of us playing. I can still see the stunned look on several members of the audience."

After this lineup broke up Kirk eventually played solo in churches and youth centers with the old UNIVERS ZERO harmonium and an upright piano he bought from HENRY COW plus his own keyboards, voice and backing tapes. Meanwhile UNIVERS ZERO came back to life as a quintet with Daniel Denis the only returning member from the "Ceux Du Dehors" lineup that had just broken up. Genet, Descheemaener, Mergenthaler and Plouvier rounded out the lineup.The second and final eighties lineup on here still included Denis, Descheemaener and Plouvier along with a returning Andy Kirk and another returning member in Patrick Hannapier who replaced Mergenthaler who had left for ART ZOYD (he and Daniel Denis had been enlisted as auxilary members anyway). Also add Michel Delory on guitar.This mean't that we had 7 members now with two keyboardists. Kirk and Plouvier complimented each other well as Kirk was into clean, smooth sounds while Plouvier was trying to achive the exact opposite. In fact Plouvier fell in love with the DX7 synth he had bought when he first joined because of it's out of tune sounds.The info i've related came from the liner notes.

Like "Crawling Wind" which was expanded when it was re-issued by the way, the music here is 5 stars all the way. I came in not expecting a whole lot as I didn't really enjoy their "Live" album from the "Implosion" tour all that much. Well this is incredible from start to finish. In fact Andy Kirk has said that the live version here of his composition "The Funeral Plain" is the best ever. I love this electric period of the band and list "Heatwave" as my favourite studio album from them so maybe i'm biased but this recording blew me away !

Mellotron Storm | 5/5 |


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