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Univers Zero - Crawling Wind CD (album) cover


Univers Zero



4.22 | 57 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars This compilation album of tracks from 79 to 84 is of interest to confirmed fans, but make a disjointed collection of tracks, not really making an album per se. This Cd release (from 2001) is for half the rare Japan-only EP released in 83 and other diverse recordings scattered on different compilations around the afore-motioned dates. One of the interesting bonuses for this album are the incredibly helpful liner notes that give you a rare source of information about UZ's career from their dire straits beginnings until those years which will lead to the more electrical second phase of the group. The text highlights the halcyon days, the link with French groups Magma and Art Zoyd, and give precious anecdotes with the group admitting they would not even know how to play a basic blues track ;-)

By the time this EP was released some more line-up changes had occurred (Berckmans and Hanappier had left with future long standing Descheemaeker making his debut), and Andy Kirk was not the only non-Belgian in the group as violinist Alan Ward had joined them also but will not be present on the following (and groundbreaking) Uzed. So this disc is mostly made up of the 83 EP, and the three tracks are showing rather odd facets of the group that they had gotten us used to before. Toujours Plus A L'Est (Tintin lovers being winked at) is a rather danceable track referring to Eastern Europa trad music, while the ultra-lugubrious Heat track with its sombre foghorn sounds is anecdotic. The Central Belgium is a live track also showing UZ is a very unusual facet, most likely improvising during a power breakdown, and slowly builds an impeccable crescendo.

The second part of the compilation is rather varied, starting with Influences, also from the same line-up as before and found on a double vinyl RIO compilation with its strong Harmonium-laced backtrack. Maybe one of the highlights on this compilation, but still nothing essential for the fan. Le Triomphe Des Mouches actually belongs to the following era and should be linked closely to Uzed, the track quickly sinking below sanity levels yet unsurpassed back then: easily the best track on this disc. The closing Complainte dates back from the Hérésie days but is without Roger Trigaux and has Denis on harmonium.

Rather anecdotic, this release is better kept for confirmed fans of the group, despite the ultra necessary liner-notes. This "album" can represent the ultimate spasms of the first phase of UZ. Will come a little later the very stunning and groundbreaking Uzed, their crowning achievment.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |


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