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Art Zoyd - Génération Sans Futur CD (album) cover

GÉNÉRATION SANS FUTUR

Art Zoyd

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

4.02 | 95 ratings

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TCat
4 stars The third album from the band that does chamber music mixed with jazz and progressive rock elements is more of a return to their first album. Overall it has a more tense atmosphere to it which tends to make the tracks drag a lot less. The album is all instrumental except for the strange vocal noises that come along from time to time and there is not much percussion at all in the album. This is still the era of Art Zoyd before the move to more focus on electronic music and soundtracks. It sounds a lot more dynamic as a result of using traditional classical, jazz and rock instruments. It is a very organic sounding album because of the use of mostly non-electronic instruments. And, it is also very much Rock in Opposition, so expect a lot of dissonance and non-traditional song structure.

The huge 16 minute opus that opens the album is quite a colorful array of sounds and moods, again utilizing a more brisk and tense sound. The track moves through several movements by changing rhythm, structure, mood and melodies. It is a long piece, but it moves along at a good clip. But after that, the 2nd track (which seems to be overlooked a lot because it is so short at around 2 and a half minutes) is one of the most up-beat classically inspired songs by the band. Throughout the piece there is always one instruments playing at a crazy speed of either 8th or 16th notes and if you listen closely, you'll hear how almost every instrument gets a turn at the fast passages.

Next, the very tense and frantic title track continues the pace set by the first track, but with a much better sense of direction. Where the first long track was almost soundtrack-ish sounding, this one is more of it's own beast. The atmosphere changes through the piece, but it tends to remain tense throughout. During the 2nd half of the piece, you actually get treated to a section that actually has drums and percussion, though not in any typical sense. It works well to continue to build the tension and it is used a lot like the rest of the instruments, not so much to establish a beat, but to further the overall feeling of the track. The 4th track is "Divertissement" which is very much like a neo-classical song that focuses on the string section, so it has that string quartet feeling. It is more of a relaxed feel at first, but they rhythm picks up later making it fit in with the rest of the album. "Trois Miniatures" is three miniature pieces put together and leans more towards the jazz side of the band utilizing jazz elements.

Normally, this would be the end of the original album, but there is an edition with 4 bonus tracks. These tracks start off with the song "Sangria" which was the bands attempt at a psychedelic single that was released before the first album was released. It sounds very out of place here because of the more traditional rock sound of 60s psychedelic music. Though it is interesting to hear their take on traditional rock, it is really nothing special and it is very short. Next is a 12 minute piece called "Manege" which is a very fun piece and worth the search for the bonus track edition. Throughout this piece, we go from the expected neo-classical sound to a brassy section that sounds almost like a mariachi style and even ending with a hoedown Art Zoyd style. This one is less dark especially in the 2nd half than the style of most of the original album, but it still fits well on the album. "Ba Benzele" starts out as a spooky sounding song using tribal instruments and then out of nowhere, you get traditional sounding percussion beating out a tribal rhythm (!) and the other instruments play a more traditional sounding instrumental rock song which is a huge surprise. This sounds like nothing that Art Zoyd has done before and with the string section, it sounds more like a cross between the Love Unlimited Orchestra and Art of Noise, which, by the way, is not a terrible thing, it just sounds like a completely different band. The vocals are quite funny especially when the yodeling starts. Totally unexpected! But at 8 minutes, it does get stale before it ends. The bonus tracks end with "Golf Drouot" which should not have appeared on any album, it should have remained a lost track....let's leave it at that.

Though two of the four bonus tracks are somewhat interesting with "Manege" the only one worth being reclaimed from lost track status, the bonus tracks distract from the rest of the album. The tenseness is a welcome change from the more dreary sounds of the 2nd album, and that overall sound stays interesting throughout the album. As far as RIO, this is definitely and excellent addition to your collection and lovers of the genre should listen to this. It is excellent neo-classical music at it's best and the best part is that, as far as the original album is concerned, it stays focused and moves ahead at a quick pace. 4 stars.

TCat | 4/5 |

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