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Univers Zero - Relaps CD (album) cover


Univers Zero



4.51 | 36 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars 4.5 stars really!!

Although presented as an archives compilation, this album could also be a live album since all the tracks were recorded live in a bunch of concert ranging from Feb 84 until Feb 86, but somehow it also echoes the Crawling Winds compilation that focused between 81 and 83. With its superb red-tainted fossil rock artwork, Relaps rehashes mostly material of their most important album (to that date and still nowadays) Uzed and its successor Heatwave, in spite of a lengthy lapse of time where the band lay dormant, while Denis and Mergenthaler where active with Art Zoyd. Armed with an informative booklet detailing UZ's difficult days in the mid-80's, Relaps is an essential piece of work showing that the band's most exceptional moments were indeed live.

Roughly the disc is made of two main chunks of three tracks (In Hannover, Feb 84) opening and closing the album, while the centre two selections are a bit less significant (relatively speaking, of course). The first chunk is potentially my fave since it includes mostly tracks from my fave album of theirs: Uzed; and most notably the always-amazing Présage, which is still THE cornerstone on which the second phase of UZ sits upon. Equally interesting, Parade is a stunning piece that gains from its studio version. After an excerpts of Ligne Claire (I wonder why Denis selected so few , most likely average sound quality), but it waters the mouth, we are thrown into a brilliant rendition of Emanations (also from Uzed) in what became UZ's last concert for over a decade, the Frankfurt Jazz Festival.

And finally the last chunk comes from Seraing (industrial suburbs of Liège) where the tracks are mostly from the future Heatwave album with the returning Andy Kirk in the fold and indeed both the 9- mins Heatwave and the 18-mins Funeral Plain are both outstanding versions (especially the latter) and to cap it all off, a short improv of Etrange Mixture. Great stuff!!

Ell this archives album is charming bit to have patiently waiting their new album in some six months after this release, plus a DVD, a Mexican and a German tour and finally the RIO festival in Carmeaux. All of this, some 32 years after the release of their 1313 debut album, might make this 09 year, their busiest. In the meantime the apetite-rousing Relaps zakouskis make a great hors d'oeuvre in the upcoming feast.

Sean Trane | 4/5 |


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