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Thierry Zaboitzeff — Le Passage
(Bandcamp Monstre Sonore BMSTZ189, 2024, CD / DL)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2024-02-14

Le Passage Cover art

The five tracks at hand are probably the closest thing to a full length album that Art Zoyd founding member Thierry Zaboitzeff has released in quite some time. With a theme that seeks wisdom in the future from a bleak present as his inspiration, there is no doubt that TZ brings together many of his influences here; in fact two of the cuts explicitly reference his previous band in their titles, though on the whole this collection of works is very forward looking. In addition to his many years as a composer, Zaboitzeff was generally known as a cellist and bassist, though in recent years he has become a master of many instruments, and here he also plays nearly everything, including keyboards, samplers, programming, and various electro-acoustic treatments, plus vocals, although there aren’t a lot of vocals here, mostly low growls and spoken bits. He is joined on the odd numbered cuts by his old bandmate Jean-Pierre Soarez on trumpet, further underscoring the Zoydian connection. The fourteen-plus minute “La Forêt” serves as a centerpiece, a strange apocalyptic piece that’s based around piano and strings with found sounds in abundance, low chugging rhythms break up the more pastoral parts, with low-spoken German vocals and other mysterious vocalizations that mystify the listener. The set opens with “À la Poursuite du Zoyd – Extended,”  a piece which may or may not have appeared before in some other form, which blows in like a hurricane for the first minute or so, but quickly finds a catchy groove over which keyboards, trumpet, and dark voices prominently feature in a warped and fractured chaos. Likewise, the “Twisted Zoydian Song” is a fast paced piece with a catchy groove where grisly voices abound. “Poster Boy” presents an unusual rhythmic style with trumpet prominently featured, while the title track closes the set mixing trumpet with electronics over a slow paced sequence with gentle vocals and what sounds like a slide dobro, picking up the pace mid way through the piece’s five minute duration. It’s like nothing he’s done previously, but certainly recalls elements of previous works. All taken, Le Passage marks a bold step forward while saluting the past.

Filed under: New releases, 2024 releases

Related artist(s): Thierry Zaboitzeff

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