Univers Zéro — Live
(Cuneiform Rune 220, 2005, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2006-05-01
I remember back in the day when I first heard Univers Zéro’s debut LP, I just scratched my head in bewilderment; what were these guys doing? It wasn’t until after hearing a couple live bootlegs by them that everything fell into place and made sense suddenly. So with that said, this ‘official’ live album is long, long overdue. The performances herein were taken from two of the band’s recent gigs in June 2005, and certainly represent the current lineup at their most intense and telepathic. Featuring clarinet, tenor sax, oboe, bassoon, violin, electric bass and keyboards, they are half rock band and half chamber ensemble, the two sides intertwined and interconnected by the spirited playing and compositions of drummer and bandleader Daniel Denis, keeping both sides of the band’s sound in a perfect balance. Univers Zéro is one of those rare bands who have no single dominant focal point; instead the focal point shifts around constantly as they play, one measure to the next, as the various players form ever-changing subgroups within the overall fabric of the sound. This set begins with their 13 minute barnstormer “Xenantaya”, and moves along through a number of mid-length tunes, most of recent vintage; Denis even offers a rare drum solo at the beginning of “Falling Rain Dance,” while the set closes with the lead-off track from the Crawling Wind EP “Toujours plus à l’est.” Essential listening from the masters of chamber rock.
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more