Belgian-based chamber-rock pioneer Univers Zero's Clivages is a polytonal and multidimensional sojourn that follows suit with dabs and expansions of its comprehensive discography hearkening back to the late 1970s. The band often aligns dark sensibilities with glimmer, gusto and melodic choruses.
"Retour de Foire," serves as a classical interlude among the absorbing, intricate and off-kilter chamber-rock works. The core sextet renders meticulously designed and sweet-toned phrasings, abetted by Michel Berckmans' oboe lines, and regulated by drummer Daniel Denis' military-march progressions. With interlocking woodwinds and strings, the ensemble poignantly merges whimsy and ominous underpinnings. They tone matters down for the bridge, but recompose the primary theme with imagery alluding to footsteps.
It's a shrewdly placed deviation, indeed, for an outing that resides as a persuasive and altogether, stunning sonic experience. Again, Univers Zero provides an abundance of brain candy amid the highly-entertaining form factors.
Track Listing: Les Kobolds; Warrior; Vacillements; Earth Scream; Soubresauts; Apesanteur; Three Days; Straight Edge; Retour de Foire; Les Cercles d'Horus.
Personnel: Kurt Bude: clarinet, bass clarinet, alto sax; Michel Berckmanns: bassoon, English horn, oboe, melodica; Martin Lauwers: violin; Pierre Chevalier: keyboards, glockenspiel; Dimitri Evers: electric bass, fretless bass; Daniel Denis: drums, percussion, sampler. Andy Kirk: guitar (2, 5) percussion (2) Philippe Thuriot: accordion (1, 10) Aurelia Boven: cello (10); Nicolas Denis: drums (10).