Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

259

Univers Zero: Heresie

Nic Jones By

Sign in to view read count
This reissue of Univers Zero's second album serves as a reminder as to how its singular vision—especially with the passing of decades (such a tricky notion, given the nature of the music)—has been upheld with an extraordinary collective force of will.

The usual terms apply—as much as anything the group has ever committed to record, this is music as overcast, dank and cold as an English Sunday afternoon in January, but to a notably unusual degree, the devil of this Belgians group's music really is in the details. In allying itself with the Rock In Opposition movement in the late 1970s when this album was recorded, Univers Zero effectively signposted what it was all about, as this is rock music devoid of every posture known then and, to a large extent, even now. A bassoon both troubled and serene emerges in the midst of "La Faulx," for example, to trigger a moderate about-face in the proceedings, while the vision remains admirably true to itself, and thus in opposition to any notions of compromise.

"Vous Le Saurez En Temps Voulu" is a hybrid born of formalism and a rarefied form of rock, through which momentum is generated by repetition and urgency, both of them underscored, perhaps inevitably, by the degree of tension which is an integral part of the group's ambience. Despite this, the little duo danced by violin and bassoon at around the 5:20 mark has the hallmark of playful irony, something which is hardly one of the qualities that springs to mind when discussing this group's music.

The bonus track on this reissue is "Chaos Hermetique," which has been remastered, with admirable clarity, from a cassette. What's also admirable is the insight it offers into the band at an early stage of gestation. Recorded in 1975, it documents rockier music, albeit music from which the virtuosic excess of a lot of progressive rock had been purged. Drummer Daniel Denis owed more than he did subsequently to the conventional rock approach, but his work has the effect of adding another layer of tension to an atmosphere not lacking it.

Ultimately, however, the issue of passing time is irrelevant to a band like this, especially as so few others have attempted such a hybrid of forms. One consequence of this is that there is no choice but to take Univers Zero's music for what it is. The odd thing is that once the taste is acquired, it's impossible to ignore it.

Track Listing: La Faulx; Jack The Ripper; Vous Le Saurez En Temps Voulu; Chaos Hermetique.

Personnel: Michel Berckmans: oboe, bassoon (1-3); Patrick Hanappier: violin (1-4), viola (1-3); Roger Trigaux: guitar (1-4), piano, organ, harmonium (1-3); Vincent Motoulle: keyboards (4); Guy Segers: bass (1-4), voice (1); Daniel Denis: drums, percussion (1-4)

Title: Heresie | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Cuneiform Records


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Rain or Shine CD/LP/Track Review Rain or Shine
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 15, 2017
Read Copenhagen Live 1964 CD/LP/Track Review Copenhagen Live 1964
by John Sharpe
Published: December 15, 2017
Read Somewhere Glimmer CD/LP/Track Review Somewhere Glimmer
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 15, 2017
Read Lighthouse CD/LP/Track Review Lighthouse
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 15, 2017
Read Lattice CD/LP/Track Review Lattice
by John Sharpe
Published: December 14, 2017
Read I Think I’m Going To Eat Dessert CD/LP/Track Review I Think I’m Going To Eat Dessert
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 14, 2017
Read "Stage 'N Studio" CD/LP/Track Review Stage 'N Studio
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 15, 2017
Read "Star Gazing" CD/LP/Track Review Star Gazing
by Edward Blanco
Published: May 27, 2017
Read "Trickster" CD/LP/Track Review Trickster
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: May 11, 2017
Read "Blow, Strike & Touch" CD/LP/Track Review Blow, Strike & Touch
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 24, 2017
Read "Sing House" CD/LP/Track Review Sing House
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 30, 2017
Read "Live In Brooklyn" CD/LP/Track Review Live In Brooklyn
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 23, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!