Art Zoyd - Generation Sans Futur
I will sum up all the stuff I say below in a few words: If you don't already own this, buy it. Period.
Art Zoyd's early and great works have been unavailable for such a long time that it's too easy to forget what a strikingly original and amazing band they were in their prime.
One of the original R.I.O bands (they joined in the second wave of bands, along with Art Bears and Aksak Maboul, if my fauling R.I.O.-memory serves me correctly), they also had early ties with Univers Zero, which are quite apparent on this album.
This 1980 release, originally issued on the legendary Atem label (along with Univers Zero, This Heat, Present and others) was their third album and probably the one that really cemented their reputation. They used a unique and really odd instrumentation of violin, viola, trumpet, saxes, guitar and electric bass, with a tiny guest spot by Daniel Denis (percussion).
Note that except for Daniel's (small) participation, there is no drummer involved, but the music is very rhythmically complex and also quite strong in that department. There are a lot of influences from 20th century music but they are definitely a rock band and this has great riffs and structures.
This was the one that totally blew my mind when Gerard Nguyen (owner of Atem) played me a test pressing in 1980; it's a stunning achievement of rehearsal-intensive rock (all these albums are, but this one perhaps more than the others!) and it affected me in a way that happens only every now and then with a recording. Yeah, it's that unique and powerful. Hugely recommended.
- LabelSub Rosa