Art Zoyd - Musique pour l'Odyssée
Great to have this wonderful, classic and important RIO/avant-progressive title back and generally available.
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 failing R.I.O.-memory serves me correctly), they also had early ties with Univers Zero, which are quite apparent on this album. This 1979 release, originally issued on the legendary Atem label (along with Univers Zero, This Heat, Present and others) was their second album, but it was the first album to be heard by the general public, with their music brought to the fore along with the other RIO bands.
They used a unique and really odd instrumentation of violin, viola, trumpet, saxes and electric bass, with guest spots from their friends in UZ: Daniel Denis (percussion) and Michel Berckmans (oboe and bassoon). 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 first one I heard and is still one of my two favorites by the band and they have so many good ones that that is really saying something!
This also includes six never-heard bonus tracks from 1983-84 (circa "Phase IV") and a 1975 live recording that was originally included as a 'subscription-only single with Phase IV, all of which is historically interesting, although none of this stuff is as great as the 1979 album. Highly recommended.
- LabelSub Rosa