Sunday, 20 February 2011

Art Zoyd - Generations Sans Futur (1980)


Third album from this Northern French group and maybe my fave (so far anyway). Recorded just before they re-record their first Oeuvre, Art Zoyd was now reaching their stride with an incredibly fast pace of album release for the kind of music and compared to their rivals (Univers Zero, Present, Henry Cow and other RIO groups were releasing an album every two years). Although there is a similarity in the subject of this album and their debut (Le Jour Où Brûleront Les Cités), unlike the debut, this third album does not appear to be a concept album, but most of it seems axed towards urban themes and the lack of perspectives and its false evasions. Again Daniel Denis (Univers Zero) participates to this album, but this time without Berckmans.

The album starts with the almost-sidelong La Ville, a grandiose tale of urban bizarrerie with many outstanding and brilliant moments: a haunting intro, insane wind-instrument noises, with strange whispering vocals, bass-driven pulses leading into an inferno and tormented street hells, broken down buildings, armed thievery, unnecessary violence etc.. All of this without one single written lyric or one sung phrase. The first side of the album ends in a short (throwaway?) fast-paced piece, a rare track penned by saxman Renard.

If with their debut Symphonie, Hourbette was the only composer, and with Odyssée, Zaboitzeff had written one track, by the time of this album, the composing time was almost equally shared between them two, leaving Renard and Eckert (the guitarist) a little space of their own. So the second side of Génération is mostly penned by Zaboitzeff and it is rather evident, even if both "songwriters" are making a concerted effort. The almost 10-min title track is taking its sweet time, eyeing on the sombre and almost macabre climates found on UZ's Hérésie. Divertissement depicts the leisure times that mankind use (and abuse) to display their own fortunes, or avoid thinking of lack of fortune or even forgetting their mis-fortunes. Rounding of the album is Eckert's Trois Miniatures, a reflective piece featuring classic piano and a jazzy guitar, refereed by .a neutral violin.

As far as this reviewer is concerned, Génération Sans Futur is AZ's best work, a point of view not always shared by other Zoydheads, but no matter what can be said of the early AZ albums, none are easily accessible and the music's hidden resources only appear after at least a few listens. ( Review from )

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. La Ville (16:50)

2. Speedy Gonzalez (2:55)

3. Génération Sans Futur (9:40)

4. Divertissement (6:45)

5. Trois Miniatures (5:12)

Bonus Tracks:

6. Sangria (2:27)

7. Manège (12:34)

8. Ba Benzele (8:00)

9. Golf Drouot 72 (4:06)

Total Time: 68:19

Line-up / Musicians

- Patricia Dallio / grand piano, electric piano

- Daniel Denis / percussion

- Alain Eckert / guitar, voices

- Gérard Hourbette / viola, violin

- Gilles Renard / saxophones

- Jean-Pierre Soarez / trumpet, percussion

- Thierry Zaboitzeff / bass guitar, cello, voices

Download mp3
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