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MINIATUREN

MINIATUREN

Atonal Records ACD 3035 : 2000
Booster 2009

ZABOITZEFF & CREW

Judtih Lehner
Chant

Peter Angerer
Percussions

Christian Kapun
Clarinettes

Thierry Zaboitzeff
Composition, basse, violoncelle, guitares, chant, samplers

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CHRONIQUES

  • BABYBLAUE SEITEN (D)


    After he left Art Zoyd, Thierry Zaboitzeff worked mostly solo, composing music for various dance theater productions. Three of these – Heartbeat (1997), India (1998) and Alice (1999) – are included in the cd being reviewed here. Unfortunately, these works don’t always manage to capture the listeners attention without the visual support.

     

    Zaboitzeff augmented his production of ‘Miniaturen’ in 2000 by colleagues Christian Kapun (clarinette) and Peter Angerer (drums) and the cd was labelled ‘Zaboitzeff & Crew’. Although Judith Lehner’s voice can still be heard on some of the tracks, apparently she doesn’t belong to the official band line-up.

     

    ‘Zoidan Suite in 3 Movements’ is the subtitle of this work, complemented by ‘Dance piece for 9 female dancers and 18 wintercoats’. Zaboitzeff lines up 40 tracks (condensed into 3 movements and the finale) filled with countless ‘zoydic’ sound fragments. Art Zoyd experts (especially ones who know their albums from Marathonnerre to Häxan) and those familiar with Zaboitzeff’s solo works (especially Dr. Zab & his robotic strings orchestra) will recognize them. New ideas and sounds, bizarre voices (especially Zaboitzeff’s growling song) and the two crew members’ clarinette and percussion playing add a new dimension to the old sound. The recording is powerfully mixed and, especially when enjoyed via headphones, a true tour de force through Zaboitzeff’s soundscape.

     

    Nevertheless we must deduct a few points in the category ‘B grade’ (creativity). Overall, this cd is more or less ‘recycled’, because Zaboitzeff reuses most of the old Zoyd samples without hardly changing anything, so parts of it sound as if he had just remixed tracks from old cds. That said, the old material is still simply brilliant, so even a ‘remix’ is worthwhile. Plus, the addition of two musicians and diverse new ideas leaves much to be discovered on Zaboitzeff’s cd. Nice piece!

    Achim Breiling 
  • IMPRO JAZZ (F)


    Ici, tout fleure plutôt l'outre-tombe. On navigue avec bonheur entre les ruissellements

    glauques du gothisme londonien, les bavures effarées du cinéma expressionniste allemand,

    une sorte de bal entre Jack l'éventreur, Mabuse, Nosferatu et Frankenstein...

     

    Moulées dans des architectures complexes et bizarres, les musiques sont un modèle d'équilibre à l'intérieur de l'espace sonore (bandes, voix, clarinette et batterie des Crew, basse électrique ... ). Le chant surtout : fiévreux, émis en toute fin d' expiration, il glace autant qu' il brûle. Rythmes malades, fragments de mélodies qui obsèdent, choeurs d'un lyrisme noirâtre, ostinato pris dans la tourmente, cassures sonores : on songe à Magma 

    (la lourdeur et le ronflement en moins), à Palo Alto, à Art Zoyd surtout (on entend par moments d' ailleurs des réminiscences du disque Faust) ... Excellent!

    Marc Sarrazy
  • TRAVERSES (F)


    … Changement de décor avec Miniaturen, dernière production en date de Thierry ZABOITZEFF pour la nouvelle pièce d’Editta BRAUN créée pour l’ouverture du "Salzburger Festspiele" de 1999 : cette fois, le Dr. ZAB ne s’est pas contenté d’activer son orchestre à cordes robotique et machinique. Contre toute attente, il a constitué autour de lui une petite équipe de musiciens faits de chair et d’os authentiques !

     

    Comme une surprise n’arrive jamais seule, Miniaturen a été de plus composé à partir d’anciennes pièces que Thierry avait écrites pour ART ZOYD ! Pas moins de 41 pièces miniatures ont donc été réenregistrées et assemblées de manière à engendrer une "suite zoydienne en 3 mouvements" . Chacun de ceux-ci dure environ 20 minutes et se réfère à une sensation : le beau (Schön), le délicat (Zart) et le froid (Kalt). A vrai dire, ce dernier qualificatif définit bien mal les qualités de ce nouvel opus. On se doute en effet que la présence de musiciens procure un indéniable supplément de chaleur et de dynamisme à ce disque, d’autant que certaines parties ont été enregistrées live.

     

    Si ZABOITZEFF assure toujours un bon nombre d’instruments (guitares, basse, violoncelles, voix, programmations et "soundscapes" ), les clarinettes sont tenues par Christian KAPUN, la batterie et les percussions par Peter ANGERER tandis que la voix soprano de Judith LEHNER apporte un judicieux contrepoids à la terrifiante voix de goule du ZAB. Précisons que les musiciens en question ne sont pas de serviles invités-décorateurs ; leurs contributions sont vraiment notables et quelques espaces solistes leur ont même été alloués.

     

    Quant aux différents mouvements de cette suite, ils ne manquent ni de rebondissements ni de soubresauts puisqu’ils sont constitués chacun de dix à quinze miniatures aux climats très variés, ce qui donne une œuvre à caractère épique, comme ART ZOYD a pu effectivement en faire. Tensions dramatiques affinées, effluves de romantisme noir, émanations médiévalisantes, marches funèbres, révoltes schizophréniques et contemplations ambiguës s’enchaînent sans crier gare et sans laisser le temps à l’auditeur de se laisser dominer par une nonchalance ennuyée. Les mouvements se suivent en se renvoyant parfois la balle, certaines miniatures étant répétées. Le territoire est également balisé par des bruitages récurrents, tels des cloches d’église, des aboiements, des portes blindées qui claquent, des déclics d’appareils photo et des pâmoisons érotiques. Et puis, il y a ces thèmes qu’on a l’impression d’avoir déjà entendus auparavant... Chez le ZAB ? Chez ART ZOYD ? En tout cas, la réussite de Miniaturen ne tient pas uniquement au fait d’avoir retrouvé la "lettre" artzoydienne, mais aussi un esprit que même certains ne retrouvaient plus chez ART ZOYD. Ça en dit long sur les perspectives à venir.

    Stéphane Fougère
  • PROGVISIONS.NET (UK)


    I had been waiting for a long time for this to happen. The resurrection of Thierry Zaboitzeff, the wonderful French musician, member during many years of my adored Art Zoyd, who in his last solo album (he has published three since his definitive exit of Art Zoyd in 1997) has abandoned the techno-ethnic caprice completely (shown for example, in the interesting India that nevertheless, was not what one expected) to de- voted himself to what I like more, to develop the experimental RIO side he played for years in Art Zoyd.

     

    This last CD of Thierry is a marvel that recaptures the best and darker essences in the Art Zoyd of the 90s (mainly in some moments that come directly from "Haxan" or "Marathonerre" directly), as the subtitle of the album already indicates ("Zoydian Suite in three movements") and as forty (and one) small, dense and atmospheric mu- sical miniatures.

     

    The group of Thierry is formed in this album by Christian Kapun (clarinets), Peter Angerer (drums) and the own Thierry (cello, bass, guitars, soundscapes, voices and programming), with the help in some miniatures of Judith Lehner's feminine voice.

     

    This "Miniaturen: Zoydian Suite in 3 Movements" is the musical part of “a dance piece for nine dancers and eighteen winter coats" (??), created by Editta Braun's com- pany in 1999 for the opening of the Salzburg festival.

     

    As I have commented previously, the album includes three movements: "Schön" in thirteen parts and 19 minutes, “Zart” in seventeen fragments and 21 minutes and “Kalt” in other ten parts and almost 18 minutes, concluding with the independent piece "Finale" of five minutes of duration.

     

    How can I define these musical miniatures? In general, I can say that the sound gen- erated by the programmed tapes, rhythms and convoluted percussion, gelid passages of electro-acoustic music and the wonderful and lonely clarinet brings us to the ghastly, dark and dense atmospheres created by Art Zoyd or the last albums of the Belgian Univers Zero. It is curious how the musical careers of these two big groups continues to intermingle: in this way for example, Daniel Denis, drummer and main composer of Univers Zero has played in many disks of Art Zoyd and in direct, the same as Michael Berckmanns (oboe and bassoon in UZ), Univers Zero last album is co-produced by Art Zoyd's people, Thierry Zaboitzeff played a song in "Ceux du Dehors" of Univers Zero.

     

    Over this sound base loaded with emotional force, we enjoy devastating floods of guitars and bass, desperate voices full with pain, sweet moments amongst whispers, caresses and choral voices, followed by full outbursts of electricity and dirty noise, uneasiness charged with madness and illness, all kind of ambient sounds (orgasms, wailing, clicks of cameras that act as sound flashes during the different sequences of the suite, animals, water...), even, I swear, I can hear some musical fragments that seem pure metal mixed by the blend of Art Zoyd.

     

    This is pure assonant dissonance, the unhinged world of Lovecraft or Kafka made reality, darkness made contemporary music. Truly I cannot imagine how anyone one can make dance out of this no matter how modern it is, with this music without structures, replete of discontinuity and holes, loaded with surprises, changes, sound mutations, rock, free jazz, contemporary, electronic classic..... a whole world that fits in this fabulous sound bible.

    PROGVISIONS.NET (UK)
    José Nafría
  • EXPOSE (USA)


    This release shows Thierry to have come full circle in his solo artist work. It reaches back to partake in a dialogue with elements and gestures cultivated from his earliest days in Art Zoyd, all the way through his experiments with sampling and keyboard-centered composition, and up to the present work he has done for dance and theater. The music runs continuously for three separate 20-minute movements (plus a short finale). As with "Heartbeat" Thierry focuses on his bass playing and singing, but this time in a direct, live-performed framework. The contributions of a drummer and clarinetist bring out the colors and demeanor of his compositions in a more vivid and palpable fashion than his purely solo work (and indeed most of his former band's material from the last decade). Along the way themes from past albums, as well as some of Art Zoyd's "Haxan" and others, are revisited and presented under a completely different guise. The closest he has yet come to portraying his music in a band concept, the "Miniaturen" suite represents what I consider to be his finest hour yet. 

    EXPOSE (USA)
    Mike Ezzo
  • CHRONIC'ART (F)


    Tout d'abord connu pour son travail de composition génial au sein du cultissime groupe Art Zoyd, Thierry Zaboitzeff a su, dès le milieu des années 80, imposer son nom au devant des musiques dites "nouvelles". Un bref retour historique : en 1976, naît Art Zoyd, croisement improbable entre Bartok, Stravinsky et Magma. Leurs premiers albums, totalement décalés par rapport à la scène de l'époque, marquent la pierre fondatrice d'un courant aux croisées des musiques contemporaines et d'un certain rock français. Bizarrement, une démarche aussi radicale a pu surmonter la sape morale et financière de la vulgarité musicale environnante et généralisée, survivant grâce à l'intérêt d'autorités nationales et locales. Pour une fois, l'utilité de la subvention étatique en matière de musique est avérée.


    D'abord rattaché trop rapidement à son groupe d'origine, Zaboitzeff a réussi en quelques albums à se forger un son, une identité immédiatement reconnaissable. Dans la grande lignée des musiques pour ballet, il a amorcé une collaboration suivie et fertile avec la chorégraphe Editta Braun. Avec Heartbeat , India puis Alice, Zaboitzeff (Dr Zab pour les intimes) a défini un paysage sonore plus techno et électronique que ses opus précédents. De retour ici à une instrumentation plus spartiate, moins clinquante, et surtout beaucoup plus acoustique, il signe une série de miniatures musicales extrêmement convaincantes, penchant plus encore vers les sonorités nouvelles. Des idées brillantes comme à l'habitude et servies, on ne change pas, par une interprétation sèche mais ample, parfaite mais définitivement humaine. De l'ensemble à cordes, à la synthétisation discrète,  les compositions de Zaboitzeff ne donnent pas plus dans l'outrance que dans le banal ou le commun. Cette grande parade miniaturisée d'une musique toujours aussi actuelle dans l'esprit et la forme a tout de la démonstration de force, légère, d'un musicien malheureusement trop souvent méconnu.

    Jérôme Schmidt
  • http://cuncunnama.blogspot.co.at


    I had been waiting for a long time for this to happen. The resurrection of Thierry Zaboitzeff, the wonderful French musician, member during many years of my adored Art Zoyd, who in his last solo album (he has published three since his definitive exit of Art Zoyd in 1997) has abandoned the techno-ethnic caprice completely (shown for example, in the interesting India that nevertheless, was not what one expected) to de- voted himself to what I like more, to develop the experimental RIO side he played for years in Art Zoyd.


    This last CD of Thierry is a marvel that recaptures the best and darker essences in the Art Zoyd of the 90s (mainly in some moments that come directly from "Haxan" or "Marathonerre" directly), as the subtitle of the album already indicates ("Zoydian Suite in three movements") and as forty (and one) small, dense and atmospheric mu- sical miniatures.


    The group of Thierry is formed in this album by Christian Kapun (clarinets), Peter Angerer (drums) and the own Thierry (cello, bass, guitars, soundscapes, voices and programming), with the help in some miniatures of Judith Lehner's feminine voice.


    This "Miniaturen: Zoydian Suite in 3 Movements" is the musical part of “a dance piece for nine dancers and eighteen winter coats" (??), created by Editta Braun's com- pany in 1999 for the opening of the Salzburg festival.


    As I have commented previously, the album includes three movements: "Schön" in thirteen parts and 19 minutes, “Zart” in seventeen fragments and 21 minutes and “Kalt” in other ten parts and almost 18 minutes, concluding with the independent piece "Finale" of five minutes of duration.


    How can I define these musical miniatures? In general, I can say that the sound gen- erated by the programmed tapes, rhythms and convoluted percussion, gelid passages of electro-acoustic music and the wonderful and lonely clarinet brings us to the ghastly, dark and dense atmospheres created by Art Zoyd or the last albums of the Belgian Univers Zero. It is curious how the musical careers of these two big groups continues to intermingle: in this way for example, Daniel Denis, drummer and main composer of Univers Zero has played in many disks of Art Zoyd and in direct, the same as Michael Berckmanns (oboe and bassoon in UZ), Univers Zero last album is co-produced by Art Zoyd's people, Thierry Zaboitzeff played a song in "Ceux du Dehors" of Univers Zero.


    Over this sound base loaded with emotional force, we enjoy devastating floods of guitars and bass, desperate voices full with pain, sweet moments amongst whispers, caresses and choral voices, followed by full outbursts of electricity and dirty noise, uneasiness charged with madness and illness, all kind of ambient sounds (orgasms, wailing, clicks of cameras that act as sound flashes during the different sequences of the suite, animals, water...), even, I swear, I can hear some musical fragments that seem pure metal mixed by the blend of Art Zoyd.


    This is pure assonant dissonance, the unhinged world of Lovecraft or Kafka made reality, darkness made contemporary music. Truly I cannot imagine how anyone one can make dance out of this no matter how modern it is, with this music without structures, replete of discontinuity and holes, loaded with surprises, changes, sound mutations, rock, free jazz, contemporary, electronic classic..... a whole world that fits in this fabulous sound bible.

    http://cuncunnama.blogspot.co.at
    Liborio Friki

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