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VOYAGE AU CENTRE
DE LA TERRE

VOYAGE AU CENTRE DE LA TERRE

ZABOITZEFF & CREW
Booster Prod
WTPL7340006.020 : 2007


Gerda Rippel
Voix (sop.)

Sandrine Rohrmoser
Voix (mezzo-sop.)

Thierry Zaboitzeff
Composition, basse, Violoncelle, guitares, voix, samplers.

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CHRONIQUES

  •  BABYBLAUE SEITEN (D)


    In December of 2005 the city of Paris celebrated the 100th anniversary of the death of Jules Verne. The festivity’s biggest event was a spectacular musical and optical staging of Verne’s ‘Journey to the Center of the Earth’. On December 17th and 19th, the huge Stade de France (French national stadium) in the Paris suburb of St. Denis was transformed into an enormous crater, and the public gathered in the middle of it. A battery of projectors and 40,000 square meters of screen were employed to show Stéphane Vérité and Philippe Corbin’s optical interpretation of Verne’s novel.

     

    There was a storyteller, who supposedly recited parts of the script, various pyrotechnics and, of course, suitable music. The latter was composed by Thierry Zaboitzeff and performed live by him and his six fellow crew members, floating above the stage on four nine-meter-high towers. Supposedly, more than 130,000 people experienced this event, although I assume this is counting both evenings together. Not many musicians can claim to have performed in front of so many people at once, even though Zaboitzeff must admit to himself that most of them didn’t come to see him.

     

    Nevertheless, a sticker decorates Zaboitzeff’s newest album (spring 2008), pointing out that it ‘contains the album version of the show, which attracted over 130,000 spectators!’. At least you find out an important fact : ‘Voyage to the Center of the Earth’ is not a live album recorded in December 2005. Zaboitzeff composed, played, produced and recorded this album before the Paris concert in his studio in Salzburg. He was assisted only by Sandrine Rohmoser and Gerda Rippel’s elegant voices. The rest the Frenchman did all by himself. Zaboitzeff was assisted by further musicians on the two evenings in the Stade de France.

     

    From a musical point of view the listener is offered what one expects from Zaboitzeff and the theme. Compelling sounds, mostly dark and dramatic, flowing powerfully and grandiosely-produced from the speakers. Neoclasssic, highly electrified chamber rock sounds rule here in good Art Zoyd tradition, carried by string sequences, e-guitar, bass, cello, diverse electronic sounds and an endless number of voices, tones and sampler sounds, including some very convincing drum and percussion imitations. For nearly 20 years, Zaboitzeff has used several of them regularly, especially diverse bells. At times the music gets very hectic, almost machine-like, dancing contemporary-electronic-laden out of the speakers. Elegiac soundscapes, sacred sound cathedrals and very symphonic-classical parts are interposed with powerful, at times dissonent erruptions which leave their imprint on the whole. Zaboitzeff (with his typical rumbling voice) and the two women sing quite a lot, mostly without words or in a language either i can’t understand or which is made-up.

     

    ‘Voyage to the Center of the Earth’ offers a very sonorous, at times fulminant, secretive-mysterious trip (to the center of the earth or to other abysses – i can’t discrern many ties to Verne’s novel) which will certainly appeal to the lovers of the Frenchman’s. Of all his solo albums up until now, this one is the most balanced and convincing, even though one can note that Zaboitzeff always works with similar means of sounds and effects.

    At any rate, here he has perfected his technique !

    Achim Breiling 
  • EXPOSE (USA)


    Thierry Zaboitzeff is a name most will recognize from his many years as the bassist/cellist of Art Zoyd, before striking out on his own in the late '90s. At hand are his latest two albums, both dealing with very old familiar concept themes that could be (and have been) disasters in the hands of other artists; instead, Zaboitzeff has given new life to these through very imaginative and unexpected compositional treatments and arrangements. He is never one to be predictable, and these two are quite different from each other as well as from any of his other previous work. Missa Furiosa is an unusual take on the age-old Catholic Mass, with his radical versions of the "Kyrie," "Gloria," "Sanctus," and other parts exploring far reaching musical terrain, be it dark ambient environments mixed with middle-eastern flavored vocal prayer, or heavy repetitive pulsating electronic beats with dense arrangements for multiple voices and choirs, the latter occasionally hinting of the Carl Orff-like side of the classic Magma sound. Zaboitzeff handles most of the instrumentation (bass, cello, keys, guitars, programming, etc.) through numerous overdubs and loops, with guests on drums, violin, oud, and three vocalists. The end result is at once modern and ancient, cold and warm, where unlikely sounds and structures are butted up against one another in sometimes bizarre, but effective juxtaposition. Voyage is another beast altogether, once again featuring prominent vocal passages and choral arrangements, but infinitely darker this time, conjuring up twisted realms of gothic imagery, augmented with a lush cinematic production and interesting bits of folk, classical, avant-garde, and minimalist structures all thrown into the mix. Add saxes and horns (or samples thereof) and judicious use of electronic effects to the instrumental mix this time as well. Both powerful releases that, while fundamentally similar, explore very different moods and perspectives. Both recommended.

    EXPOSE (USA)
    Peter Thelen
  • TRAVERSES (F)


    La production discographique de Thierry ZABOITZEFF semblait avoir marqué le pas ces derniers mois... mais semblait seulement. Ce n'est pourtant pas faute d'avoir continué à composer des musiques pour divers spectacles.

     

    Sans doute le dernier coup d'éclat en date du « Dr. ZAB » a-t-il été sa contribution musicale au spectacle réalisé en 2005 au Stade de France autour de l'œuvre de Jules VERNE Voyage au centre de la Terre, à l'occasion du centenaire de la mort de l'écrivain visionnaire. L'ample couverture médiatique dont a bénéficié le spectacle a permis de rassembler quelque 130 000 spectateurs. Cela dit, de par ses choix esthétiques, la création ne s'adressait pas nécessairement à tout le monde et sa mise en scène, qui a transformé l'arène sportive en cratère aussi vertigineux que statique, a fait couler beaucoup d'encre. Quoi qu'il en soit, l'événement a donné l'opportunité à Thierry ZABOITZEFF de faire entendre sa musique (jouée en direct lors des représentations) à un très large public qui, dans sa grande majorité, ne devait pas la connaître, et n'avait sûrement jamais rien entendu de tel. Les plus avertis y ont trouvé des accointances avec l'univers de MAGMA ; comme c'est drôle...

     

    Le Dr. ZAB a-t-il à cette occasion mis de l'eau bénite dans son chaudron maléfique ? Bien sûr que non. ZABOITZEFF continue à faire ce qu'il fait de mieux, un mélange de musique électro- acoustique pimentée de rock aux accents classico-symphoniques, avec cette « patte » reconnaissable et les usuels traits distinctifs qui la caractérisent. Voix, claviers, samples, cordes, percussions et quelques vents constituent l'ossature timbrale de cette musique « anamorphique » qui, même privée de son pendant visuel, joue la carte de la suggestion fantasmatique, ouvrant sur des horizons mutants.

     

    A des séquences hiératiques évoquant des paysages de quiétude peuvent succéder des moments plus perturbés, avec des embardées électro-lyriques et des rythmiques martiales ou haletantes qui renvoient à des cauchemars peuplés de créatures vindicatives et de spectres ricanants et qui, tout aussi subitement, s'évanouissent pour ne laisser subsister que des ambiances intimistes de musique de chambre néo-classique ou des climats plus cérémoniels, voire religieux.

     

    Si, pour la version concert, quelques musiciens secondaient Thierry ZABOITZEFF aux violons, saxophones et percussions, la version CD voit ce dernier assurer tous les instruments. Le Dr. ZAB n'est accompagné que des deux chanteuses, la mezzo soprano Sandrine ROHRMOSER, déjà remarquée dans la Missa Furiosa, et la soprano Gerda RIPPEL. Leurs lignes vocales dynamisent ce voyage intra-terrestre de leurs harmonies singulières ; et quand ces voix féminines éthérées sont confrontées à la voix de goule du ZAB', l'effet est d'autant plus saisissant.

     

    L'odyssée sonore entreprise par ZABOITZEFF & CREW ne manque certes pas de rebondissements et fait voyager de tableaux en tableaux tous aussi fantasques les uns que les autres. Si ce n'est un voyage en centre de la Terre, c'est au moins une expédition aux confins de la sphère mentale et de ses projections oniriques, apaisées ou troublées.

    TRAVERSES (F)
    Stéphane Fougère

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