Zaboitzeff & Crew -
Miniaturen: Zoydian suite in three movements - 2000


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 devoted 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 musical 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 company 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 generated 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 of 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.


In summary, this is a masterwork that Art Zoyd could have composed (not in vain, Thierry was in the group for more than twenty years, and the style remains), with the added bonus of a bigger electro-acoustic and electronics than the usual in their albums. This has the wisdom and the musical experience given by many years of career of this wonderful composer and musician that is Thierry Zaboitzeff. Lovers of RIO, of Art Zoyd, Univers Zero, the groups of the Cuneiform record label, Magma…. you cannot but buy this record, be sure of it.

author - date - rating - label

José Nafría - October 2000 -   - Atonal Records