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Zauss - Neulich Neben der Grenze CD (album) cover





3.00 | 1 ratings

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3 stars Review orignially posted at

This is the first album of this project named Zauss, which is a duo by Markus Stauss and Francesco Zago, a couple of musicians who have been involved in this realm for several years, sharing their talent in different projects. For this one, they gathered to create a nice band whose music shares a mixture of jazz, prog rock and experimental music, with a clear tendency to the improvisation, and though it is not the easiest kind of music to dig, there are people whose musical likes have a lot in common with Zauss' sound. Their first album is entitled 'Neulich Neben der Grenze', which was released in 2006 and features 9 songs that make a total time of 65 minutes.

A long track (actually the longest) opens the album, 'Senza Eleganza' begins with noisy guitars that a few seconds later are accompanied by saxophone, the music is chaotic, without elegance, how the name suggests, but it gives to the listener a leitmotif to create images and stories on one's mind. Later the guitar vanishes, while sax start making some other sounds that bring a nervous texture, a tense atmosphere. Later, the music makes different changes but the music is never damaged, because the musicians know how to blend atmospheres, noises and provoke a positive result, so don't get anxious, just stay and listen to the whole track.

'Nuages' is a softer track, however, the tension is brought here in some moments, so I would say their improvisational style has a coherent sense of nervousness in their music, although there are passages where it disappears and the sound is much relaxed, due to the atmospheric soundscapes. In 'Short Breath' the sounds make me feel like in a factory, it is strange but it is the music's charm, it creates different images and interpretations in every listener. 'S'lz 06' clears my mind, it is like fresh air in my lungs, the music is so calm and beautiful, always improvised, always experimental, but this time is kind, not tense. Love it.

Another long track comes with 'Rondo Senza un Centro', which lasts almost 10 minutes in which the craziness and nervousness return, here the guitar plays main role with its intended dissonance, contrasting in moments with the sax touches. At minute three the music calms down, we are entering in a new passage, so be quiet and watch your step, because you may find some explosions in the road next to you'or peace, in the other hand. However, when peace is found, the explosion did come with the loony guitar. Great. 'Heartbeat' unveils Zauss' music at its best, with crazy and rockish guitars, while the saxophone plays free jazzy notes. This is also a long song, so expect changes and rhythm and mood.

Incidentally, the last three tracks are the shortest ones of the album. First it comes 'Immer Gr'ner' which has a soft sound with once again a tense atmosphere create by soundscapes, while the sax talks and talks. 'Spastic Blues' is a constant discussion between both instruments, the loony sound comebacks here, the improvisation is clear, so if you like these kind of tunes, stay, if not, you may want to skip it. The last track is 'Tremori' which is a nice way to finish this album.

I would like to point out a couple of things, first that I like Zauss, though I must confess it has been the most difficult Markus Stauss' project I've dug, though they are great without a doubt. Second is that if you can stand the first two tracks you will surely enjoy it, otherwise, this music is not for you and you may get bored.

Enjoy it!

memowakeman | 3/5 |


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