MENU
Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography

ZS

RIO/Avant-Prog • United States


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Zs picture
Zs biography
To categorise these guys is about as difficult as the music they play. ZS's music could be considered as a combination between Avant-Garde/Free Jazz and Math Rock, only with a clearly tidy and structured vibe to it. In addition, their music is also extremely dynamic but also repetetive and requires patience as the music can get frustratingly intense at times, but it's all very energetic and fun to listen to. Their songs are loaded with odd meters and time-signatures and several "start-stop-start" sections are present and plays a significant role in their overall sound, something that could compare them to several bands labeled as Math-Rock. The melodies are often odd, dissonant and unpredictable with heavy minimalistic elements while also being tightly arranged. Stylistically they are looseley akin to Keith Tippett projects, such as Ovary Lodge and Centipede (minus the piano) and the sax playing at times has the stylistics of Elton Dean (from Soft Machine). The minimalistic tendencies are obviously reminiscent of Ennio Morricone and Philip Glass, but often with the more rock-orientated form of minimalism played by Third-era Soft Machine. The band currently consists of Charlie Looker (synthesizer/guitar), Ben Greenberg (guitar), Sam Hillmer (saxophone), and Ian Antonio (drums) although the group have gone through several line-up changes since their formation in 2000. This band is absolutely recommended if you like wacky and both technical and challenging music. Especially for fans of bands like Orthrelm, Ruins and Hella. They are not easy listening by any means but they are absolutely worth checking out if you are into stuff like this, although it may take some time to digest their releases properly.


===Written by Bj-1===

Zs official website

ZS MP3, Free Download (music stream)


Open extended player in a new pop-up window | Random Playlist (50) | How to submit new MP3s
No MP3/Stream available for this artist.
Collaborate with Progarchives.com, learn how to submit new MP3s.

ZS Videos (YouTube and more)


Showing only random 3 | Search and add more videos to ZS

Buy ZS Music


XeXe
Northern Spy 2015
Audio CD$5.68
$11.09 (used)
Score: The Complete Sextet Works 2002-2007Score: The Complete Sextet Works 2002-2007
Box set
Northern Spy 2012
Audio CD$16.99
$21.09 (used)
New SlavesNew Slaves
THE SOCIAL REGISTRY 2010
Audio CD$3.99
$2.97 (used)
GrainGrain
Northern Spy 2013
Audio CD$4.95
$4.90 (used)
New Slaves by Zs (2010-05-11)New Slaves by Zs (2010-05-11)
THE SOCIAL REGISTRY
Audio CD$36.88
Zs by ZsZs by Zs
Troubleman Unlimited
Audio CD$39.28
Xe by Zs (2015-08-03)Xe by Zs (2015-08-03)
Northern Spy
Audio CD$39.61
The Hard EP by Zs (2008-08-05)The Hard EP by Zs (2008-08-05)
Three-One-G
Audio CD$31.05
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
The Beach Boys Good Timin' / Love Surrounds Me 7" 45 rpm Caribou ZS8 9029 NM USD $6.00 Buy It Now
MARI GRIFFITHS Welsh Folk LP Rediffusion STEREO ZS131 USD $17.79 Buy It Now
KRISTOFFERSON, Kris (Jesse Younger) Monument zs7 8564 = PROMOTIONAL record USD $4.40 Buy It Now
KRISTOFFERSON, Kris (Loving Her Was Easier ) Monument ZS7 8525 USD $4.20 Buy It Now
KRISTOFFERSON, Kris (Pilgrim: hapter 33) Monument zs7 8531 = PROMOTIONAL record USD $4.00 Buy It Now
KRISTOFFERSON, Kris; & Rita Coolidge (Rain) Monument ZS7 8630 = PROMO record USD $4.20 Buy It Now
ZS 111 SCHONHERR/VNOO waltzes from vienna uk rediffusion LP PS EX/EX USD $11.86 Buy It Now
SID PHILIPS AND HIS GREAT JAZZ BAND clarinet marmalade ZS 142 uk LP PS EX/EX USD $11.86 Buy It Now
Dick Jensen No. ZS7 3504 Radio Station Promo Copy 45 RPM vinyl record, Soul ?? USD $6.99 [0 bids]
Ronnie Hawkins, Bo Diddley, Monument Records, ZS7 8573, DJ PROMO, Stereo USD $6.00 Buy It Now
JOAN JETT I Hate Myself For Loving You ZS4 07919 45rpm Vinyl USD $5.99 Buy It Now
Summer Nights Survivor USA 7" vinyl single record promo ZS502435 USD $17.08 Buy It Now
The Stan Greig Trio(Vinyl LP)Boogie Woogie-Rediffusion-ZS 116-UK-1972-VG+/VG+ USD $26.10 Buy It Now 2h 16m
BT AND TB NORTHERN SOUL 7" DEMO SINGLE (I CAN'T QUIT YOUR LOVE) ON ZS8 3571 USD $4.62 [0 bids]
4h 47m
Cherrelle Affair 7" Tabu ZS468568 EX 1988 US pressing, demo, Affair/Affair USD $8.56 Buy It Now 5h 31m
DERRINGER-LAWYERS, GUNS & MONEY 1978 BLUE SKY RECORDS 7" PROMO 45 ZS8 2770 VG++ USD $4.99 Buy It Now 7h 27m
BILLY SWAN-c-(45)-I CAN HELP / WAYS OF A WOMAN IN LOVE - MONUMENT-ZS8-8621 -1974 USD $8.99 Buy It Now 7h 43m
Kansas ?- Dust In The Wind Promo 7" Vinyl Mono / Stereo Kirshner ?- ZS8 4274 USD $6.00 Buy It Now 7h 49m
Slade 45 rpm Run Runaway & Don't Tame A Hurricane 1984 CBS records ZS4 04398 USD $8.95 Buy It Now 8h 31m
Slade 45 rpm My Oh My & High and Dry 1983 CBS records ZS4 04528 USD $8.95 Buy It Now 8h 31m
Sid Phillips Plays Barrelhouse Piano Rediffusion Stereo ZS 106 USD $11.99 Buy It Now 8h 36m
The Crickets - Vocal by Sonny Curtis, True Love Ways, Barnaby DJ PROMO ZS7 2061 USD $9.00 Buy It Now 9h 6m
1976 100 PROOF AGED IN SOUL MY PIECE OF THE ROCK WLP PROMO 45 HOT WAX ZS8 9254 USD $9.99 Buy It Now 9h 10m
1977 ELLIOTT RANDALL SAMANTHA PROMO 45 KIRSHNER ZS8 4271 USD $9.99 Buy It Now 9h 10m
1976 KANSAS WHAT'S ON MY MIND PROMO 45 KIRSHNER ZS8 4270 USD $9.99 Buy It Now 9h 11m
1975 KANSAS IT TAKES A WOMAN'S LOVE (TO MAKE A MAN) PROMO 45 KIRSHNER ZS8 4259 USD $9.99 Buy It Now 9h 15m
1976 THE KIDS FROM C.A.P.E.R WHEN IT HIT ME PROMO 45 KIRSHNER ZS8 4266 USD $9.99 Buy It Now 9h 20m
1976 TOM DAMPHIER MISTER RADIO MAN PROMO 45 KIRSHNER ZS8 4264 USD $9.99 Buy It Now 9h 20m
1977 ELLIOTT RANDALL HIGH ON LOVE PROMO 45 KIRSHNER ZS8 4269 USD $9.99 Buy It Now 9h 20m
1975 KANSAS SONG FOR AMERICA PROMO 45 KIRSHNER ZS8 4258 USD $9.99 Buy It Now 9h 20m
1978 KANSAS LONELY WIND PROMO 45 KIRSHNER ZS8 4280 USD $9.99 Buy It Now 9h 20m
45rpm-ELO-Shine A Little Love-ZS85057-Jet-1979 USD $1.31 [0 bids]
10h 43m
The Lou Whiteson Orchestra : Masterpieces : Vinyl Album : RIM Records : RIM ZS9 USD $8.96 Buy It Now 11h 48m
Teddy Pendergrass - It's You I Love 7" 45 Vinyl VG+ Stereo 1979 Funk ZS9 3742 USD $8.00 Buy It Now 12h 14m
CHERRELLE EVERYTHING I MISS AT HOME /WHERE DO I RUN TO 45 EX Tabu ZS4-08052 1988 USD $6.95 Buy It Now 12h 41m
The Isley Brothers Who Loves You Better 7" Vinyl Single T-Neck ?ZS8 2260 USD $13.18 Buy It Now 12h 58m
The Award Winners Pete Moore & His Orchestra REDIFFUSION ZS 113 Vinyl Record USD $1.31 [0 bids]
13h 24m
Opus One The Mills Brothers Vinyl on Rediffusion Stereo ZS 157 USD $1.31 [0 bids]
13h 29m
FREDDY RANDALL and his FAMOUS JAZZ BAND - 1971 Rediffusion ZS84 (England) USD $6.98 Buy It Now 15h 56m
New Slaves Part Ii: Essence Implosion! - Zs (Vinyl Used Very Good) USD $6.99 Buy It Now 16h 9m
CAFFERTY, John (C-I-T-Y) Scotti Brothers ZS4 05452 = PROMOTIONAL record + ps USD $6.00 Buy It Now 17h 40m
CAFFERTY, John (Heart's On Fire) Scotti Brothers ZS4 05774 USD $3.50 Buy It Now 17h 56m
CAFFERTY, John (Tender Years) Scotti Brothers ZS4 04682 + Picture sleeve USD $4.50 Buy It Now 18h 11m
CAFFERTY, John (Tough All Over) Scotti Brothers ZS4 04891 + Picture sleeve USD $4.50 Buy It Now 19h 37m
CAFFERTY, John (Victory Dance) Scotti Brothers ZS4 08009 USD $3.50 Buy It Now 19h 46m
BOBBY GOLDSBORO - THE ROUND-UP SALOON PROMO 45 - CURB - USA - ZS502583 USD $1.95 Buy It Now 20h 26m
JIMMY NALL 45 RPM Promo Record WORKING MAN'S WOMAN Monument ZS7 8563 MINT ! USD $2.65 Buy It Now 20h 27m
CALLOWAY (Sir Lancelot) Solar ZS4 74008 USD $4.00 Buy It Now 20h 35m
45rpm~BABYFACE,The~Tender Lover ?Vinyl 7" Record ?1989 ?ZS4-74003 Solar ?EXC USD $1.00 Buy It Now 1 day
EDDIE CONDON - Dixieland Jazz Party - Excellent Con LP Record Rediffusion ZS 162 USD $11.86 Buy It Now 1 day
Bal zs Szokolay - Romantic Piano Music 5 [New CD] USD $11.10 Buy It Now 1 day
Bal zs Szokolay - Romantic Piano Music 3 [New CD] USD $8.67 Buy It Now 1 day
James Brown I'm Real / Tribute 7" 45 rpm 1988 Scotti Bros. ZS4 07783 NM in PS USD $6.00 Buy It Now 1 day
James Brown Gravity / Dub Mix 7" 45 rpm 1986 Scotti Bros. ZS4 06275 NM in PS USD $6.00 Buy It Now 1 day
BRICK (All The Way) Bang ZS9 4810 = PROMOTIONAL record USD $4.00 Buy It Now 1 day
steppenwolf 7" straight shootin woman/justice don't.. zs8 6031 vg+/m- USD $4.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Crest Of Zs-Toushin No Monshou - Jam Project (Used Very Good) USD $4.91 Buy It Now 1 day
NORTHERN SOUL 45 RPM RECORD - BROCKINGTON SINGERS - TSOP ZS8 4763 USD $30.00 Buy It Now 1 day
ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA (Calling America) CBS Associated ZS4 05766 USD $4.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Ray Stevens America Communicate With Me 7" Barnaby ZS72016 Canada Pressing USD $6.59 Buy It Now 1 day
45rpm~SWAN,Billy~I'm Her Fool/I'd Like To Work For You?ZS8-8641?Vinyl Record??VG USD $1.25 Buy It Now 1 day
ISLEY BROTHERS 45 THE PRIDE (PART I) MONO/STEREO EX TNECK ZS8 2262 SOUL PROMO USD $6.00 Buy It Now 1 day
THE CITY 7" PROMO 45rpm 1968 ODE #ZS7119 THAT OLD SWEET ROLL WHY ARE YOU LEAVING USD $4.99 Buy It Now 1 day
OZZY OSBOURNE Bark At The Moon DEMO ZS4 04318 45rpm Vinyl VG++ CBS ASSOC. USD $16.99 Buy It Now 1 day
OZZY OSBOURNE So Tired DEMO ZS4 04383 45rpm Vinyl VG++ Black Sabbath CBS ASSOC USD $11.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Zs - Grain [New Vinyl] USD $24.17 Buy It Now 1 day
45 RPM 7" Record Ray Stevens Everything Is Beautiful & A Brighter Day ZS7 2011 USD $6.99 Buy It Now 1 day
45 RPM 7" Record Gloria Gaynor I Am What I Am & More Than Enough ZS4 04294 USD $6.99 Buy It Now 1 day
ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA Don't Bring Me Down 7" 45 rpm JET ZS9 5060 USD $2.98 Buy It Now 1 day
ZS New Slaves++ PSA-039 CD JAPAN 2010 OBI USD $101.74 Buy It Now 1 day
Jerry Butler - Nothing Says I Love You Like I Love You 7" Mint- Promo ZS8 3673 USD $7.20 Buy It Now 1 day
PHYLLIS NELSON-I LIKE YOU (SPECIAL MIX) /REACHIN'-CARRERE ZS4 05719 NM 45 USD $3.98 Buy It Now 1 day
The Charles Young Chorale - The Sweet & Swinging Sound of LP - ZS 68 - VG+ USD $9.22 Buy It Now 1 day
MARI GRIFFITH Welsh Folk LP VINYL UK Rediffusion 1973 20 Track (Zs131) USD $13.11 Buy It Now 1 day
BITE THE BULLET Finished With Love 7" VINYL US Jet 1989 2 Track Demo (Zs468675) USD $5.54 Buy It Now 1 day
ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA Shine A Little b/w Jungle 45 rpm 7" VG+ ZS8 5057 ELO USD $8.99 Buy It Now 1 day
O JAYS I Love Music Pt 1 b/w I Love Music Pt 2 45 rpm 7" 1975 ZS8 3577 Jukebox USD $7.49 Buy It Now 1 day
ISLEY BROTHERS That Lady Part 1 b/w Part 2 45 rpm 7" 1973 TNeck ZS7 2251 Jukebox USD $5.99 Buy It Now 1 day
O JAYS Back Stabbers b/w 992 Arguments 45 rpm 7" 1972 ZS8 3753 Jukebox USD $7.49 Buy It Now 1 day
O'JAYS Use Ta Be My Girl b/w This Time Baby 45 rpm 7" 1978 ZS8 3642 Jukebox USD $7.99 Buy It Now 1 day
MFSB TSOP b/w Something For Nothing 45 rpm 7" 1973 ZS7 3540 Jukebox USD $4.99 Buy It Now 1 day
ISLEY BROTHERS That Lady Part 1 b/w Part 2 45 rpm 7" 1973 TNeck ZS7 2251 Jukebox USD $6.99 Buy It Now 1 day
O JAYS Love Train b/w Time To Get Down 45 rpm 7" 1972 ZS7 3754 Jukebox USD $7.49 Buy It Now 1 day
RICK DERRINGER Hang On Sloopy b/w Skyscraper Blues 45 rpm 7" VG+ 1975 ZS8 2755 USD $5.99 Buy It Now 1 day
QUIET RIOT Cum Feel The Noize b/w Run For Cover 45 rpm 7" ZS4 04005 Jukebox USD $5.99 Buy It Now 1 day
QUIET RIOT Mama Weer All Crazee Now b/w Bad Boy 45 rpm 7" ZS4 04505 Jukebox USD $5.99 Buy It Now 1 day
QUIET RIOT Bang Your Head b/w Bang Your Head Live 45 rpm 7" ZS4 04267 Jukebox USD $5.99 Buy It Now 1 day
ZS 146 LOIBNER/VIENNA STATE OPERA great opera choruses volume 2 uk LP PS EX-/EX USD $11.86 Buy It Now 1 day
BILL MCGUFFIE BIG BAND S/T LP VINYL UK Rediffusion 1972 12 Track (Zs130) USD $6.58 Buy It Now 1 day
BANJOS ARE BACK S/T LP VINYL UK Rediffusion 1971 12 Track (Zs91) USD $6.58 Buy It Now 1 day
REDDINGS Class 7" VINYL US Believe In A Dream 1981 B/W Main Nerve (Zs502437) USD $4.14 Buy It Now 1 day
PAMELA MILLER Home In New Orleans 7" VINYL US Monument 1975 B/W Love (Zs88649) USD $6.58 Buy It Now 1 day
ISLEY BROTHERS Midnight Sky 7" VINYL US Tneck 1974 Part 1 B/W Part 2 (Zs82255) USD $4.14 Buy It Now 1 day
JUICY Bad Boy 7" VINYL US Private I 1985 Demo Plays Same Both Sides (Zs405422) USD $5.53 Buy It Now 1 day
CYMARRON Rings 7" VINYL US Entrance B/W Like Children (Zs77500) USD $4.14 Buy It Now 1 day
ROMANTICS Talking In Your Sleep 7" VINYL US Nemperor 1983 B/w I'm Hip (zs404135) USD $4.14 Buy It Now 1 day
BABYFACE It's No Crime 7" VINYL US Solar 1989 B/W Instrumental (Zs468966) USD $4.14 Buy It Now 1 day
ELVIN BISHOP GROUP So Fine 7" VINYL US Fillmore Promo Mono B/W Stereo (Zs77002) USD $4.14 Buy It Now 1 day
ISLEY BROTHERS I Wanna Be With You 7" VINYL US Tneck 1979 B/W Part Ii (Zs82279) USD $6.58 Buy It Now 1 day
DAN HARTMAN Instant Replay 7" VINYL US Blue Sky 1978 B/W Replayed (Zs8 2772) USD $4.14 Buy It Now 1 day

More places to buy ZS music online Buy ZS & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
ZS has no upcoming shows, according to LAST.FM syndicated events and shows feed

ZS discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

ZS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.85 | 4 ratings
Zs
2003
3.41 | 9 ratings
Arms
2007
3.39 | 10 ratings
New Slaves
2010
2.92 | 3 ratings
Grain
2013
3.93 | 21 ratings
Xe
2015

ZS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.50 | 2 ratings
Buck
2007

ZS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

ZS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

ZS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 1 ratings
Karate Bump
2005
4.00 | 1 ratings
The Hard
2008
3.09 | 2 ratings
Music of the Modern White
2009

ZS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Grain by ZS album cover Studio Album, 2013
2.92 | 3 ratings

BUY
Grain
Zs RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Lewa

3 stars ZS's most electronic album yet, even more abstract that previous efforts.

Grain features only two long tracks of about 20 minutes and has tons of distortion, drones, harsh electronics, sound manipulation and loops.

What drums and bells there are, are low in the mix buried under all the electronics. There seems to be a bit of saxophone, but it is distorted and almost indiscernible from the electronics.

The repetition typical for ZS releases is still present but both tracks seem more improvised, less structured and even less accessible than tracks on previous albums. This could almost be a remix album of previous ZS efforts. An appreciation for electronic sound manipulation is required to like it.

Overall this is recommended to fans of the band. First time listeners of ZS would probably have an easier time starting with Xe (or Arms or New Slaves).

 Arms by ZS album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.41 | 9 ratings

BUY
Arms
Zs RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Lewa

3 stars Sounds like a mix of Satie and math rock done with saxophone as the leading instrument.

There are drums, sax, guitar, keyboards/effects and vocals on this album.

Saxophone, drums and vocals are mostly played or sung in bursts. There is very little conventional drumming. The drums mostly follow the saxophone and accompany its most prominent notes by a drum burst. Other than that there's no rhythm. The guitar and keyboards are mainly used to produce noise.

The music is grounded in repetitive blasts and minimalist music seems to have been an inspiration. Phrases and musical fragments start, get repeated, stop and are maybe revisited later and probably repeated again. There is no gradual change or gradual building of anything. The whole album is a start-stop affair of bursts and phrases that are repeated a (seemingly) random number of times.

Regarding compositional style, the most similar piece I can think of is "Cinema: entr'acte symphonique de Relache" by Eric Satie. In rock music terms it does sound like math rock without drumming, where the saxophone replaces the guitar as the lead instrument.

This is especially recommended to listeners who really like Eric Satie (outside of the piano pieces) and can stand some heavyness and noise rock.

 New Slaves by ZS album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.39 | 10 ratings

BUY
New Slaves
Zs RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Lewa

3 stars Three main ingredients of previous albums are present here to about the same degree: Noise, improvisation and repetition of phrases (where phrases are discernible).

New is the heavy use of distorted guitar, that often drone out everything else, and more electronic effects. Due to this, "New Slaves" seems (to me) sonically more like other noise releases and a bit less unique than the preceding EP.

Parts of the album seem free and others highly structured. This, as well as the heavy use of repetition, makes for an interesting release in the end.

New slaves is recommended to listeners who like free jazz, noise rock and minimalism and want to listen to it at the time.

 Music of the Modern White by ZS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2009
3.09 | 2 ratings

BUY
Music of the Modern White
Zs RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Lewa

3 stars For noise rock and free jazz enthusiasts. Includes organic instrumentation and everyday sound imitations.

This album is more noisy, free and disjointed and seems a lot more improvised than previous Zs releases. It is essentially a mix of free jazz and noise soundscape.

I'm not an expert on the noise genre but I believe this might stand out from some other releases because of the instrumentation. Other noise releases (that I know of) seem to rely more heavily on electronics than this album. (This impression might be due to my limited genre knowledge, though.)

The main instruments here are drums, guitar and saxophone.

Other than that, I am unsure to what degree synthesizers/electronics are involved. Sound effects might be played on guitar.

Imitating various everyday noises seems to be a bit of a theme.

I believe I noticed the guitar (probably) try bees, (probably) honking car and (probably) motorcycle while the drums (probably) did machine gun and (probably) heavy rainfall.

The saxophone is the most versatile and tries to (probably) simulate a windy day and (probably) play a car that does not start, (probably) sound like a chainsaw and (probably) imitate a seagull and (probably) sound like various insects.

The rest is, well, noise.

 Xe by ZS album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.93 | 21 ratings

BUY
Xe
Zs RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by LearsFool
Collaborator Post/Math Rock Team

5 stars Somewhere between the recent post-punk revival and modern avant-prog lies Zs. These modern day pronks mix a very sparse guitar sound that mixes with use of horns that are unmistakably RIO-derived. The guitar lines go on and on and on, with the horns variously attacking like Peter Brotzmann's kind of free jazz, or playing along or in the background like a sickly corruption of smooth, urban feeling jazz, easily in part by way of Henry Cow. The minimalism only helps this album sound ever stranger, which is exactly where it needs to be. The artfulness of the result is best shown by the long, jaw-dropping "Corps" and title track, and how. Easily a front-runner not just for avant-prog album of the year, but for album of the year in general.
 New Slaves by ZS album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.39 | 10 ratings

BUY
New Slaves
Zs RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by progadicto

4 stars I really enjoy ZS albums and I'm expecting to get in my hands their latest release as soon as possible. At least for me they make a very singular kind of avant garde mixing a lot of known elements and influences to make some really interesting tracks full of surprising moments perhaps this one is an album a little different from their previous releases (because the constant presence of distorted instruments) I got to say that this one is a very weird but nice piece of experimental music. So meanwhile I wait for their new album I consider necessary to give another listen to "New Slaves", one of their most experimental releases.

"New Slaves" starts with "Concert Black" a kind of clock-rhythmical intro (at least for avant garde standards) layed by a mysterious atmosphere which matches with the complex work of distorted guitars and weird effects into an almost minimalist composition.

Next comes "Acres of Skin", a song based on tribal percussions as base for intricated distored instrumental sections. Dark atmospheres repeats here but with a strong emphasys on hard rhythmical sections and distorted and screamig sax.

Third is "Gentleman Amateur" in which distorted sounds takes definetively the lead even constructing a loud wall of minimal harmonics that repeats on "Don't Touch Me" in which ZS reaches a strong paronoid atmosphere full of distorted effects and metalic percussions playing repetitive but changing schizoid sections.

"Masonry" is the first song of the álbum which has some relation with the previous ZS releases. Is a quiet but dark song base don a slow rhythmical base and some atmospherical effects.

Then we have "New Slaves" and we ge tinto the most deep ocean of musical and atmospherical textures that ZS can give us. Some guitars "a la Frohmader" filling any quiet space and possible silences, repetitive rhythmical sections, slow but constant movements between some hard and raw sax solos? All of this elements turns this 20 minutes song into a real dark deep journey crossed by one of the most dense musical expressions that I've heard lately, reminding me some Henry Cow and Ne Zhdali best moments.

"Black Crown Ceremony" (Parts I and II) are the epilog for this album. Here ZS mixes quiet but still dark atmospheres with distorted sax and guitars building different sound layers that explodes in some really chilling moments.

At least for me it's the kind of avant garde that I really enjoy. Maybe not for all ears but surely a piece which deserves a place into any RIO discography? 4*

 Zs by ZS album cover Studio Album, 2003
2.85 | 4 ratings

BUY
Zs
Zs RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by progadicto

3 stars Zs first album it just a nice preview of what these guys do since 2003.

Like many first attempts, "Zs" has some lack of originalty perhaps is a good avant garde album. Reminiscences of the more experimental bands of the genre could be found easily in every song of this album but Zs has his stuff. Between scales and harmonies that looks like 5uu's or Birdsongs Of The Mesozoic outtakes, you can find some dark and addictive style related to build complex and progressive melodies in order to create oppresive atmospheres. "Mimesis" is the climax of this attempts; a quiet but thrilling track in which we can find the genesis of the singular Zs sound that we discover in their late production.

Not the best of this band but a kind of necessary prologue of the complex wotk of these guys. And of course, "Mimesis" is a worth to listen piece, really amazing and captivating... 3+*...

 Arms by ZS album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.41 | 9 ratings

BUY
Arms
Zs RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Chris H
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The maxi-minimalists?

Zs is a band that was formed in 2000 in New York, in the heart of the brutal chamber scene. However, one would challenge themselves day and night trying to name a genre that fits the style these guys play. One listen to this album and you will say they play one style, then listen to it again and you will say a different one. There is just no way to peg one single genre onto this album. It's too ugly and raw for jazz music, too complicated for minimalist music however too simple to be called avant-garde.

Arms is the first full-length studio album from this band, following up on two successful EP's and predating a live release, both recorded last year in 2007. If you are reading this review because you are looking for something that resembles music, I warn you to turn back now. Zs is not a band that plays music, Zs is a band that records art. Vocals are used sparingly, but they create a deep impact on the album, especially the chanting in Except When You Don't Because You Wont. Combined with the beating percussions, this piece could almost put you in a trance-like state. Also the vocals on I Can't Concentrate really sky-rocket the song itself and the album to a whole new level.

From the opening saxophone explosion of B Is For Burning, to the last shake of the tambourine on Z Is For The Zone, there is no let up on this album. Although sometimes the music may quiet down or shift itself, the thrills keep coming back. One mistake I do think that Zs might have made in their debut is the length of the album. They do a great job playing their repetitive, trance inducing music throughout the duration of the album, but towards the end the listener will tend to settle back into their seat rather than still be on the edge. Music like this needs to be full-out for a certain length and then stop without rest.

All in all, a very strong debut and one of the best in 2007. Work on those endings and the next Zs studio album will most likely be a winner!

 Arms by ZS album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.41 | 9 ratings

BUY
Arms
Zs RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by chamberry
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Calling this cerebral is an understatement.

Earlier this year, around summer, when I was discovering highly convoluted and elaborate music, I stumbled upon a band that was simply named "Zs". I remember reading an article about a little musical movement called "brutal prog" where bands like Upsilon Acrux, The Flying Luttenbachers and even Orthrelm are part of, or so the author of the article claims. Zs was the band labeled as "brutal chamber" and being a fan of this kind of music I didn't hesitated to check them out. The music does remind me of the previously mentioned bands so this is recommended for fans of this kind of music, especially fans of Orthrelm's Ov.

Zs' music takes parts of minimalism, chamber music, rock, jazz and mesh it to sound as ugly and dissonant as possible! This leaves no room for emotions so I hope that that isn't a problem. The music is repetitive and angular with disjointed and awkward sounding melodies wrapped with start / stop dynamics in every single moment of the album. Vocals aren't present on this album but in one song, "Nobody Wants To Be Had" which is one of the album's peak moments particularly because of its odd singing and even odder topic. This song in particular is the one that attracted me the most from them since it's the most easily rewarding song on the album as well as being a good representation of their sound. The only song that can top this one is "I Can't Concentrate" with its math rock-like song structure and long running time. Balk is an interesting song, it isn't as engaging as the ones before and after it, but the main melody is almost exactly the same as Faust's song called "So Far". This hasn't been affirmed by the members of Zs and it's only a little observation of mine so ignore it at will.

Zs' music is inaccessible and hard to grasp. Newcomers should keep away from this band, but Veterans should check Zs' as soon as possible. Arms is an elaborate and intriguing album that Avant-garde music fans will highly enjoy. The only problem here is "Z is for Zone" which isn't up to par with the rest of the material on the album and overstays its welcome, but this is still an enjoyable album.

3.5 out of 5

Thanks to avestin for the artist addition.

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives