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$7.00
$8.97 (used)
New SlavesNew Slaves
THE SOCIAL REGISTRY 2010
Audio CD$3.99
$21.00 (used)
Score: The Complete Sextet Works 2002-2007Score: The Complete Sextet Works 2002-2007
Box set
Northern Spy 2012
Audio CD$16.99
$15.28 (used)
GrainGrain
Northern Spy 2013
Audio CD$3.50
$4.90 (used)
New Slaves by Zs (2010-05-11)New Slaves by Zs (2010-05-11)
THE SOCIAL REGISTRY
Audio CD$33.40
Xe by Zs (2015-08-03)Xe by Zs (2015-08-03)
Northern Spy
Audio CD$36.85
The Hard EP by Zs (2008-08-05)The Hard EP by Zs (2008-08-05)
Three-One-G
Audio CD$16.43
Grain by ZsGrain by Zs
Northern Spy
Audio CD$34.83
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
ISLEY BROTHERS (Showdown, Pts 1&2) T-Neck ZS8 2254 USD $4.00 Buy It Now 3h 39m
SURVIVOR - SUMMER NIGHTS / TAKE YOU ON A SATURDAY 7" 45rpm Scotti Bros ZS5-02700 USD $1.00 Buy It Now 4h 11m
SURVIVOR - CAUGHT IN THE GAME / SLANDER 7" 45rpm record on Scotti Bros ZS4-04074 USD $1.50 Buy It Now 4h 13m
SURVIVOR - I NEVER STOPPED LOVING YOU 7" 45rpm record on Scotti Bros. ZS4-04347 USD $1.25 Buy It Now 4h 22m
SURVIVOR - HOW MUCH LOVE / BACKSTREET LOVE AFFAIR 7" 45rpm Scotti Bros ZS4-06705 USD $1.50 Buy It Now 4h 25m
SURVIVOR - DIDN'T KNOW IT WAS OVER 7" 45rpm record on Scotti Bros. ZS4-08067 USD $1.50 Buy It Now 4h 27m
SURVIVOR - AMERICAN HEARTBEAT / SILVER GIRL 7" 45rpm on Scotti Bros. ZS4-03213 USD $1.25 Buy It Now 4h 28m
SURVIVOR - FIRST NIGHT / FEELS LIKE LOVE 7" 45rpm record Scotti Bros. ZS4-05579 USD $1.25 Buy It Now 4h 30m
BARBUSTERS JOAN JETT, LIGHT OF DAY - WHITE LABEL PROMO 7" ZS4-06692 SPRINGSTEEN USD $5.00 Buy It Now 4h 59m
JAMES BROWN, STATIC - WHITE LABEL PROMO 7" ZS4 07975 USD $5.00 Buy It Now 5h
THE ISLEY BROTHERS, SAY YOU WILL (PART 1), TNECK, ZS9 2292, DEMO USD $6.75 Buy It Now 5h 24m
Grain - Zs (Vinyl Used Very Good) USD $7.32 Buy It Now 5h 42m
Rick Derringer - Runaway 7" Mint- ZS9 2793 Promo 1980 USA Blue Sky Vinyl 45 USD $10.00 Buy It Now 7h 25m
Brenton Wood Sticky Boom Boom Too Cold Pt1 45 PROMO Soul Funk Prophesy ZS7 3002 USD $5.00 Buy It Now 7h 28m
Brenton Wood Another Saturday Night 45 PROMO Soul Funk Prophesy ZS7 3002 USD $5.00 Buy It Now 7h 32m
The Burrito Brothers - Coast To Coast / Closer To You 7" Mint- ZS5 02835 Promo USD $8.00 Buy It Now 7h 33m
Bobby Goldsboro - Love Ain't Never Hurt Nobody 7" Mint- ZS6 02117 Vinyl 45 USD $6.00 Buy It Now 7h 41m
Bobby Goldsboro - Lucy And The Stranger 7" Mint- ZS5 02726 White Promo Vinyl 45 USD $6.00 Buy It Now 7h 41m
Love Unlimited Orchestra - My Laboratory / Goodbye Concerto 7" Mint- ZS4 03881 USD $12.00 Buy It Now 7h 52m
Blue Rose - Don't You Know (Ambushed) 7" Mint- ZS4 03979 White Promo Vinyl 45 USD $8.00 Buy It Now 7h 53m
Dean Friedman - Woman Of Mine 7" VG+ ZS8 1756 White Promo 1977 Vinyl 45 USD $6.00 Buy It Now 7h 53m
JIMMY NALL CONCRETE JUNGLE 45 RPM RECORD VINTAGE ORIGINAL 1974 RECORD ZS8 8626 USD $9.99 Buy It Now 8h 19m
CARLOS BECHAGAS/CARLOS BECHEGAS - IK * ZS (3)/FLUTE SOLOS/MOVEMENT SOUNDS USED - USD $5.38 Buy It Now 8h 52m
Wizard ZS-106 MX170858/9 Rick Springfield The Liar/Believe in Me AU Import GD USD $3.98 Buy It Now 8h 55m
BALáZS PáNDI/MERZBOW - DUCKS: LIVE IN NYC [DIGIPAK] USED - VERY GOOD CD USD $14.74 Buy It Now 8h 56m
Tyrone Brunson - The Smurf Mint- 7" Vinyl 45 Believe In A Dream Promo ZS4 03163 USD $50.00 Buy It Now 9h 7m
Stoneground - Family Album Green Label Vinyl 2 LP 1971 2ZS 1956 USD $9.99 Buy It Now 10h 10m
Fabulous Thunderbirds Stand Back 7" CBS ZS4 97230 EX/EX 1987 picture sleeve, US USD $8.64 Buy It Now 10h 19m
BEACH BOYS-Getcha Back/Male Ego 1985 Caribou 45rpm w/PS ZS4-04913 VG+ USD $1.29 Buy It Now 10h 32m
PEOPLES CHOICE Do It Any Way You Wanna / The Big Hurt [45 Record] TSOP ZS8 4769 USD $3.00 Buy It Now 10h 43m
SURVIVOR High On You / Everlasting [45 Record] Scotti Bros ZS4 04685 EX USD $4.00 Buy It Now 10h 43m
JOAN JETT & THE BLACKHEARTS Little Liar / What Can I Do For You [45] ZS4-08095 USD $3.00 Buy It Now 10h 43m
CHAIRMEN OF THE BOARD Finder's Keepers [45] Invictus ZS7-1251 EX USD $8.00 Buy It Now 10h 44m
THE BEACH BOYS GETCHA BACK / MALE EGO 45 RECORD CARIBOU RECORDS ZS4-04913 USD $6.00 Buy It Now 10h 46m
BLOODSTONE We Go A Long Way Back / Nite Time Fun [45 Record] Tneck ZS5 02825 USD $3.00 Buy It Now 10h 48m
BEACH BOYS Come Go With Me [45] Caribou ZS5 02633 USD $4.00 Buy It Now 10h 49m
KANSAS Portrait (He Knew) [45 Record] Kirshner ZS8 4276 Promo USD $3.00 Buy It Now 10h 50m
ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA Shine A Little Love / Jungle [45] JET ZS4 5057 EX USD $3.00 Buy It Now 10h 50m
THE ROMANTICS ONE IN A MILLION 45 RECORD AND PICTURE SLEEVE NEMPEROR ZS4-04373 USD $7.00 Buy It Now 10h 51m
CYMARRON Rings / Like Children [45 Record] Entrance ZS7-7500 USD $2.85 Buy It Now 10h 52m
TEDDY PENDERGRASS Come Go With Me [45 Record] Phili Intl ZS9 3717 PROMO USD $3.00 Buy It Now 10h 52m
BEACH BOYS Good Timin' [45 Record] Caribou ZS8 9029 USD $4.00 Buy It Now 10h 52m
SURVIVOR Burning Heart / Feels Like Love [45 Record] Scotti Bros ZS4 05663 USD $3.00 Buy It Now 10h 53m
SURVIVOR American Heartbeat / Silver Girl [45 Record] Scotti Bros ZS4 03213 USD $3.00 Buy It Now 10h 53m
CARLOS BECHAGAS/CARLOS BECHEGAS - IK * ZS (3)/FLUTE SOLOS/MOVEMENT SOUNDS NEW CD USD $8.72 Buy It Now 11h 4m
BALáZS PáNDI/MERZBOW - DUCKS: LIVE IN NYC [DIGIPAK] NEW CD USD $21.51 Buy It Now 11h 8m
ZS (BROOKLYN GROUP) - GRAIN [DIGIPAK] NEW CD USD $20.36 Buy It Now 11h 28m
Dexter Wansel (ZS8 3599) Life on Mars Part I & Part II 45 Record USD $6.99 [1 bids]
11h 46m
Ducks: Live in NYC by Balázs Pándi/Merzbow (Vinyl, Oct-2011, Ohm Resistance) USD $23.85 Buy It Now 11h 47m
ZS - GRAIN EP NEW VINYL RECORD USD $34.57 Buy It Now 11h 47m
James Brown (ZS4 07090) Let's Get Personal/Repeat the Beat Vinyl 45 USD $3.75 [0 bids]
USD $5.00 Buy It Now
12h 33m
OZZY Osbourne, 45rpm, PROMO, So Tired, CBS ZS4 04383 USD $1.99 Buy It Now 13h 21m
THREE DEGREES - PHILADELPHIA INTERNATIONAL ZS8 3550 "WHEN WILL I SEE YOU AGAIN" USD $7.99 Buy It Now 13h 33m
The Isley Brothers - Don't Say Goodnight 7" Mint- ZS92290 Vinyl 45 Tneck 1980 USD $7.00 Buy It Now 13h 56m
The Ojays - Put Your Hands Together 7" Mint- ZS7 3535 Vinyl 45 1973 USD $10.00 Buy It Now 14h 13m
The Ojays - Time To Get Down 7" Mint- ZS7353 Vinyl 45 Philadelphia 1973 USD $8.00 Buy It Now 14h 14m
45rpm CHERRELLE New Love / Affair 1988 Tabu ZS4-68568 Vinyl 7" Record == EXC/EXC USD $1.80 Buy It Now 16h 22m
Emmerich Kalman - Grafin Mariza LP RARE OPERA ORPHEE ZS 10143 Lotte Rysanek USD $49.99 Buy It Now 19h 21m
JAY FALLEN Heart Of The Country VINYL LP STEREO 1971 REDIFFUSION RECORDS ZS99 EX USD $7.98 [0 bids]
20h 25m
Beach Boys GETCHA BACK 45 vinyl 7 inch ZS4 -4913 stereo USD $2.99 [0 bids]
22h
O'JAYS I CAN'T STAND THE PAIN 7" DEMO PHILIDELPHIA ZS4 03892 USD $7.98 Buy It Now 22h 20m
THE ISLEY BRROTHERS -(45)- FIGHT THE POWER PART 1 / PART 2 - TNECK-ZS8 2256-1975 USD $8.99 Buy It Now 23h 11m
FUNKY~CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD~"FINDERS KEEPERS"1st U.S.7" INVICTUS ZS7 1251 VG+ USD $3.99 Buy It Now 23h 20m
ROY ORBISON 7" PRETTY PAPER EX/EX+ GOLDEN SERIES NOV 1963 ZS7-8904 MONUMENT USD $1.32 [0 bids]
23h 25m
MILLS BORTHERS OPUS ONE UK LP REDIFFUSION STEREO ZS 157 1973 VOCAL HARMONY USD $5.31 Buy It Now 1 day
ZS842743.Paradox/Dust in the Wind. Kansas. 1978. 45RPM. VG+. USD $3.00 [0 bids]
1 day
45 RPM 7" Record Dan Hartman This Is It & Countdown 1978 Blue Sky ZS8 2775 VG+ USD $6.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Dave Shepherd Sextet. More Goodman Favourites LP. Rediffusion ZS 54. 1970. VG+. USD $2.00 [0 bids]
1 day
Pete Moore Orchestra ?- Exciting Sounds Of Tomorrow LP - RIM ZS 35 - Ex USD $17.30 Buy It Now 1 day
Larry Gatlin - Delta Dirt / Those Are Love 7" Mint- ZS8-8622 Vinyl 45 1974 Promo USD $10.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Cymarron - Valerie / Across The Kansas Sky 7" Mint- ZS77502 Vinyl 45 Promo USD $15.00 Buy It Now 1 day
45rpm CAFFERTY John C-I-T-Y City Where The Action Is ZS4-05452 Vinyl Record EXC USD $2.20 Buy It Now 1 day
Hey Paula... LP. Rediffusion ZS 143. 1973 compilation. Exc Vinyl. USD $2.00 [0 bids]
1 day
Michael Hamilton - Believe 7" Mint- ZS4 04308 White Promo 1983 Vinyl 45 USD $7.00 Buy It Now 1 day
ROCK 45 RPM RECORD - QUIET RIOT - PASHA ZS4 04505 - PROMO USD $10.00 Buy It Now 1 day
ISLEY BROTHERS 45 THE PRIDE (PART I) MONO/STEREO EX TNECK ZS8 2262 SOUL PROMO USD $2.00 [0 bids]
USD $5.00 Buy It Now
1 day
ROCK 45 RPM RECORD - ROXANNE - SCOTTI BROTHERS ZS4 07724 - PROMO USD $10.00 Buy It Now 1 day
MFSB - The Zip / My Mood 7" VG+ ZS83578 Vinyl 45 Philadelphia International USD $8.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Philadelphia International Stars - Clean Up The Ghetto 7" VG+ ZS83627 Vinyl 45 USD $8.00 Buy It Now 1 day
ALMETA LATIMER La La DE-VEL ZS7 6754 Sweet Soul Mono/Stereo 45 USD $19.95 Buy It Now 1 day
Xe - Zs CD-JEWEL CASE USD $19.45 Buy It Now 1 day
1967 Small Faces 45 RPM Record Immediate ZS7 501 "Itchycoo Park/I'm Only Dreamin USD $4.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Vtg John Schneider~It's Now Or Never 45 Single Scotti Bros. Records ?- ZS6 02105 USD $4.00 [0 bids]
1 day
ALEXANDER O'NEAL FEATURING CHERRELLE 7'' vinyl SINGLE, 1985, TABU, ZS4 07646 USD $2.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Johnny Cash The General Lee Promo Mono/Stereo1982 ZS5 02803 EX USD $0.95 [0 bids]
1 day
Gail Davies #ZS8-1784 Someone is looking for someone like you / Soft spoken man USD $2.00 [0 bids]
1 day
Dee Dee Sharp Gamble "Nobody Could" Northern Modern Soul Phily ZS8 3625 Demo USD $3.98 [0 bids]
1 day
The O'Jays "Work On Me" Northern Modern Soul Phily ZS8 3631 Demo USD $3.98 [0 bids]
1 day
LOU RAWLS ONE LIFE TO LIVE/YOU'LL NEVER FIND ANOTHER LOVE LIKE MINE ZS8 3770 7" USD $2.78 Buy It Now 1 day
Harold Melvin Bluenotes "Satisfaction" Northern Modern Soul Phily ZS7 3543 Demo USD $3.98 [1 bids]
1 day
Bal zs Szokolay - Romantic Piano Music 3 [New CD] USD $8.47 Buy It Now 1 day
CBS ZS8 3550 The Three Degrees Year Of Decision & When Will I See You Again? USD $4.50 Buy It Now 1 day
Lou Rawls - See You When I Git There / Spring Again 7" VG+ ZS8 3623 Vinyl 45 USA USD $8.00 Buy It Now 1 day
ZS 75 Ronald Binge Saxophone Concerto etc. / Voss / Binge NM/EX Lp 1971 USD $17.25 Buy It Now 1 day
ELO (ZS5 02408) Hold on Tight/When Time Stood Still 45 Record USD $2.75 [0 bids]
1 day
Layng Martine - Rub It In / Live On The Sunshine 7" VG+ ZS7 2041 Vinyl 45 USD $7.00 Buy It Now 1 day
WEIRD AL YANKOVIC Like A Surgeon/Slime Creatures ROCKnROLL ZS4 04937 w/PS USD $1.99 [0 bids]
1 day
Brick - SOUL promo 45 Dancin' Man-Stereo/Mono -Bana Records ZS8 4804 1979 - VG++ USD $4.25 Buy It Now 1 day
SURVIVOR Summer Nights 45 VG+ Take You on A Saturday Scotti Brothers ZS5-02700 USD $11.96 Buy It Now 1 day
Quiet Riot - Cum on Feel The Noize 7" Vinyl Promo USA ZS4 04005 USD $6.29 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