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Zaum biography
ZAUM is a band from Naples that formed in the late 1970s but did not record until 1998. The band was formed by CLAUDIO D'ERRICO (seated at front) and he was the only original member by 1998, when the second formation (pictured) included MARCO SANTANA (drums), MAURO ROMANO (bass), PASQUALE SETOLA (vocals). This is the line-up which recorded Materialismus and they split up around 2000. The studio songs were recorded at Capri Digital Studios and the album features live material as well.
The retrospective album was finally released by Psych-Up Melodies in 2012.

D'Errico, who penned the majority of the material, is said by PsychUp to be influenced by AREA, CANZONIERE DEL LAZIO, and other Italian bands, along with HENRY COW. The other guys were much younger and sound informed by 90s alternative rock. Materialismus is a fusion of Area-styled wild RPI, alternative rock, and a good dose of funk. It's an excellent album and a must-hear for fans of harder-edged modern RPI.

The ZAUM story is not over. Leader D'Errico is working on a new album with Psych-Up Melodies own FABRIZIO DI VICINO, the results of which should appear in 2013. With new people and different goals in mind, the new album promises to be quite different from Materialismus.

-Jim Russell/Finnforest

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Psychedelic Doom 2014
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ZAUM discography

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

3.34 | 6 ratings
3.49 | 5 ratings
Plus De Viande Dans Les Saucisses

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

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ZAUM Reviews

Showing last 10 reviews only
 Plus De Viande Dans Les Saucisses by ZAUM album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.49 | 5 ratings

Plus De Viande Dans Les Saucisses
Zaum Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Italian band ZAUM was formed sometime in the late 1970's, but never got around to record anything until 20 years later. By that time a creative vehicle of sole founding member Claudio D'Errico. These recordings didn't see an actual release until another 10 or so years had gone by, but following the archival release of their debut album "Materialismus" in 2012 the band revitalized into a new line-up. In 2013 this new version of Zaum issued their second album "Plus de Viande Dans les Saucisses". As with their debut album through fledgling Italian label Psych Up Melodies.

As peculiar as the history of this band is, their music is even more so. At least this latest incarnation of Zaum is one that will leave many people scratching their heads and on a number of different levels too. Not because of lack of talent, the material here is well made and thought out for the most part, but due to certain stylistic clashes that won't ever give this album an appeal beyond a limited crowd of people.

Still, Il Suono Vero does open this disc in an enticing manner, a spirited pop oriented affair with a 1970's sheen to it with a mood and atmosphere that reminds you of summer and happy occasions. A piece that does conclude with a minute long acoustic psychedelic sequence mind you, adding a peculiar little bit also to this inviting opening track. But from this point and onwards Zaum takes their listeners on for a ride into rather peculiar territories.

A key element throughout are the vocals of Fabiana Fazio. Sharp, melodic and intense they add a distinct dramatic flair to the proceedings, and in a manner that gives me associations to jazz first and foremost. At her most intense mode of delivery, which we're treated to a couple of times, her voice moves closer to the likes of Janis Joplin admittedly, but her vocal approach, choice of tonal ranges and mode of delivery tends to give me a distinct jazz association. Frequently emphasized by details by bass and drums both, occasionally by the guitar and nifty wandering piano motifs as well.

The guitar, and a presumably acoustic one which is extensively used, adds a folk music sheen to the proceedings. Occasionally strengthened by percussion, flute and accordion. A second guitar motif supplements now and then, serving both jazz-tinged and psychedelic oriented details. The latter aspect also catered for by keyboard textures on occasion.

This adds up to compositions that blend folk-oriented music, jazz and psychedelic rock to various degrees, always with the distinct vocals on top of this mostly odd sounding instrumental amalgam. Frequently charming constructions I might add, but also puzzling, and just about always with an odd quality to them. Music that arguably may be described as innovative, most certainly a bit off kilter, and while this mix of styles most likely have been taken on by others previously I don't think anyone has done it in this particular manner.

If you have an interest in music that explores territories well away from paths explored by others, appreciates music made as art that strives to do something in a different manner and you suspect that a blend of jazz, psychedelic rock and folk music will appeal to you, Zaum's second album "Plus de Viande Dans les Saucisses" is one that merits a listen. Whether you'll be among the presumably select audience that appreciates what they do I can't tell, but I suspect I can promise with a fair bit of safety that this is a band that explore a style and sound combination you haven't encountered before.

 Plus De Viande Dans Les Saucisses by ZAUM album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.49 | 5 ratings

Plus De Viande Dans Les Saucisses
Zaum Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Finnforest
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars A new line-up but the exotic flavors remain

Zaum is the ongoing musical adventure of Claudio D'Errico of Naples, Italy. Formed in the 1970s, the band saw many line-up changes and did not record until 1998. Their first album "Materialismus" was "a fusion of Area-styled wild RPI, alternative rock, and a good dose of funk" and was released in 2012 by Psych-Up Melodies. Zaum is back in 2013 with "Plus De Viande Dans Les Saucisses" (also from Psych-Up Melodies.) This album of all newly recorded material features an entirely new band behind D'Errico: vocalist Fabiana Fazio, Alfredo Mercaldo on keys, Fabrizio Di Vicino on bass, and Corrado Fusco on drums.

The only consistency between the first and second Zaum albums is the spirit of strangeness and an "anything goes" attitude. The young guys who gave the first album a bit on a 90s alt rock feel are gone. This album sports a jazzier, subtler, somewhat more laid-back feel to the music while injecting even more eclecticism by twisting away from most remnant of traditional RPI and borrowing from club, jazz, avant-garde, world music, and even some folk music element. The band is cool enough with D'Errico's interesting songs and some really inspired playing by the other guys, but the secret spice in this dish is vocalist Fabiana Fazio. Her singing and flute add much in terms of variety and appeal. I always enjoy RPI projects where a strong feminine presence is introduced to the boys club.

"Il suono vero" begins as almost-Crossover with nice vocal harmonies and layered guitar. D'Errico consistently does a nice job of throwing in bits of acoustic guitar or mandolin behind the electric instruments, giving a richness to the sound, whether simply strumming or doing more complex lead work. In other places however things can be very sparse so you can easily hear what the players are doing. After a bluesy diversion in "Hellhounds" they go to vocal jazz in "Ombre roce", almost entirely acoustic and e-piano I believe. Fazio does pretty well here given the sometimes crazy waters she's dealing with....sometimes her approach is "pretty" but other times more "in your face" aggressive. "Fluxus" has an exotic feel with a heavy bass and wild, manipulated guitar work. " O guarracine" is just fantastic, using orchestration, handclaps, and mandolin to set a folk mood, before lurching to a rapid-fire vocal and percussion bit. So many flavors! The final three tracks get particularly saucy with some intense vocals and lovely flute playing. This album is a bit like a night on the town in a strange, romantic city. A bit too much wine, the fragrance of a night breeze, the disorienting movement of unfamiliar streets and faces. Intoxicating music, as it should be.

Zaum is not a band for fans of textbook, melodic prog and thus won't please everyone. But if you love adventurous and mischievous bands who toil in the underground, making their music for the sheer love of it, you might check them out. I really enjoyed this album!

 Materialismus by ZAUM album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.34 | 6 ratings

Zaum Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars The majority of late-70's Art Rock bands in Italy hadn't the chance to record a regular disc and Zaum were no exception.Led by guitarist/singer Claudio D'Errico, Zaum were unlucky to release anything even in the 90's with a fresh and younger line-up and the band split up for good around 2000.Fabricio Di Vicino of Psych Up Melodies has become an expert of surfacing obscure efforts from recent and far past and in 2012 he offered some recordings by Zaum, captured either live or in studio between 1997 and 1999.

Claudio D'Errico remained the leading figure of the band, featuring also Marco Santana on drums, Mauro Romano on bass and Pasqule Setola on vocals with the help of Peppe Sannino on percussion.The style of this group is simply very weird, like if AREA were born in the 90's and had left their Fusion side for more funky and heavier adventures.Of course Claudio D'Errico is no Demetrio Stratos, his voice though is all over the place and has a very theatrical twist.The music of Zaum is atonal and groovy, being the main characteristics of the album.A combination of heavy riffs, funky bass lines, dynamic drumming and poetic lyricism, which draws influences from Jazz, Funk and Alternative/Heavy Rock.There are also some good breaks within the short tracks, taking each song from a joyful mood to an aggressive atmosphere.The problems of this release though are several.Firstly there is total abscence of any kind of melodies, making the whole material quite forgettable.Additionally ''Materialismus'' is heavily vocal-oriented and you get constantly a feeling that the listening needs a breeze of instrumental air.The similarity between the tracks is also a negative factor.Heavy grooves, funky rhythms, quasi improvised sections are the basic characteristics in every track.Undoubtfully the talent is there, it just seems the group is stuck in a specific sound all the way.

Zaum's previously unreleased material was a good reason for D'Errico to reform the group, which hopefully comes up with a more creative style in the near future.''Materialismus'' is a decent listening for fans of more Experimental Rock forms, but the lack of proggy elements will hardly make it an essential addition for a prog fan...2.5 stars.

 Materialismus by ZAUM album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.34 | 6 ratings

Zaum Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars If I understand matters correctly, Italian band ZAUM started out in the 1970's, disbanded without ever releasing any material and then reformed with a new line-up in the 1990's. Prior to disbanding again in 2000 they recorded an album's worth of material that had been awaiting release for a good few years. But thanks to Italian label Psych Up Melodies "Materialismus" was finally made available to the public at large in 2012.

And it is a fairly innovative production we're dealing with in this case. An album of the kind that is just as hard to describe as to place within a specific context, and those keen on organizing their music into a fixed predescribed category will get a serious migraine from this one. Eclectic is something of a key word I guess.

The core of the band appears to be 70's jazzrock however, and liberally flavoured with funk at that. Intricate, energetic drum patterns and Latin-flavourd percussion are mainstay elements, supplemented by driving funky bass motifs that occasionally strays close to P-funk territories if I my impressions and music history is more or less correct, with sometimes gentle, sometimes lazy and occasionally psych-flavoured jazz rock guitar licks added to the proceedings. And on top, a lead vocalist that can shout like a brother from Harlem just as easy as smoothly and harmonic can produce lead vocals that would fit in gentle, emotional folk music. Add in occasional tribal inspired rhythm sections and backing vocal effects as well as subtle, eerie sound effects and you cover this bands repertoire quite nicely. Almost.

An additional factor brought into play here are dramatic inserts. Just about when you're used to the amalgam described above, then Zaum decides to shift gears, adding dark-toned, haunting and most often massive guitar riffs to the proceedings. Sometimes briefly for dramatic effect, sometimes as an elongated feature, other times they develop back to the opening theme(s) again from this brutal intermission and they also utilize as an effect switching between the gentle and harder part of their sonic palette. Unpredictable is a word that does indeed come to mind.

The interesting bit is that it works pretty well too. Best of all on Mò l'omme in my personal opinion, and the slightly subtler use of dramatic effects for the live take of Ombra Roce that ends this disc is another piece I'd pull forth as an example of this band at their very, very best.

The subtly psych and world music tinged jazzrock of Zaum, complete with dramatic metal-oriented inserts, isn't a package that will interest anyone, the sheer eclectic nature of this production will most likely limit their core audience quite a lot. But those who generally find themselves intrigued by innovative, creative exploits that look at genre convictions as boundaries to be broken down and uniform stylistic expressions as an enemy that needs to be eradicated should try out this production for size. It should suit those who identify themselves with such a description quite nicely.

 Materialismus by ZAUM album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.34 | 6 ratings

Zaum Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Finnforest
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Area reincarnated? Not quite, but fantastic!

Zaum is without question one of the wildest and most exciting bands I've heard in a while and fit wonderfully into my weird taste profile. As we were doing the difficult evaluation of this band, which crosses several sound styles, two of the team members piped up simultaneously that the band was a bit like an "Area" in a different era. At times this is how they rubbed me, all the banshee abandon spirit of Area, with their own respectable chops but with slightly different influences. Whereas Area were from the heart of the classic RPI time period and pursued jazz and avant avenues (amongst others), Zaum seemingly adds inspiration from 1990s alternative rock to the party. You can almost hear the eclectic guitar/vocal edge of System Of A Down and the nasty grit-funk of Red Hot Chili Peppers thrown in for good measure. Invigorating as hell, energetic, eclectic, and exciting. This is an album for fans of the wilder RPI....for fans of groups like Osanna, Balletto di Bronzo, and yes, even Area.

Zaum's origins date to the 1970s but they did not record "Materialismus" until 1998. The recording remained unreleased until the wonderful PsychUp Melodies (a newer label run by Fabrizio Di Vicino and specializing in unique, challenging music) made it available to the world. "Ma Pure" begins immediately running 110 mph with a thick groove and a saucy call/response vocal--sounds like it could have been on RHCP's "One Hot Minute." Bongo drums and a manic flute cover the heavy guitar and bass. "Ombra Roce" just floored me the first time I heard it! I swear the opening wails are an homage to Balletto di Bronzo, the vocal sounding just like Gianni Leone doing some "YS" outtake. A darkness pervades the track, with tablas and a lone bass guitar dancing behind these eerie vocals. The title track is so damn heavy with the guitar running counter of these keyboard scales, then backing off into a soft jazzy groove with lilting vocals and sound effects. There are soft moments to contrast the heaviness but it's hard to capture the prevailing mood other than pointing out the obvious aggression and love of chaos. "Mo L'omme" gives us a folksy acoustic guitar to contrast pure heavy sludge. The live closer "Viecchie" is a Napoli Centrale cover, a glimpse of pure freak-out with blaring saxophone, dissonant keys, punkish vocals, and driving rhythm. The entire experience leaves one pretty breathless, this is a band who wants to steamroll you. They sure as hell pushed me down the stairs.

Highly recommended to fans of the sauciest RPI, along with those who love eclectic, rowdy, grungy-funky jamming. For now the album is only available via download from Psych-Up Melodies website, but a CD release is planned.

Thanks to finnforest for the artist addition.

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