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ZAUSS

RIO/Avant-Prog • Multi-National


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Zauss biography
ZAUSS is an improvisation duo consisting of Italian guitarist/composer Francesco Zago and Swiss saxophonist/composer Markus Stauss. Hailing from Basel, Stauss has also been involved with Belgian Avant outfit FINNEGANS WAKE and jazz-rock band ▄BERFALL. Milan-born Zago, on the other hand, is known for his work with YUGEN and NOT A GOOD SIGN, as well as the co-founder of cutting-edge Italian label AltrOck Records. Stauss and Zago have also collaborated on projects such as KURAI and SPALTKLANG.

In 2005 Zago and Stauss started performing under the name of Neolithicum Duo, which was changed to ZAUSS (a combination of their last names) when the two artists decided to release a CD of their live improvisations. The CD, titled "Neulich Neben der Grenze", also included two new compositions, and was released in November 2006. It was followed in 2011 by "▄berall In Terra Straniera Borders Beyond", and by "Notturno Leise im Wind" in 2012. The duo's latest recording effort, "Diafonia Leitmotiv Waves", based on a session that took place in Tradate (Italy) in the summer of 2013, was released in 2014. All of ZAUSS' albums were recorded at Basel's Ton-Art Studio, mixed and mastered by Stauss' long-time collaborator Benno Hofer, and released on Stauss' own label, Fazzul Music.

Raffaella Berry (Raff)

Zauss official website

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Buy ZAUSS Music


Neulich Neben Der GrenzeNeulich Neben Der Grenze
Fazzul Music
Audio CD$21.23
$17.99 (used)

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ZAUSS discography


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

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

3.00 | 1 ratings
Neulich Neben der Grenze
2006
3.00 | 2 ratings
▄berall In Terra Straniera Borders Beyond
2011
3.50 | 2 ratings
Notturno Leise im Wind
2012
3.00 | 1 ratings
Diafonia Leitmotiv Waves
2014

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

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

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

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

ZAUSS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Diafonia Leitmotiv Waves by ZAUSS album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Diafonia Leitmotiv Waves
Zauss RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

— First review of this album —
3 stars International project ZAUSS consists of Italian guitarist Francesco Zago and Swiss saxophone player Markus Stauss, who have collaborated on a number of different projects over the years. Zauss is the name given to the sole project involving just those two, and so far four albums have been released under this moniker. "Diafonia Leitmotiv Waves" is the most recent of those, and was released through Stauss' own label Fazzul Music in 2014.

The creative partnership of Francesco Zago and Markus Stauss continues to explore music at the edge of what many people would describe as music on their fourth production. Avant-garde, challenging and demanding, to the extent of making a good call for being a poster child of those expressions, arguably to be sorted somewhere on the borderlands between avant-garde progressive rock and avant-garde jazz. Those who have a taste for both those types of music strike me as the perfect audience for this specific album, and in particular those who have an affection for the more daring excursions of this type of music.

 Notturno Leise im Wind by ZAUSS album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.50 | 2 ratings

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Notturno Leise im Wind
Zauss RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars International project ZAUSS consists of Italian guitarist Francesco Zago and Swiss saxophone player Markus Stauss, who have collaborated on a number of different projects over the years. Zauss is the name given to the sole project involving just those two, and so far four albums have been released under this moniker. "Notturno Leise im Wind" is the third of those, and was released through Stauss' own label Fazzul music in 2012.

Zauss is a project that hones in on the most challenging aspects of avant-garde jazz. Instrumental, not relying all that much on conventionally compelling melodies or harmonies, with a liberal use of dramatic, twisted effects, sounds and instrumental movements that demand a lot from the listener. In this case arguably not quite as challenging as on their previous album, but my conclusion for this production will be the same as with their previous one. Those who enjoy challenging avant-garde instrumental music with liberal amounts of improvisational movements, and find the use of abrasive effects and various kinds of noisescapes to be refreshing additions to such performances, should know their visiting time with this one.

 ▄berall In Terra Straniera Borders Beyond by ZAUSS album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.00 | 2 ratings

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▄berall In Terra Straniera Borders Beyond
Zauss RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars International project ZAUSS consists of Italian guitarist Francesco Zago and Swiss saxophone player Markus Stauss, who have collaborated on a number of different projects over the years. Zauss is the name given to the sole project involving just those two, and so far four albums have been released under this moniker. "Uberall in Terra Straniara Borders Beyond" is the second of those, and was released through Stauss' own label Fazzul Music in 2011.

Challenging instrumental music with at times strong orientations towards free improvisations is the material you will encounter on this album. Avant-garde jazz having a meeting with what many would describe as freely improvised music, although perhaps not quite as oriented towards free-form jazz as many other such ventures. Those who enjoy this type of music, and find the use of abrasive effects and various kinds of noisescapes to be refreshing additions to such performances, should know their visiting time with this one.

 Notturno Leise im Wind by ZAUSS album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.50 | 2 ratings

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Notturno Leise im Wind
Zauss RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Review originally posted at www.therocktologist.com

This is the latest release of this international duo Zauss, consisting of Francesco Zago from Italy and Markus Stauss of Switzerland, as I mentioned in my review of their previous album, their music is not really easy to dig because they are part an improvisational band, with jams and free jazz sessions that in one song can surprise you with chaos and craziness, while in others they offer soundscapes and relaxing moments, this may be their charm, but is a double-edge knife because you either may enjoy it or feel bored.

Here, they give us 12 compositions that range from 2 to 9 minutes length, making a total time of 68 minutes. It starts with "Ein Riesenwusel" which has some soft seconds at the beginning but soon explodes with great sax craziness and experimental guitars that never disappear, so here the introductory track is quite loony at least the most of it, because the last couple of minutes it calms down and offer soundscapes. In "Schegge" a dark atmosphere is created, soft and far sounds can be perceived, cautious and tense, it is like a scary film in which all of a sudden something will happen and get the [&*!#] out of you, in this song it does not happen, but that sense of tension made me feel it would explode sooner than later.

"Morgenr÷te" has some somber moments like the previous one, however here the music becomes like tender, the guitar work made me feel peaceful and with a tranquilizing feeling, my mind feels relaxed and I can take a breath in my life, and enjoy my course, this might be one of my favourite Zauss' tracks. "Make a Zauss Noise Here" brings their jazziest side, in the free experimental jazz vein so here you can listen to a prominent saxophone while the guitar supports with some background notes.

"Tribal Music" is pretty experimental (well, actually the whole Zauss catalogue) here we will listen to several odd passages, loops and expectant noises. In "Pulviscolare" the sax returns to its main role, it is not quiet anymore, here it talks again while the Frippertronics sounds are constantly feeding the music. "Leisse im wind" is the longest track here, it is somber, dark, atmospheric, scary, etc. I love how simple noises can produce several images and feelings, so I create a story and imagine it, like watching a film or something.

"Mutazione" actually represents what the name suggests, we can listen to several musical mutations within its length, and also imagine some things like industrial machines, so we are mutating from a natural to an industrial life. "Echi imprevisti" is the shortest track here, a two-minute impro of craziness. "Vibrationen" has two or three calm minutes until the vibrations becomes a bit chaotic, repetitive and disturbing in the good sense of the word. "Carving air" is one of the most interesting tracks, I like its progression and the different nuances produced, it is not plain at all and I enjoy every single sound they bring.

The album finishes with another long one, "Big Breath" which shows the fast and craziness that the first track had, so we would think the album would be like this, but no. Well, I think I have not been that useful with these reviews since its music is hard to describe (to enjoy music you don't need to describe anything) however I hope you can have a slice of what Zauss sound is about. I liked more this album than its 2011 predecessor. My final grade 8 out of 10.

Enjoy it!

 ▄berall In Terra Straniera Borders Beyond by ZAUSS album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.00 | 2 ratings

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▄berall In Terra Straniera Borders Beyond
Zauss RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Review originally posted at www.therocktologist.com

Zauss is a project from a couple of talented musicians who join forces in order to offer original music in the vein of jazz, they are Markus Stauss and Francesco Zago, who have been working together for almost a decade. This album "▄berall in terra straniera borders beyond" was released in 2011 and contains one hour of music divided in 13 tracks, here you will listen to free jazz, improvisations, soundscapes, great music.

The album opens with "Hymn" in which they offer a soft entrance to their realm, here the sax sounds very soft, while the guitar creates some atmospheric sounds that are really tranquilizing. With "Senza nessuna eleganza" the craziness appears for the first time, the first seconds are an explosion of sax covered by guitars, it has nothing to do with the opener track, here the chaos is present and though later the sound changes a little bit after two minutes, that crazy sensation prevails. The chat between sax and guitar can be appreciated once again in "Bewegung" whose sound is also crazy and chaotic, they are having a nice chat until they get nervous and talk faster, they are answering each other. At minute 3 everything calms down.

"Moods" does not have the previous craziness, it has a softer mood and an inherent experimental face; the chat between both instruments is almost always present but in different forms, here I imagine they are talking about science or something like that. I believe when one can imagine things is because the music succeeded, so go figure. "Pastorale" has an interesting sound, I like how the sax is repeating itself and the intensity increases and decreases constantly, while the guitar is creating background soundscapes. This is one of my favorite tracks of the album.

"Wendepunkt" has cadency in its sound, the saxophone in moments is even sexy, while the guitar adds some grains of sand here and there in the first two minutes, then it puts more energy and in moments reminds me of King Crimson. "Earthquake" is not that chaotic as the title suggests, it has some tension on it nevertheless, they maybe are announcing it will be something terrible soon, but not now. The music could be used for a science fiction film, actually. "Kontaktspiel" returns to the crazy world of Zauss, when both instruments plays endless notes without a clear direction, but implement energy on it and seems they are having fun.

"Quisquilla" is soft once again, with those delicate and delicious saxophone touches, here the interest thing is that the song changes direction several times because later it becomes crazier and then softer, like a rollercoaster. The shorter tracks are "Little Quakes" and "Strahlen" with 2 minutes length each. The first one honors its name because of all a sudden we can listen to little notes, little noises here and there; the second one has longer plays, I mean, they are not little noises but long sax passages.

"Migrazione" is a longer track and here the guitar reminds me a lot of Robert Fripp's style in his soundscapes sessions, there is an inherent Crimsonian sound here. The album finishes with "Meandering" a six-minute improvisation which has the same style as the previous one.

Well, I must admit Zauss has not been an easy listen to me, I've given them several spins, but I believe their style may be difficult to dig. I think this has been my least favorite project of the ones Markus has introduced to me, which doesn't mean it is a weak project, not at all, after all it is all a matter of taste. My final grade 7 out of 10.

Enjoy it!

 Neulich Neben der Grenze by ZAUSS album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Neulich Neben der Grenze
Zauss RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

— First review of this album —
3 stars Review orignially posted at www.therocktologist.com

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!

Thanks to raff for the artist addition.

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