Top Bar
Musique Machine Logo Home ButtonReviews ButtonArticles ButtonBand Specials ButtonAbout Us Button
SearchGo Down
Search for  
With search mode in section(s)
And sort the results by
show articles written by  
 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Go to the Zaar website  Zaar - n/t [Cuneiform - 2005]

The hurdygurdy is not much used in contemporary music, although it could be more logical than than one could suspect. It’s a common instrument in western European folkmusic where part of the current rocksound (the folkmusic of today) originates from as well. So for a French band to pick it up isn’t as strange as it may seem.

A technical problem would be with the bourdon strings are on a hurdygurdy: they just drone on in one key, so you can't use them freely with all chords, particularly not in the area of progressive rock where it's quite common to play with tonal centres. This problem is tackled by not using them, which has as a downside that it takes away a little of the idiosyncratic sound of the instrument. The ‘rock’ that Zaar (formed by ex-members of Sotos plays is more in the tradition of King Crimson, Univers Zero and other members of the prog and chamber rock canon. Complex (instrumental) constructs played with the power and instrumentation of a rockband.

On Zaar’s debut we find two epics of almost 20 minutes each named Sefir and Omk. The rest of the album has shorter songs, sometimes miniatures of less than 2 minutes even. These extremes are also found in what you hear: from very soft and friendly sounding parts to monumental psychedelic soundscapes. These are kept to minimum though, so it’s not like the listener is pummeled with ongoing outbursts of aggression. The most unique aspect of the quartet's sound is the hurdygurdy though, if you think away that the music sounds maybe a bit too familiar, if you’re used to the music of Henry Cow and such, that is.

I expected a somewhat grittier sound, with both folkmusic and the more avantgarde use of the hurdygurdy by Haino Keiji in mind. I think they could build on that aspect some more, although this might be a result of the recording process that it sounds a bit too tidy and clean. I can imagine that this band in the live-environment sounds more gruff. I hope they’ll catch that on the next album, but for now this CD is a promising start.

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Latest Reviews

Zaar - n/t
The hurdygurdy is not much used in contemporary music, although it could be more logical than than one could suspect. It’s a common instrument in western Eur...
011222   Colossloth - Promethean Meat
011222   Maschinenzimmer 412 - Macht D...
011222   Orders To Kill - Orders To Ki...
011222   Jesper Nordin - Vicinities
011222   Satan’s Little Helper - Satan...
011222   The Son Of The Devil - The S...
301122   Black Candles - Black Candles...
291122   .Nightmare Symphony - Nightma...
281122   There Was A Fish In The Perco...
281122   Planet Shithead/Dosis Letalis...
Latest Articles

Hastings of Malawi - Deliriously ...
Formed in the early 1980s, after the member's sonic dabbling’s on the early Nurse With Wound records, Hastings Of Malawi took a decidedly busy and deta...
231122   Hastings of Malawi - Deliriou...
011122   Raffaele Pezzella - Pursuing ...
111022   Fouke - Bigfoot walled noise
150922   Joe Sherlock - The King of mo...
230822   Sdug Bsngal - Some Scars Run ...
020822   The Night Porter & Slowgurn p...
200622   The Worse Album In The World ...
240522   Noir On Powerhouse Films - Fr...
260422   Schloss Tegal - Back To The ...
230322   The Residents - Fifty Years ...
Go Up
(c) Musique Machine 2001 -2017. Celebrating 16 years of true independence!! Mail Us at questions=at=musiquemachine=dot=comBottom