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Art Zoyd - 44 1/2 : Live and Unreleased Works 12 x CDs + 2 x DVDs box set with book. 'Art Zoyd is a quartet, but their instrumental arsenal produces the sound of a mighty orchestra.' – The New York Times
Originally founded as a psychedelic / progressive rock band in France in 1969, with the arrival of soon-to-be co-leaders Gerard Hourbette and Thierry Zaboitzeff in 1971 and then with the departure of the band's founder, the group radically changed direction. By 1975 they were no longer a ‘rock' band with guitars and drums, the band were now a based around the unique sounds of violins, electric bass and cello and trumpet, with additional instrumentation.
In 1976, Art Zoyd released their first album, toured with Magma and within a few years were invited to become one of only eight members of the Rock In Opposition Movement, a musician-led organization of some of the most cutting edge bands from Europe who banded together to increase their opportunities for work.
By the early 1980s, they were touring internationally and were a figurehead of ‘new music' or ‘avant rock'. Beginning in the mid 80s into the mid 90s, they were at their peak renown, collaborating with choreographer Roland Petit, who commissioned them to work with him on a full ballet: Le Marriage Du Ciel et De L'Enfer (The Marriage Of Heaven & Hell) as well as performing live, self-penned soundtracks to classic silent films such as Nosferatu, Faust and Haxan. Concurrent with this period and their work in ballet and with films, the music shifts towards a more electronic, stripped-down and modern sound during this era.
In 2014, after a period of inactivity, Gerard and Thierry began to speak to each other about the idea of performing some retrospective concerts to celebrate their many achievements and performing as much music from the past as was practical in a concert with as many old collaborators as could be included. The first of these events was held in September 2015 at the Rock In Opposition Festival in Carmaux, France.
This 14-disc set is an outgrowth of the celebration of the decades of Art Zoyd's far-sighted musical work.
Every CD is filled to the bursting with nearly 80' of music. There are basically eight CDs of live recordings stretching from the years 1972-2004 and four CDs of studio recordings, sketches and outtakes from 1980-2005.
Of the two DVDs, one is comprised of historical television appearances from the late 70s into the end of the 80s and the other being the entire performance of their celebration at the RIO Festival. This is what is included in the box set...
“Art Zoyd is a quartet, but their instrumental arsenal produces the sound of a mighty orchestra.”
– The New York Times
“...the uncompromising classic 1982 opus Phase IV is justifiably considered one of the group's peak accomplishments. The Rock in Opposition co-founders marry dark, unsettling atmospherics à la Univers Zero to precise minimalist constructs with hints of Philip Glass or Steve Reich.”
“Art Zoyd...is one of the most important collectives in the world - dangerous and challenging.”
– The Absolute Sound
“...a description of Art Zoyd can not be contained in a single adjective.”
– New York Post