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♠ List of known Univers Zero concerts and
who was in the band at the time
In 1970, at the age of 17, DENIS, along with Jean-Luc Manderlier, form
ARKHAM, an avant-garde rock trio. After opening for Magma, both musicians
were invited to join Magma and, in 1972, they play some concerts with
MAGMA. After that Denis joined Supersister for a single concert in 1973.
NECRONOMICON, a new group co-founded with Claude Deron, evolves into UNIVERS
ZERO in 1974
At that time, the writing of the music is very much a collective effort,
and remains strongly influenced by electric jazz music. Following the
departure of the brass instruments and the arrival of reed instruments
in the form of the oboe and the bassoon, played by Michel BERCKMANS, a
musical re-orientation takes place
Univers Zero 2004
The music takes on a more personal expression, largely due to the new
compositions contributed by TRIGAUX and DENIS.
After a number of line-up changes, the overall sound is augmented by a
harmonium and a harpsichord (played by Emmanuel NICAISE) and a second
violin (Marcel DUFRANE). UZ has now found the right balance in its combination
of acoustic and electric instruments. The double achievement of a homogeneous
sound and compositions bearing their personal stamp encourage them to
venture into the recording studio. The resulting debut album „1313“
is entirely self-produced. In 1978 UZ joins four other groups from different
countries (HENRY COW, SAMLA MAMMAS MANNA, STORMY SIX, ETRON FOU LELOUBLANC)
to set up „ROCK IN OPPOSITION“. A number of concerts abroad
follow, some of them in a combined line-up with ART ZOYD in France.
In 1979 UZ record their second album, „HERESIE“. It contains
compositions of considerable length, which strive to convey extreme emotions
of an increasingly sombre mood. Following tours of Sweden, Italy and France,
(and the departure of Roger Trigaux, who starts his own group, PRESENT),
the group is joined by Andy KIRK on keyboards.
In 1980 UZ tour France (including a concert at the „PRINTEMPS de
BOURGES“ festival), Yugoslavia, Switzerland and the Netherlands.
Andy KIRK now begins to contribute compositions of his own for the group,
whose musical scope continues to widen.
After the recording of their third album, „CEUX DU DEHORS“,
the group comes to a temporary halt in 1981. Various financial problems
hamper the group in finding its proper equilibrium, eventually threatening
its very existence.
After several months of inactivity a new-formula UZ resumes touring, now
with Dirk DESCHEEMAEKER on clarinet, and Alan WARD on violin.
Their heavy touring schedule in 1981 and 1982 - Belgium, the UK, Scandinavia,
Germany, Switzerland and France - only leaves time for the recording of
a maxi-single, „CRAWLING WIND“, issued by Recommended Records
Japan. A new line-up change in 1983 brings in Jean-Luc PLOUVIER on keyboards
and André MERGEN on cello, doubling on saxophone, as well as heralding
the return of Christian GENET on bass guitar. This band plays some concerts
in Belgium, Germany and France before recording their fifth album, „UZED“.
Now comprising seven musicians, UNIVERS ZERO play some concerts in Belgium,
notably for the „année européenne de la musique“
in 1985, and get rave reviews for their appearance at the Frankfurt Jazz
Festival the following year.
Harassed by continual financial problems, a total lack of management,
and mounting tension within the band, Daniel DENIS decides to call it
a day, after recording a final album, „HEATWAVE“, towards
the end of 1986.
Daniel DENIS begins working on his own, and releases two solo albums,
„SIRIUS AND THE GHOSTS“ and „LES EAUX TROUBLES“,
before joining the French group ART ZOYD for a seven-year period.
In 1997 a resurrected UZ, comprising, among others, Daniel DENIS, Andy
KIRK and Guy SEGERS, play a one-off concert at the Musiques Actuelles
festival at Victoriaville, Canada. The band has reconvened especially
for this one concert only and no further concerts or recordings ensue.
In 1998 Daniel DENIS and Michel BERCKMANS reunite to record three new
UNIVERS ZERO CDs: „THE HARD QUEST“ (1999), „RHYTHMIX“
(2001), and „IMPLOSION“ (2003), choosing various guest musicians
suited to the requirements of each composition.
In 2004 Univers Zéro, after recording Implosion, Denis and Berckmans decided to reunite Univers Zéro as a permanent band, in a form of septet. It was formed by: Denis (drums), Berckmans (bassoon, oboe, english horn), Peter Vanderberghe (keyboards), Martin LAUWERS (violin), Kurt BUDÉ (clarinet, saxophone.), Erin Plantain (bass) and Philippe SEYNAEVE (videos and projections). Along the last years, due to other commitments, SEYNAEVE, PLANTAIN and VANDERBERGHE left. The band has no projectionist anymore; Vanderberghe was replaced temporarily by Andy KIRK, and after Univers Zéro had a period with two keyboard players when Pierre CHEVALIER (from Present) joined and is now the only and permanent keyboard player. Finally Dimitri EVERS joined on bass. Since then, Univers Zéro has played in several countries in Europe and North America, took part of several festivals, including a double bill with Present at Rock In Opposition Festival 2009, where they played as a single band, released a Live and a studio CD, an archive CD and remastered their two first albums. Clivages, their last studio CD, was released in 2010 and nominated the best progressive rock CD by the forum of specialized site Progarchives.
List of known Univers Zero concerts and who was
in the band at the time
Univers Zero 1979