Relaps : Archives 1984-1986
01. L'Etrange Mixture du Docteur Schwartz
04. Ligne Claire
07. The Funeral Plain
08. L'Etrange Mixture du Docteur Schwartz (free-style version)
Michel Delory - guitar (5, 6, 7, 8)
Daniel Denis - drums
Dirck Descheemaeker - soprano sax, clarinet, bass clarinet
Christian Genet - bass
Patrick Hanappier - violin, viola (5, 6, 7, 8)
Andy Kirk - keyboards (5, 6, 7, 8)
André Mergen - cello, alto sax, voice (1, 2, 3, 4)
Jean-Luc Plouvier - keyboards
1, 2 and 3 - Recorded in March 31, 1984 at The Pavillon, Hannover, Germany
4 - Recorded in February 25, 1984 at Dottignies, Belgium
5 - Recorded in February 17, 1986 at Frankfurt Jazz Festival, Frankfurt, Germany
6, 7 and 8 - Recorded in October 9, 1985 at Centre Culturel de Seraing, Seraing, Belgium
Although presented as an archives compilation, this album could also be a live album since all the tracks were recorded live in a bunch of concert ranging from Feb 1984 until Feb 86, but somehow it also echoes the “Crawling Winds” EP that focused between 1981 and 83.
With its superb red-tainted fossil rock artwork, Relaps rehashes mostly material of “Uzed” and its successor “Heatwave”, in spite of a lengthy lapse of time where the band lay dormant, while Denis and Mergenthaler where active with Art Zoyd. Relaps is an essential piece of work showing that the band’s most exceptional moments were indeed live.
Roughly the disc is made of two main chunks of three tracks (In Hannover, Feb 84) opening and closing the album, with two selections making up the centre. The first chunk includes mostly tracks from Uzed and most notably the always-amazing “Présage”, which is still the cornerstone on which the second phase of Univers Zero sits upon. Equally interesting, “Parade” is a stunning piece that gains from its studio version. After excerpts of “Ligne Claire” watering the mouth, we are thrown into a brilliant rendition of “Emanations” in what became Univers Zero’s last concert for over a decade, the Frankfurt Jazz Festival.
Finally the last chunk comes from Seraing where the tracks are mostly from the future “Heatwave” album with the returning Andy Kirk in the fold and indeed both the 9-mins Heatwave and the 18-mins Funeral Plain are both outstanding versions (especially the latter) and to cap it all off, a short improv of Etrange Mixture.