Scherzoo – 01. 2011 France

Scherzoo is lead by Francois Thollot, whose Contact album was one of the finest albums from the last decade, as noted above. Thollot has been in a couple of bands since then, and I've been wondering what he would come up with on his next album. With Scherzoo he's back behind the drum kit, with a full band in front of him including guitar, bass, piano and alto sax. Make no mistake though, this is Thollot's band, and these are his compositions.

The music definitely has a Zeuhl underpinning in the rhythms, though the lack of vocals (wordless or otherwise) drifts the music further from the source. The heavy guitar reminds one of Eider Stellaire, though again I'd say Scherzoo are more Avant Progressive than Zeuhl. In the end they come across like recent Nebelnest with a dash of the Dutch group Blast. If I was to nitpick, I'd say that on the first two tracks (roughly 15 minutes), the sax is a little unhinged for my liking. Too much squealing, squeaking, and honking for me. But fortunately the remaining 40 minutes demonstrates some restraint and he seems more a part of the ensemble, rather than an instrument that stands out and needs to tighten a screw. A very good album, and I'm most curious where Thollot goes from here. Count me in as a fanboy.

Personal collection
CD: 2011 Soleil Zeuhl

Last listen: July 28, 2011

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