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HECTOR ZAZOU: Sahara Blue (Made to Measure Volume 32) (CD on Crammed Disc in Belgium).

This is the strangest blend of ethnic and warped pop I've heard in a long time. The album features a horde of guest appearances too: David Sylvian, Riuichi Sakamoto, John Cale, Bill Laswell, Keith LeBlanc, Lisa Gerrard (from Dead Can Dance), Gerard Depardieu (?!), and Samy Birnbach and Malka Spigel (from Minimal Compact). There's also a CD EP "I'll Strangle You" (on Tristar Records in the USA). Both are highly recommended

HECTOR ZAZOU: Songs from the Cold Seas (CD on Columbia Records in USA).

This album starts with an absolutely cruel guitar outburst, the song itself being a twisted modern jazz piece with Japanese flair and vocals. The next song is vocal harmonies and flute with a delicate, barely audible synthi backdrop. The next song is an upbeat cafe tune that periodically teeters into soft rock turf.

Varied is the rule on this CD. The music is unpredictable, yet the songs flow excellently together like some abstract puzzle. Complimenting each piece's viva-la-diference, each song has a different vocalist, like: Bjork, Suzanne Vega, John Cale, Jane Siberry, and Siouxsie. There are lots of guest musicians too, including Mark Isham, Sara Lee, Harold Budd, B.J. Cole, Budgie, Jerry Marrotta, and many more.

And through it all, Zazou's peculiar style of avant garde music rules, producing an emotional and vitalizing experience.

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ZERO GRAVITY: Space Does Not Care (CD on Hypnotic Records, 13428 Maxella Ave, Suite 251, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292 USA).

Zero Gravity is Len del Rio {from Pressurehed). Actually, Len's been an active boy lately...he and Simon House are Spiral Realms, he's been hanging with Nik Turner's sob projects, and he's in Anubian Lights...

Here Len cooks some hyper techno rock peppered with tense ambient passages. Hard drums, urgent electronics, eager keyboard sweeps, ghostly voices...the product is quite like Kraftwerk doing Hawkwind. And the melodies are outstanding: thrilling with a pulsation festival.

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