Univers Zero Relaps: Archives 1984-1986

A member of the Rock In Opposition movement, spearheaded by British avant-rockers Henry Cow, Belgium's Univers Zero have always been at the forefront of the progressive rock scene. Active since the mid-'70s, the group have always had a revolving door line-up, although primary composer Daniel Denis has remained the visionary behind UZ since their inception. Relaps is composed of a series of live shows from the period that produced the Uzed and Heatwave albums, and includes versions of tracks from both discs. This is the "electric" UZ, far removed from the acoustic chamber rock found on their debut. The fidelity is amazing, considering the period during which these tracks were recorded; the group's dark, moody arrangements have been reproduced with exceptional clarity. Hugely influential upon a number of avant-rock performers, it's bizarre that Univers Zero aren't mentioned greater frequency. They deserve at least as much credit as King Crimson for the nerdifying of rock'n'roll. (Cuneiform)