"The (group) plays with rarely heard fervor and stylistical consistency... Univers Zero's importance in the history of modern chamber music is once again confirmed...”
– Touching Extremes
"...an indispensable release for anyone who believes that "Bartók" and "rock" can fit comfortably in the same sentence.”
– All Music Guide
“…over the last three decades the ensemble has lived up to the dictionary meaning of avant-garde: those in the arts who create or apply new or experimental ideas and techniques. Clivages…coalesces what has made Univers Zero such a unique and demanding group for the past 30 years but the record also yields new inclinations. For one, compositional responsibility has been split to different band members… This allows for both familiarity and surprise.... Like earlier Univers Zero outings, Clivages has a live-in-the-studio approach with minimal overdubs, superb instrument separation, bright EQ and frequency modulation that is impeccable. This is music that has outstanding sound realization, recommended for a high fidelity system.”
– Doug Simpson, Audiophile Audition
released 26 January 2010
Founding members of the original "Rock In Opposition" [R.I.O.] movement and the inventors of "chamber rock", Univers Zero have continued to change and grow and develop over their entire career, while still keeping a ensemble sound and spirit that is easily recognizable. Clivages is their first studio album in over five years, but much more importantly, it is their first studio release since 1986's Heatwave to feature the energy and sound of a working, rehearsing, live ensemble performing in the studio! It features the current line-up of the group who have been playing concerts and working together for quite some time now: Michel Berkmans (bassoon, English horn, oboe), Kurt Budé (clarinet, bass clarinet, alto sax), Pierre Chevalier (keyboards), Daniel Denis (drums, sampler), Dimitri Evers (bass), Martin Lauwers (violin) and guest Andy Kirk (guitar and percussion).
Univers Zero are rightly famous for finding the perfect balance between classical and rock influences and drawing on musicians from both worlds. In terms of this, Clivages is possibly their best-balanced release , featuring a couple of small chamber works for the trio of strings, reeds and double reeds of the group. The rock side has not been ignored in any way, however and in addition to contributions from band members Denis, Budé and Berckmans, Clivages features Andy Kirk's 12' piece "Warrior", which harkens back to the sound of the band circa Heatwave!