Univers Zero in 2010 at La Maison Française
|Genres||Progressive rock, Rock in Opposition, avant-garde progressive rock, instrumental, chamber music|
|Years active||1974-1987, 1999-present|
|Associated acts||Art Zoyd, Present, Aranis|
The band was formed in 1974 by drummer Daniel Denis. For a time they were part of a musical movement called Rock in Opposition (RIO) which strove to create dense challenging music, a direct contrast to the disco and punk music being produced in the late 1970s. Obvious early influences were Bartók and Stravinsky, however the band also cited less well known composers such as Albert Huybrechts, who was also Belgian.
Their early albums were almost entirely acoustic, but with later releases their sound became more electric. In 1977 they released their first album 1313 on which the members played with a heavy rock and roll approach despite the fact that the instrumentation was largely acoustic. This is mostly due to the use of drums and bass guitar. Two years later the album Heresie proved to be even darker.
Subsequent albums lightened the sound only slightly, but became ever more electric. Whereas early albums featured oboes, spinets, harmoniums and Mellotrons, their 1980s albums tended to rely more on synthesizer and electric guitar. Despite these changes, their overall sound remained fairly consistent.
The group disbanded in 1987, but reformed in 1999. In the interim, drummer Daniel Denis released two solo albums and joined Art Zoyd, a similar band from France. Since 1999, Univers Zéro have released four studio albums.
In 2011 Univers Zéro joined forces with Belgian groups Present and Aranis to form a 17-member ensemble called Once Upon a Time in Belgium. They premiered at the fourth edition of the Rock in Opposition festival held in Carmaux, France in September 2011, where they performed "New York Transformations", a work composed by Kurt Budé. Once Upon a Time in Belgium and Univers Zéro appear in the documentary film Romantic Warriors II: A Progressive Music Saga About Rock in Opposition.
- 1313 (1977)
- Heresie (1979)
- Triomphe des mouches One-Sided 7" (1981)
- Ceux du dehors (1981)
- Crawling Wind EP (1983)
- Uzed (1984)
- Heatwave (1986)
- The Hard Quest (1999)
- Rhythmix (2002)
- Implosion (2004)
- Live (2006)
- Relaps Archives 1984–1986 (2008)
- Clivages (2010)
- In French, the word "Zéro" when in upper case may correctly be written either "ZÉRO" or "ZERO".
- Lynch, Dave. "Romantic Warriors II: A Progressive Music Saga About Rock in Opposition". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 March 2013.