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French chamber rock band that released a self-titled album in 2006 and broke up later that same year.
Cosia, Michael Hazera, Pairbon, Yan Hazera.

This band came to be after the breakup of SOTOS when drummer Michael Hazera and guitarist Yan Hazera (brothers?) decided they wanted to continue the spirit of the avant-garde chamber rock sound. They recruited the incredibly talented bassist Pairbon and of all things a hurdy gurdyist named Cosia. If you are unfamiliar with a hurdy gurdy I suggest you check out the demonstration on YouTube by the world's leading hurdy gurdyist Matthias Loibner. It is a 7-stringed instrument that is really a mechanical violin with keys like an accordion that you push while you crank with the right hand to sustain the sound. It's capable of creating an amazing diversity of soniferous delight! It can sound like a drone that is similar to a bagpipe, a cello or an organ at times.

ZAAR is basically a avant chamber rock which upon first listen reminds of Univers Zero, Art Zoyd or anyone else in the subgenre. There are two monster tracks “Sefir” and “Omk” which are both over 17 minutes long and ebb and flow through a variety of passages and moods from slow and dreamy to bombastic. The remaining tracks are shorter and more to the point. I really have a hard time differentiating between tracks since the longer ones just feel like a bunch of shorter ones strung together and the continuity of the album pretty much flows from beginning to end anyway. The only track that really differentiates itself is the strange vocal weirdness of “Scherzaaaaaahhhh” which is really an intro for “Scherzo #C.”

This band really works for me. If you ever wanted to hear a slightly more energetic version of Univers Zero with interesting new sounds added then this is for you. I have listened to this many times and yet none of the tracks ever stick with me. That means that I feel like i'm listening to it for the first time every time! It's strange and alien enough to be hard to remember but accessible enough to enjoy while you're listening to it. Highly recommended for avant-proggers of all ages! Check out their Live 2006 performance of “Sefir” on YouTube as well. Unfortunately the guitarist is no longer living so the chances of this being the one and only ZAAR album is unfortunately a possibility.

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