ZNR - Barricade 3 LP
Label: Superior Viaduct
ZNR was the French duo of Hector Zazou and Joseph Racaille (hence, Zazou 'n' Racaille) active in the mid to late '70s. Their 1976 debut, Barricade 3, is an anti-pop masterpiece that truly defies categorization; it makes perfect sense that ZNR appears on the infamous Nurse With Wound list.
Featuring an array of seemingly dichotomous instruments (piano, synthesizers, woodwinds, electric guitar and more) as well as genuinely bizarre vocals, the album is composed of fifteen odd experiments using a loose framework of analog electronics, avant-garde rock, jazz influences, and post-structuralist études.
As The Shadow Ring's Graham Lambkin writes, "The debut ZNR LP has long remained one of my all-time faves. A collision of eccentric Satie-esque miniatures, strange keyboard / synth explorations and the occasional song, delivered in a mixture of French and Spanish tongues. I always think of the creepy, over-ripe vocals on 'Seynete' as one of the LP's most memorable moments, but there are many."
Despite its schizophrenic mystique, Barricade 3 is very witty and surprisingly accessible with hints of Robert Wyatt, Kevin Ayers and Perrey-Kingsley. This long out-of-print vinyl reissue reproduces the original gatefold design including illustration by Don Van Vliet.