That’s what you call a successful debut.

Ernst Mitter |freiStil | February/March2013 |
read more

That’s what you call a successful debut. The first take starts off in an aggressive and in-your-face way. Villy Paraskevopoulos, the trio’s pianist, dominates the recording, without overshadowing the other band members. It is always particularly challenging to perform as a piano trio. The approach is fearless, a celebration of deep-rooted respect for jazz history. It goes without saying that the technique manifests the band’s musical prowess, timing und phrasing work well; the trio has an alluring sound. Furthermore, the compositions are praiseworthy. No one drew up a meticulous plan in search of functional solutions. Instead, you feel the organic, inextricable elements, the urgency of the individual pieces. The fast, spontaneous expression flows into the compositional mould, resulting in an output made up of a complex bundle of musical statements. Hypnotic Zone can be forgiven for borrowing certain sounds from the Esbjörn Svenson Trio. It’s a long, hard road to get to where Hypnotic Zone is music-wise. close

Rich in contrasts, uncompromising and atmospheric …

Martin Schuster |Concerto | February/March 2013 |
read more

The trio Hypnotic Zone’s album “La justice, les filles et l’éternité’’, with the Greek pianist Villy Paraskevopoulos, runs the gamut from avant-garde jazz to punk attitude. Rich in contrasts, uncompromising and atmospheric, Paraskevopoulos, bassist Stefan Thaler and Niki Dolp on drums create music whose effect is occasionally truly hypnotic; the paraphrase “Satie’s Little Blues Waltz’’ sums things up on an ironic final note. close

… a captivating sound cinema, a rare gem.

Michael Ternai |MICA | January 2013 |
read more

Hypnotic Zone is a music project in which the band members’ uncompromising nature is, to a certain extent, the premise for their musical oeuvre. Moving away from trite musical paradigms, Villy Paraskevopoulos (piano), Stefan Thaler (double bass), and Niki Dolp (drums) use their musical experiment to attempt to create their own unique sound niche. At times quirky, then harmonious, dissonant, then melodious, the songs develop, however, just as they do on the recently released debut album “La justice, les filles et l’éternité” (Label: Listen Closely). Far from being cerebral, the album offers the listener a multilayered sound experience, revealing new secrets every time you listen to it. There will be a CD release party in the Viennese jazz bar Miles Smiles on December 8th.

What should you write about an album whose sound differs so much from  traditional conventions, something you hear so rarely, that almost everything else classified as jazz is turned upside down and interpreted anew? Rather than doing this with an ostentatious display of musical virtuosity, the band achieves this using subtlety and reserve. Villy Paraskevopoulos, Stefan Thaler and Niki Dolp do their own take on the classic jazz ensemble with piano, bass, and drums, incorporating individual and sometimes even avant-garde-like sound interpretations.

As if the trio’s motto were “less is more”, all three musicians concentrate on musical details and nuances, as you hear them in different varieties of jazz, and remind us that not everything has to be set in stone; you must cast off your chains of conventional thinking in order to open up to new and original musical approaches.

Rather than engaging in some sort of musical competition, trying to outdo one another, the trio places its collective sound creation at the forefront, which in this case has experimental and quirky elements taking on hypnotic-like characteristics. Between slightly playful jazz borrowings and electro-acoustic experiments, Villy Paraskevopoulos, Stefan Thaler and Niki Dolp create pieces whose appeal stems from their latent tranquillity. They act like waves which at certain moments grasp the listener more intensely, in order to carry them out to a sea of suspense.

“La justice, les filles et l’éternité” is definitely an album that you have to let grow on you, which is accessible when you open up to the sounds it presents. If you do this, and concentrate on what the music has to offer, you’ll discover a captivating sound cinema, a rare gem.