professional stranger


Digital album 

In CD digipack early 2021

Release date :13/11/2020
Artwork : Thierry Moreau

Available on all streaming and download platforms.

Music genre : #electro symphonic art rock #ambient #classical contemporary #alternative #post rock #music for film #dance theater music

Line up :
Sandrine Rohrmoser: Vocals (03-Venus)
Thierry Zaboitzeff : All instruments, vocals and samplers programming.

All compositions by Thierry Zaboitzeff except Venus (Robbie Van Leeuwen - Schocking Blue) and Enjoy The Silence (Martin Gore-Depeche Mode)

01 NeoKlassikos Le Grand 05:48 Thierry Zaboitzeff
02 L’insouciance de Venus 06:15 Thierry Zaboitzeff
03 Venus 02:49 Robbie Van Leeuwen
04 Mali valcer 02:43 Thierry Zaboitzeff
05 El Caos 03:16 Thierry Zaboitzeff
06 Дерево (Derevo) 03:16 Thierry Zaboitzeff
07 so etwas wie blau 08:19 Thierry Zaboitzeff
08 Overlap Processing V.2020 03:36 Thierry Zaboitzeff
09 Enjoy The Silence 05:15 Martin Gore 

Co-founder and member of Art Zoyd between 1971 and 1997, I have since then continued my artistic path, sometimes in groups (Zaboitzeff & Crew - Aria Primitiva), sometimes solo, but also by composing original soundtracks for live shows (dance, theatre, film, multimedia events).
Today I am pleased to present you my new album: "professional stranger", whose main compositions are the result of the choreographic project "long life", which will be premiered in May 2021 in Salzburg (A) by the editta braun company.
In this album you look in vain for demonstrative solos, virtuoso playing technique, but you encounter pure emotion, sometimes intimate, sometimes excessive and surprising. My aesthetic and sound decisions are made very consciously and lead me to a certain distance from the "experimental or contemporary rock" scene to which I am usually attached. For me, "professional stranger" is one step further, one step aside. 

Thierry Zaboitzeff


In many ways, the new album evokes daring musical approaches in the form of cinematic miniatures that provide rich offerings for pictorial associations. The moods are more moderate, but remain uncompromising and resist any flattery. The themes are interspersed with subtle winks and subliminal influences, the rhythmic tension is rather minimal, we find cello, bass, keyboards, vocals and the unexpected accordion beautifully sampled and orchestrated. 

One will appreciate the accuracy of the production and the consistent compositional signature that feeds on an accordion/bandoneon somehow wandering through Central Europe. 

„professional stranger" goes beyond any affiliation to a musical trend. It goes beyond the division into "schools". The covers of "Enjoy the silence" (Depeche mode) and "Venus" (Shocking Blue) fit the album well, their unique colours well integrated into the images of an exhibition.

Close your eyes, the film is about to start.

iMD-ZABMUSIC on 02/02/2021





By Denis Desassis 24/11/2020 - (On line translation)

Thierry Zaboitzeff : Professional Stranger
2020 24/11

In June 2019, I paid tribute to the work undertaken for some fifty years now by Thierry Zaboitzeff. The publication of Sleep No More by his group Aria Primitiva had been for me the pretext for a column in the magazine Citizen Jazz. Therefore, I will not go back here in detail on his career, which goes from Art Zoyd (of which he was the co-founder in 1971 with the late Gérard Hourbette) to a new record in 2020, Professional Stranger, through multiple experiences in group or solo, without forgetting the composition of soundtracks for theater, dance or film shows. My chronicle is a quick overview of his singular career, so you will know more if you wish. First of all, I defined in a few words this musician like no other (bass player, cellist, composer, singer, etc.) trying to explain the difficulty to define his universe "at the borders of electronic music, contemporary music and symphonic rock".

Times are hard and for the time being - while waiting for others that we hope will be better and a publication in physical form - Professional Stranger is only available for sale in digital form, or for listening on the main streaming platforms, as they say nowadays.

The compositions of this new recording are from the choreographic project Long Life, which will soon be created in Salzburg by the company of the choreographer Editta Braun.

We know the often dark side of Thierry Zaboitzeff's music, all these "worried spaces" in which he inscribes most of his compositions, their deep impulse which seems to emanate from a darkness whose mysteries we perceive without ever really defining them. But this time, the multi-instrumentalist lets more light shine through and his landscapes seem soothed (like "The carefree Venus", for example), even if the opening mood of "Neoklassicos The Great" is reminiscent of that of Art Zoyd. And then there is this omnipresent accordion, weaving new textures mixed with those of strings and electronics, capable of starting a small waltz ("Mali Valcer") or an arrhythmic samba ("El Caos"), to draw in the softness of the evening a tree ( Дерево ), to paint the music in blue ( So Etwas Wie Blau ), to revive the colors of the famous "Venus" from Shocking Blue (remember, in 1969...), here sung by Sandrine Rohrmoser. Without forgetting an astonishing finale with a ceremonial cover of "Enjoy The Silence" by Depeche Mode (and this time, Thierry Zaboitzeff is the singer).

In a recent exchange, I pointed out to Thierry Zaboitzeff that Professional Stranger seemed to me easier to access than his other productions and his answer suggested me that there was no calculation on his part. The circumstances of the Long Life project naturally guided him towards more limpid and melodic atmospheres. All the more reason to suggest you to discover without delay his universe unlike any other, if you haven't already done so of course.

Musicians : Thierry Zaboitzeff (all instruments); Sandrine Rohrmoser (vocals).
Titles : Neoklassicos the Great | The carefree Venus | Venus | Mali Valcer | El Caos | Дерево | So Etwas Wie Blau | Overlap Processing | Enjoy The Silence.

Denis Desassis


by Peter Thelen, Published 2021-04-07

Thierry Zaboitzeff — Professional Stranger (IMD-ZABMUSIC 003/1, 2021, DL / CD)

Thierry Zaboitzeff should need no introduction to longtime readers of Exposé, having been the bassist and cellist of Art Zoyd from 1971 to 1997, after which he branched out into solo work, having now produced over two dozen solo recordings (a couple while he was still working with Art Zoyd) and also a couple releases with three-piece group Aria Primitiva. Many of his recent projects are pieces commisioned by the Editta Braun dance company in Salzburg, Austria, Professional Stranger being the latest, the result of the choreographic project "long life", which will be premiered in May 2021. The album contains seven instrumental tracks and two vocal pieces, the former mostly inhabiting a dark, crepuscular, and mysterious sound that might well lend themselves to soundtrack work, seeming to be on a course of ever-changing ideas. On all of the tracks, TZ plays all of the instruments, which include bass, cello, piano, keyboards, accordion, and programming, as well as various found sounds like creeky doors opening, muted thunder, and much more, including incidental vocals and voices. The main thrust of the music here is melodic, emotional, and filled with the unexpected, often shifting gears with little notice, but always savoring the beauty and eloquence of sound, be it classical, folk, or rock derived. Then there are the exceptions to those general rules. Anyone who was alive in 1969 will certainly remember The Shocking Blue’s worldwide hit song “Venus,” and here Zab offers a faithful rendition of that song, playing all of the instruments himself, with guest singer Sandrine Rohrmoser handling the vocal parts. The closing track is a very dark and foreboding version of Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy the Silence,” sung by Zaboitzeff with ominous vocal effects. So as much as this is accompaniment for a dance production, it also stands strong on its own in the unusual music category. One more thing: If you get it from Bandcamp you won’t get the two cover tunes (some licensing issue), so for the full album one will need to go to Apple Music, Spotify, or direct from TZ’s website, where you can buy it as a CD..


by Auguste 23/01/2021 (On line translation)

Thierry Zaboitzeff

Professional Stranger

art rock - 41'15 - France/Austria '20

I wrote "Art rock", because it is our use, almost ritualistic, as restrictive, abusive, arbitrary - classify impoverishes - as utilitarian, practical, beneficial - modeling enriches -, when reporting a work, to characterize it (according to a lapidary but representative taxonomy), to describe it (as one can), to compare it (to situate it), to contextualize it (according to what one knows), to (try to) understand it (what did the artist want to do at this moment of his journey?). ) and to appreciate it (as the case may be), but to qualify this new (and twenty-seventh) album is precisely one of the challenges posed by the diversity of the aesthetic practices of Thierry Zaboitzeff, known for his career within Art Zoyd. "Professional Stranger" is the sound space created around "Long Life", an intimate choreography for two dancers (34 and 74 years old) by Editta Braun, which speaks about the experience of life, its disillusions and its tenacious desire for a better world. Zaboitzeff unrolls a breath that sometimes makes one think of the one - pop like his reinterpretation of "Venus" by the Dutchmen of Shocking Blue but also popular like this "Petite valse" ("Mali valcer" in Croatian) - by Yann Tiersen for "Amélie Poulain" ("Дерево (Derevo)"), where the accordion blends with a rooting in chamber rock ("Overlap Processing"), jazz ("So etwas wie blau"), minimalist (the paw of Brian Eno from "Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy)" in "Venus's carelessness") or electro-classical in this guttural version of Depeche Mode's hit ("Enjoy the Silence"). "Professional Stranger"..., the definition, to be taken literally, delights.



by Elena Savitskaya february 2021  (On line translation)

Thierry Zaboitzeff "Professional Stranger" (2020)

The new solo album by the mastermind of the French ro avant-garde Thierry Zaboitsev was released in November 2020. This happened only a year and a half after the debut of his new project Aria Primitiva was released in March 2019 (see the review). In addition, between these releases, there are three soundtracks by choreographer Edith Brown (one of them, Nebensonnen, was first released in 2000 and is now re-recorded, the other two, Layaz and Trails are new). And that's not all of the recent publications! But still, a solo album is something special, personal, one might say, intimate. Unlike the truly "downhole" industrial-tribal-avant-pink Aria Primitiva, "Professional Stranger" sounds transparent, minimalistic, bewitching and warm. Thierry himself played all the instruments, among which the unchanged bass guitar, cello, keyboard, various samplers and ... aĸĸordion (but more on this later).

In Professional Stranger, Thierry wanted to pay tribute to different cultures and eras: this is evidenced by the multilingual names of the compositions, and the musical content itself - but without distinct stylizations. Opens the album "Neoklassikos le grand" with a majestic, slightly disturbing neo-Gothic theme against the background of monotonous electronic percussion, "postartzoid" counterpoints of strings and ethnic voalizations. The plastic melody of the cello grows out of this theme, the development of which is cut off at the highest point by the beat of the gong. Then follows the completely atmospheric “L’insouciance de Venus” (“Light-heartedness of Venus”), composed of heavenly piano aĸĸords and similar to distant thunderclaps of low-frequency noises, a playful, truly French melody of aĸĸordion-bandoneon also appears in it; further - somewhat naive, quite amerized "Mali valcer"; and, on the contrary, the sharp-rhythmic, daring, passionate Spanish "El Caos" with twists of strings ... There was a place for the "Russian" trek (recall that Zaboitsev's paternal grandfather comes from the Arkhangelsk region, to him Thierry owes his surname). It is called "Derevo" (in some versions of the album it is even written in Cyrillic). Against the background of minimalistic piano motifs and "pizziato" strings, a melodious soulful melody sounds, moving from the cello to the aĸĸordion. Indeed, it reminds us of our drawn-out songs, northern landscapes and even something about the work of the beautiful Russian group "Orestr Vermicelli". Well, Russian fans of Art Zoyd and the work of Thierry Zaboitsev are very pleased with this attention!

The three “So etwas wie blau” (German for “Something like blue”) has a cheery ambient character. The slow looped tune in the bass is accompanied by tremolo strings and otherworldly howls of either a trumpet with a mute, or a pima flute. Full immersion in some other being ... And "Overlap Processing" with its ostinata rhythm, pounding aĸĸords and unfolding chants-re-chants - again something Russian, archaic-ancient, dance-pagan, similar to a prehistoric rite - not without reason (despite the super modern name). In the general row of songs, two verses are built in, both on songs very famous in the pop-ro environment. The first "Venus" is Shocking Blue (it follows "L’insouciance de Venus", rather unceremoniously intruding into development). The version is quite close to the original, but sounds with a slightly ethnic flavor, given the instruments used. The voyage was performed by the Austrian singer Sandrine Rohrmoser, who previously collaborated with Zaboitsev in his projects. But the final “Enjoy the Silence” by Depeche Mode is made in a very original way: in a melancholic post-folk ambient key, also with an aономordion and a cello, with a narrative deep voice of Zaboitsev himself. The second doublet quite unexpectedly includes Arabic motives in the accompaniment - an amazing intercultural myth is obtained. In general, unusual, interesting and very suggestive ... Unfortunately, both Avars were not included in the bandcamp version due to the copyright policy of this resource, so listen to the album on Spotify, YouTube or order a CD.

Well, at the end - about the Aordion. Has Thierry Zaboitsev really mastered a new instrument? Its timbre sounds so realistic - you can hear the slightest nuances, shades of voice-leading, "a breath of air", even pressing ĸnopĸ ... With this question, we turned to the maestro himself. It turned out that this is still a sampled timbre, and all the parts were played on keys, but the highest quality of samples and the ability to correct the smallest details create the illusion of complete sound reliability. This is where progress has come! Well, and, accordingly, progressive. This album is a fascinating journey, a real musical journey, or, perhaps, a series of cinematic miniatures, continuing the idea of ​​blue concerts. And, of course, a work worthy of the glorious creative path of Thierry Zaboitsev himself.

Elena Savitskaya

InRock 9 out of 10

General impression

avant rock / progressive 9/10


by Stéphane Fougère 17/02/2021 (On line translation)

Thierry ZABOITZEFF – Professional Stranger

At the start of 2020, Thierry ZABOITZEFF announced the rest of the stage performances of his trio ARIA PRIMITIVA due to time-consuming management. Would he not have decided that the events of this year would have decided in his place ... The planetary viral crisis that we have all known (and which seems not to want to let go of us ...) has forced the entertainment industry to put on back burner. At least some artists will have taken advantage of this period to write, record ... This is what Thierry ZABOITZEFF did, who delivers his 27th solo discographic production here! A sign of the times (hard, as everyone knows), this is the first to appear directly in digital format on all download and streaming platforms (there was certainly the new re-recorded version of Nebensonnen released in the spring, but this is not a completely new album), before knowing a “physical” CD version. The doctor. ZAB ”holds all the instruments there and has provided the mixing and production. This is nothing new in the artistic process followed by ZABOITZEFF since he left ART ZOYD, and he did not wait for the arrival of a coronavirus to devote himself to creation alone (even if , from time to time, he toured with a group, as was the case with Missa Furiosa and more recently therefore with ARIA PRIMITIVA).

Professional Stranger is part of the music that Thierry ZABOITZEFF has been composing for several years for the stage, the theater and the dance, mainly for the creations of the company of the choreographer Editta BRAUN. In fact, this album serves as the soundtrack for the Long Life project, which is due to be performed on stage in May 2021 in Salzburg. His "soundtrack" therefore comes out well in advance, but that's not a big deal since ZABOITZEFF has always made sure that his music can also be listened to outside the context for which it was previously designed. Each creation by the Editta BRAUN COMPANY offers a new artistic challenge, both visual and sound, and what Professional Stranger gives to listen is at the antipodes of what was contained in ARIA PRIMITIVA's Sleep No More.

The introductory piece, Neoklassicos the Great, however, plays trumpets. We find this wandering atmosphere in a monumental deserted space, underlined by a solemn organ and punctuated by drumming percussions and surreptitious voices, before a piano interferes and a theme played on the cello comes to lighten the atmosphere. while giving it a melancholy tone. Those nostalgic for certain art-Zoydian atmospheres should feel here on familiar ground ... Then, after opening a creaking door, we rock with L'Insouciance de Vénus in a more minimalist universe, even ambient, bathed in a soft soothing light, which is reminiscent of certain autumnal landscapes of Nebensonnen.

This is where an instrument bursts in that Dr. ZAB had not yet accustomed us to: the accordion! (Digital or real, who knows…) And the latter is indeed the main sound novelty of this album, to the point that it will be heard until the end of it, under different approaches, sometimes drone, sometimes as a solo instrument. This is how this same accordion kicks off a perfectly unexpected acoustic waltz in Mali Valcer! We stay in a folkloric tone with Argentinian hints with El Caos and its limping rhythm and its burlesque borderline strings. This is a track that would not have gone wrong on a Lars HOLLMER record!

Derevo indicates a return to a climate of dereliction in an instrumental configuration reminiscent of chamber music (accordion, piano, strings). On So etwas wie Blau, the piano chords install a more murky and somber atmosphere, and an electric cello sings a lamentation song there that looks like contemplation in front of a field of ruins, to which soon joins a spectral choir. There are no bumps, no breaks, no thrills, however, and it's more like balm that this piece acts, before Overlap Processing V.2020 comes to wake us up with its obsessive accordion theme that invites souls and bodies to capsize (bass percussion helping), and to which are joined strings capable of arousing some chills.

The other surprise of Professional Stranger is the presence of two covers. These are not revivals of ART ZOYD masterpieces or any other “avant-garde” reference. We're talking about covers of “pop” hits! The first is an adaptation of the very popular Venus from SHOCKING BLUE, which features, in addition to an acoustic guitar, rhythmic programming, playful strings and the omnipresent accordion, the voice of Sandrine ROHRMOSER (who had previously worked with ZABOITZEFF in sa Missa Furiosa). As unpredictable as it is incongruous, it




IMPRESSUM / MENTIONS LEGALES : Thierry Zaboitzeff c/o
PHOTO CREDITS : E. Braun - V. Zaboitzeff - B. Frenzel - Laurent Maginelle
VIDEO CREDITS : H. Klein - H. Friedl - S. Aglassinger - E. Braun - Thierry Zaboitzeff
RECORD LABELS & LICENSORS : Booster / Wtpl-Music / Intoxygene / iMD ZABMUSIC / Monstre Sonore
DISTRIBUTOR : Inouie Distribution