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Zoviet France - Lohland CD (album) cover

LOHLAND

Zoviet France

 

Progressive Electronic

3.91 | 2 ratings

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Dobermensch
4 stars 'Lohland' is a dark and eerie album which was recorded in April 1985. If similar recording technology had been around 100 years earlier I wouldn't have been at all surprised if Aleister Crowley's forerunners 'The Golden Dawn' laid this down on vinyl exactly as it sounds here.

Strange wooden pipes and almost Cambodian vocals sets in motion a recording full of delay effect boxes, tape loop machines and multi-track trickery. Very organic and non-linear in execution, 'Lohland' can be quite a jarring and difficult album to appreciate - especially if you don't know what you're in for.

'East Taunts West' raises the curtain with strange wooden pipes, queer chanting vocals and flaky creatures from the planet Zog groaning through megaphones.

'Scacen' is full of reversed percussion with peculiar horns which gives me visions of spending a foggy evening in a graveyard. 'Har Hou' is basically a Red Indian invocation of Gods by campfire and wig-wam as a blood red moon morosely rises on the horizon with more ethnic sounding percussion at the forefront.

One of many highlights is 'Dust Deofol' - a beautiful gloomy track where tiny metallic keys of some sort are struck and are wrapped around an all pervasive drum which sounds like a tenebrous bleating horn.

'Nostalgie De la Boue' sounds very threatening in the most sinister of manner despite its quiet percussiveness. This would have been perfect for the Wicker Man scenes in 'Kill List' - that bit at the end where all hell breaks loose.

It's incredibly difficult to describe this album as there's no recognisable instruments to speak of for the whole duration of 'Lohland'. Amidst all the short tracks stands one alone at 16 minutes which is almost entirely full of ghoulish warped vocals. A complete departure from what has been heard before but sits more than comfortably within this album. It creates a much more ethereal feel - almost like watching ghosts float through walls.

'Lohland' doesn't have the best of production values, You can hear tape hiss faintly in the background, but somehow this adds dramatically to the creepy atmosphere throughout this overly long CD. The running length is it's one problem. There are one or two formless tracks which could easily have been discarded - In particular - 'Trom Eldr' which does nothing to add to the overall feel of this otherwise excellent album.

Another instantly recognisable recording by Zoviet France, although it's not something you'd listen to every day unless you are completely mental. And it' definitely not one for playing at parties. That is unless you want everyone to leave...

Unfortunately if you wanna buy this you've got no chance, I bought mine in '93 and all of their recordings are no longer available. What I'm left with after all these years are a bunch of cd's by a band that I wouldn't swap for anything else.

Dobermensch | 4/5 |

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