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Zoviet France - Look Into Me CD (album) cover

LOOK INTO ME

Zoviet France

 

Progressive Electronic

3.00 | 1 ratings

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Dobermensch
3 stars Behind each willfuly obscure album sleeve it's almost impossible to determine who participated on each Zoviet France album. A Nameless, shapeless, oddity wrapped in an enigma. There was however, one constant from the beginning - Ben Ponton (creator) and Robin Storey, the latter of whom would leave in 1991 to create the vastly prolific 'Rapoon'.

The biggest problem as far as reviewing Zoviet France is that there are no reference points. There's no comparable bands to refer to. Everything sounds as though it's happening in a murky dream between conciousness and sleep.

'Cair Camouflet' is the inauguration track, and a hefty one at that, clocking in at a massive 24 minutes. It's the soundtrack to an avant garde film by arch-weirdo Stan Brakhage who died aged 70 in 2003. Probably the most 'musique concrete' recording Zoviet France ever made. Full of slabs of noise, squiggles and 'Eraserhead' David Lynch style 'lady in the radiator' nightmarishness.

All their usual techniques are at play with massive echo and delay used on sparsely played improvised instruments. Some sharp and piercing, mostly throbbing and reflected as though through mirrors. Played at high volume, your neighbours will assume you're a horologist, hammering away at the inner workings of clocks trying to create chimes at decisive moments.

Regrettably things get a bit on the dull side on the 2 minute repetitive loop of 'Levenswitch'. Things quickly improve with the spooky little 'At The Moment' with its Steve Reich 'Come Out and Show Them' vocal styled tape manipulation.

'Low Creeper' is enough to give anyone the willies... Cats doped on morphine with paws cut off is the only way to describe this painfully beautiful sequence. The highly treated 'cat' vocals mixed in with plodding percussion and whistles makes this the one track you won't forget.

The remaining tracks seem to get shorter in duration as they progress, ranging from heavily looped vocals which sound barely human, to layers of what should be keyboards but clearly are not, on top of which are monstrously delayed and twisted wind instruments that defy explanation.

'Melangell' reprieves the morphined vocal cat, only this time he's shivering uncontrollably all alone in some corner ready to die. Very strange indeed, and pretty damn disturbing if you ask me.

Not as cohesive as their previous few albums - 'Look Into Me' is just too jarring between tracks without the smooth flow that you'd come to expect from Zoviet France.

Dobermensch | 3/5 |

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