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Zoviet France - :Garista:  CD (album) cover


Zoviet France


Progressive Electronic

3.78 | 4 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars This is the darkest and most unsettling of all Zoviet France albums. It's also their most unhinged, and next to their first release, the most unmusical. In my books that's no bad thing because it contributes to one very original recording, despite the technology used in its execution.

'Garista' is the second 'Zoviet France' release and is a big step up in construction from the first self titled album earlier in the same year. The best word for Zoviet France at this time is 'serendipity' - where by happy accident the Lo-Fi manner in which it's recorded actually contributes to the sound in 2013.

It's probably their most abrasive album. Certainly their most completely mental, where the best way to describe it to a newcomer would be to imagine the baddie from 'Blair Witch Project' making the recording just after she's tied that guy who's tooth was found outside the tent up to a tree, and is leaping about maniacally around him shouting and screaming in his face. Confrontational and very alien.

You could be forgiven for mistaking 'Scrama Mdags' for mid term 'Throbbing Gristle'. Hugely distorted flanges of screeching objects and grizzly chopped up electric guitar are the order of the day here.

Track two - 'Moshas' has what sounds like a kids piano and bashed metallic drums that are severely echoed, along with what will be their trademark - indescribable homemade horns and flutes that sound of no earthly origin. A monstrous, deep, wolf-like wordless vocal groans in the foreground which should be enough to make you spit out your wine in a choking fit.

'Mama Piss' continues in this vocal form but is joined by other band members adding delerious ritualistic wails and moans with someone clearly finding the whole thing funny, judging by his uninhibited guffaws.

'Nruknesh' is the track where the 'Blair Witch' imigary really starts to disturb. High pitched vocal screeches and barks makes this one intense and bellicose track.

Come to think of it 'Caarcuraz' is even heavier in atmosphere with a wailing adult human sounding like an infant backed by storms of electronic noise and wind-like gadgetry that is pugnacious in nature.

'M1 M1 M1' sports what sounds like enormously stretched out car horns whilst little bells and clunking reverbed metal sheets reverberate in alarming stereo. Those wordless, growling animalistic vocals still threaten throughout like a pack of wolves, as the effects become more extreme the longer it plays.

By far the longest tune on 'Garista' is the album ender with 'Rang Mabasm', which clocks in at over 14 minutes. As always, the longer tracks seem to be where the band are most comfortable, where proceedings get to evolve at a more natural pace. The piercing vocal that shouts 'Bobo Garista' will have you mouthing the words to yourself at the most inappropriate moments afterwards. Pots, pans, sticks, vocals and weird electric warbles are all diced up willy-nilly as things get ever more frantic and maniacal the longer it progresses. Some mental bloke starts giving it hell-for-leather with two minutes to go as the chopped percussion and drums go into overdrive in what is surprisingly the most cohesive track on the album.

What is probably the most tuneless recording in the entire 'Prog Archive' holds a special place in my heart. These guys were clearly 'away with the bees' whilst recording this noisy monstrosity. Overall, it has stood the test of time where in a world three decades ago a new branch of music originated in Britain - 'Post Industrial'. It won't appeal to many, especially Genesis and Yes fans, but this means far more to me than the aforementioned.

Dobermensch | 4/5 |


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