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ZANOV

Progressive Electronic • France


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Zanov biography
Founded in 1976 - Hiatus between 1983-2014

ZANOV (real name Pierre Salkazanov) is a French artist specialised in expansive spacey, proggy synthscapes (next to Flamend Dialis, Heldon, Philippe Besombes).

Pierre Salkazanov published three major albums under the name ZANOV between 1976 to 1983. His long peacefully, processual (and sometimes experimental) electronic pieces represent the french answer to the legendary Berlin Kosmische scene.

In 2010s he returned to music scene with new albums and live shows.

>> Bio updated in 2016 by E&O Team <<

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ZANOV discography


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ZANOV top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.01 | 61 ratings
Green Ray
1976
3.86 | 26 ratings
Moebius 256 301
1977
4.30 | 43 ratings
In Course Of Time
1982
3.33 | 26 ratings
Virtual Future
2014
3.90 | 24 ratings
Open Worlds
2016
3.52 | 4 ratings
Chaos Islands
2020

ZANOV Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

ZANOV Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

ZANOV Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

ZANOV Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.40 | 5 ratings
Moebius 256
1977

ZANOV Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Chaos Islands by ZANOV album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.52 | 4 ratings

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Chaos Islands
Zanov Progressive Electronic

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Never a fan of Zanov's stuff, I'm always open to trying anything/everything he's released because of the respect he's garnered from other reviewers/listeners. In the end, this one is no different than the others--highly derivative, simplistic, and bland for its lack of freshness. 1. "Edge of Chaos Island" (7:19) Berlin School takes over Blade Runner (13.25/15) 2. "Inception Island" (6:22) trying to usurp some themes/styles from Inception? Fail! (7.5/10) 3. "Strange Attractor Island" (6:57) slow and plodding; nothing new here. (11/15) 4. "Three Body Island" (6:48) (12.5/15) 5. "Phase Space Island" (8:15) so TD! (Dude: It's been done!) (17.5/20) 6. "Instability Island" (7:00) some cool parts. (12/15) 7. "Emergence Island" (6:20) so JARRE! (8/10)

C+/three stars; a fair contribution to Prog World, one that I would recommend that you try out for yourselves.

 Chaos Islands by ZANOV album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.52 | 4 ratings

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Chaos Islands
Zanov Progressive Electronic

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

4 stars French keyboard player Pierre Salkazanov released his first album as Zanov as long ago as 1976, releasing another the following year and another in 1982 before apparently retiring from the music scene altogether. However, in 2014 he released his fourth album after a gap of more than 30 years, another two years later, and now he has is back with the third from this period and the sixth overall. In many ways this feels quite different to modern electronic music, and a listener would not be surprised if they were informed that it had come out of the Seventies, more inspired by the likes of Tangerine Dream than the more ethereal works of composers such as Jean Michel Jarre.

It is far more electronic than symphonic, with a positive direction to the music with little of the meandering which can so often come when a keyboard player is left to his own devices. In some ways this feels more like modern classical than it does other forms, such is the variety and complexity that is taking place in the music. There is a real drive, and while there are times when one thinks of Kraftwerk with some of the directness, that is often soon taken away on music that is constantly shifting and moving, yet always with purpose. At times it is delicate, at others more forceful, as he switches and moves through different themes. Inspired by Chaos Theory, he describes this as a musical world where chaos and order combine to generate surprising beauty, and I certainly find it hard to disagree.

 Green Ray by ZANOV album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.01 | 61 ratings

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Green Ray
Zanov Progressive Electronic

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Electronic artist Zanov hops on his shiny new VCS3 and issues forth a cold, chilly brand of electronic music on this debut album. Green Ray clearly owes a significant debt to the Berlin School, with Tangerine Dream and particularly Klaus Schulze's shadow hanging over things. This puts Zanov a little out of step with many of his French contemporaries, who like Jean-Michel Jarre were blazing a somewhat different trail through electronic territory, though at the same time I do detect the odd flash of Heldon in the more direct and aggressive moments here.

What saves the album from being mere pastiche is that Zanov's understanding of his influences clearly isn't shallow; he really knows how the Berlin School works, inside and out, and is able to credibly produce a piece which sits next to other Berlin School material nicely.

 Green Ray by ZANOV album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.01 | 61 ratings

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Green Ray
Zanov Progressive Electronic

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

3 stars ZANOV is the pseudonym of the Paris born musician and computer engineer Pierre Zalkazanov who learned to play piano at the tender age of six but was taught under the stern threat of harsh punishment if when he made unfortunate mistakes and therefore learned to loathe the instrument altogether and ultimately took up the guitar in his teen years. Despite the musical freedom associated with the popular six stringed instrument, ZANOV was bored by its limitations and sought out the musical means that would create the most expressive spectrum of sounds possible which led him to the wonderful world of electronica. While a late bloomer in the burgeoning field of the synthesizer rich world, he would soon find his first VCS3 in his hot little hands and nothing would ever be the same.

While only purchasing his new love in 1975, he rushed home and immediately started cranking out ideas for his debut album GREEN RAY that would emerge the very next year. After realizing the complexities of recording such music, he dived in head first and submerged himself until he mastered the learning curve. The music on GREEN RAY is a logical successor to the Berlin School sound so popular in Germany by this time. A rhythmic dance of electronic pulses in the vein of Tangerine Dream sprawled out into the three lengthy tracks that make up this debut album but in the end GREEN RAY was entirely composed on his newly purchased VCS3 with no help from others. ZANOV quickly learned that he had to master the techniques so that they would become second nature and allow the emotional drive to dictate the musical outpourings.

While the French scene was hot on the heels of the Berlin School world of Klaus Schulze, Tangerine Dream and Edgar Froese, most of the early pioneers eschewed the blatant copycatting and instead created more visceral and surreal electronic offerings. Heldon, Jean Michel Jarre, artists from the Pôle label and others such as Lard Free and Igor Wakhévitch put France on the map for the world of progressive electronic but very few followed in their German contemporary's footsteps in terms of style. ZANOV on the other hand dives head first into a complete Berlin School immersion where his Tangerine Dream fetish is on full display. Perhaps even subliminally hinted upon by a bright tangerine colored album cover and the final track sporting the last word "Dream."

GREEN RAY contains three tracks. The first two hover around the ten minute mark whereas the third almost makes a twenty minute hypnotic space wandering head trip. The tracks are fairly repetitive and consist of lengthy parades into mini sequenced pulsations of sound that find counterpoints erupting like fractals all around them. The musical output is subtle as it consists of a rhythmic percussive drive and an atmospheric swoosh and swirl effect that adds other elements that emerge from beneath the surface unexpectedly. The drive mostly plods on mid-tempo and the spaced out atmospheric runs find soft and sensual gurgles build into more intense pockets of fully fueled freakery duking it out for domination. Each track takes it time to reach some sort of crescendo with the closer "Running Beyond A Dream" taking its sweet time to endlessly build the tension before the closing array of juxtaposed electronic effects.

ZANOV was quite unique for the time as a Frenchman for imitating the German scene but others such as Didier Bocquet would follow and thus ZANOV started a sort of cross-pollination of the two nations that would continue to blur as time went on but as far as this debut GREEN RAY is concerned, if you didn't know any better you could swear that this was just another Tangerine Dream album as there are really no identifiable features to give any hint that this was a Parisian newbie who had fallen for his VCS3 synthesizer and spent the next several months in a love affair. While ZANOV proves he could master this puppy like the best of the German crowd, what he fails to display is any sort of creative avenues that take the listener to totally new electronic soundscapes that had never been experienced before. The template is basically what had been going on for several years at this point. Nevertheless, ZANOV cranked out a pleasant enough debut that fits right into the Berlin School style of the era and for that reason he should be remembered for his contributions, it's just that i'm not as blown away by this release as many seem to be.

3.5 but rounded down

 Green Ray by ZANOV album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.01 | 61 ratings

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Green Ray
Zanov Progressive Electronic

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

5 stars This was love at first listen. ZANOV was the project of one Pierre Zalkazanov out of France and this was his debut from 1976. This is one of those Electronic albums that ticks all the right boxes for me. I really like the melancholic mood throughout and how darn spacey it is. We do get sequencers too at times but man this is just the perfect Electronic album for me. It's interesting how I have never been able to get into the more famous French Electronic artist in Jean- Michel Jarre, I find his music is light and poppy in comparison to this dark beauty, and I'm not surprised Jarre is more popular because of this.

"Green Ray" certainly starts off on the right foot with those spacey winds blowing over top of the other synths that form a base here. Sequencers kick in at 3 minutes giving this a different vibe for sure as the spacey winds die down. This is still really good though and those spacey winds do return.

"Machine Desperation" has this electronic beat with some incredible spacey sounds over top. That beat becomes more of the focus 3 minutes in as the spacey sounds continue over top. This is dramatic, then the loud beats calm down a minute later. I really like those spacey winds but as I listen closely I dig how it continually changes slightly over it's 10 minute length.

"Running Beyond The Dream" is the almost 20 minute side long closer. Distant sounds pulse, twitter and drift as it builds. It settles back but then turns louder after 4 minutes. After 5 1/2 minutes it's quiet, too quiet, but this song continues to evolve and change. Another quiet section 10 1/2 minutes in then it's louder at 15 minutes. I love how spacey it gets 17 minutes in.

This ranks right up there with some of my favourite RADIO MASSACRE INTERNATIONAL albums, it's that good.

 In Course Of Time by ZANOV album cover Studio Album, 1982
4.30 | 43 ratings

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In Course Of Time
Zanov Progressive Electronic

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Who says only Germans can do this Berlin School style of progressive electronic space music? Not Pierre Zalkazanov, who keeps the spirit of mid-1970s Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze alive for the 1980s on In Course of Time. Released in 1982 in Canada before a 1983 release in Zalkazanov's native France, at the period it may have seemed a bit of a throwback, especially compared to the material his countryman Jean-Michel Jarre was turning out at around the same time. Nonetheless, "In Course of Time" it has picked up a certain sense of timelessness. Use when you want the soundtrack of your life to be reminiscent of a deep space explorer craft.
 Green Ray by ZANOV album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.01 | 61 ratings

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Green Ray
Zanov Progressive Electronic

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars Having read other reviews of this album it is amazing to consider the equipment used to create Green Ray. The music is simplistic but undeniably accessible, hypnotic, and spacey--and it sounds good! Where it lacks a little is in the fact that it does sound like a solo--or like a very polished version of one of those live in-the-store demonstrations of what a new piece of technology can do. Still, the recording, stereophonic effects and are all high quality.

1 "Green Ray" (9:48) not the best piece of electronic music I've ever heard but a good one with nice floating, flanging synth leads over a solid and sustained rhythm track coming from the lower register. This one is more Berlin School "sequencer" style than the others--thoug, again, a kind of solo demo (or recital). (9/10)

2. "Machine Desperation" (10:25) my wife says this one sounds like her digestive track after a meal of cheese curds (a Wisconsin staple, even for the lactose intolerant). I say it is like TANGERINE DREAM sound experiments (weather and ghost/horror imitations) with KRAFTWERK/PINK FLOYD "On the Run" rhythms. (7.5/10)

3. "Running Beyond a Dream" (19:46) Using a lot of echo and delay, this song opens as a surprisingly melodic if obviously experimentational 'étude' of Pierre's chosen instrument. By the second half it begins to sound a lot more like a variation on the 'running' section of PINK FLOYD's aforementioned song from Dark Side of The Moon, "On The Run." (8/10)

While I admire the high quality sound production herein and the dexterity and control of Pierre's performances here, I cannot say that this is much more than interesting displays of some of the potentialities of a particular synthesizer from the mid-1970s.

 Open Worlds by ZANOV album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.90 | 24 ratings

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Open Worlds
Zanov Progressive Electronic

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars French electronica artist Pierre Zalkazanov is staging a comeback with two albums in the last three years after an absence of 30 years. Though hailed as "the French answer to the legendary Berlin Kosmische scene" I find his slowed down, scaled down soundscapes to be more akin to the spacey, melody-oriented music of 1970s-to-Blade Runner-era VANGELIS and even Oxygène-era JEAN-MICHEL JARRE. The themes, melodies and layers feel almost too simple, syrupy, and slow. It's almost New Age massage/meditation music! I feel that Zanov's music here lacks originality and freshness.

Favorite song: 2. "Next Trip" (5:30) (9/10)

Good songs: 5. "Robot Valley" (4:17) (8/10); "Remote Impact" (6:03) (8/10)

A three star album; good but not exceptional and definitely not essential.

 Open Worlds by ZANOV album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.90 | 24 ratings

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Open Worlds
Zanov Progressive Electronic

Review by Kingsnake

4 stars This one is much better and more adventurous than the previous one.

It still sounds really oldschool; almost like listening to a Jean Michel Jarre or Tangerine Dream album.

Again, the spacey sounds dominate the music, lots of ARP sequences and tasteful melodies. Zanov takes you on a futuristic trip and manages to be exciting and thrilling throughout the whole album. Although sometimes it's hard to really discover the solos and melodies, the atmosphere of the album is enough to keep you entertained.

There's not really a single song on this album that stands out form the rest. All the songs are of equal quality and splendour. To me personnaly though, the opener Electric Dust Fields and the close (Remote Impact) had the most impact (pun intended).

This is one of those albums that sounds the best with headphones and a calm environment.

 Virtual Future by ZANOV album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.33 | 26 ratings

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Virtual Future
Zanov Progressive Electronic

Review by Kingsnake

3 stars This sounds really oldschool.

I've never heard of Zanov before, but I'm checking out the progressive/electronic genre more and more, these days.

Zanov uses analog synths, and the result is electronic space music, in the spirit of Tangerine Dream, Jean Michel Jarre, Eloy Fritsch, Eddie Jobson, etc. I don't know if people in 2016 are interested in this kind of music, made with these particular instruments. I can totally understand that people would consider it to sound dated or cheesy.

For me it works. I don't really care if a synthesizer-album is made in 1970, 1980 or 2014, as long as it sounds good, it's a nice addition to my collection. Maybe the album lacks rhythm; there are hardly drums. But the atmosphere is okay, but that's hardly a surprise, once you notice wich instruments are used. You really can't go wrong with VSC3 and ARP etc.

Not an outstanding and groundbreaking album, but good enough to keep me satisfied. The overall tone is relaxing and dreamy. I'd like to hear more from this artist.

Thanks to philippe Blache for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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