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ZANOV

Progressive Electronic • France


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Zanov biography
Less known french artist specialised in expansive space-y, proggy synthscapes (next to Flamend Dialis, Heldon, Philippe Besombes) Pierre Zalkazanov 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.

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Open WorldsOpen Worlds
Single
Zanov Music 2016
Audio CD$15.00
$32.00 (used)
Virtual FutureVirtual Future
Single
Zanov Music 2014
Audio CD$13.06
$13.05 (used)
Virtual Future by Zanov MusicVirtual Future by Zanov Music
Zanov Music
Audio CD$78.47
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ZANOV discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

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

4.40 | 32 ratings
Green Ray
1976
3.67 | 15 ratings
Moebius 256 301
1977
4.58 | 20 ratings
In Course of Time
1983
3.21 | 14 ratings
Virtual Future
2014
4.24 | 6 ratings
Open Worlds
2016

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)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Moebius 256
1977

ZANOV Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Open Worlds by ZANOV album cover Studio Album, 2016
4.24 | 6 ratings

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Open Worlds
Zanov Progressive Electronic

Review by Progfan97402

5 stars I sure didn't have to wait long for a new Zanov release! Zanov was an artist I only discovered in 2011 and a year later I bought Green Ray and Moebius, and in 2014 bought In Course of Time, all of them vinyl. Amazing stuff, I only wished I knew of Pierre Salkazanov (his real name) years before. Virtual Future was basically the completion of a fourth album left sitting around since the early '80s because he didn't feel there was much of a future for him in music, not to mention it took about three years to get In Course of Time released (it was recorded in 1979, released in Canada first in 1982, in France in 1983). So during that 30+ year gap he turned to more mainstream work, and by 2014 he had more free time to return, buy an Arturia Origin, complete that fourth album and had it released as Vitual Future (it was originally planned to be entitled Nous Reprenons Notre Avenir and to have spoken poetry, but by 2014 when he returned, he thought the spoken dialog would be a bad idea and make it all instrumental, and of course retitling it Virtual Future, plus digitizing it and completing the rest of it with the Arturia Origin, while the old recording featured his old gear).

Open Worlds is unlike Virtual Future as this is 100% conceived and recorded in the 21st Century, a totally up to date version of the Zanov sound, and it's nice to see he did not sell out in any way, shape or form, but there really isn't any reason to sell out when you're releasing this stuff yourself (Zanov Music is, of course, Pierre Salkazanov's own label, I only hope to see that label used to reissue his first three albums). The songs are a bit shorter than on previous albums, but that doesn't matter, just means he now has nine compositions. What I really like is the combination of analog and digital synth sounds, a contemporary sound and production that's not overly sterile. The music often has a synthetic feel, but that's normal, even what he did in the 1970s, but even the synthetic feel of his music often has a nice spacy beauty to it, plus a nice hi-tech sci-fi vibe to it. This is the way I want more contemporary progressive electronic music to be like. It's nice to see that after a long silence that he hasn't lost it one bit. Again, this comes with my highest recommendation!

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 Open Worlds by ZANOV album cover Studio Album, 2016
4.24 | 6 ratings

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Open Worlds
Zanov Progressive Electronic

Review by admireArt
Collaborator PSIKE Team

4 stars At some point between these last couple of years Pierre Zalkazanov a.k.a. ZANOV realized that he in fact is not just a fancy recollector of vintage synths and their respective sounds, but also an important and creative electronic music composer as his short but efficient discography shows. In fact quiet respected and admired in this PA's progressive electronic category by the few who enjoy (or rate) this "unpopular, but widely used in all prog music", sub-genre.

Well ZANOV is back in shape and ready to prove that his past masterworks were not just acts of luck, chance nor accident.

"Open Worlds", 2016, takes many steps ahead its prior sibling "Virtual Future" 2013, as far as music composition goes, and a lot in comparisson to many contemporary P/E's musicians and audiences who still believe that sounding like Tangerine Dream is being true to Berlin School's canons. (that is mere plagiarism folks!)

Well ZANOV is here to guide you through the myriad of still, then, unexplored possibilities and complexities in the fields of this electronic music school's structures.

For starters, as always, if your compositions are great, the rest will follow.

ZANOV's own musical language skills flourish like "old times". That same daring experimental attitude, completely refined by today's technological recording advancements, with the same pitch perfect sense of artistry and everything guided by focused and highly creative inspiration. That ZANOV the one who created "Green Ray" (1976) and "In Course of Time" (1983), is back to set the record straight.

Music wise, one of its remarkable attributes, among others, rely on stopping time, our time, and recreating a contemporary, futuristic retrospective of electronic music which expands back and forth covering 40 years in minutes. All done with mastery and attention to detail but above all with his personal musical idiom. (Which I always applaud.)

But, as I mentioned, not everything stops there, his contemporary electronic music proposals share big time and are highly promising, as to understand that ZANOV is back to write his future and the Progressive Electronic one by the way.

A perfect 8, 9 songs album, must be in your PE collection, you deserve it!

****4.5 PA stars.

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 Green Ray by ZANOV album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.40 | 32 ratings

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Green Ray
Zanov Progressive Electronic

Review by Replayer

5 stars Green Ray is the debut album of French electronic music pioneer Zanov. It stands out as prime example of cosmic music and experimentation in analog synthesis. Recording the album at his home studio solely on an EMS VCS 3 and a TEAC 4-track recorder, Zanov takes full advantage of the renowned synthesizer's capabilities. Indeed, it is at sound synthesis that Zanov truly excels, aided by his engineering background. The range of sounds he extracts from the diminutive VCS 3 is astounding, considering that other musicians treated the little synth as an electronic effects unit due to its instability.

In a recent interview, Zanov stated that he always tried to avoid imitating other musicians' styles. He mentioned that back then his two favorite albums were Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here and Tangerine Dream's Ricochet, both released in 1975. Both bands used EMS synthesizers such as the VCS 3 or the Synthi AKS. This may have influenced his choice, though the VSC 3's affordability, compared to an expensive Moog modular system, played a role as well.

Interestingly, the title track is the shortest of the three, but is also the best one in my opinion. Green Ray starts with wind effects and a dark ambient atmosphere. In classic Berlin school fashion, the sequencer kicks in after a few minutes and though the rhythm is simple, it is also hypnotic and enhanced with numerous sonic effects and solo passages. A green ray or green flash is the name given to the optical effect seen at sunrise or sunset where the light briefly turns green due to atmospheric conditions.

Machine Desperation, as the title suggests, sounds both mechanical and bleak. The title and bassline are evocative of Pink Floyd's Welcome to the Machine. This time around, the beat starts from the very beginning, adorned with plaintive organ like-passages and electronic effects. The mechanical rhythm changes to a heartbeat like sound, which is then buried in another, drum-like heavier sequence. Slightly longer than the title track, it is also more monotonous.

The side-long Running Beyond A Dream starts in a much more ethereal manner, reminiscent of Tangerine Dream's Rubycon. Swirling electronic lines, dripping loops, bubbling noises, bee-like buzzing and echo effects give it a dreamy quality. A mechanical beat, evocative of a robotic caterpillar or an assembly line, starts after a couple of minutes, but fades away. The track seems to stop around the halfway point, but it gradually becomes more ominous, with pulsing deep bass runs, before reverting to the original mellow mood. I'd love to watch the aurora while listening to this track.

I recommend this album to fans of Berlin school electronic music. Despite the overall mood of the album being somewhat dark and bleak, the music is not depressing. Rather, it has a melancholy feel. Imagine the soundtrack to a theoretical 1970s French sci-fi noir film. Green Ray is a compelling combination of mechanical rhythms and organic soundscapes and remains one of my favorite progressive electronic albums.

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 Virtual Future by ZANOV album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.21 | 14 ratings

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Virtual Future
Zanov Progressive Electronic

Review by Dobermensch
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Old Zanov climbs up a set of ladders, with creaking bones, rummages around his attic - finds his trusty analogue keyboards, gives them a good dusting down and decides to recreate the sounds of his previous 3 recordings. This is a commendable follow-up to 82's 'In Course of Time'

It's been a whopping 32 years since his last release, so who would know what to expect? Pleasingly it's a pretty good effort. I'm a real sucker for the 'Berlin School' recordings, therefore I guessed I was on to a winner before I even heard it.

'Virtual Future' is entirely electronic and vocal free. It displays a very retro 1975 feel, similar to 'Klaus Schulze'. It's all quite dream-like and 'cosmic' - as they liked to call it in the 70's. Released in 2014 you'd expect a crystal clear sound with plenty of depth. I can happily report that this is the case.

Zanov's never been the most gifted of composers (He's no virtuoso like Jean Michel Jarre with his 20 fidgeting fingers), He does however, make the most of his abilities.

The tunes aren't groundbreaking or startlingly original, but do succeed on a number of levels. For example - there's plenty of space between tracks which accentuate clarity. His vision is clear too, where he has a definite outcome and finished article in mind. There's no deviation from that path and he refuses to add sounds that would be considered contemporary with the year 2014. This leaves us with a colourful and at times mesmerizing album.

This is a recording that fans of 'Free System Project', 'Redshift', 'Michael Garrison' and 'Bernd Kistenmacher' will admire.

It's good stuff and a welcome return from the man who vanished in a puff of smoke in 1983.

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 Virtual Future by ZANOV album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.21 | 14 ratings

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Virtual Future
Zanov Progressive Electronic

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

2 stars I am investigating different subgenres among newly released albums and the electronic genre is very new to me. Zanov is an electronic artist whose real name is Pierre Zalkazanov, so Zanov is a cool short form of his name. He is actually not a new artist. I guess people who like this subgenre know the name for sure. He videlicit made three prog albums in the seventies and eighties: "Green day"(76), "Moebius:256301"(77) and "In course of time"(83) which all have got good ratings here. I guess this year's "Virtual Future" is just as good as them. Thirtyone years after the third one came this one which cover is very futuristic. Just like Hibernal's record about Replacements we see a head of a human robot on Zanov's record. I admit it is aestethic and the zanov sign too.

The music is totally electronic and zanov himself plays all instruments which are different forms of synthesizers. I prefer this before some form of psychadelic music because this contains definitely melodies and interesting themes to notice. But the majority of the songs are more like atmospheric structures anyway. The record is well produced and it sounds good, even if I have very hard to apreciate it. It's not my world of music unfortunately. Some pieces here are preferable such as "The final cut"(6/10) and "Very far"(6/10) but the rest, how well composed they apparently are, don't appeal to me. Neither bad nor good according to my opinion. I feel though that folks who enjoy the futuristic electronics from the seventies should like this too. My average rating ends att 2.5 stars which I have to round off down to two stars.

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 Virtual Future by ZANOV album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.21 | 14 ratings

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Virtual Future
Zanov Progressive Electronic

Review by admireArt
Collaborator PSIKE Team

3 stars Of course this is BIG news, of course we need to support the unknown or underrated great artists and of course things look different when you pay for them.

I was one of those thrilled by the news of this ZANOV's (a.k.a Pierre Zalkazanov), 2014 release. As soon as possible I downloaded it and waited in expectation some free time to get into it. A fourth album in 30 +- years how nice.

So I found the time and this is my report. As marvelous as listening to vintage synths could turn out to be, songwriting as always comes first. Sadly this perfect balance does not happen that frequently in this "Virtual Reality" project. Somehow it is ok to use these retro-sounds but not that much to use the models of music they have generated in such a long span in time. I mean his 3 first albums were released in between 1976-1983, and a lot of things have happened since then, electronic-music wise of course.

As much as I would have liked this album to be a 5 star masterpiece and rating it in accordance, it has in its songwriting some unoriginal moments that simply make me lose thread of the real unique proposals he has held through his short but efficient discography. To cut it short, it is not flawless and more than once less than original. Obviously the highlights are an intense thrill to testify, but the downfalls are not that much fun.

I of course will keep it, being somehow of a "Zanov cult follower", but in an objective and no obligations to no one mode, this is good but not essential, in a general prog-electronic universe.

***3.5 "I bet he can do better", PA stars.

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 Virtual Future by ZANOV album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.21 | 14 ratings

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Virtual Future
Zanov Progressive Electronic

Review by Progfan97402

5 stars Although I've only known of Zanov for about three years, I was in complete shock to find Pierre Salkazanov (Zanov's real name) would release a new album, in 2014 no less, when about 32 years have passed since his last album, In Course of Time (which was apparently recorded in 1979 but not released until 1982, hence why the album sounded a bit behind the times for 1982 standards). He did attempt to record a followup to In Course of Time called Nous Reprenons Notre Avenir which apparently started in 1979 and ground to a halt in 1984 by which day job and family pretty much made him give up on recording (he wasn't some international sensation on the line of Jean Michel Jarre, if he was, it would be a completely different story).

So three decades later he dug up that old recording, remove the poetry (Nous Reprenons Notre Avenir was said to include poetry) and do some finishing touches on an Arturia Origin. So that means you get to hear the Arturia with his old VCS-3, ARP 2600, RMI Harmonic Synthesizer, and Korg PS-3300. Sadly he no longer owns those vintage synths, and since the Arturia Origin includes features from classic analog synths, it's little wonder that was his synth of choice in 2014 (he owns the synth version, as there's also a standalone module version of it). Let's say that Zanov has released yet another winner! It sounds like a natural followup to In Course of Time, a lot of it will remind you of that album, with a bit of Moebius thrown in. More of that same great spacy futuristic electronic music you come to enjoy from his three albums from 1976 to 1982! It's really difficult to pick out highlights, this is electronic music at its finest. I'm only hoping that with his return more people will discover the music of Zanov. One only hopes his back catalog receives reissues. Zanov is one of the few artists that it really doesn't matter where you start, you can easily start with this one as you would any of his other releases. They're all that great, and some of the finest obscure electronic music I've ever heard!

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 In Course of Time by ZANOV album cover Studio Album, 1983
4.58 | 20 ratings

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In Course of Time
Zanov Progressive Electronic

Review by admireArt
Collaborator PSIKE Team

5 stars A masterful synthesis of cosmic electronic music in language and sound.

Zanov's 1983, "In Course of Time", is free as far as direct musical influences go! His freedom of language is its best attribute beyod the fact of using that era's keyboards. So are his unpretentious aspirations of spectacularity. Opposite to that his music is daringly personal, low keyed in instrumentation but extremely rich in music composition and straight forward creativity.

There is this ever present sensation of not being stuck in time, nor fads. Therefore it can show splashes of early baroque music as very 'Berlin' school ones. Surprises come all along the way, his environments are heartfelt and simple, he relies solely on his song writing and minimal yet deep sounds that confirm the "less is more" motto.

Time wise (1983), Zanov's "In Course of Time" personal quest was unpaired and unpolluted by almost everybody's 80s standards and direction. He himself in "Moebius", 1977, started to indulge in those same standards and yet he skillfully turned around and skipped this direction for a more intimate and far from stardom release (16 ratings? Come on you progressive electronic people!) .

This masterpiece shows without doubt, that at the end of the day, original music composition comes first, electronic keyboards, gadgets, fads and fans come and go!

*****5 "Masterpiece" PA stars!

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 In Course of Time by ZANOV album cover Studio Album, 1983
4.58 | 20 ratings

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In Course of Time
Zanov Progressive Electronic

Review by Progfan97402

5 stars Unbelievable! About a five year gap since the last album, Moebius, and you should expect a drastic change in style, substance, and technology (it was now the 1980s). Not at all, it's as if this was recorded in 1978, and for all I know it was actually recorded then, but never released until 1982, when a small Canadian label issued it, and then in 1983 a French label (probably due to French record stores stocking in the import section and was needing of a domestic release). If it was recorded in 1978 as I suspect, then I'm certain Polydor rejected this album. If it was actually recorded in 1982, then I'm really amazed how Zanov didn't even pay the littlest attention to the musical changes of the 1980s. But I have nothing solid to go by, just amazed to hear a 1980s album from a '70s artist still sound very '70s. That same '70s cosmic spacy electronic sci-fi vibe I come to love of Green Ray (1976) and Moebius (1977). Same great use of analog synths. It seems to have a bit of a less mechanical feel than previous albums, but absolutely nothing lost of the substance. If parts of "Sky Energy" sounds a tad familiar, well, Pierre Zalkazanov (that's Zanov's actual name) actually incorporated parts of "Plenitude" off Moebius in this piece. He's been often called the French Klaus Schulze, certainly I notice some elements of that but he explores realms that Schulze often didn't, and I couldn't mistake this for a Schulze album. Zanov's album are really criminally overlooked by electronic aficionados. In fact I only knew one person who heard of Zanov. Lovers of '70s electronic music should not be scared of when this album was released, this is totally essential, as is the previous two!

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 Moebius 256 301 by ZANOV album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.67 | 15 ratings

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Moebius 256 301
Zanov Progressive Electronic

Review by Progfan97402

5 stars Album number two from Pierre Zalkazanov. Here he takes perhaps a bit more melodic and rhythmic approach than he did with Green Ray, but still retains all that wonderful '70s cosmic trippiness that I came to love of Green Ray. "Moebius 256", "Moebis 301" and "Enymga" are all rather short and shows a more melodic approach, but with that irresistible '70s vibe going for it. "Pentitude" and "An Zero" are lengthier pieces, a lot of it showing a more rhythmic approach as he uses sequencers here. The back cover shows Zanov in a pose very similar to the back cover of Jean Michel Jarre's Oxygene, which probably isn't too surprising, given Jarre was a contemporary and Oxygene did come out in France towards the end of 1976, many months before its international release in the summer of 1977. Zanov is one of those electronic musicians who have fallen through the cracks. While I feel Green Ray is a better album overall, this is still excellent and I recommend it to lovers of '70s electronic music.

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Thanks to philippe Blache for the artist addition.

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