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ZOVIET FRANCE

Progressive Electronic • United Kingdom


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Zoviet France biography
Multifaceted British soundscapers whose music was born from the 80s British industrial underground. With dexterity, intelligent capabilities and an innovative electronic sound approach, the band signed part of the most original sonically psych-active drones and striking, weirdly avant-garde electronic abstractions. An intriguing and pioneering whose releases can be considered as a milestone in the electronic music anthology.

Similar artists in the archives: Coil, Throbbing Gristle, Dead Voices of Air, Contrastate, Randy Greif

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Shouting At The GroundShouting At The Ground
Charrm
Audio CD$74.33
$45.00 (used)
Just An Illusion (Original Wooden Box Edition)Just An Illusion (Original Wooden Box Edition)
Limited Edition · Import · Limited Collector's Edition
Staalplaat
Audio CD$36.50 (used)
CollusionCollusion
Soleil Moon Records 1995
Audio CD$115.96
$19.49 (used)
DigilogueDigilogue
Soleilmoon 1996
Audio CD$12.45
$11.99 (used)
Loh LandLoh Land
Import
Staalplaat 2003
Audio CD$511.00
$38.98 (used)
GaristaGarista
Audio CD$29.45 (used)
NorschNorsch
Import
Charm
Audio CD$60.00 (used)
Shadow, Thief Of The SunShadow, Thief Of The Sun
Import
DOVe
Audio CD$69.89 (used)
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Zoviet France Mohnomishe US $26.00 [2 bids]
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BAD SECTOR Transponder CD (Cisfinitum Zoviet France Maeror Tri Inade Panabrite) US $14.99 [0 bids]
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INTERNAL FUSION Hastia CD (Zoviet France Rapoon Muslimgauze Troum Vidna Obmana) US $14.00 [0 bids]
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NURSE WITH WOUND Rock n' Roll Station CD (Organum Zoviet France Coil Current 93) US $14.99 [0 bids]
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BARDOSENETICCUBE Deadhead CD (Zoviet France Rapoon Brume Lustmord Inade) US $12.00 [0 bids]
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TARKATAK Skärva 7" Werkbund Zoviet France Rapoon Troum Maeror Tri Drone Records US $7.00 [0 bids]
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OPION SOMNIUM 7" (Zoviet France Jasper TX Nadja Rapoon Maeror Tri Troum drone) US $7.00 [0 bids]
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OMENYA Ancient Rites CD (Troum Rapoon Zoviet France Muslimgauze dr US $9.99 [0 bids]
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ORIGAMI GALAKTIKA + I:WOUND + INDERST ELIA Monolake CD (Rapoon Zoviet France) US $9.99 [0 bids]
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INTRAVENE Flotation Toy Warning CD (Contrastate Zoviet France Nurse With Wound) US $9.99 [0 bids]
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INORGANIC BLOSSOMING Autumndrones CD (Steve Roach Alio Die Rapoon Zoviet France) US $9.99 [0 bids]
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SRMEIXNER The Dictatorship CD (Contrastate Zoviet France Nurse With Wound NWW) US $9.99 [0 bids]
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MAURIZIO BIANCHI A M.B. Iehn Tale CD SPK Zoviet France Organum Nurse With Wound US $9.99 [0 bids]
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ULTRA MILKMAIDS Pop Pressing CD (Aidan Baker Troum Nadja Zoviet France Ant Zen) US $8.00 [0 bids]
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OGNI VIDENIY CD (Lunar Abyss Deus Organum Bardoseneticcube Rapoon Zoviet France) US $12.00 [0 bids]
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SECHRES MOUND CD (Toy Bizarre vs Exotoendo) Brume Zoviet France A.B.G.S. Militia US $12.50 [0 bids]
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Zoviet France "A Flock Of Rotations" CD RE '95 Rapoon Coil Troum Maeror Tri Z'EV US $39.99 [1 bids]
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Hafler Trio "Brain Song" Ltd 12" '86 Psychic TV Zoviet France Coil Organum Aube US $29.99 [0 bids]
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Z'EV "My Favorite Things" LP Ltd '85 Zoviet France Hafler Trio Nurse With Wound US $18.99 [0 bids]
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:zoviet*france: - Digilogue (2013) US $25.93 Buy It Now 1 day
Dead Voices on Air - Frankie Pett Presents The Happy Submarines CD Zoviet France US $6.00 Buy It Now 1 day
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Zoviet France-Untitled Hessian UK orig' CHARRM CD 1990 Rapoon experimental US $29.99 Buy It Now 3 days
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Limited Edition RAPOON Dark Rivers CD ZOVIET FRANCE Robin Storey 2009 NEW Sealed US $17.98 Buy It Now 4 days
RAPOON Recurring (Dream Circle) CD ZOVIET FRANCE Robin Storey 1996 NEW Sealed US $16.49 Buy It Now 4 days
Limited RAPOON The Bush Prophet CD ZOVIET FRANCE Robin Storey 2009 NEW Sealed US $18.99 Buy It Now 4 days
RUSSIA press RAPOON Wasteland Raga CD ZOVIET FRANCE Robin Storey 2009 NEW Sealed US $19.98 Buy It Now 4 days
VOICE OF EYE live LP SEALED life garden illusion of safety zoviet france troum US $19.99 Buy It Now 5 days
ZOVIET FRANCE SHOUTING AT THE GROUND 2 LP RED RHINO 1st Pressng AUDIOPHILE US $146.99 Buy It Now 5 days
Reformed Faction The War Against . . . 1st ed. CD lim 400 Zoviet France Rapoon US $10.00 [0 bids]
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Digilogue - Zoviet France (2004, CD New) US $12.19 Buy It Now 6 days
Z'EV CD Andrew Chalk LAFMS MB Maurizio Bianchi Psychic TV Aube Zoviet France NON US $12.99 Buy It Now 7 days
ELD-OMALA WHITE STAINS PHAUSS KARKOWSKI CD Psychic TV Zoviet France MSBR Aube US $12.99 Buy It Now 7 days
Digilogue Zoviet France CD US $18.98 Buy It Now 7 days
RAPOON Just Say The Faith (LP) (Robin Storey / Zoviet France) US $18.00 Buy It Now 9 days
FOUR HANDS/ZOVIET FRANCE - Mammoth Mountain - limited clear vinyl 12" US $17.82 Buy It Now 9 days
ZOVIET FRANCE - DIGILOGUE NEW CD US $23.94 Buy It Now 10 days
ZOVIET FRANCE "Shouting At The Ground" CD 1988 RED RHINO Records Rare Electronic US $19.99 Buy It Now 10 days
Reformed Faction ?- The War Against... US orig' 1st #400 CD Zoviet France Rapoon US $39.99 Buy It Now 11 days
Rapoon ?- Navigating By Colour US orig' #1000 CD w/postcards 1999 Zoviet France US $39.99 Buy It Now 11 days
RLW "Views" CD (2003) Ralf Wehowsky, P16.D4, Hafler Trio, Zoviet France, NWW US $9.00 Buy It Now 11 days
RAPOON Dark Rivers CD zoviet france Dark Ambient lull muslimgauze raison d'etre US $12.99 Buy It Now 12 days
Nocturnal Emissions "World is My Womb" LP (1987) Current 93/Coil/Zoviet France US $20.00 Buy It Now 12 days
TROUM : Darve Sh 10" Lim 100 RED Vinyl : MINT! Rapoon Zoviet France US $39.99 Buy It Now 12 days
ZOVIET FRANCE Vinyl LP Misfits, Looney Tunes And Squalid Criminals (1986) US $119.99 Buy It Now 12 days
ZOVIET FRANCE original Vinyl 10" LP Gris US $119.99 Buy It Now 12 days
ZOVIET FRANCE original Vinyl 2LP Mohnomishe (1983) US $179.99 Buy It Now 12 days
ZOVIET FRANCE original Vinyl LP Garista (1990) US $79.99 Buy It Now 12 days
HANK & SLIM - The World Turned Gingham, OOP Nocturnal Emissions, Zoviet France US $6.99 Buy It Now 12 days
Zoviet France ?- Loh Land Dutch orig' Staalplaat CD 1992 US $39.99 Buy It Now 13 days
Zoviet France ?- Shouting At The Ground UK reissue Charrm CD 1990 US $59.99 Buy It Now 13 days
V/A-Objekt 4 Zoviet France Blackhouse Pacific 231 Psyclones Vox Populi PBK 1990 US $19.99 Buy It Now 13 days
Hafler Trio "La Chanson Dada" 10" Ltd '02 Psychic TV Zoviet France Coil Organum US $25.00 Buy It Now 13 days
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Chao Organica In A Minor by Soriah CD Nurse With Wound Zoviet France Troum Coil US $6.00 Buy It Now 15 days
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Absolute CD CURRENT 93 ZOVIET FRANCE 1989 RARE LOW 3.00 US $29.99 Buy It Now 17 days
ZOVIET FRANCE-NORSCH/METAL ART SLEEVE/RARE 1983 EXPERIMENTAL ABSTRACT US $54.99 Buy It Now 17 days
In Memoriam Gilles Deleuze : Mille Plateaux 2CD : Alec Empire ZOVIET FRANCE Gas US $25.22 Buy It Now 19 days
Beequeen "Music For The Head Ballet" CD RE Ltd '04 Zoviet France Organum Troum US $15.00 Buy It Now 21 days
Rapoon ?- Navigating By Colour - 1st edition #1000 CD w/postcards Zoviet France US $35.00 Buy It Now 21 days
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RAPOON Melancholic Songs Of The Desert CD Zoviet France US $26.08 Buy It Now 22 days
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:zoviet*france: - Digilogue (2013) US $23.40 Buy It Now 24 days
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ZOVIET FRANCE - Digilogue - CD US $29.00 Buy It Now 27 days
Zoviet France "Loh Land" CD '92 Rapoon Nurse With Wound Coil Troum Hafler Trio US $25.00 Buy It Now 28 days
Zoviet France "What Is Not True" CD '93 Rapoon Coil Troum Maeror Tri Muslimgauze US $30.00 Buy It Now 28 days
Zoviet France "digilogue" LP Ltd '96 Rapoon Nurse With Wound Coil Hafler Trio US $50.00 Buy It Now 28 days
Zoviet France "Norsch" 12" '83 Rapoon Nurse With Wound Coil Troum Hafler Trio US $40.00 Buy It Now 28 days
Reformed Faction "The War Against..." CD Ltd '07 Zoviet France Rapoon Coil Troum US $25.00 Buy It Now 28 days

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ZOVIET FRANCE shows & tickets


  • Zoviet France & Troum on 20 Sep 2014

ZOVIET FRANCE discography


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

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

3.00 | 2 ratings
Untitled
1982
3.91 | 2 ratings
:Garista:
1982
3.00 | 1 ratings
Mohnomishe
1983
5.00 | 1 ratings
Eostre
1984
3.91 | 2 ratings
Lohland
1985
3.00 | 1 ratings
Popular Soviet Songs and Youth Music
1985
3.00 | 1 ratings
Gesture Signal Threat
1986
4.00 | 1 ratings
Misfits, Loony Tunes and Squalid Criminals
1986
3.00 | 2 ratings
A Flock of Rotations
1987
4.00 | 1 ratings
Assault and Mirage
1987
4.82 | 2 ratings
Shouting At The Ground
1988
3.00 | 1 ratings
Look Into Me
1990
5.00 | 1 ratings
Just An Illusion
1990
2.91 | 2 ratings
Shadow, Thief Of The Sun
1991
0.00 | 0 ratings
Digilogue
1996
2.00 | 1 ratings
The Decriminalisation Of Country Music
2000
3.00 | 2 ratings
Music for a Spaghetti Western
2005

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

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ZOVIET FRANCE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Popular Soviet Songs and Youth Music by ZOVIET FRANCE album cover Studio Album, 1985
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Popular Soviet Songs and Youth Music
Zoviet France Progressive Electronic

Review by Dobermensch

— First review of this album —
3 stars I've left this most awkward and difficult review of Zoviet France until last. I've put this off for months due to the enormity of the task. There's no point in describing each tune, as there's 39 of the damn things sprawling over two and a half hours. This review would therefore run into thousand upon thousand of words. A better approach will be to describe each of the three cd's individually and as a whole. Firmly wedged between two sheets of thick carpeting felt, the 3 cd's of 'Popular Soviet Songs...' contain some of the best and also some of the the worst Zoviet France ever laid down on vinyl.

Disc I begins with a nice Pittsburgh Steelworks sound as if heard from two miles away as little strings and bopping percussion dance around playfully. It's all very untuneful so far which is very surprising.. Deep moaning, ritualistic vocal grumblings follow which are hugely reverbed and distorted, leaving the vocalist more wolf-ike than human. This belongs more on the original 'Evil Dead' soundtrack. How scary would that have been?

Ghostly vocals drearily moan in this more minimalist Zoviet France recording. Popular Soviet Songs...' sounds more raw, without the multitude of electronic effects you'd come to expect by this point in their discography - vocals excepted - they are invariably distorted beyond recognition. This is a dark, foreboding piece of work where monstrous goings on occur in the background as large swooshing slabs of vocals tremble and flutter in the foreground. This has to be the least 'user friendly' Zoviet France recording in their entire discography, being more alienating than the ultra noisy experimentation of 81-82.

Popular Soviet Songs...' is a very difficult album to take in one sitting unless you are clearly demented like me. It's not 'In Your Face' weird, but is continually indescribable during it's huge duration, having no points of reference or sounds that are similar to other bands. Without tune, chord, bass, guitar, drum or keyboard - you'd be left wondering how anyone could fill out a triple album of this length. Quite frankly I've no idea, but these guys were clearly devoted to their task with a sheer bloody mindedness that separated them from literally every other artist of their era.

Clearly some of this should have been cut during the editing process, but quality control seems to be two words that were taboo to Zoviet France during 1985. Parts of the 2nd disc in particular is a noisy, unstructured mess that goes nowhere, has no discernible instruments and is just noise for the sake of it, and is quite honestly not up to their usual standard. Definitely the poorest tracks they ever officially released appear in 'Birch Brake' and the cyrillic Russian title where the inept vocals are painful and excruciating to listen to.

Without rhyme or reason things get back on track with 'Sein' replete with deep bass like echoed vocals as watery splashes bounce from ear to ear. Surprisingly nothing reaches 10 minutes on this recording which is literally unheard of for a Zoviet France LP. The 3rd dic is the best by a long shot, where it almost sounds like it was recorded at a different time as it sounds much clearer, beefier, more coherent and altogether much more palatable.

Sweeping swathes of stringy weirdness increase until the ultimate oddity - a vocal that sounds like it's sawing a plank of wood in two, in the strangely named 'Swine'. This is followed by probably the best tune on all 3 discs - 'Veil sloe semen' - a superb track which HP Lovecraft would have gained inspiration from in writing ' At the Mountains of Madness'. It's full of resonating strings and horns that are hugely slowed down creating a melancholic graveyard of an atmosphere - the kind of music you'd expect to hear in the aftermath of the Battle of Agincourt in 1415. Things continue in this manner and infuriatingly I have to say that this 3rd dic borders 5 stars. Compared with some of the tripe we've had to endure on discs one and three I can now lie back and relax, safe in the knowledge that only class follows. None more so than in 'Chirm Geis' - a beautiful number with strummed strings and creepy flutes.

Pretty much a 'for fans only' recording due to the fact that large parts of discs one and two are very patchy. This is an album which infuriates and delights by equal measure throughout its massive duration. It could have been so much better if they'd taken a pair of sharp scissors to it and cut it down to a single 75 minute monster disc. It's almost certainly not going to appeal to many 'Prog Archive' listeners I can guarantee that. Ah well, at the end of the day it's good for scaring children.

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 Gesture Signal Threat by ZOVIET FRANCE album cover Studio Album, 1986
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Gesture Signal Threat
Zoviet France Progressive Electronic

Review by Dobermensch

— First review of this album —
3 stars Another swirling reversed patchwork of tribalistic weirdness from Zoviet France.

Morphed, twanging strings of unknown origin strum as subdued fake ethnic chants open 'Gesture, Signal Threat'. Odd little whistling instruments are layered throughout 'Gllisten'. It's a repetitive swirling track that makes you feel you're listening to music whilst in a coma. Unfortunately it ends as a few tracks do on this recording with a huge rush of static buzz which is enough to make you jump out of your skin if listening on headphones.

Literally every sound is played in reverse in 'Host' - which is pretty much par for the course as far as Zoviet France go. In many ways, listening to their albums is similar to lying in a hospital bed where the only sense available to you is hearing. Devoid of all human contact and being totally alone.

Coming to terms with 'Gesture, Signal, Threat' is a tough proposition in that it's unlike anything else in the Archives.It is however similar to everything Zoviet France recorded from this era.

Wooden and almost prehistoric xylophone runs rampant throughout 'Signal 8'. All the while strange whooping backward instrumentation wheezes in the background. Another of those intensely annoying static clicks at 100% volume makes your heart leap into your throat. It almost sounds like a production fault, but is clearly intentional.

A one note spooky bass throb which sounds like an elastic band twanged at low speed introduces 'Threat' as high pitched vocals warble in a non-human manner as time tunnel swooshes, full of reverb and echo proceed to the end of this most typical of Zoviet France tunes.

The seven minute 'Grote' cools it a bit with the overloaded effects and instead offers a strange extreme stereo approach using 'Wicker Man' percussion with blobs and beats of wooden bells. This sounds very ritualistic and rather sinister as you can hear faint tribal vocal grumblings in the background. It's good barbecue music if you fancy battering away at empty plastic tubs and plant pots as someone cooks the food.

The lengthiest track follows with 'Blow' - an utterly destroyed tune that was once possibly lovely, now reduced to a cacophony of electronically filtered noise which belongs in 'Eli Roth's' 'Begotten' film. A sickly and disorientating malaise of sound.

The final track named 'Bran' returns to that weird floaty indescribable percussion that only Zoviet France seem to have mastered. Whistles are squashed through more effect units of unknown origin. A truly bizarre album if you're new to the band, but no surprises at all if you've heard anything before or after 'Gesture, Signal Threat'.

Another successful recording in the Zoviet France catalogue which is spoiled by huge bursts of static noise at one or two points. This one is a shimmering, creepy and non linear oddity and is as good a place as any to start if you haven't heard them.

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 Just An Illusion  by ZOVIET FRANCE album cover Studio Album, 1990
5.00 | 1 ratings

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Just An Illusion
Zoviet France Progressive Electronic

Review by Dobermensch

— First review of this album —
5 stars Presented in a spectacular wooden cigar box, 'Just An Illusion' is a box I would never dream of putting a cigar in. It's too precious to me. 'Just An Illusion' Is a conglomeration of 'Musique Concrete' and Ambient music. It's much softer but still as weird as any of their previous recordings.

Playful Sprightly oriental strings and ethnic vocals appear on 'Lief Lulla' which sounds like it could originate anywhere from Helsinki to Vladivostok. Being heavily mixed through a delay filter makes this all the more difficult to comprehend.

The American spoken vocal 'But Is it all just an illusion' is almost the only vocal you'll hear on this entire album. It's also used in ''Nachtmaal' - a track that sounds like a scene from the David Lynch film 'Eraserhead' - where an unimaginably stretched out vocal pours over an outstretched drone.

Plodded pottery and wooden objects are at strange variance as extremely unusual strings play in 'Wood Stock'. This is a hypnotic tune that segues into the even more dreamy 'Nature But Not', with it's odd twangy thrumming and quietly industrial pumps and squeaks.

The beautiful 'Ascend A Fall' follows with echoed chiming metal bars immersed in very pretty filtered vocals. Undoubtedly the best tune on the album, it spans over 7 minutes. Every second is bliss to my ears. It's so beautifully slow and unaware of time, where everything is stripped to an absolute minimum, as gorgeous horn like objects recite a tune while fluttering percussion occasionally passes by. Easily one of Zoviet France's most memorable tracks. Fans of Harold Budd and Eno will love this.

The more repetitive 'Caught in a Square' revolves and mutates around a single chord that sweeps and morphs in a dizzying manner from ear to ear. It lifts imperceptibility to an altogether higher plane of ghostliness as curious twangs, throbs and ululating male vocals are threshed through God knows what effect units. It leaves you with a completely alien sounding medley of circular devolving loops that deteriorate into a thing of beauty with 3 minutes to go during this 14 minute track. Clearly Zoviet France had no idea of pace or tune. Everything was allowed to develop at it's own unearthly pace. It all sounds so natural and beautiful. Where every chime and pulse is where it's meant to be.

Sounds from the Pittsburgh steelworks follow where looped metal and whines are delicately played in a very pretty track named 'Swelled Out Downward'. An industrial recording with a difference in that it's very clearly recorded and is easy on the ears.

Larger percussive loops which are deliberately out of synch bring forth a more doom laden atmosphere in 'Signing Papal Briefs'. Replete with haunting high pitched vocals. This is sure to give any listener shivers up the spine.

A murmuring throb is the best way to describe 'Is It?.' It's very David Lynch ' Twin Peaks' - style, where, sickening grumbles and backwards slabs of noise and vocals pulse. This ever threatening track continues for 5 minutes.

Plucked home-made strings and horns that defy description play around in 'Mute Moon'. This sounds as much 'Cherokee' Indian as it does 'Aborigine Australian'.

Two short bizarre tracks are tagged on at the end. Both are excellent, one is instrumental and the other is an ethnic sounding Red Indian chant where seriously damaged vocals are repeated with huge echo to fade.

This is just too good for 4 stars but I have to admit it barely scrapes 5. In my books I can't find a thing wrong with it other than the fact that others may find it overlong and repetitive - a bit like this review eh folks?.

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 Music for a Spaghetti Western by ZOVIET FRANCE album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.00 | 2 ratings

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Music for a Spaghetti Western
Zoviet France Progressive Electronic

Review by Dobermensch

3 stars If ever an album title didn't fit the music within, this surely has to be it. There's nothing Western or spaghetti on display whatsoever.

Steve Reich's 1968 vocal loop experiment 'Come Out' springs to mind whilst listening to this infuriatingly repetitive opener in what is otherwise an excellent album that was strangely sidelined in 1986 and didn't see the light of day until 2005. Perhaps they were ashamed by the embarrassment of riches released during that year? Continuously looped spoken vocals are repeated to distraction. Thankfully things pick up where we hear American political speeches as thrumming strings and bouncy percussion enliven proceedings.

Once again - the longest track on the album is the best. This time it's at a duration of 30 minutes. A tune appears to play in reverse with sweeping electronic effects until some ghostly stretched male vocals materialise. They're no ordinary vocals of course and are so delayed they sound like keyboards. Plucked percussion thrust through some seriously damaged echo effects then follow, surprisingly it leads to a very laid back and atmospheric track which plods along very slowly in a Brian Eno kind of manner. Layer upon layer of heavily treated vocals are heaped upon one another as alien strings twang and warble in the most inscrutable of manner.

Wobbly back to front bells and shimmering gongs fill up the next few eccentric minutes. It's just a pity that it doesn't flow seamlessly. You can tell it's a patchwork of unreleased material due to the miniscule fragments of silence between parts that join each other. A long, groaning throbbing bass with high pitched floating flute of indeterminate origin recurs for the next 10 minutes or so. Relentless Red Indian wig-wam camp fire drumming is finally broken up by airborne wind instruments during this next mysterious section which repeats to fade.

Warped muddy metallic sounds played in reverse announce the introduction of the final part of 'Music for a Spaghetti Western. David Lynch films spring to mind where evil deep vocals appear and vapourise just as quickly. Extreme stereo is used where plaintive vocals bounce from ear to ear along with bass-like horns. This is a Haunted house of cobwebs in which no living beings reside.

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 Untitled by ZOVIET FRANCE album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.00 | 2 ratings

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Untitled
Zoviet France Progressive Electronic

Review by Dobermensch

3 stars A totally chaotic recording, without rhyme or reason. it's raw and abrasive in execution. Cheap technological recording techniques are used throughout this self titled album that is full of primitive looping.

This untitled album originally came in a painted Hessian bag - and has been known since as 'Hessian'. It's damn aggressive and completely tuneless but is compelling listening nonetheless. You could easily be forgiven for thinking that this was recorded by the inmates in 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest'. Honestly folks, this is completely away with the bees.

'Ritual' kick starts their long discography off with peculiar wailing pipes and flute before some very heavy banging of drums and many demented screams and shouts. Believe it or not, there's even some straight electric guitar in there! It is however a totally bonkers recording with brutal stabs of horns at high volume intruding at many points. This is probably the only time they sounded like 'Throbbing Gristle'

'Mudbast Boys' reveals the only occasion I can recall hearing a real human voice on a Zoviet France recording. You probably won't like it though - as all thats uttered is 'Ok Boys' as battered irregular drums and a wildly out of tune piano flap about your face like a great big annoying moth.

'Sem Boys' displays the ugly raw, abrasive side to Zoviet France. It's the only tune I can think of where no effects are used at all. Everything is recorded at source in its original form. The funny thing is - they sound like a bunch of Comanche Indians.

Possibly one of the most annoying tunes of all time follows with 'Bring Hessa' a repetitive vocal diatribe which repeats the words 'Bring in Sheeves' but on listening sounds maddeningly like 'Bring in Cheese'. It reminds me a lot of the Roger Waters/Ron Geesin collaboration from 1970 - with all that whispering tomfoolery. Band members giggling in the background during the recording do not add to the finished product. Well, one thing's for sure. Once you've heard it you won't forget it. Believe me...

An unexpected tuneless funky bass brings in the 12 minute 'Ji Boys' which has a plenitude of destroyed piano and broken up percussion. Almost like a jig-saw that has been thrown up in the air in a fit of rage at being unable to find the missing piece. Five minutes in and things go totally AWOL - where blatantly loud clipped reverse drums and truly deranged bass guitar hammer out tuneless tones in this angriest of Zoviet France recordings. Those guitars come back in their shrilling, piercing manner which only adds to a fabulous ending.

The damage was done earlier on - in particular that 'Bring Hessa' track which is enough to try the patience of a Saint.

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 A Flock of Rotations by ZOVIET FRANCE album cover Studio Album, 1987
3.00 | 2 ratings

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A Flock of Rotations
Zoviet France Progressive Electronic

Review by Dobermensch

3 stars 'A Flock of Rotations' is an aptly named album for this collection of shorter Zoviet France tracks which only has a running time of 36 minutes. It has a theme running throughout, of sorts. It may be tenuous, but for the first 20 minutes it sounds like something is trying to break out from the inside of a short-wave radio.

A shouting garbled vocal from what sounds like the top of an Iranian Minaret introduces listeners to yet another highly peculiar and strangely alluring recording by Zoviet France. Large scraping noises burst in at various points which leads into 'Drive' - a rotating, swirling hotch-potch of what could be anything from a guitar to a dying badger. It's simply impossible to define the source of any one sound. Instead we're left with a kaleidoscopic maelstrom of oddness.

Things get more abrasive in the 30 second snippet 'Skritha' before 'Slide' does that thing that only Zoviet France can do. Ethnic percussion stuck through filter machines, gizmos and gadgets leave you wondering what on earth you just heard. The strange thing with this mob is that everything sounds vaguely musical after multiple listens. Newcomers would just look at you in confused bewilderment with a big frown on the face if you played this to them.

Something utterly strange is looped backwards in 'Mandrel'. I'm at a loss as to reveal what. Perhaps it's a guitar plucked with a fish head? 'Skratte' has some semblance of a human vocal permeating from the depths of hell. Another of those tracks which sounds like a ritualistic sacrfrice to the God 'Pan' in an empty dark 14th Century Church.

Reverberating tiny struck objects echoed to oblivion are what you'll hear on 'Ions Collis'. A shimmering, ethereal creepfest as if everything is bouncing off obsidian mirrors during 'Walpurgisnacht'.

There are what sound like oriental strings on 'Luh' - twisted and deformed as you'd by now expect. There's no real tune - but they pluck away sounding quite beautiful and pleasing to the ear until a slab of 'musique concrete' rears its ugly head in the background.

'Luh Windan' sums this album up in one fell swoop. Elements from all previous tunes appear but in a manner where you're not sure if you've actually heard them before. Things come to a fitting conclusion with 'Dream Hole' replete with a high pitched bouncing fake piano and deep foreboding human grumblings in the background. This actually sounds like the end of '2001 Space Oddysey' where 'Dave' is being observed by aliens in that bright white room.

A good enough album, but is quite forgettable amongst the collection of diamonds they recorded in the mid-eighties.

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 :Garista:  by ZOVIET FRANCE album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.91 | 2 ratings

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:Garista:
Zoviet France Progressive Electronic

Review by Dobermensch

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.

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 Shadow, Thief Of The Sun  by ZOVIET FRANCE album cover Studio Album, 1991
2.91 | 2 ratings

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Shadow, Thief Of The Sun
Zoviet France Progressive Electronic

Review by Dobermensch

3 stars This Zoviet France recording is quite a departure from previous releases being far more ambient in nature.

'In My Secrecy I Was Real' comprises one long continuous airborne chord as hugely reverbed male vocals shimmer and flurry in a wordless haze. The almost Tibetan sounding horns are a useful addition but overall this should be half of its eight minute duration as very little changes despite the pleasant whipped reverse notes. This is as minimal as Zoviet France sounded during their previous nine years worth of output. Everything sounds hot and steamy from here on until the central defining track 'Come Infinite'

'Feel The Warmth' is full of vocals that are so heavily treated that they don't even sound human. They're looped continuously as a booming echoing clap of thunder rattles from ear to ear.

Surprisingly the production on this one is poorer than anything since '87. The quiet parts are fine, but all loud noises sound a bit distorted. The eight minute 'This Moment Obscure' continues with another one chord floaty keyboard note. This time however, there's a lot more activity involved. A multitude of lop-sided and backward objects are at play along with some pretty cool, almost tuneful droning vocals.

Do you remember in the old days when cassettes used to mess up and distort so badly that certain segments played in the opposite direction? Well that's probably the best way to describe 'Shadow, Thief of the Sun'. Here, however, it's all very clear sounding and very deliberate.

'A Democratic Smirk' - displays the more 'musique concrete' side of the band - very much like 'Cair Camouflet' from 88's 'Look into Me'. There's some annoying distortion on the louder parts which distracts and in all honesty isn't one of their more memorable moments. It sounds like a heavily amplified version of someone rubbing the rim of a wine glass with their finger.

Thankfully the highlight of this album is also the longest with 'Come Infinite' clocking in at a respectable 20.46 mins. Huge horns bellow and caterwaul from the outset whilst puny flutes tunefully but morbidly whistle away in a downbeat atmosphere. It's like the sound of dying whales where the electronics used remind me of waves crashing on an empty beach. After 7 minutes it all becomes rather beautiful and ambient where echoes and drones are at the forefront along with a few clanking objects that are electronically decayed beyond recognition. At 10 mins there's some wonderfully breathy horns that are at once tuneless and beautiful at the same time. They sound like the pipes used in the film 'Aguirre Wrath of God' - the bits where Klaus Kinski goes completely bonkers. They are however progressively and heavily manipulated by extreme filters leaving us with a more industrial 'Stalingrad 1943' sort of feeling. If the whole album sounded like this it would have been a dead cert five star effort.

'Thin Air' is played almost entirely in reverse. Idiosyncratic vocal grumbles, more horns (only this time muted) and a wildly flailing single electronic bass chord are what you get here.

Messed up South American Aztec percussion is the best way to describe what happens in 'Cahl-Yn-Yan'. They've still got that pretty little flute thing going on, but things sound decidedly creepy with those phased and morphed vocals.

Things get a bit on the dreary side with a tune that outstays its welcome with 'Static Fields'. It's pretty enough, but doesn't really add to anything that has gone before. Bloops and wheeps and more reedy electronic pipes see things to a conclusion.

Pleasingly 'Shadow, Thief of the Sun' has an excellent closing tune in 'Ciels Tenebreuse'. A mellow, shimmering mirage with almost Jon Hassell sounding horns and yet more backward vocals. One thing's for sure - they certainly became calmer and more ambient towards the end.

This was pretty much it folks... Robin Storey left afterwards, they released a few live albums all of which were pretty good, and a couple of studio albums too, but their best years were behind them. A window of nine years in which some of the most wonderfully original and unusual music of the 20th Century was recorded. Not by a big name in a flush studio with promotional backing, but by a small outfit of a bunch of ordinary guys from Newcastle. It makes you think doesn't it?

I've got around 5000 cd's, and I have to say that Zoviet France are quite probably my favourite band of all time. Oh - and If you want to buy this you can virtually write it off as a no hoper. This is one of of the most difficult to find in their entire discography. Sorry for wasting your time...

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 Misfits, Loony Tunes and Squalid Criminals by ZOVIET FRANCE album cover Studio Album, 1986
4.00 | 1 ratings

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Misfits, Loony Tunes and Squalid Criminals
Zoviet France Progressive Electronic

Review by Dobermensch

— First review of this album —
4 stars A short 38 minute recording from 1986. Part of a quadrilogy comprising 'Charm, Ceremony, Chance, Prophecy' which equates to 'CCCP' what the Soviets called the USSR.

Resonating electronics and radio effects are used profusely on 'Signal 1'

'Host - Blowing the Instrument' has that classic Zoviet France sound of reversed loops - this time using what sounds like a Didgeridoo. You always get the impression whilst listening to Zoviet France that something awful is about to happen and this track pretty much sums up that opinion. Queer horns and erratic percussion fill out this track splendidly as faintly metallic pulses and middle eastern horns jockey for position. The effects on struck objects become heavier and more extreme towards the satisfying conclusion.

'Signal 2' has very threatening spoken vocals that are probably radio based and are wrapped up in whooshing wind-like electronics.

'Flote' at 9.44 minutes is a creepy, quiet and ritualistic tune which has an airy flute instrument mixed in with curious blooping percussion of unknown origin. This is a track that always feels like something monstrous is lurking in the shadows - just waiting till you're not looking...

'Signal 3' startles with its sudden explosion of loud vocal snippets. Once again they are distorted and recorded in reverse.

'Gesture, Signal, Threat' is chock-a-block with more reverse recordings, which really starts to leave you feeling quite bewildered and confused.

'Semasen' has a fluttering ethereal feel from beginning to end and introduces a muted bass line which is quite nice. Flip-flopping sounds run rampant throughout this preternatural tune.

'Rattle Stick Cruss' is a re-working of 1984's 'Ram' which appeared on their excellent compilation 'Collusion'. It has a repeated snippet of Jim Jones (Of Jonestown massacre infamy). Bouncy percussion and all manner of tweaks are rife here. I have to admit though - the Jim Jones vocal does start to grate my brain after a couple of minutes.

'They're Eating The Passengers' is a chilling and foreboding track of twanging metallic strings, mixed with radio transmissions. More 'Wicker Man' type percussion is laid on top creating an altogether more sinister atmosphere than what has gone before.

One of the shorter Zoviet France albums recorded during their most productive period. Highly original and very unusual, 'Misfits, Loony Tunes and Squalid Criminals' is an album that will certainly not appeal to many and sounds nothing like the comedic moniker the title suggests.

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  Eostre  by ZOVIET FRANCE album cover Studio Album, 1984
5.00 | 1 ratings

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Eostre
Zoviet France Progressive Electronic

Review by Dobermensch

— First review of this album —
5 stars Did you know that Easter was originally a pagan festival dedicated to Eostre, the Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring? The name is connected with words for "east" and "shining" and in Germany the name translates as 'Ostara'.

There's some serious 'Wicker Man' and 'Kill List' feelings going down here with the opener 'Shout the Storm'. The ritualistic percussion is deeply unsettling. You can literally feel the heat from the bonfires where it sounds as though the band recorded this whilst leaping around it hitting objects using human bones. There's some intensely creepy vocal chants and almost organic sounding pipes made of flesh. Strange stringed instruments are strummed which only makes this all the more bizarre.

What follows is probably my favourite Zoviet France tune of all time with 'Cirice'. It quickly evolves from mystical chants and hand clapping before submerging into a drunken 1920's style Weimar Republic cabaret with slow, deep and echoed piano. A beautiful track where every note is subtle and deliberate. This slowed down, reversed piano is what sets this tune apart. A truly excellent track that will stand the test of time for decades to come. Zoviet France between 1982 to 1991 has not dated at all. This is due to the fact that there's no recognisable instruments played. In future years their more recent recordings will sound more dated because of their almost entirely electronic nature.

'Hymen' has a horrendously warped circular loop that is enough to leave any listener feeling sick. The twisted vocals only add to the discomfort as a queasy bass-like one chord note pulsates.

'Gustr' blatantly displays a curious reversed track in entirety. The fact that there are no vocals and only swirling wind sounds make it sound like you're falling from the top floor of a skyscraper with the knowledge of what your'e about to hit.

'Kirke' continues in this form with a sickening throbbing bass tone as swishes of scratched objects bounce from ear to ear.

'Pearroc' continues where 'Cirice' finished. That 1920's piano is back only this time it's layered with bird calls and strange rumblings.

'Regn' continues the bird chirping but adds wood and sheet metal sounding percussion as some perplexing sort of harmonica pathetically tries to play in the background. It's drowned out by stabs of bass burps and treated plucked strings.

'Bell' with its backward muted reversed vocals and flutey swirls sets the scene for the mighty, brutal and somewhat out of place 'Cad Goddeu'. A Stomping, tuneless march for hammers that bludgeons everything within spitting distance. A battery of noise accompanied by what sounds like amplified World War 2 jack boots.

'Wajis' has a multitude of tiny percussive sounds going on as horns and male vocals leave you thinking you're next in line for an execution. This is almost a complete makeover of the opening track 'Shout the Storm'

'Angelus' has prevalent little chiming and clinking bells amidst a sea of whines in the background before an aggressive bongo drum intrudes beating out time in an irregular and disjointed way.

'Neptune' rounds off this marvelously creepy and sometimes deliberately tuneless album. Distorted radio interference blurt out from all directions as single bass notes destroy everything in their path. All the while swishing wind sounds and unusual musical chords from God knows what, pulverise this album to dust and its logical conclusion.

'Eostre' was originally released as a double album and clocks in at a hefty 69 minutes. Many may find this duration to be excessive due to the nature of the recording, but personally the more I listen to it - the more beautiful it becomes. I bought this in 1991 on cd and it remains one of my favourite albums of all time.

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Thanks to philippe for the artist addition.

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