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Zoviet France - Mohnomishe  CD (album) cover

MOHNOMISHE

Zoviet France

 

Progressive Electronic

2.91 | 3 ratings

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Dobermensch
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Proto industrial is the term that best describes 1983's 'Mohnomishe'. Similar artists from this era would include Lustmord, Konstruktivists and Coil. Newcastle isn't exactly the kind of place you'd expect this type of music to originate from. I've been there twice and it feels like a 'home from home'. They're a noisy and brash bunch but friendly - just like us in Glasgow. Zoviet France however, remain a nameless, faceless nonentity.

For reasons that are beyond me, 'Mohnomische' has the highest hit rate for Zoviet France on the 'Rate your Music' website. Don't ask why - I've no idea. Afterall, there was never going to be a 7" single or promotional pushes, but 'Monomische' has that 'je ne sais quoi'. That thing where it just sounds right despite its uncommercial material.

A very creepy ghostlike vocal opens the album before a throbbing bass-like throb envelops the listener as he's subjected to a torrent of repetitive vibratory trembles. Scratched objects are processed through electronic filters whacked up to maximum level, but the overall theme sounds almost muted and beautiful.

Part two is without doubt the highlight of 'Mohnomishe' . A whining mutated horn blows resonantly as a deep male vocal chant occurs alternating between background and foreground. Deeply treated minimalist rattling percussion sporadically occurs whilst all around a sense of ominous dread unfurls as indescribable pipes blow and wail from ear to ear. Spooky.

Part three exemplifies what Zoviet France were all about during the early 80's. Thumping repetitive bass drum forced into an electronic loop as all hell breaks loose - where the thudding becomes extreme, as sharp snippets of vocals and distorted short-wave radio transmissions are placed strategically within the track. Slowly but surely a tune appears out of the gloom rendering this another winner.

Throbs of two note bass and tiny floating flutes follow. Indeterminate objects are stretched beyond recognition through electronic gizmos creating a slow whirlwind of sound. This is pretty much the way things go on until the conclusion of 'Mohnomishe'. Everything sounds murky and unclear for the next 20 mins until part six where we're hit straight in the face with a squelching, electronic, arpeggiating fat pulsing bass with vocals which sound more Ukranian than emanating from Newcastle.

Part seven has angry looped vocals paired with squished backward recordings which lead to the most mashed up part of this album.

Part 8 is a beautiful, beat-less fifteen minute tune which swirls, drones then thumps throughout its duration. After 10 minutes a recognisable sound occurs! - a car engine ignition and subsequent driving of said vehicle. It's the only definable sound within this one hour album. Phew, at least there was something I could relate to.

This obvious four track recording has limitations in sound quality, where there's always a faint tape hiss in the background. In many ways though, it contributes towards a recording that is both timeless and ageless. On the down side, there's not much in the way of stereo dynamics which leads me to give a solid upper three stars, bordering four.

Dobermensch | 3/5 |

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