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Zoviet France - A Flock of Rotations CD (album) cover


Zoviet France

Progressive Electronic

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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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Posted Friday, August 23, 2013 | Review Permalink

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