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GREEN RAY

Zanov

Progressive Electronic


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Zanov Green Ray album cover
4.11 | 55 ratings | 8 reviews | 33% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 1976

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Green Ray (9:48)
2. Machine Desperation (10:22)
3. Running Beyond A Dream (19:46)

Total time 39:56

Line-up / Musicians

- "Zanov" (Pierre Salkazanov) / keyboards, ARP synths

Releases information

LP Polydor ‎- 2393 151 (1976, France)

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ZANOV Green Ray ratings distribution


4.11
(55 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(33%)
33%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
38%
Good, but non-essential (18%)
18%
Collectors/fans only (4%)
4%
Poor. Only for completionists (7%)
7%

ZANOV Green Ray reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by philippe
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Green Ray is an exceptional and top class kosmische electronic album in the vein of the most vibrating synthesized soundscapes written by Klaus Schulze during his late 70's classic era (Moondown, Mirage, Body Love...) Zanov is an electronic artist and keyboarder from France. With Didier Bocquet he represents the french answer to seventies German kosmsiche music (Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, Adelbert Von Deyen, Robert Schroeder...) Green Ray is without any doubts the most achieved work from Zanov. The alchemic, looped and slow moving opening theme (Green Ray) is almost more amazing than spacey, proto-new agey stuffs from Schulze. With the help of analog synthesizers and sound effects this composition delivers a mesmeric, dense and emulating electronic piece that physically transports you in deep astral space. The sequenced hypno-minimal patterns are sustained by catchy, sci-fi epic melodies. It also reminds me Tim Blake's extended synthscapes in Crystal Machine. The second piece Machine Desperation is a more moody / claustrophobic electronic soundscape featuring ultimately dark hypno synth pulsations and haunted, glacial, otherworldy sounds. This fascinating composition is among my favourites from Zanov and from vintage space synthesized analog music in general. Green Ray is constantly brilliant and impressive. Among the very best 70's kosmische electronic albums from France with Eclipse (Didier Bocquet), Prophecy (Bernard Xolotl) and a few others.
Review by Progfan97402
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars It's funny the amount of electronic acts that went past my radar scope for all these years. Case in point: Pierre Zalkazanov, French electronic musician who goes by the name of Zanov. It blows me away how this was never reissued on CD, because this stuff simply blew me away. and ever be glad I own a turntable and able to play LPs, because it's stuff like this, along with Patrick Vian and the Swedish duo Anna Själv Tredje, that you're only able to get on vinyl, and not easy to come by. 1976's Green Ray is Zanov's debut and it just simply blows me away. He uses the ARP 2600 and EMS VCS-3 with a nice spacy '70s feel to go with it. He's been frequently compared with Jarre, Schulze, and TD, but really has his own approach. Title track features some nice themes and pulsing synths, "Machine Desperation", unsurprisingly, has a more mechanical feel to it, while "Running Beyond a Dream" at times sounds a bit like a more mechanical Tim Blake. I frequently hear synth effects that are almost Blake-like. This cut is packed with really trippy synth effects. Perhaps the synth timbres might seem a bit dated for many listeners and that's why his music is now completely forgotten, but I love this stuff and 70s electronic music buffs should seek out his LPs.
Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 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.

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.

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

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.

Latest members reviews

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 synt ... (read more)

Report this review (#1475605) | Posted by Replayer | Tuesday, October 13, 2015 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Think of Zanov (and particularly here on Green Ray) as the dark counter-earth twin of Jean- Michel Jarre. If Jarre is poppy, impressionistic, romantic, melodic and accessible, then Zanov is moody, expressive, gothic, atonal and thoroughly uncompromising. His expansive soundscapes reverberate w ... (read more)

Report this review (#278491) | Posted by Rocketboy | Monday, April 19, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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