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Thread: zoviet france - any other fans?

  1. #1

    zoviet france - any other fans?

    These guys have been on my radar for a while although I never really took a close look until recently. Very cool dark/abstract ambient electronic stuff going back to the 80's. A bit enigmatic, which is sort of neat (and was easier to pull off back in the pre-Internet era). Some seriously cool packaging too, especially on the earlier stuff.

    Scored an original copy of Popular Soviet Songs and Youth Music on cassette (the feather, parchment, etc. version), and that's been very cool. I also really enjoy their more recent album Patina Pooling with fossil aerosol mining project (comes in a rusted metal jewel case).

    Been exploring some of the offshoots too, including Rapoon (my favorite thus far), Dead Voices on Air and Reformed Faction.

    Gun to the head, my favorites thus far would be:

    zoviet france : Popular Soviet Songs, Collusion, Patina Pooling
    Rapoon : Just Say the Faith, Church Road
    Reformed Faction: Reformed Faction of Soviet France

    Any other fans? Curious to hear what other favorite albums folks might have. I've read lots of positive stuff about a live album called What is Not True, but so far I'm finding copies at pretty ridiculous prices sooo...not there yet (edit: just scored a copy at a semi-reasonable I-can-live-with-it price, so there you go)

    Thanks for reading!
    If you're actually reading this then chances are you already have my last album but if NOT and you're curious:
    https://battema.bandcamp.com/

    Also, Ephemeral Sun: it's a thing and we like making things that might be your thing: http://www.ephemeralsun.com

  2. #2
    I'm a huge fan and back at the times they were an instant auto-buy upon any release. I have all their stuff LPs + CDs up and including "What Is Not True". They begun to lose quality after that one and I lost interest (and moved on to Rapoon).

    Their masterpieces for me are "Eostre", "Shouting At The Ground" and "Mohnomishe" but their entire output from 1982 - 1993 is a must have.
    Macht das ohr auf!

    COSMIC EYE RECORDS

  3. #3
    Thanks! I recently scored Shouting at the Ground, and am poking around looking for a reasonable price on Mohnomishe.

    I just recently came across Spyby's Propeller project on Bandcamp, thinking about giving that a listen too.

    Forgot to mention Rapoon's Fires of the Borderlands, which I enjoy quite a lot too.
    If you're actually reading this then chances are you already have my last album but if NOT and you're curious:
    https://battema.bandcamp.com/

    Also, Ephemeral Sun: it's a thing and we like making things that might be your thing: http://www.ephemeralsun.com

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by battema View Post
    Forgot to mention Rapoon's Fires of the Borderlands, which I enjoy quite a lot too.
    "The Kirghiz Light" and "The Fires of the Borderlands" are their best for me. They lost me after " Navigating by Colour" when they downsized the ethnic elements for more generic ambient soundscapes.
    Macht das ohr auf!

    COSMIC EYE RECORDS

  5. #5
    Cool...will look for Kirghiz Light (not hard to find digitally).

  6. #6
    Got to see them back in the 90's here in Louisville, performing Terry Riley's "In C", alongside members of Ut Gret. Spell-binding!

  7. #7
    Yes, I like them. I used to own that album of theirs with the metal cover, but I leant it to a then-current friend who didn't stick around. And thus I lost the damn thing.

    I always thought of them as how it would have sounded if Nocturnal Emissions encountered Mnemonists/Biota. Pretty unique stuff.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  8. #8
    I spotted the metal-cover LP in the wild once a long time ago. Didn’t they have a sandpaper cover, too? I know they had wood and vellum covers out there.
    Confirmed Bachelors: the dramedy hit of 1883...

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Progbear View Post
    I spotted the metal-cover LP in the wild once a long time ago. Didn’t they have a sandpaper cover, too? I know they had wood and vellum covers out there.
    Mohnomishe was the wooden one.
    Gris had a sleeve constructed from a painted section of asphalt roofing material, with a printed strip of paper wrapped around.
    Norsch was the metallic in an aluminium foil sleeve.
    Eostre cover was in fold-out silk paper with inner cover in printed white latex.
    $oviet France was inside a painted hessian bag.
    Popular Soviet Songs And Youth Music CD issue came with a round felt piece on front and the back of the set with a soviet army military pin holding the whole set together. The set contains 3 "music" CDs, with felt glued to the print side & the music from the omonymous cassette on the other side and 3 'blank" CDs with track information on the printed side plus a side long high pitched tone on the playable side. The original cassette release came packaged inside a ceramic pot, with a stick, bird feathers, a flag and an instruction sheet, telling you what to do with these elements.

    The infamous sandpaper cover was the The Return Of... LP by The Durutti Column on Factory Records.
    Macht das ohr auf!

    COSMIC EYE RECORDS

  10. #10
    Yeah...the cassette of Popular Soviet Songs I scored had everything but the ceramic pot included.

    The exotic, more-than-just-the-album-sleeve packaging of theirs is certainly part of the appeal. Their albums really are unique statements, and I dig that.
    If you're actually reading this then chances are you already have my last album but if NOT and you're curious:
    https://battema.bandcamp.com/

    Also, Ephemeral Sun: it's a thing and we like making things that might be your thing: http://www.ephemeralsun.com

  11. #11
    Anyway, you convinced me...found a used copy of Mohnomishe in VG+ condition at a not-completely-obscene price and sprang for it. YOLO, as they say...

    I'm listening to the Reformed Faction "I Am the Source of Light, I Am Not a Mirror" set right now...cool, weird, almost jammy stuff. Almost, *almost* has a bit of a krautrock vibe that is kind of cool.
    If you're actually reading this then chances are you already have my last album but if NOT and you're curious:
    https://battema.bandcamp.com/

    Also, Ephemeral Sun: it's a thing and we like making things that might be your thing: http://www.ephemeralsun.com

  12. #12
    (not his real name) no.nine's Avatar
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    Love them, although they're a little inconsistent. Popular Soviet Songs, for example, I found underwhelming. Too sparse and bitty as I recall. And Garista is too silly. Juvenile, even.


    BUT - on to their masterstrokes (and I won't attempt to rank them, so these are in no particular order):


    Shouting at the Ground
    Mohnomishe (dirtier/grungier and more powerful than much of their output)
    Shadow, Thief of the Sun
    Just an Illusion
    A Flock of Rotations
    and, yes -- What Is Not True
    "I tah dah nur!" - Ike

  13. #13
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    Thanks fot starting this thread. What I've heard of ZF I've liked and I remember seeing the wild packaging back in the day including the wooden one. Wish I had pulled the trigger on those now.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by battema View Post
    I'm listening to the Reformed Faction "I Am the Source of Light, I Am Not a Mirror" set right now...cool, weird, almost jammy stuff. Almost, *almost* has a bit of a krautrock vibe that is kind of cool.
    Oh, the "reformed" Zoviet France? They aren't up to the old standards, much generic electro stuff, but I agree that the 3 CD set that you mention is something different from their main body of work and the most interesting thing they ever did.
    Macht das ohr auf!

    COSMIC EYE RECORDS

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by no.nine View Post
    And Garista is too silly. Juvenile, even.
    I agree, :Garista: is a very weak album, to the brinks of the unlistenable nowadays; the worst from their golden period.
    Last edited by spacefreak; 06-26-2018 at 02:23 AM.
    Macht das ohr auf!

    COSMIC EYE RECORDS

  16. #16
    Picked up Kirghiz Lights from Bandcamp (both CD + digital) over the weekend, listening now. Grand stuff!
    If you're actually reading this then chances are you already have my last album but if NOT and you're curious:
    https://battema.bandcamp.com/

    Also, Ephemeral Sun: it's a thing and we like making things that might be your thing: http://www.ephemeralsun.com

  17. #17
    Happy coincidence...my last two zf buys arrived today: What is Not True and Mohnomische (in the wood sleeve even!). Listening to the latter right now, and really loving it.

    Looks like this thread was of minimal interest to folks here on PE overall (which is fine) so I'll let it sink from here. But I do just want to say thanks again to everyone who threw in their thoughts (especially spacefreak), it helped me pick out a few real winners and I'm very excited to spend some time absorbing all this lovely stuff

    Best!
    JB
    If you're actually reading this then chances are you already have my last album but if NOT and you're curious:
    https://battema.bandcamp.com/

    Also, Ephemeral Sun: it's a thing and we like making things that might be your thing: http://www.ephemeralsun.com

  18. #18
    Member Birdy's Avatar
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    I have about 100 CD's from Zoviet France, Rapoon, Dead Voices and Reformed Faction.

    A few favorites:

    Zoviet France:

    Shouting At The Ground
    Vienna 1990
    What Is Not True
    Digilogue
    In.Version

    Rapoon:

    To West and Blue
    Downgliding
    Darker By Light
    Fires Of The Borderland
    Raising Earthly Spirits
    Easterly 6 or 7
    We are the grandchildren of apes, not angels
    But only we are gifted with the eyes to see
    On days without FEAR, when our heads are clear
    That angels, we could be
    (Marillion 2016)

  19. #19
    F*ck it, everyone else bumps threads so why not...

    Birdy, thanks for the list above. I scored Vienna 1990 along with Shadow, Thief of the Sun recently, really digging both. I've not yet investigated In.Version but it has come up more than once online on other lists, so I'll have to give that a peek too. I also recently sprang for their newest one, Tables Are Turning, and rather like it.

    Dead Voices didn't do much for me (at least the couple that I originally heard), but recently gave 'Michael and the Angels Fought' a go on Bandcamp and really enjoyed it...so maybe I'll check out some of his newer titles as well.

    I'm currently listening to the last Reformed Faction too (the Save Our Ghosts pair).

    I'm very happy to be exploring this whole sphere of bands.
    If you're actually reading this then chances are you already have my last album but if NOT and you're curious:
    https://battema.bandcamp.com/

    Also, Ephemeral Sun: it's a thing and we like making things that might be your thing: http://www.ephemeralsun.com

  20. #20
    Member Birdy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by battema View Post
    F*ck it, everyone else bumps threads so why not...

    Birdy, thanks for the list above. I scored Vienna 1990 along with Shadow, Thief of the Sun recently, really digging both. I've not yet investigated In.Version but it has come up more than once online on other lists, so I'll have to give that a peek too. I also recently sprang for their newest one, Tables Are Turning, and rather like it.

    Dead Voices didn't do much for me (at least the couple that I originally heard), but recently gave 'Michael and the Angels Fought' a go on Bandcamp and really enjoyed it...so maybe I'll check out some of his newer titles as well.

    I'm currently listening to the last Reformed Faction too (the Save Our Ghosts pair).

    I'm very happy to be exploring this whole sphere of bands.
    Yeah Dead Voices would be my least favorite and Rapoon my favorite of all these.
    We are the grandchildren of apes, not angels
    But only we are gifted with the eyes to see
    On days without FEAR, when our heads are clear
    That angels, we could be
    (Marillion 2016)

  21. #21
    Member Birdy's Avatar
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    I also don't have Tables Are Turning and hadn't even noticed it. It's a huge chore to keep up with these guys.
    We are the grandchildren of apes, not angels
    But only we are gifted with the eyes to see
    On days without FEAR, when our heads are clear
    That angels, we could be
    (Marillion 2016)

  22. #22
    I like Tables, but I think I like Patina Pooling more. Oh, I also got that flexi-disc they did around the same time (Flexible Pooling, I think it was called?). That was good lo-fi fun.

    Yeah...I'm really starting to enjoy Rapoon more and more. Even picked up the newer stuff (first two parts of the Mercury Rising trilogy) and think it's grand.
    If you're actually reading this then chances are you already have my last album but if NOT and you're curious:
    https://battema.bandcamp.com/

    Also, Ephemeral Sun: it's a thing and we like making things that might be your thing: http://www.ephemeralsun.com

  23. #23
    Oh...kind of tangental but thanks to Patina Pooling I also started exploring (and really enjoying) Fossil Aerosol Mining Project
    If you're actually reading this then chances are you already have my last album but if NOT and you're curious:
    https://battema.bandcamp.com/

    Also, Ephemeral Sun: it's a thing and we like making things that might be your thing: http://www.ephemeralsun.com

  24. #24
    Member Birdy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by battema View Post
    Oh...kind of tangental but thanks to Patina Pooling I also started exploring (and really enjoying) Fossil Aerosol Mining Project
    I have that on order, looking forward to it.
    We are the grandchildren of apes, not angels
    But only we are gifted with the eyes to see
    On days without FEAR, when our heads are clear
    That angels, we could be
    (Marillion 2016)

  25. #25
    The metal CD case looks cool but went in a ziplock bag very, very quickly due to all the rust getting everywhere
    If you're actually reading this then chances are you already have my last album but if NOT and you're curious:
    https://battema.bandcamp.com/

    Also, Ephemeral Sun: it's a thing and we like making things that might be your thing: http://www.ephemeralsun.com

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