Zoviet*France – Mohnomische (1983)

22 Jan

Playing very few live shows in their early years and mostly avoiding publicity, Zoviet*France offer very little context to their odd releases, which is, of course, the recipe to becoming a “cult” band.

The sound collagists/ethnomusicologists/practical jokers have been putting out music since 1982, and although they eventually began to operate in a less mysterious fashion and no longer release albums with their infamously odd packaging, (notable examples being records in gauze bags or aluminum foil, an LP wrapped in roofing shingles, a cassette containing a cloth insert soaked in some sort of strong-smelling chemical,) they have never made the move towards using newer computer-based methods of generating cyclic noise, instead sticking with what they know best: the sound generating techniques that exemplify the best qualities of early industrial music. 1983’s Mohnomische is barking dogs, found sounds, world music, dying toy instruments, field recordings, etc., all disintegrating into strange ambient music veering suddenly from minimal to harsh; things that should sound familiar instead rendered alien and strange.

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