Zoviet France

Zoviet France

Zoviet France is an idiosyncratic collective of anonymous postindustrialists, dronologists, and pseudo-ethnomusicologists. Their investigations have taken them into fictional cultures where nothing is easily located and reality often slips into the hypnagogic. Having secluded themselves in Newcastle, England since their inception in 1980, Zoviet France have developed a radical relationship with the cheap technologies of old-fashioned tape recorders, homemade acoustic instruments, primitive looping and sampling devices, and basic dub trickery. From these machines, the collective has crafted a distinctly unique vocabulary of postindustrial sonic hypnosis. Just as Zoviet France's sound was alchemic reconfigurations of inexpensive technologies, their vinyl packaging literally covered their sounds with aluminum, roofing shingles and porcelain.

Lisa Hale (1980-1981)
Robin Storey (1980-1992)
Peter Jensen (1980-1984)
Ben Ponton (1980-present)
Paolo di Paolo (1984-1986)
Mark Spybey (1987-1989)
Andy Eardley (1990-1995)
Mark Warren (1995-present)

Zoviet France Discography


:$oviet:France:* :Garista: (Album) Not On Label UK 1982 Sell This Version
Zoviet France Mohnomishe (Album) Red Rhino Records UK 1983 Sell This Version
:Zoviet:France:* Eostre (Album) Red Rhino Records UK 1984 Sell This Version
:zoviet-france:* Popular Soviet Songs And Youth Music (Album) Singing Ringing, Red Rhino Records UK 1985 Sell This Version
Soviet France* Misfits, Loony Tunes And Squalid Criminals (Album) Red Rhino Records UK 1986 Sell This Version
:zoviet-france:* Gesture Signal Threat (Album) Red Rhino Records UK 1986 Sell This Version
:zoviet-france:* Loh Land (Album) Staaltape Netherlands 1987 Sell This Version
:zoviet-france:* Assault And Mirage (Album) Red Rhino Records UK 1987 Sell This Version
Soviet France* A Flock Of Rotations (Album) Red Rhino Records UK 1987 Sell This Version
:zoviet-france:* Shouting At The Ground (Album) Red Rhino Records UK 1988 Sell This Version
:zoviet*france:* Just An Illusion (Album) Staalplaat Netherlands 1990 Sell This Version
:zoviet*france:* Look Into Me (Album) Charrm UK 1990 Sell This Version
:zoviet*france:* Vienna 1990 (Album) Charrm UK 1991 Sell This Version
Zoviet France Shadow, Thief Of The Sun (Album) DOVe 1991 Sell This Version
CHARRMCD17, CHARRM CD17 :zoviet*france:* What Is Not True(CD, Album) Charrm, Charrm CHARRMCD17, CHARRM CD17 UK 1993 Sell This Version
THESE 11 CD :Zoviet*France:* / Jim O'Rourke / The Hafler Trio :Zoviet*France:* / Jim O'Rourke / The Hafler Trio - Unentitled(CD, Album) These Records THESE 11 CD UK 1995 Sell This Version
:zoviet*france:* Digilogue (Album) Soleilmoon Recordings US 1996 Sell This Version
charrmcd24 :zoviet*france:* in.version(CD, Album) Charrm charrmcd24 UK 1996 Sell This Version
none :zoviet*france:* Mort Aux Vaches: Feedback(CD, Album, Ltd, Num) Mort Aux Vaches none Netherlands 1998 Sell This Version
TRAM 1 :zoviet*france:* The Decriminalisation Of Country Music(CD, Album) Tramway TRAM 1 UK 2000 Sell This Version
gg111 :Zoviet France:* Music For A Spaghetti Western(CD, Album) Klanggalerie gg111 Austria 2005 Sell This Version
zf20110918AAC :zoviet*france:* Live At Incubate, Poppodium 013, Tilburg 18.09.11(File, AAC) Not On Label (Zoviet France Self-released) zf20110918AAC UK 2011
Zoviet France 7.10.12 (Album) Alt.Vinyl UK 2012 Sell This Version
:zoviet*france:* The Tables Are Turning (Album) Soleilmoon Recordings US 2013 Sell This Version
:zoviet*france:* and Fossil Aerosol Mining Project :zoviet*france:* and Fossil Aerosol Mining Project - Patina Pooling (Album) Alt.Vinyl UK 2014 Sell This Version

Reviews Show All 14 Reviews

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September 7, 2015
edited about 1 year ago
The godfathers of otherworldly and quixotic ambient.


January 30, 2013
anyone who uses this word .... hypnagogic .... must instantly stop.


August 2, 2008
While classic Zoviet France is unparalleled in greatness, it is unfortunate Ben has taken the path of digital gear. It sure shows in the music. Nothing against computers, its just that classic era Zoviet France was this timeless beautiful thing that seemed to have vanish when Robin Storey left. The Reformed Faction is up to snuff without losing that eloquent intangible. I stepped outside while *ZF* played a show a few years ago in San Francisco when I saw the digital gear they were using but made it back to see Michael Gira play. I will however be flying to Boston to see Mark and Robin play this November.

Here is an idea... how about Ben gives up the Zoviet France name and starts a misc. boring - run of the mill experimental side project. Then the Reformed Faction can restore the tarnished name, Zoviet France, once and for all!


May 7, 2005
edited over 11 years ago
Zoviet:France is out of this world - a respectful compliment and as scary a thought on equal terms. Daring you to 'play' their records means challenge beyond formal treatment (sometimes as equally challenging when transferred onto CD). A phenomenon similar to the likes of Muslimgauze or some other obscure sound explorers - Z'ev, The Hafler Trio or Strafe Fur Rebellion. But like all of them, Zoviet:France is beauty and the beast in their own right, a non-descriptive sound-format offering stunning visual and auditive escape from the music's stereotypes.


October 16, 2004
edited over 12 years ago
I would say that *Zoviet-France* do not create music - they create imaginary soundtracks to the movies that could've looked like something that we often see in dreams. Critics are trying to find terms for this genre - some are calling it dark ambient, some are calling it "isolationism", but in essence none of these terms will help us to define what it is really Zoviet-France are creating.
According to some sources, their work usually consists of months of improvisation and painstaking editing work. Results are hard describe with ordinary terms. Its meditative and hypnotizing, but at the same time it have nothing to do with new age. Its agressive (at least in the early phase), but it have nothing to do with power electronics or harsh noise. Its influential, but at the same time few heard about it outside of avant-garde/experimental circles.
So what is it, really ? A giant sound puzzle ? Hypnotizing sound walls ? *Zoviet-France* music might be all of it, but it doesn't fit into existing genres and musical schemes.


April 10, 2004
Next to Brian Eno, Zoviet France are the most important, innovative, and unique creators/inventors/signatures of ambient music. They should be catalogued in music-history books next to Mr. Eno-- not so much for their similar, adventurous standards of approach, but by their sheer individuality and outspoken, uncompromising vision.
Before samplers became ubiquitous, there was Zoviet France. With tape loops and organic percussive instrumentation, they have created some of the most incredibly beautiful, blissed-out, and engaging ambient gems of the last 20 years. The sheer weight of their discography has something to prove: from experimental meanderings to industrial repetitions, to gauzy, hazy tonal glows, to repetitive. percussive sun-showers, Zoviet France has run the pain-killing gamut. Any free thinking, music loving consumer should seek them out and discover a beautiful universe run by tape-loops which are held together by brilliant analog light. What might sound passe by todays glitchy standards are only the result of a spoiled perspective. any spirited and informed artist/consumer has a Zoviet France album in their archives. and most likely, during any eventful moment of peace, will remember the folks who brought them there...

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