:zoviet-france:* ‎– Popular Soviet Songs And Youth Music

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Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
none, REDC 58 :zoviet-france:* Popular Soviet Songs And Youth Music(2xCass, Ltd, C90) Singing Ringing, Red Rhino Records none, REDC 58 UK 1985 Sell This Version
STCD 024 :zoviet*france:* Popular Soviet Songs And Youth Music(3xCD, Album) Staalplaat STCD 024 Netherlands 1994 Sell This Version
ST CD 024 :zoviet*france:* Popular Soviet Songs And Youth Music(3xCD, RE) Staalplaat ST CD 024 Netherlands 1995 Sell This Version
STCD 024 :zoviet*france:* Popular Soviet Songs And Youth Music(3xCD, Album, RE) Staalplaat STCD 024 Netherlands 2004 Sell This Version
VOD155.8/9/9BONUS7/10 Zoviet France Popular Soviet Songs And Youth Music(LP, Ltd, RE, RM + LP, Ltd, RE, RM + 7", Ltd, RE, R) Vinyl-on-demand VOD155.8/9/9BONUS7/10 Germany 2019 Sell This Version
STCD 024 :zoviet*france:* Popular Soviet Songs And Youth Music(3xCD, Album, RE) Staalplaat STCD 024 Netherlands Unknown Sell This Version

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Minimaal

Minimaal

August 13, 2019
referencing Popular Soviet Songs And Youth Music, 3xCD, Album, STCD 024
as soon as i had my copy (the '04 reissue, straight from Staalplaat ) i took it out of the beautiful package and used separate plastic jewel cases for the cds and always kept the felt+pin nearby. The whole box may have looked cool but i kept hearing about scratched copies from the box itself and you don't want to scratch ZF's cds-
freek_kinkelaar

freek_kinkelaar

September 18, 2017
referencing Popular Soviet Songs And Youth Music, 2xCass, Ltd, C90, none, REDC 58
Of all the odd school packaging of cassettes that appeared in the magic era that was the 80s, this double cassette by Zoviet France is one of my favourites. Not only do the cassettes contain some amazing music, the packaging is way beyond belief. And, in those days of DIY-yore, the sky for packaging was the limit - as long as you and your friends had enough free time (read: if you were unemployed) to create and assemble the often stunning product packaging concepts. And Zoviet France was a big player in that field. In 1980 Ben Ponton and Mark Warren had joined forces to create unconventional music as well as unconventional product packaging using material such as aluminium foil, hessian fabric, tar and other intriguing substances to pack up their releases. None however, turned out more spectacular or labour-intense than their 1985 double cassette Popular Soviet Songs And Youth Music. Rumour has it that only 200 copies were assembled, which makes sense – just imagine the amount of work involved in packing a hand-painted stick, a piece of rope, a parody on the American flag (featuring hammer and sickle instead of stars and stripes) silk screened on muslin, several hand-printed paper art inserts plus a radio-active feather collected from the beach at Seascale – near the Sellafield nuclear reactor – into a specially sculpted ceramic box and sealing the whole thing off with wax. Even multi-lingual user instructions were included, urging buyers to ‘discard burned cassettes and retain box’. The cassettes themselves feature over two and a half hours of non-compromising music. Less user- and listener-friendly than many of Zoviet France’s ambient releases, Popular Soviet Songs And Youth Music is an alienated grittier, and admittedly at times patchy affair. Zoviet France clearly refused to make any compromises, with as much exuberance in the music as in the packaging. Popular Songs and Soviet Music is a confrontational but fascinating statement – this is us and this is what we feel to be important to us it almost screams. And I agree; of all the Zoviet France releases that I used to have, this one is the only one left in my collection. Popular Soviet Songs and Youth Music is an important artistic statement that somehow has transcended time and place. As such, it almost seems inevitable that copies with all content complete and correct are near-impossible to locate.
darknesstraveller

darknesstraveller

June 3, 2015
referencing Popular Soviet Songs And Youth Music, 3xCD, Album, STCD 024
At face value, the hand-crafted presentation of this revived set implies a fetishist obsession in the attention to detail: six discs, three of which are covered with coloured and decorated felt, are sandwiched between printed grey felt and pinned together with a Soviet broach; the hammer and sickle defiance of black-market Red Army surplus, resplendent in the face of history.

Disc 1, entitled ‘Stains and Filth in the Convent’ and ‘Aonei’ has 10 tracks listed, but consists of only 21 minutes of test tones. The listing more closely reflects the content of the green felt-covered disc beneath it, which plays 20 tracks over 70 minutes. Despite their micro-longevity, some lasting only seconds, the sounds possess a highly molecular audio complexity. In their lifetime :zoviet*france: took everyday items and created an intentional non-music for experimentation and amusement. They released more than 20 CDs, carving enmeshed intricacies that are occasionally raw, often raucous, and always elaborately rough hewn.

Drawing upon radio noises, children’s toys, domestic utensils, they chanced upon an almost genetic coding of diverse and disparate signals. Their organic output illustrates a reprocessing aesthetic taken almost to the point of dispossession. Found objects are displaced without any sense of home. :zoviet*france: worked through an altered state improvisation, closing all conscious sensory perceptions before starting to make music which was later edited to impose a coherent structure. The circuitry of these cyclic compositions is always a temporal motion, since their very foundation is flux. Their’s was a makeshift, lo-fi and concrete approach.

With fragments of Eastern Europe colliding against fragments from North African, this is music without geography, and as such, possesses an inherent conflict of belonging. So intricate and intimately part of a natural landscape, :zoviet*france: signals might as well be feathers carried by the wind. Indeed when this collection of recordings was originally released in 1985, a ceramic casing housed the cassettes, and they were adorned with a solitary white plume collected from a Cumbrian beach near Sellafield nuclear power station. “There were feathers along the beach; all seagulls, washed in from the sea,” recalls founder member Robin Storey. “Sellafield had just had a spillage of contaminated, radioactive water, which they were keen to deny. There were officials on the beach asking us what we were doing almost immediately.”

The subtlety of their political (resistance activities, advocacy of street-level avant garde) and philosophical (esoteric inclinations, music as an introspective medium) terrain has often been neglected. Constructing their own instruments, operating an independent label and producing their own artwork, between 1982 and 1987 the group also manufactured its own packaging. Early releases were encased in hessian, aluminium foil, hardboard, tissue paper, roofing felt and cigar boxes. Their sixth was issued in a handmade ceramic box, recounts Storey: “They were really beautiful: two cassettes inside; an information sheet which was hand decorated; a flag folded; and the white feather passing through a hole at the top, closed with sealing wax.” :

Their involvement at all stages of production and their eagerness to embrace digital processing, initially with CD technology, and now with hard disc recording, challenged the orthodox hegemony of a multinational industry. If the ideas were naive, then so was the music. In essence they took sounds at their most natural and uncovered invention, improvisation and indeterminacy. “It was earth music,” says Storey.

Disc 2, entitled ‘Yezidi Circle Trap’ and ‘Beak and Snout’ has 18 tracks listed, but is actually another 21 minutes of test tones. An accomplice, the rusty felt covered disc, plays 10 tracks over 43 minutes. Their relationship alludes to :zoviet*france: involvement with displacement, for these are compositions without formality or structure. Yet they are punctured by imagination and punctuated with meaning. Layer upon layer. The fact of the caricature is, this music is ‘felt’ rather than heard.

Yet how different is the precise experience of the listener compared to that of the artist? Both enter a place of unknowing, and both are intent upon dealing with an ordinary present moment. In this place discarded items, obsolete objects, become redeployed in an ecologically measured output; the sounds become magnified grains like those of blurred, fading photographs. A cypher of human existence, disguised and abstracted to a point where meaning almost collapses, negated into an essence of possibility. The presence and power within this sound is such that the music that the listener hears is better than the music that the musician makes. Even without beats, melody or words, :zoviet*france: still create a place where you can create meaning. “There was very little reprocessing on those. It was mostly straight recordings,” says Storey, of the collection. “That set of circumstances couldn’t ever be repeated, couldn’t ever be artificially recreated; where each person was in their own head, in their own life. There was a timeless and spaceless existence then, extending to everybody… There was no strategy. It was just :zoviet*france:”

Disc 3, entitled ‘Charm’ has 9 tracks listed, but only consists of 21 minutes of test tone droning. An ancillary red felt covered disc plays 9 tracks over 54 minutes. The opening is a piece of Industrial percussion with an ironically substantial melody. This is followed by a shuttling maracas which degenerates into a subhuman grunting. The third track is relatively empty, flooded with echoic electrickery that metamorphoses into a battered flute. This in turn is transplanted by the crackling of insect workers colonising air space. The median accumulates a slow procession of lonely noises. Crudely spliced together at the periphery of hearing, they merge between an assembly of broken cellos. The sixth track develops from plaintive acoustic drum rhythms with mild flute notes carrying a cautious melody. The tranquillity is ruptured by the heavy reverberations of a stunted bass. In turn this is replaced with a gentle reflective composition. In direct contrast, the noisy decomposition of the closing track impatiently disappears into the looped warning of imminent nuclear attack: “The radar screens. The radar screens.”

(written and published 1994)
noiseman13

noiseman13

January 3, 2014
referencing Popular Soviet Songs And Youth Music, 2xCass, Ltd, C90, none, REDC 58
Never had a good experiance with zoviet france expectation wise.I had a bad feeling about this release,and the price..as I've read...I was right to avoid it. How do acts like this thrive?
davidagbr

davidagbr

October 17, 2012
referencing Popular Soviet Songs And Youth Music, 2xCass, Ltd, C90, none, REDC 58
I used to have an official A4 press release/announcement/flyer that was issued by Red Rhino before "Popular Soviet Songs And Youth Music" was released. The flyer stated that the album was to be released in an edition of 200 copies. I've never seen any mention of just how limited this release was anywhere else except this flyer.

Sadly, I don't have the flyer any more, otherwise I'd scan and upload it. Maybe someone else still has a copy?
Brad.R

Brad.R

November 9, 2004
edited over 14 years ago
referencing Popular Soviet Songs And Youth Music, 3xCD, Album, STCD 024
This release was one of the worst experiences I have ever had with CD packaging. This is supposed to be 3 CDs in a stack, separated by 3 other "blank" CDs with a layer of felt glued on them. Unfortunately when I bought this, the CDs that were supposed to have music on them were blank, and the felt covered CDs had the music on them!

The felt covered CDs wouldn't play except in a portable discman, so I decided to try to peel the felt off of the CDs. After pulling and tugging on the felt, the CD snapped in half, right in my hands! So I tried to excahnge the package at the shop I bought it from, only to be told "that is what happens when you buy 'art'".