Boomkat Product Review:
The penultimate piece of V-O-D’s crucial Zoviet France reissues, and the final part of the band’s Charm, Ceremony, Chance and Prophecy (CCCP) series, ‘Assault And Mirage’ sees the iconic imaginations of Ben Ponton and Robin Storey drift into a fog of tonal obliteration on the album’s vinyl premiere
Originally issued in 1986 by York-based Red Rhino Records, who were also behind much of ZF’s material up to this point, ‘Assault And Mirage’ is a sort of tipping point where rhythm is not so much as usurped by tone, but where the two are merged to a totally unique, shimmering synthesis of pulse and sound as light that feels like a sonic corollary to staring at Brion Gysin and William S. Burroughs’ dream machine. In the most classic, hypnagogic sense of the best noise musick, the music is paradoxically so dense with textural information that the mind gives up on trying to process it all and the listener is left, stranded in the eye of a storm with no handrails, forced to fill in the gaps and conjecture a logic or rational behind what’s happening and why you’re here.
The sound feels enervated, entropic and exhausting on one level, but when it’s worked its magick it provides access to another level of thought and feeling; one less concerned with trying to build a firm picture and more prone to follow subconscious trains of thought to steam into and across the mind’s eye. To be fair, it’s possible to map that idea onto noise musick as much as ambient, and ‘Assault And Mirage’ operates exactly at the interstices where that definition becomes suitably murky and indistinct, and wide open to interpretation.