Boomkat Product Review:
First vinyl pressing of ZF’s 1992 compilation of tracks for Mute’s Grey Area, spanning obscure cuts 1984-1991 ranging from signature, weathered ambient to grinding rhythmic noise and mindbending enigmas that affirm faith in music of the most mysterious sort
Original liner notes: “For many years we avoided participation in compilation projects, although opportunities were frequently presented to us. We have developed our music in such a way that it is most appropriately experienced in isolation. Therefore, allowing it to be presented in a form where it could be preceded and succeeded by other recordings, over which we would have no control, was alien to our intention. It also seemed (and in many cases still does) that compilation projects serve little purpose other than to fulfil the collector or editorial aspirations of the originator. In such circumstances the listener becomes little more than the end-user.
In 1984, following an approach from Jon Wozencroft of Touch seeking a contribution to Lands End, we revised our policy: we inverted the criticisms outlined above and sought to exaggerate them so that they became a positive technique in their own right. We encouraged the active and overt participation of the compiler so that the project would become more than the sum of its parts. In practice this required us to produce music akin to the incidental music produced for film and television soundtracks, music that could be cut up, manipulated and re-worked into new contexts, yet still retain its inherent characteristics. Now, with the general availability of sampling technology, the appropriation and translocation of music in this way is widespread, elevating the end user to a position of experiential collusion.
More recently, we have adopted a more closely defined stance, working only with those projects behind which we can perceive a unifying concept, either of form or purpose. Most of the recordings on this CD were created in this context and therefore represent a degree of creative input on the part of the labels concerned – Prometheans all!”