Boomkat Product Review:
From myth to reality, the long-rumoured 40 minute version of ‘Gris’ manifests as part of V-O-D’s resoundingly appreciated :Zoviet*France: reissue programme, recutting the original 10” tracks on one side with 20 minutes of bonus, previously unheard material on the flip
First issued on a series of three 10”s by Germany’s No Man’s Land label, the original ‘Gris’ revolves four cuts ranging from mesmerising proto-echoes of Wolfgang Voigt’s Gas of Axel Willner’s The Field, thru to breathtaking, aurora borealis-like ambient light displays and bombed-out rhythmic noise. 34 years later that record is now paired with a previously unreleased B-side of material that adds up to a definitive new edition sans the original sandpaper packaging, meaning that for many this will be the first time they’ve heard any of the material without the inherent degradation (although that’s supposed to enhance and make each copy unique).
So what does the B-side sound like? :Zoviet*France: is the obvious answer, but the reality, like all their music, is typically elusive, ranging from archao-acoustic invocations in the first, to a warbling spectre recalling Two Daughters’s spookiest in the 2nd, also very short part, whereas the other three trudge out into the muddied no-mans-land also strafed by Alberich in the 3rd, before seemingly morphing into amphibian mode to swim thru the viscous murk of the much longer, choking 4th tract, while the fifth and final part feels like a gauzily submerged parallel to Dome or indeed the tracks on ZF’s own self-titled 12” released the previous year.
Whether you’re an anal collector or fresh ears starting to get to grips with :Zoviet*France:, this one’s a real beauty that’s now worth double its weight at half the cost of 2nd hand asking prices.