Boomkat Product Review:
The second in the :Zoviet-France: reissue series compiles their 1983 pair of 12”s, ’$oviet France’ and ‘Norsch’, both remastered for this edition by Sam Grant at Blank Studios, Newcastle upon Tyne
Less murky and more stripped-down, rhythm driven than their debut, ‘Garista’ (1982), the tracks on both ‘Same (fka ‘Untitled’)’ (1982) and ‘Norsch’ (1983) are more easily identifiable as products of the post-punk/post-industrial era, yet they still sound as though from a parallel musical universe or overlapping timeline. We’d attribute this perceived difference to the rest of UK tape culture and post-industrial musicks at the time to the group’s relative isolation in Newcastle upon Tyne, on the ind-lashed North East coast of England, where a self-sufficient scene of radge-packets were free to do DIY music their way, away from the scenes and hotspots of other major northern cities such as Manchester or Glasgow, who also shared a gutted industrial wastelands next to verdant wilds, but also had much more money and means. Rather, :Zoviet-France: were masters of making do with tape loops, basic and repurposed equipment, and primitivist dub effects; naturally daring to be different and trusting their noses.
The disc’s first side is given to the guttural vent of their self-titled 1982 EP. Gearing up with the feral hollers, ‘phet-clenched grind and whooping sirens of ‘Ritual’, it turns thru the dead trippy strip of sampled vocals, stray keys and earthy thump of ‘Mudbast Boys’ to the channel an imagined form of tribal music from another planet in ‘Sem Boys’, which also sounds like kicking out time at a Hartlepudlian pub, while ‘Bring Hessa’ is a strange, whispered mantra about bread and cheese, before they slope off into angular post-punk-funk on ‘Ji Boys’.