:zoviet*france: - The Tables Are TurningAlthough you're more likely to find :zoviet*france: soundtracking art installations and performances, 2012 saw the release of the studio album 7.10.12 released as a boxset edition on alt.vinyl. On The Tables Are Turning the duo of Ben Ponton and Mark Warren present a studio version of their live soundtrack to Designer Body, a contemporary dance production by Ballet Lorent. Ballet Lorent's 2009 production featured dancers on revolving plinths. At first fully dressed with hats, scarves and full make up as the performance progresses they continuously remove their clothing until they are naked. It's a transformation where the dancers remove all items of artifice until they are unadorned and in their natural state - another form of designer body.
The specially commissioned score by :zoviet*france: accentuates the performance with a powerfully atmospheric score featuring the sounds of music boxes and run-off grooves amidst synths, drones and rhythms.
From the gentle layered blur of electronic hums and rickety music box sounds of the opening track 'The Grit In The Clouds' the first half of the soundtrack is filled with disparate abstract sounds. Brooding synth washes rise amidst the looped cyclical shimmering cuts of 'Amber Rose Hand' with clipped run-off grooves of mournful chants bringing this to a sombre beautiful close; its gentle rotation contrasts with the following track 'Flam' where panning skittering rhythms and ultra low bass tones reverberate against fragments of treated strings , unravelling into hypnotic patterns of flickering ringing guitar. 'Moss Balls On Moss' moves into harsher electronic territory where the electronics evolve from ricocheting thuds underpinned by a constant drone into a roar of crunchy textures. The disparity of sounds here does make me think :zoviet*france: work better on longer tracks but everything falls into place on the following tracks, It's as if :zoviet*france: are trying to dispense with as much sound as they can, just like the dancers discarding their clothes.
There's an air of beauty to be found on 'Green Air' with its electrified, orchestral strings clipped and cut-up, circling against a darker strain of electronic drone, while bird song provides a moment of tranquillity. That tranquillity accompanied by vinyl pops continues to run through the slow, sombre creaking electronic movements of 'Prophecy Loved A Child'. The entire atmosphere changes on 'Sweeping Arbor Low' - Arbor Low being a Neolithic stone circle - where everything is reduced to a series of low ominous drones. While 'Sandbox' pulses with a grainy shingle pounded rhythm, 'The Fire Of Revolution' flourishes from pensive keys into airy melodic orchestral realms in its extended form. It's beautiful and along with 'Green Air' they rate as the finest compositions on The Tables Are Turning. Shimmering electronics adorn 'A Moment Of Film', while the slight ringing shrill of a treated music box on the closer 'Poured Out Slowly' swells into a mesmerising synth score underscored by bubbling bass tones, and the run-off static of a record groove. It's a fitting end to the gentle understated work of The Tables Are Turning.
On The Tables Are Turning, :zoviet*france: achieve a quiet beauty through disparate sound sources and their more drone based sound. With two studio albums spread over two years things are starting to looking busy within the :zoviet*france: ranks. The Tables Are Turning is released on CD and double LP in a deluxe dual-layer green satin bag, with the :zoviet*france: initials hand-stitched into the flap in white thread, with a two-sided insert. The CD edition is limited to 600 and the vinyl is released in an edition of 400. For more information go to www.soleilmoon.com