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Zoviet France

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:zoviet*france: at Norbergfestival, Norberg, Sweden, 2011. Left to right: Mark Warren, Ben Ponton
:zoviet*france: at Norbergfestival, Norberg, Sweden, 2011. Left to right: Mark Warren, Ben Ponton
Background information
OriginNewcastle upon Tyne, England
Years active1980–present
SpinoffsReformed Faction, Rapoon, Dead Voices on Air
  • Ben Ponton
  • Mark Warren
Past members

Zoviet France (also known as :$OVIET:FRANCE:, Soviet France, :Zoviet-France: and latterly usually written as :zoviet*france:) are a music group from Newcastle upon Tyne in north east England. While often dissonant and made of industrial textures, their music also falls into the ambient music category. Formed in 1980, and remaining largely anonymous,[1] the group has had a number of members; presently it consists of co-founder Ben Ponton and Mark Warren. Former members included Neil Ramshaw, Peter Jensen, Robin Storey (who now records as Rapoon), Lisa Hale, Paolo Di Paolo, Mark Spybey (who now records as Dead Voices on Air) and Andy Eardley. In 2005 Storey, Spybey and Eardley formed a new group, Reformed Faction.

The band participated in the early-eighties underground tape scene. The packaging of their releases was often unconventional, involving materials such as hessian, tar paper and aluminium foil.[2]

Zoviet France also provided the music for the 2015 movie Savageland, a mockumentary that depicts the aftermath of a massacre on a US-Mexico border town that leaves every citizen dead except for an amateur photographer who is accused of committing it.


Year Title Label
1982 Garista Self-released
1982 [untitled] Red Rhino Records
1983 Norsch Red Rhino Records
1983 Mohnomishe Red Rhino Records
1984 Eostre Red Rhino Records
1985 Popular Soviet Songs and Youth Music Red Rhino Records/Singing Ringing
1985 Gris No Man's Land
1986 Misfits, Loony Tunes and Squalid Criminals Red Rhino Records
1986 Gesture Signal Threat Red Rhino Records
1987 A Flock of Rotations Red Rhino Records
1987 Assault and Mirage Red Rhino Records
1987 Loh Land Staalplaat
1988 Shouting at the Ground Red Rhino Records
1990 Look Into Me Charrm
1990 Just an Illusion Staalplaat
1991 Shadow, Thief of the Sun DOVentertainment
1991 Vienna 1990 Charrm
1992 Collusion Mute Records
1993 What Is Not True Charrm
1996 Digilogue Soleilmoon
1996 in.version Charrm
1998 Mort Aux Vaches: Feedback Staalplaat
2000 The Decriminalisation of Country Music Tramway
2003 utdrag amino
2008 shteirlel King Worldwide via alt.vinyl
2012 7.10.12 alt.vinyl
2013 The Tables Are Turning Soleilmoon

Notable performances[edit]

  • 9 and 10 November 1990: two performances as part of the 'Ohrenschrauben' festival at Szene Wien, Austria. Later released on Vienna 1990 CD in 1991.
  • 29 March 1993: The Leadmill, Sheffield. Later released as track 3 on What Is Not True CD in 1993.
  • 30 March 1993: The Old Vic, Nottingham. Later released as tracks 1 & 2 on What Is Not True CD in 1993.
  • 26 March 1996: Urban Aboriginals XI, Ballhaus, Berlin. Later released on in.version CD in 1996.
  • August 1996: Live studio recording by VPRO radio in Amsterdam. Later released on Mort Aux Vaches: Feedback CD in 1998.
  • 29 February 2008: European premiere performance of John Cage's Variations VII with Atau Tanaka and Matt Wand, AV Festival, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, UK.[3][4]
  • 29 December 2018: Live in-cinema performance in the Newcastle premiere of Savageland at Star and Stage Cinema, Newcastle, which Zoviet France provided audio for. Accompanied by one of the movies directors, Simon Herbert.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Interview with Brent Bambury, CBC Radio, 2 May 1991
  2. ^ Reed, S. Alexander (2013). Assimilate: A Critical History of Industrial Music. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 118–121. ISBN 9780199832583. OCLC 1147729910 – via the Internet Archive.
  3. ^ "Variations VII". AV Festival. Archived from the original on 6 March 2008. Retrieved 31 March 2008.
  4. ^ "JOHN CAGE 29 February - 2 March 2008 Variations VII". Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art. Retrieved 31 March 2008.
  5. ^ "Star and Shadow: Savageland + :zoviet*france: live set". starandshadow.org.uk. Retrieved 3 May 2024.

External links[edit]