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Zanov: Chaos Islands

Zanov, otherwise known as Pierre Salkazanov is a French electronic musician who released his first album titled Green Ray in 1976, followed by Moebius 256 301 in 1977 and 1982’s In Course Of Time. He began working on a fourth album but he decided to take a break from the music scene which turned into an extended hiatus until returning in 2014 to finish what he started all those years ago with the release of Virtual Future. Several concerts and one release later Zanov has returned with a new album titled Chaos Islands.

All of the music on the album was composed on the Arturia Origin, Access Virus TI and Arturia MatrixBrute synthesizers. There is no doubting where Zanov gets his influence from as one can hear a similarity to Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze, the Berlin school approach to electronic sounds. Gentle builds, stark contrasts in intensity, pulsating synths and trippy waves of sound help to make Chaos Islands a pretty engaging listen. You really need to listen to it in its entirety to reap its rewards and with a running time of just under fifty minutes it doesn’t overstay its welcome.

I think many progressive minded fans will dig this album, especially those gravitating towards electronic music and appreciate the music of the artists I previously mentioned. Well worth a listen.

Track Listing:
1. Edge of Chaos Island (7:16)
2. Inception Island (6:18)
3. Strange Attractor Island (6:52)
4. Three Body Island (6:46)
5. Phase Space Island (8:10)
6. Instability Island (6:57)
7. Emergence Island (6:17)

Added: December 27th 2020
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Score:
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 594
Language: english

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Zanov: Chaos Islands
Posted by Steven Reid, SoT Staff Writer on 2020-12-27 15:19:55
My Score:

A master of synth lost to the scene when a break turned into a disappearance, Zanov returns with his second album since a lay off of some three decades. The re-introduction arrived in the form of Virtual Future, an album that looked to pick up pieces left behind, hence arguably Chaos Islands could be seen as the musician’s first new works since 1983. That said, in terms of sound - although with a crystal clear, if impressively atmospheric, production - the feel you’re left with is undoubtedly more 70s chic than it is 2020’s sheen.

It would be easy to site Jarre as an influence and also Tangerine Dream but then we have to remember that Zanov is from the same vintage. Based on ‘chaos theory’, Chaos Islands runs as a cohesive journey from start to finish, with mood and placement more important than hook or ‘song structure’ and as such it’s easy to float through this album without even realising it’s run its coarse. Often that would be seen as an insult, but not here. Instead that apparent brevity comes from an observed lack of repetition resulting in longer pieces feeling much shorter than they are as different tones and textures tell the story.

Underneath all of that smoothness comes a real complexity of arrangement and construction and that allows the whole album to really spread out and explore different themes, but all while cleverly remaining a journey that makes total sense from start to finish. And that’s how your visit to Chaos Islands should be taken, with the journey offering greater rewards than the individual pieces themselves. In many ways that’s a dying art in the current musical and cultural climate but then this whole experience feels like a welcome and well intentioned step into times gone by. Hopefully Zanov will be firing up the time machine on a regular basis from here on in.



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