Zanov - Open Worlds

(CD 2016, 46:07, ZM016)

The tracks:
  1- Electric Dust Field(4:10)
  2- Next Trip(5:30)
  3- Magical Area(5:53)
  4- Strange World(6:49)
  5- Robot Valley(4:17)
  6- Signal From Diamond Desert(4:17)
  7- Vital Obscurity(4:27)
  8- Last Secret Time(4:35)
  9- Remote Impact(6:03)

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When you ask an average lover of electronic music to name an electronic musician or group from France in the 1970s he will probably say Jean Michel Jarre. Yet parallel to the krautrock/electronic music movement in Germany a lot was going on in France too, with groups and artists like Heldon, Illitch and Igor Wakhevitch to name a few. It wasn't a real scene like in Germany; often they were not aware of each other and did not influence each other. They were individual groups and artists that had two things in common: they were interested in the new electronic instruments and exploring their possibilities, and they wanted to discover their own roots and step away from the American and English influences that were very dominant in the 1970's rock world.

The name of Zanov also fits in this list. Zanov is the artist name used by Pierre Salkazanov. In his early career he released 3 albums: Green Ray (1976), Moebius 256 301 (1977) and In Course of Time (1982). He used nowadays mythical instruments like the ARP 2600 and the EMS VCS3 synthesizers. He started to work on a 4th album, but because of a lack of time he decided to take a break in 1983. A break that lasted almost 30 years! With new technology provided by the French software and hardware synthesizer manufacturer Arturia he completed the album Virtual Future in 2014. Open Worlds is his 5th album and the first that is entirely composed in the 21st century. Even so the music is heavily influenced by the electronic music of the 1970s, with sequencers and typical sounds. A bit of Jarre, a bit of Tangerine Dream and maybe a bit more of Vangelis. But other than that it doesn't add much to it. The album lacks depth and pure magic. It is like a soundtrack that is meant to support the film, but not overrule it.

If you are interested in Zanov I recommend to start with the early albums which are being rereleased.

** Erik Gibbels (edited by Astrid de Ronde)

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