sábado, 18 de junho de 2011

Zodiac - Music In The Universe

Music In The Universe
Space Disco
Latvia (USSR in 1982)


The Mysterious Galaxy
Laser Illumination
Silver Dream
Photo Finish
The Other Side of Heaven
In the Light of Saturn
Flight Over El Dorado

     Zodiac (Zodiak, Russian: Зодиа́к, Latvian: Zodiaks) was a space disco music band that existed in the 1980s in Latvia, then a part of Soviet Union. The band was extremely popular in the Soviet Union and has been credited by critics as the Soviet answer to the French band Space who were popular at the time.
     Zodiac was formed by Jānis Lūsēns, then studying composition at the Latvian State Conservatory in Riga (now Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music). The other four members of the group were also students of various faculties of the same conservatory.
     Zodiac's first vinyl record Disco Alliance (Russian: Диско альянс, Latvian: Disko alianse) was released in 1980 on the monopolist Melodiya label, during the band members' studentship. A significant part of the group's success was that the album was produced by Aleksandrs Grīva, also the father of band member Zane Grīva. The music featured a lot of then-unusual synthesized sounds and effects together with more conventional disco elements.
     The second album Music in the Universe (Russian: Музыка во Вселенной) released two years later was much inspired by a meeting with cosmonauts in the Star City, Moscow and their tales about space flights. The music of the second album was much more rock-influenced than the first.
     During that time the band also performed the music of Viktor Vlasov for the films Zhenskiye radosti i pechali (Woman's Joys and Sorrows, 1982) and Ekipazh mashiny boevoy (The Tank Crew, 1983), the soundtracks for the both films were released on a vinyl record Music from the Films (Russian: Музыка из кинофильмов) in 1985. The music of the group was also used in the documentary film about the cosmonaut artist Aleksei Leonov Zvyozdnaya palitra (Star Palette, 1982).
     The album In memoriam was composed and produced by Jānis Lūsēns alone and released in 1989. The album was dedicated to the ancient and modern cultural and natural heritage of Latvia. The sounding of the album turned from disco to light techno/synth pop while gaining a lot of classical music influences as well as the influence of Jean Michel Jarre's ambient works.
     The last album "Clouds" was released in 1991 by RiTonis (former Melodiya). It contains a hit song of early 1990s in Latvia "My favourite flowers".
     Disco Alliance and Music in the Universe were released together on compact disc by Mikrofona Ieraksti (which represents EMI in the Baltic states).

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