Zoviet France (also known as :$OVIET:FRANCE:, Soviet France, :zoviet-france: and latterly usually written as :zoviet*france:) is a prolific 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 1981, and remaining largely anonymous, 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.
Their music often consists of droning textures set against fractured rhythms and fleeting dissonant melodies and their earlier recordings have been described as "evoking a cross between musique concrète and tribal music". Neglected sound sources are frequently used, such as obscure radio broadcasts, toy instruments, and field recordings, often heavily processed or looped. Over time, they have increasingly added electronic elements but without adopting computer based composition techniques. In describing their approach to making music, the group has been quoted as saying:
“ All audio equipment distorts sound to some degree and, eventually through mechanical and electrical failure, fucks it up. Since indeterminacy as a compositional parameter has been a constant in our work, this often produces what we regard as interesting new developments.