It was rather difficult to imagine any serious "vinyl” collection without this record in the eighties of the last century. People were buying "Disko-alliance" record of Zodiac by exchange, by stealing; moreover, "Disko-alliance" was as a payment of a debt sometimes. This record was played all over the former one-sixth part of a land by the miraculous native production as "Accord" record player. An instrumental record of Zodiac - « Disko Alliance » was like “a sacred cow” of the Russian electronic music. It was successfully sold together with the second one, named - «Music in the Universe". The total run was more than 20 000 000 copies. There are not so much artists, who have a similar success: a huge profit out the two albums as well as out the all discography. Today - quarter of the century later - « Disko Alliance » is not perceived as an archaism.
It is interesting, that the participants of the first cast: Janis Lusens, Andris Silis, Zane Griva, Andris Reinis and Ainars Ashmanis weren’t conceiving so big success of the first album. The students from the different departments and courses of Latvian Conservatory were peacefully and diligently studying, going to become the newly-made young experts in the field of the academic music. « We were not thinking about some kind of musical innovation," - says Janis Lusens, - We were living a usual student life, playing absolutely different music in different groups. It was as Jazz as Dixieland. We were interested in electronics, were fond of various records exchanging such as Tangerine Dream, Kraftwerk, Jean Michel Zharr. I was trying to write down at home something like that ».
The experimental cassette of the 21-years old student from the conservatory - Janis Lusens (the participant of the " Arka " group under the direction of Juris Kulakovs), was brought to the producer Alexander Griva - one of the best sound producers of USSR. He was working with serious music and was a deputy director of the Riga department of the firm «Melody” at that moment. Lusens and Co was not the pioneer in the electronic music. There was a great simplicity in Lusen's music in comparison with Edward Artemyev's creativity that was demanding a certain preparation. Millions guys and girls of USSR were subjugated due to this great simplicity. Alexander Griva was a strong sound-producer. He was approximately fifteen years elder than other participants of the group and was a strict leader. At the same time A. Griva knew, that in spite of the harmless instrumental genre, excessively using the studio time for the working with the young non-professional musicians can't be appreciated by the government. Perhaps, « Disco Alliance » was also the first album that was designed in a new, absolutely unusual style. There was a futuristic painting on the cover, made by the familiar artists of Riga. Their skills in this kind of art were very poor at the time. They were working for the most part instinctively. The record with the futuristic painting cover was standing out among the other records with the ordinary illustrations such as Russian eminences and photos of the brushed soviet crooners with the sour smile. « Disco Alliance » record was striking due to the bright photos of the young musicians. Moreover, all the instruments that were played by the musicians were mentioned on the backside of the cover. Lusens was a fortunate owner of «ARP Omni» complete and an «ARP Odyssey " synthesizer.
The impossibility of the ideological captious objections was the main advantage of the record « Disco Alliance ». There was only an instrumental music recorded, and it could be easily played on the disco parties like any other music of the Soviet Baltic republic musicians. The envious people started a rumour. They asserted that all participants of Zodiac had been the children of the Central Committee party's members, in spite of the fact that all participants of "Zodiac" had arrived to Riga from the small Latvian towns for studying. Zodiac was taken by the enlightened music fans as a poor parody of the French group Space but not by the majority of the youth. « Disco Alliance » was considered to be an explosion and the first change in all-Union firm «Melody» for the young people.
All of the « Disco Alliance » album members are anyhow engaged in music now. The album « Disco Alliance » appeared in all countries of the East Europe, in Finland, Austria and Japan. A leitmotif from the album's play was used in a popular dancing track of the Russian team PPK "Reload". That was one of the most appreciable references to the team's creativity for the last 10-15 years.
We are nourishing the hope now, that the opportunity to see the revival of the initial Zodiac will be occurred. Janis Lusens has a 21 years old son, who is also a composer and is writing the music for advertising. He is of the age, when his father with the friends made a sound-recording of « Disco Alliance » - the most popular record of the country that is not present on a map any more.
Jānis Lūsēns - ARP Omni, ARP Odyssey, celesta, production
Zane Grīva - piano, ARP Omni, vocals
Andris Sīlis - guitar
Ainārs Ašmanis - bass guitar
Andris Reinis – drums
Disco Alliance 1980:
1 Zodiac (Zodiaks / Зодиак) 5:12
2 Pacific (Pacific / Пасифик) 3:52
3 Provincial Disco (Procinciāls disko / Провинциальное диско) 4:18
4 Polo (Polo / Поло) 3:17
5 Mirage (Mirāža / Мираж) 4:02
6 Rock on the Ice (Roks uz ledus / Рок на льду) 2:42
7 Alliance (Alianse / Альянс) 3:41
Music In The Universe 1983:
8 Таинственная галактика (The Mysterious Galaxy) 4:45
9 Лазерная иллюминация (Laser Illumination) 4:11
10 Серебряная мечта (Silver Dream) 3:32
11 Фотофиниш (Photo Finish) 4:43
12 Обратная сторона неба (The Other Side Of Heaven) 5:17
13 В свете Сатурна (In The Light Of Saturn) 3:47
14 Полет над Эльдорадо (Light Over El Dorado) 5:07
Rip from CD 256@ (artwork included)