Zurich began as a 1994 musical partnership between Neil Halstead then of Slowdive and Tony F Wilson. The two recorded a handful of tracks together at a time when Wilson was co-promoting and DJing at the club/live night Quirky in South London where he booked acts including Pan Sonic, Hafler Trio and Autechre. Halstead was shortly to begin work on Slowdive’s final and most experimental album Pygmalion. Recorded at a time when the popularity of ambient techno was at its peak, these recordings are remarkably austere by comparison. Whilst A Harsh Truth displays the Oriental gracefulness of a Sakamoto/Sylvian collaboration, Tzarist’s gothic industrialism shares more in common with the early works of Coil. Following the release of Pygmalion and Creation letting go of Slowdive, Halstead would disband Slowdive and abandon sound experimentation to create more song-based material in Mojave 3. Shortly thereafter, Wilson began collaborating with drum & bass producer and engineer Joe Gray on more rhythm based, yet still atmospheric productions. Too Scared to Breath features the voice of Seefeel’s Sarah Peacock and sounds not unlike prime Autechre and Aphex. Militia (Dynamic Warfare) on the other hand mirrors the post-metal Dub of Techno Animal and Scorn.
All of the recordings were lost until very recently when Touch recording artist Mark Van Hoen found the two tracks on old CD-Rs and cassettes he was given by Wilson. Wilson produced and recorded in the Knives ov Resistance project for the Aurora Borealis label and is currently working on a project with Ted Parson (Swans/Prong).