Rapoon is the ethno-ambient solo project of :zoviet*france: co-founder Robin Storey, born in 1955 in Cumbria, England. While studying fine arts at Sunderland University, he began pursuing a long-held interest in sound manipulation by taking classes in electronic and experimental composition, additionally joining with friends to perform the works of Karlheinz Stockhausen (a key influence, as were the Krautrock bands of the early '70s).
In 1979 Storey formed the pioneering industrial group :zoviet*france:, remaining a member until 1992. During that year, Canadian label DOVe issued the first Rapoon album, Dream Circle, its entrancing fusion of Indian ragas, African rhythms, and experimental textures anticipating the evocative soundscapes of the many releases to follow. These included albums for Staalplaat such as Raising Earthly Spirits (1993), Fallen Gods (1994), and The Kirghiz Light (1995). Soleilmoon began releasing Rapoon albums in 1996, with Darker by Light, Errant Angels, and Recurring (Dream Circle) appearing that year, and reissues of earlier albums surfacing later. Continuing to record for both labels, Rapoon albums also appeared on Syntactic (Messianic Ghosts, 1997) and Relapse's Release imprint (The Fires of the Borderlands, 1998). He also released several collaborations with artists such as Randy Greif, Nigel Ayers, and Andrew Diey. Sonic Foundry released Storey's production CD-ROM Loops for ACID in 1999.
Starting with a 2000 collaboration with Kinder Atom, Rapoon began issuing material on Austrian label Klanggalerie as well. Soleilmoon sublabel Caciocavallo released the double CD Cold War: Drum 'n' Bass in 2001, incorporating dislocated breakbeats into the Rapoon sound. While continuing to release an album or two per year, Storey completed his master's degree in creative music technology, and resumed focus on his visual work. Storey is a noted visual artist, painter, and animator, and his work has been exhibited throughout the world, with pieces on display at several major galleries. A Rapoon DVD titled Alien Glyph Morphology was released by Caciocavallo in 2005, with vinyl and CD editions appearing later.
In 2006, Storey and former :zoviet*france: bandmates Mark Spybey and Andy Eardley released a self-titled album credited to the Reformed Faction of Soviet France, but they soon decided to distance themselves from their former group, and re-released it as Vota, credited to Reformed Faction. Eardley left the project after this album, but Storey and Spybey continued recording and performing as Reformed Faction, starting with 2007's The War Against.... Rapoon remained as active as ever, with releases continuing on Glacial Movements (Time Frost, 2007), Lens Records (Dark Rivers, 2009), Magnatune (Disappeared, 2010), and many other labels. Vinyl-on-Demand released a three-LP Rapoon box set, Ghosts from a Machine, in 2010.
Storey collaborated with Johanna Devi on two dance productions in 2011, which premiered in London and Berlin. During the decade, Rapoon albums continued appearing on labels old and new, including collaborations with Pas Musique, Mykel Boyd, and Wyrm. Storey and Spybey also collaborated with Jared Louche (Chemlab, Pigface) under the name Altered Statesmen. Starting in 2012, Zoharum began releasing a series of Seeds in the Tide rarities collections. Subsequent Rapoon full-lengths ranged from the piano-based meditations of Downgliding (Carpe Sonum Novum, 2015) to the lighthearted, even humorous Waiting by the River (Klanggalerie, 2016). ~ Jason Ankeny & Paul Simpson