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Coil - Musick To Play In The Dark Vol. 2 CD (album) cover




Progressive Electronic

3.74 | 11 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars This is a disorientating album from the outset with 'tennis match ping pong ball stereo'. The first track replicates the word 'Something' in a repeatedly morose spoken vocal by John Balance.

Despite being brilliantly produced and well arranged I find myself at a loss as to when and where I can listen to this. It's a downbeat and miserable listen.

'Tiny Golden Books' moves into 'Ricochet' era Tangerine Dream complete with arpeggiating synths - here however there are cleverly placed heavily treated vocoder vocals placed at the half-way point which really adds a cold iciness to the feeling conveyed.

'Ether' thankfully has a superb manipulated vocal effects strung out amongst electronic tinkling. Such a pity there's a five note piano repetition that continues throughout, as it gets quite irritating throughout its long duration.

'Paranoid Inlay' continues the all permeating gloom with miserable Balance vocals laid on top of some very weird electronics which bloop and squeak from ear to ear in rapid stereo.

'An Emergency' adds Rose McDowall (of Strawberry Switchblade fame) vocals to the electronic tweakery, but are over all too soon during this highly enjoyable tune.

'Where Are You?' is the one highlight of this recording. It's lifted directly from the track 'Embers 'from Boyd Rice's 'Easy Listening for Iron Youth' with whom Coil were once friendly with. A distant balalaika proves the backbone as warbly Rose McDowall vocals ululate in an icy manner. John Balance takes the forefront but still sounds really sick and tired of everything as he mumps and moans about the condition of the human race. Peter Christopherson adds his unpredictable glitches and throbbing bass pulses throughout, all of which contributes to a truly unsettling and uncomfortable listen. Thankfully the basic tune itself is wonderful.

The last song 'Batwings' sounds very much like 'The Mothership and the Fatherland' from 'Astral Disaster' - it has that messianic foreteller of doom feel about it. With its unfathomable lyrics that somehow sound far more severe and important than they actually are. At the end of the day, they're meaningless in this most melancholic of songs. Which is pretty much how you could sum up 'Coil' . They sound deep and important but are so veiled and secretive that they won't mean much to anybody.

The whole album sounds like a soundtrack for darkest Antarctica. A possible National Anthem if you like - despite there being no permanent inhabitants.

Dobermensch | 3/5 |


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