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MUSICK TO PLAY IN THE DARK VOL. 2

Coil

Progressive Electronic


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Coil Musick To Play In The Dark Vol. 2 album cover
3.74 | 11 ratings | 3 reviews | 27% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2000

Songs / Tracks Listing


1. Something (5:02)
2. Tiny Golden Books (12:19)
3. Ether (11:32)
4. Paranoid Inlay (7:17)
5. An Emergency (1:18)
6. Where Are You? (7:53)
7. Batwings (A Limnal Hym) (11:32)

Total Time 56:53

Line-up / Musicians


- John Balance / performer
- Peter Christopherson / performer
- Thighpaulsandra / performer
- Rose McDowall / vocals

Thanks to siLLy puPPy for the addition
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COIL Musick To Play In The Dark Vol. 2 ratings distribution


3.74
(11 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(27%)
27%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(55%)
55%
Good, but non-essential (18%)
18%
Collectors/fans only (0%)
0%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

COIL Musick To Play In The Dark Vol. 2 reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Dobermensch
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.

Review by thellama73
COLLABORATOR Eclectic Prog Team
4 stars With these albums, Coil announced, they were leaving behind their old style of "sun music" and transitioning towards "moon music." I'm sure that makes sense to someone, but I will not worry too much about it because the music on both these albums,, solar or lunar, is among the strongest of their extremely impressive career.

There's definitely an atmosphere of the sinister here, and they spare no expense in creating spooky atmospherics throughout. The opener, "Something," is just the title word spoken in a whisper again and again, slowly fading in surrounded by wind sounds and subtle electronics. The second track is a full fledged electronic workout that bears all the hallmarks of later-day Coil hired gun and analog synth wizard Thighpaulsandra. His utterly unique approach to playing the synthesizer is endlessly entertaining and a regular feature on most Coil albums from this period. Think of a more demented Tangerine Dream and you get the basic idea.

Te showstopper on the album is the eleven minute "Ether." Its arcane references to the creepy, old-fashioned drug are chilling enough, but towards the end it becomes downright terrifying when John Balance intones the line "I'm going upstairs to turn my mind off... to turn my mind off... to turn my mind off" over a gradual fading backdrop of dark ambient sounds until only his desperate rasping remains. It's tremendously effective and one of the scariest songs I've ever heard.

The rest of the album remains strong throughout. Volume One of the series was a little uneven, and it's nice to see that that mistake has not been repeated here. The closer, another eleven minute track called "Batwings: A Limnal Hymn," is oddly the most sedate and straightforward track here, with no vocal processing for Balance and minimal instrumentation, yet it's strangely effective. It's unsettling without being over the top, and send the listener off into the night feeling just a little unnerved and eager to get home to a safe, warm bed.

No other band has ever really sounded like Coil, and it's wonderful that they have such a prodigious and varied discography. It's only a shame that the members died so young and were unable to leave us with even more great music.

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars John Balance mumbles and intones dark little thoughts as synthesisers twinkle like stars in the night sky in this second volume of Coil's Musick To Play In the Dark. As with its predecessor, the album captures Coil following a transition from the "sun music" of their earlier career - with its more aggressive, boisterous aspects - to the "moon music" captured here, with its roots deep in the subconscious and its approach almost ambient in its gentleness. Double meanings abound - "Ether" could refer either to the titular narcotic, or more ethereal spiritual ideas, or the idea of the luminiferous aether, and Balance seems to be talking about at least two of these at any particular point in the composition. A puzzlebox to contemplate when the lights are out.

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