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COIL

Coil

Musick To Play In The Dark² - 2022 Reissue

    After leaving London in 1999 for the sleepy seaside retiree town of Weston-super-Mare, Coil co-founders John Balance and Peter “Sleazy” Christopherson set up shop in a palatial eight-bedroom estate to pursue the outer reaches of the group’s heightening cabalistic chemistry. Among the staggering string of late-era masterpieces they produced is lunar opus Musick To Play In The Dark, widely hailed as an artistic zenith upon its release. The sessions that birthed it were in fact so fruitful that a second LP took shape during the creation of the first one.

    Aided by the recent addition of Welsh multi-instrumentalist engineer Thighpaulsandra, Coil mined further into the recesses of surrealist eldritch electronica Balance termed “moon music” – post-industrial spellcasting at the axis of narcotic and nocturnal energies. Musick To Play In The Dark² spans a full witching hour of bad acid sound design, synthesizer voyaging, opiated balladry, Luciferian glitch, and subliminal hymnals, alternately ominous, oracular, and absurd. Scottish gothic icon Rose McDowall guests on vocals for two tracks but otherwise the album is a hermetic affair, tapping into the group’s limitless insular synergy.

    Opener “Something” is stark and incantational, a spoken word experiment for windswept voids. “Tiny Golden Books” unspools an aerial whirlpool of cosmic synth, both whispery and widescreen. “Ether” is an exercise in funeral procession piano and intoxicated wordplay (“It's either ether or the other”), while “Where Are You?” and “Batwings – A Liminal Hymn” lurk like liturgical murmurings heard on one’s death bed, framed in granular FX and flickering candlelight.

    As a whole the collection skews more muted and remote than its predecessor, as if having grown accustomed to the nether regions of these darkening seances. But music box hallucination “Paranoid Inlay” captures the group’s oblique comedic side, always glimmering beneath: over a warped, wobbly beat Balance intones an opaque narrative of serenity, Saint Peter, and suicidal vegetables, accompanied by spiraling harpsichord and stuttering squelches of electronics. “It seems concussion suits you,” he repeats twice, like a macabre pickup line, before dictating a dear diary entry about risks and failures, finally concluding with as close to a self-portrait as Coil ever came: “On a clear day I can see forever / that the underworld is my oyster.”

    TRACK LISTING

    A1. Something
    A2. Tiny Golden Books
    B1. Ether
    B2. Paranoid Inlay
    C1. An Emergency
    C2. Where Are You?
    C3. Batwings (A Limnal Hymn)

    Coil

    Love's Secret Domain - 30th Anniversary Edition

    In 1991 Coil released the third of their early classic full-length albums "Love's Secret Domain", seemingly casting aside the gloom and funereal beauty of its predecessors in favour of a painstakingly multi-layered hallucinogenic electronic beast, which unlike some of their fellow ex-industrial contemporaries' releases of the time wasn't an attempt at easy accessibility or (the-gods-forbid) danceability, but a vibrating psychedelic masterpiece unrivalled in their discography and still a landmark album.

    To mark its 30 year anniversary Infinite Fog present an expanded, fully remastered re-release of this fan favourite available for the first time ever in its entirety on vinyl with 10 rare and mostly unreleased tracks and alternative versions from the period added as a bonus to a luxurious 3LP/2CD set.

    Love's Secret Domain contains among its many highlights the Lynchian William Blake tribute of its title track and the intoxicating single "Windowpane", original versions of the later Coil live staple "Teenage Lightning" and the majestically warped classicisms of "Chaostrophy".

    Marc Almond guests on the typhonian "Titan Arch" and This Heat's Charles Hayward provides some amazing drum stylings.

    This album is Coil pushing their sound ideas and probably their sanity to their very limits. Beyond the iconic Steven Stapleton cover art here reproduced in unseen definition the doors of perception still open wide for both long-term Coil aficionados and new-comers to this supremely innovative release to explore unknown depths. The long-overdue re-release illustrates how far ahead of the curve Coil were with the sounds on this album, which still sounds as fresh and mind-blowing as it did back in the early 90s.

    TRACK LISTING

    CD TRACKLISTING:
    CD 1:
    1. Disco Hospital
    2. Teenage Lightning 1
    3. Things Happen
    4. The Snow
    5. Dark River
    6. Where Even The Darkness Is Something To See
    7. Teenage Lightning 2
    8. Windowpane
    9. Further Back And Faster
    10. Titan Arch
    11. Chaostrophy
    12. Lorca Not Orca
    13. Love's Secret Domain
    60:39

    CD 2:
    1. Disco Hospital (Unedited)
    2. Teenage Lightning(gtr)
    3. Snow (demonic Apollo A Version)
    4. Dark River (alternative Ruff From Point Studio Mix)
    5. Teenage Lightning (various)
    6. Further Back And Faster (didgeridoo)
    7. Snow (demonic Apollo B Version)
    8. Carvers And Gilders (Chaostrophy)
    9. The Dark Age Of Love
    10. Love's Secret Domain (Early Instrumental)
    55:45

    VINYL TRACKLISTING:
    A:
    1. Disco Hospital
    2. Teenage Lightning 1
    3. Things Happen
    4. The Snow
    5. Dark River
    B:
    6. Where Even The Darkness Is Something To See
    7. Teenage Lightning 2
    8. Windowpane
    9. Chaostrophy
    C:
    10. Further Back And Faster
    11. Titan Arch
    12. Lorca Not Orca
    13. Love's Secret Domain
    D:
    1. Disco Hospital (Unedited)
    2. Teenage Lightning(gtr)
    3. Snow (demonic Apollo A Version)
    4. Dark River (alternative Ruff From Point Studio Mix)
    E:
    5. Teenage Lightning (various)
    6. Further Back And Faster (didgeridoo)
    F:
    7. Snow (demonic Apollo B Version)
    8. Carvers And Gilders (Chaostrophy)
    9. The Dark Age Of Love (Balance)
    10. Love's Secret Domain (Early Instrumental)

    Coil

    Musick To Play In The Dark

      Few groups in recent history forged as confounding and alchemical a body of work as Coil, the partnership of Peter 'Sleazy' Christopherson and John Balance. From album to album and phase to phase their recordings spelunk perplexing depths of esoteric industrial, occult electronics, and drugged poetry, both embodying and alienating parallel currents of their peers. The late 1990's in particular were a fertile era for the duo, embracing chance, chaos, and collaboration, enhanced by recent advancements in synthesis and sampling. Fittingly, at the summit of the decade's long, intoxicated arc, their divergent strains of interstitial ritual congealed into one of Coil's most celebrated and hallucinatory creations: Musick To Play In The Dark.

      Convening at Balance and Christopherson's vast Victorian house / studio in the coastal town of Weston-super-Mare, they began a series of ambitious sessions aided by inner circle associates Thighpaulsandra and Drew McDowall. Although the creative process was admittedly “iterative” and “a bit of a drug blur,” the results are astoundingly inventive and well realized, winding through shades of divination dirge, wormhole kosmische, noir lounge, ominous humor, and black mass downtempo, guided by Balance's cryptic lunar muse, which he announces on the opening track: “This is moon musick / in the light of the moon.”

      What's most remarkable about the album 20 years after its release is how brazen, insular, and unpredictable it still feels. The songs follow an allusive, altered state logic all their own, warping from microscopic ripples of glitch and breath to widescreen warlock psychedelia and back again, as much hyper-sensory as interdimensional. Even within a catalog as eclectic as Coil's, Musick is a mystifying collection, oneiric evocations of desire, decadence, dinner jazz, and dietary advice, far beyond the pale of whatever gothic industrial ambiguity birthed such a journey. The record closes with a slow, starlit shuffle, bathed in seething sweeps of spectral texture and high cathedral keys, like approaching the altar of some arcane temple. As the trance thickens Balance's voice rises, processed into an increasingly eerie, gaseous haze, but he resists these unseen forces, intent on delivering a final sermon: “Through hissy mists of history / the dreamer is still dreaming / the dreamer is still dreaming.”

      TRACK LISTING

      1. Are You Shivering?
      2. Red Birds Will Fly Out Of The
      3. And Destroy Paris In A
      4. Night
      5. Red Queen
      6. Broccoli
      7. Strange Birds The
      8. Dreamer Is Still Asleep

      This Mortal Coil was the given name of a strictly-studio project that spawned three albums, conceived and produced by one-time 4AD founder Ivo Watts-Russell.

      Over the span of eight years he, along with Blackwing Studios house engineer/ co-producer, John Fryer, and a rotating cast of musicians, created original works, musical links and reinterpretations of impeccably curated songs; introducing a new audience to the talents of a previous generation including Big Star, Tim Buckley, Roy Harper, Spirit, Gene Clark, Dino Valenti, Rain Parade, Emmylou Harris, Syd Barrett and Colin Newman, amongst others.

      Released two years after their debut album, This Mortal Coil’s Filigree & Shadow (1986) was no less ornate than its predecessor; a double album with each of its four sides a self-contained unit.

      New faces joined the cast for this record, including a variety of singers Ivo handpicked like Alison Limerick, Jeanette, Dominic Appleton (Breathless), sisters Deirdre and Louise Rutkowski (Sunset Gun), and Richenel.

      An intense listen, The Quietus called it “tortured yet oddly euphoric… (music which) could easily rip flimsy souls apart.”

      TRACK LISTING

      A1. Velvet Belly
      A2. The Jeweller
      A3. Ivy And Neet
      A4. Meniscus
      A5. Tears
      A6. Tarantula

      B1. My Father
      B2. Come Here My Love
      B3. At First, And Then
      B4. Strength Of Strings
      B5. Morning Glory

      C1. Inch-Blue
      C2. I Want To Live
      C3. Mama K (1)
      C4. Filigree & Shadow
      C5. Fire Brothers
      C6. Thaïs (1)
      C7. I Must Have Been Blind
      C8. A Heart Of Glass

      D1. Alone
      D2. Mama K (2)
      D3. The Horizon Bleeds And Sucks Its Thumb
      D4. Drugs
      D5. Red Rain
      D6. Thaïs (2) 

      This Mortal Coil

      It'll End In Tears

      This Mortal Coil was the given name of a strictly-studio project that spawned three albums, conceived and produced by one-time 4AD founder Ivo Watts-Russell.

      Over the span of eight years he, along with Blackwing Studios house engineer/ co-producer, John Fryer, and a rotating cast of musicians, created original works, musical links and reinterpretations of impeccably curated songs; introducing a new audience to the talents of a previous generation including Big Star, Tim Buckley, Roy Harper, Spirit, Gene Clark, Dino Valenti, Rain Parade, Emmylou Harris, Syd Barrett and Colin Newman, amongst others.

      This Mortal Coil’s debut album It’ll End In Tears (1984) forged the template; helping to crystallise 4AD’s emerging signature sound whilst shining a light on some of their stable with Cocteau Twins, Colourbox, Dead Can Dance and The Wolfgang Press all involved. The line-up was completed by arranger Martin McCarrick, violinist Gini Ball, Howard Devoto of Buzzcocks / Magazine fame and Cindytalk’s Gordon Sharp.

      Pitchfork recently named it one of the best Dream Pop albums ever, a moment which “catalysed 4AD’s ascendance from the stilted poetics of goth rock to the kings of gauzy transcendence.”

      TRACK LISTING

      A1. Kangaroo
      A2. Song To The Siren
      A3. Holocaust
      A4. Fyt
      A5. Fond Affections
      A6. The Last Ray

      B1. Another Day
      B2. Waves Become Wings
      B3. Barramundi
      B4. Dreams Made Flesh
      B5. Not Me
      B6. A Single Wish

      This Mortal Coil was the given name of a strictly-studio project that spawned three albums, conceived and produced by one-time 4AD founder Ivo Watts-Russell.

      Over the span of eight years he, along with Blackwing Studios house engineer/ co-producer, John Fryer, and a rotating cast of musicians, created original works, musical links and reinterpretations of impeccably curated songs; introducing a new audience to the talents of a previous generation including Big Star, Tim Buckley, Roy Harper, Spirit, Gene Clark, Dino Valenti, Rain Parade, Emmylou Harris, Syd Barrett and Colin Newman, amongst others.

      Landing at the start of a new decade, after much had happened in both producer Ivo Watts-Russell’s life and with his 4AD label, the final part of the This Mortal Coil trilogy, Blood (1991), felt like a perfect conclusion.

      Meticulously orchestrated, vocalists Alison Limerick, Deirdre and Louise Rutkowski return from the second album with Caroline Crawley (Shelleyan Orphan / Babacar) and 4AD signees Heidi Berry, Kim Deal (Pixies / The Breeders), Tanya Donelly (Throwing Muses / The Breeders / Belly) and Pieter Nooten all enlisted.

      “Shedding some of its chillier post-punk components, blossoming into material airy and gorgeous. Covers — many from the psychedelic era — still dominate the material, but they are largely indistinguishable from the originals, so seamless is (it’s) indelible tone. Blood is a treasure.” Consequence of Sound

      TRACK LISTING

      A1. The Lacemaker
      A2. Mr. Somewhere
      A3. Andialu
      A4. With Tomorrow
      A5. Loose Joints
      A6. You And Your Sister

      B1. Nature’s Way
      B2. I Come And Stand At Every Door
      B3. Bitter
      B4. Baby Ray Baby
      B5. Several Times

      C1. The Lacemaker II
      C2. Late Night
      C3. Ruddy And Wretched
      C4. Help Me Lift You Up
      C5. Carolyn’s Song
      C6. D. D. And E.

      D1. ‘Til I Gain Control Again
      D2. Dreams Are Like Water
      D3. I Am The Cosmos
      D4. (Nothing But) Blood


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