Friday, 10 February 2017

Coil - Musick To Play In The Dark (1999)

Before the evenings start to get light again, let's have some prime music for the darkness, with the nocturnal majesty of Coil at their possible career-best.  This album was my entry-point to the alchemical, liquid world of Balance and Christopherson's sound shiftings, on the strength of rave reviews after its release which hailed it as a game-changer.  In hindsight, this was indeed where Coil's last great chapter began, with Julian Cope/Spiritualized collaborator Tim Lewis aka Thighpaulsandra on board.

Like a fair chunk of the Coil ouevre, we start with Jhonn and Sleazy pursuing a ritualistic altered state, in this case combining MDMA with sleep deprivation to create some shivery, watery 'moon musick' of the highest order.  Thighpaulsandra gets a chance to shine with the instrumental Red Birds Will Fly Out Of The East And Destroy Paris In A Night, channeling Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze with a much more unhinged finale. Subsequent illuminations concern media manipulation (Red Queen), childhood and family as ritual (Broccoli), until the gorgeous finale allows for some sleep at last.  There was a Volume 2 a few months later, which continued the musical and lyrical themes but with not quite as strong an end result as this stunning record.

One day your eggs are going to hatch and some very strange birds are going to emerge
alt. link (zippy)

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