jeudi 7 août 2008

Coil - Live Two

As requested by Sleepless.

Coil's Moscow performance in the Fall of 2001 is documented here, soon after their brief stateside visit. Like the NYC show, the Moscow performance went under the banner "Constant Shallowness Leads to Evil," a tight, energetic performance highlighting Coil's most confrontational material. This is my personal favorite of the four periods of Coil's live shows, simply because Coil seemed at this stage to be perfectly in control of their audience, skillfully heightening tension and confounding expectations, all the while subliminally projecting their bizarre brand of personal empowerment propaganda onto the unwitting observers. This Moscow performance seems to be the absolute zenith of the "Constant Shallowness" show, which is why the bad mix on tracks like "What Kind of Animal Are You?" is very disappointing indeed. The officially sanctioned bootleg CD-R recording of the NYC show actually boasts superior audio, which is surprising considering Coil's usually scrupulous attention to their production fidelity. Still, this performance is very impressive, especially the pitch-perfect rendition of Horse Rotorvator's "Blood From the Air." The final, apocalyptic blowout of "Constant Shallowness Leads to Evil" begins with Balance satirically answering some vicious rumors printed in a Russian publication: "We've heard that some of you may have read that we eat human flesh. However, we only do this on religious holidays." Coil then launch into a lengthy noise assault specifically formulated to exorcise you of demons and brainwash you of all your previous learning, leaving you vulnerable for Coil's subliminal psychobabble. "God please fuck my mind for good!" screams a wrecked Balance, stealing a line from Captain Beefheart's "Making Love to a Vampire With a Monkey on My Knee." If you manage to make it to the end of this exhausting set with your sanity intact, you may truly grasp Coil's final motto "Persistence is All."

Jonathan Dean

Coil Live Two came out on Threshold House (LOCI CD 19) in 2003.


  1. Something / Higher Being's Command
  2. Amethyst Deceivers
  3. What Kind of Animal Are You?
  4. Blood from the Air
  5. The Green Child
  6. Constant Shallowness Leads To Evil

Live Two

Coil - live One

This is the second request for Sleepless.

The last in the live series is a 2-CD set beautifully packaged in a foldout digipack. The two discs document the first two Coil performances of the new millennium, focusing on their Time Machines material. It must have been terribly exciting for the audience at the Royal Festival Hall in April of 2000 to hear the opening tones of "Everything Keeps Dissolving," this being Coil's first true live concert other than some sallow, abortive attempts made in the early 80's. Coil no doubt practiced for months, as they show no signs of unease in unveiling their polished live presence. Disc one originally saw limited release as Time Machines Live only available with mail order copies of Musick to Play in the Dark 2. It's swell for this material to be widely available, as it is truly a great concert and a flawless recording. At this early stage in Coil's performances, John Balance had not yet adopted the dancing, screaming, extroverted lunatic personality he was to unveil in later shows. Therefore, the three tracks that make up the London show contain no live singing, just a series of enraptured electronic oscillations that twist around the brain, wiping out all thought but an extreme sense of dislocation and confusion. "Queens of the Circulating Library" utilizes samples of Thighpaulsandra's opera-singing mum Dorothy Lewis, together with digital arpeggiations and sexy purrs from a wounded synthesizer. "Chasms" flirts close to Tangerine Dream territory, a swirling circulation of warm synthesizer tones that unfold like a Russian science fiction film. Disc two comprises Coil's terrific performance at Barcelona's Sonar festival in June of 2000. It repeats the same songs from disc one, but adds three new songs to the setlist, including the fourth and final permutation of "Amethyst Deceivers." Bill Breeze plays viola throughout the entrancing set, adding some beautiful neo-classical flourishes. "The Universe is a Haunted House," a line taken directly from Burroughs' Naked Lunch, is present in a much more nascent version than the one heard on Live Four. Unfortunately, this disc suffers from two problems. First, the audio source used for this release was not made from the soundboard, but is rather a recording by a member of the audience. While pains have been taken to clean up the sound, the audio does suffer from the technical problems inherent in bootleg recordings, including annoying audience chatter and trebly distortions. Second, although the digipack lists six tracks, the CD only contains five tracks, the last two apparently having been accidentally merged. Still, this is a rather impressive bootleg recording, and these problems can easily be forgiven and the concert still enjoyed. We hear Jhon Balance step to the front for the first time, delivering a series of blood-curdling screams on "Elves," once again making a play for the title of the most warped vocalist in music today. - Jonathan Dean

Live One came out on Treshhold House (LOCI CD 18) in 2003.
Disc A recorded at the Royal Festival Hall on April 2, 2000.
Disc B recorded at Sonar festival in Barcelona on June 17, 2000.

Tracks :

disc A

1. Everything Keeps Dissolving
2. Queens of the Circulating Library
3. Chasms

disc B

1. Everything Keeps Dissolving
2. Amethyst Deceivers
3. Circulating
4. The Universe is a Haunted House
5. Chasms/Elves

Disc A
Disc B

1 commentaire:

gerireig a dit…

Thanks for Coil. What a muscular blog! Tons of good stuff. You do good work.