Three-Peat Vol. XXII: Coil

Three-Peat is our feature spanning genres and labels to bring you three select releases from the past – whether the past month or the past year – that still deserve your attention. This edition we’ve selected three tracks from the avant-garde noise charmers who go by the name of Coil.

1. Coil – Ubu Noir

The London based group began to get recognized after member Peter Chritopherson of Throbbing Gristle left Psychic Tv. Psychic Tv is a band which started in 1984 with members who focused deeply on combining visual artwork with the power-driven sounds of psychedelic, electronic, punk and experimental music. A few months later in 1984, Peter Christopherson’s decided to leave Psychic Tv and started to work with John Balance who is the original founder of Coil. The first release from the group was a single track LP called “How To Dress Well”. After their first single track release Danny Hyde, Peter Christopherson, Jim Thirlwell, and John Balance produced a complete studio album called ‘Scatology’. ‘Scatology’ has a nostalgic touch of the mid 70s post-punk movement with spiritually driven late 80s industrial tones. ‘Ubu Noir’ is the first track on ‘Scatology’, which has a dark cynical ambience with a slightsense of innocence. The sense of innocence is created by a loop that has the sound of a squeaky trumpet similar to a circus theme song. However that slight sense of innocence is constantly being chased by a repetitive sample of a chalkboard screech effect that adds onto the overall feel of a twisted whirlwind of daunting confusion.

Stream: Coil : Ubu Noir (SCATOLOGY) (1984)

2. Coil – Further Back And Faster

With the rise of acid house music in the early 90s, Love Secret Domain is the album that revealed Coil’s new direction they were taking in their career. Further Back and Faster is one of the tracks on Love Secret Domain released in 1991 that shows Coil trying to redefine acid house and make a new sound they could call their own. Love Secret Domain is Coil’s second proper studio album that could be looked at as a preview of what was to be expected from experimental industrial group who were leaning towards making purely electronic music at that time.

Stream: Coil – Further Back And Faster (LOVE SECRET DOMAIN) (1991)

3. Coil Live – Three

However Coil’s strong attempts at making electronic music was soon to come to an end in 1994. Nasa Arab/First Dark Ride was the farewell single to acid house music for Coil, which was released under their side project called Coil vs the Eskaton. Unfamiliar rhythms and a tribute to drone music, Nasa Arab/First Dark Side is a galactic solar journey that sounds like it was made by humans trying to get in contact with aliens. Earlier before the side project of Coil vs the Eskaton, Coil’s live performances from the mid-80s had been released. The four live albums are a key component in Coil’s musical career as an early emergence of a unique alienated syncopation was produced way ahead of it’s time and the live albums show how the later creations made by Coil in early 90s such asNasa aRAB/ First Dark Ride came to be.

Stream: Coil – Three

Afi Baaqi