Saturday, May 31, 2008

Coil - Constant Shallowness Leads to Evil (V)

Constant Shallowness Leads to Evil is a patchwork of glitchy electronics, marimba, experimental percussion, and twisted, ritualistic vocals from the late John Balance. This record could easily be a gateway record into noise, or an almost musical addition to a noisehead's collection.

Coil's work in this context is less connected to beats and straightforward songs than on a typical Coil album - and that's saying something, given Coil's twisted approach to songwriting. There's something glitchily attractive about the tone of Constant Shallowness' swirling, droning, rumbling electronics that has nothing to do with harshness or chaos. Coil's semi-noise has a stronger connection to tones, pitches, and chords than the all-frequency chaos of the average noisework. That said, the music is swirling, drifting, grinding, teeth of giant gears working together, without the piston-pulse of industrial drum machines lowering Constant Shallowness to a glitchy electronic pop piece.

The marimba and assorted percussion connects further to the musical spectrum than the electronic glitches that pervade Tunnel of Goats, but in an atonal-sounding semi-mechanical loop that pulls Balance's effected, groaning ritual mutterings - "I am the Green Child" - into a mystical, drug-hazy trance. Not often can one find razor-edged sounds that create such a numb, mind-drenching atmosphere. This is not a typical Coil record. Pick it up, whether you like Coil or not. You'll not regret it.

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