Music

Coil: Time Machines

Dais Records reissues a relic of Coil's discography with Time Machines, acting as the latest reminder of the brilliance of the experimental act and the forward thinking music they represented.

Coil was one of the bands that helped forge extreme experimental music during the '80s. Far ahead of its time, the band led by John Balance and Peter Christopherson constructed forward thinking music, incorporating noise, industrial, electronic and no-wave elements. Providing a non-linear concept when it came to its progressions, the music of Coil became was always extravagant, from the days of Scatology, Horse Rotorvator and Gold Is The Metal With The Broadest Shoulders, to their later releases in Black Antlers and The Ape of Naples.



Coil

Time Machines

US Release: 2017-10-13
UK Release: 2017-10-13
Label: Dais
Amazon
iTunes

Coil always tempered with drone music, something that was a prevalent attribute even in their debut album. The work that saw them diving head first into that area was the How To Destroy Angels EP, and its subsequent remixes, but the one recording where the band went full on drone tends to remain obscure. In 1998, Christopherson and Balance, working with fellow band member Drew McDowall, released a record under the Time Machines moniker, considering the work in question to travel too far out of the no-wave territory and therefore could not be released under the Coil name. In following years, the band begun to embrace this part of its history, and so Time Machines became a part of the officially discography of Coil, and today it is being re-released by Dais Records on a remastered format.

The foundation of the record was built by Drew McDowall, before Balance and Christopherson came into the fold and started crafting the compositions. Fascinated by the subject of chemical substances, the four movements of the record are named after different types of chemical compounds of the hallucinogenic drug they were composed for. But the investigation that the band is performing here does not remain solely on the psychedelic domain, but moves to the essence of time perception, and more specifically what Balance called “temporal slips", with the music said to enable the dissolution of time for both the performers and the audience.

The slow moving drones featured in the record do introduced this illusion of timelessness. Stripping away the sensation of time, the band dives into a bottomless abyss, filled with ritualistic and spiritual leanings. The fact that Coil found influence in Tibetan ceremonial music and other religious practices and embraced the concept of meditation is no coincidence. The music features a transcendental quality, allowing for a deep level of introspection through its meditative outlook, much like the drugs these songs were crafted for.

The abstract form of the record is overwhelming, moving in a lethargic pace, with the soundscapes forming and dissolving endlessly. But it is the slight deviations that offer the necessary trippy interludes, either in the sustained notes of “Telepathine" or the sharper synths of “DOET-Hecate", they enhance the psychedelic experience. Combining with the circular motifs to unleash the full hallucinatory effects of the music, the sounds begins to take form, mimicking collisions of huge celestial bodies.

Through the record, the experience displays an electrifying sense, not unlike an underlying buzz of current running through wires, is always present beneath the surface. It provides this strange sensation of a presence, something that has physical form, yet it is too abstract to be understood. “5-MeO-DMT" appears with in a very live manifestation, as if the sound that comes through the speakers is an actual living organism, each breath radiating with heat, something that forces the experience to intensify to no end.

Time Machines is a relic of recent forgotten times. Considering that the album was released 20 years ago, it is very interesting to see how timeless its scope feels today. The music simply fits any time, moving beyond the notions of structure, progression and form, embracing the complete loss of self and reveling in the wisdom gained by that knowledge. As with most of Coil's works, Time Machines is a gem of experimental music.

9


Music


Books


Film


Television


Recent
Music

The 10 Best Fleetwood Mac Solo Albums

Fleetwood Mac are the rare group that feature both a fine discography and a successful series of solo LPs from their many members. Here are ten examples of the latter.

Music

Jamila Woods' "SULA (Paperback)" and Creative Ancestry and Self-Love in the Age of "List" Activism

In Jamila Woods' latest single "SULA (Paperback)", Toni Morrison and her 1973 novel of the same name are not static literary phenomena. They are an artist and artwork as galvanizing and alive as Woods herself.

Film

The Erotic Disruption of the Self in Paul Schrader's 'The Comfort of Strangers'

Paul Schrader's The Comfort of Strangers presents the discomfiting encounter with another —someone like you—and yet entirely unlike you, mysterious to you, unknown and unknowable.

Music

'Can You Spell Urusei Yatsura' Is a Much Needed Burst of Hopefulness in a Desultory Summer

A new compilation online pulls together a generous helping of B-side action from a band deserving of remembrance, Scotland's Urusei Yatsura.

Music

Jess Cornelius Creates Tautly Constructed Snapshots of Life

Former Teeth & Tongue singer-songwriter Jess Cornelius' Distance is an enrapturing collection of punchy garage-rock, delicate folk, and arty synthpop anthems which examine liminal spaces between us.

Books

Sikoryak's 'Constitution Illustrated' Pay Homage to Comics and the Constitution

R. Sikoryak's satirical pairings of comics characters with famous and infamous American historical figures breathes new and sometimes uncomfortable life into the United States' most living document.

Music

South African Folk Master Vusi Mahlasela Honors Home on 'Shebeen Queen'

South African folk master Vusi Mahlasela pays tribute to his home and family with township music on live album, Shebeen Queen.

Music

Planningtorock Is Queering Sound, Challenging Binaries, and Making Infectious Dance Music

Planningtorock emphasizes "queering sound and vision". The music industry has its hierarchies of style, of equipment, of identities. For Jam Rostron, queering music means taking those conventions and deliberately manipulating and subverting them.

Music

'History Gets Ahead of the Story' for Jazz's Cosgrove, Medeski, and Lederer

Jazz drummer Jeff Cosgrove leads brilliant organ player John Medeski and multi-reed master Jeff Lederer through a revelatory recording of songs by William Parker and some just-as-good originals.

Books

A Fresh Look at Free Will and Determinism in Terry Gilliam's '12 Monkeys'

Susanne Kord gets to the heart of the philosophical issues in Terry Gilliam's 1995 time-travel dystopia, 12 Monkeys.

Music

The Devonns' Debut Is a Love Letter to Chicago Soul

Chicago's the Devonns pay tribute the soul heritage of their city with enough personality to not sound just like a replica.

Music

Jaye Jayle's 'Prisyn' Is a Dark Ride Into Electric Night

Jaye Jayle salvage the best materials from Iggy Pop and David Bowie's Berlin-era on Prisyn to construct a powerful and impressive engine all their own.

Music

Kathleen Edwards Finds 'Total Freedom'

Kathleen Edwards is back making music after a five-year break, and it was worth the wait. The songs on Total Freedom are lyrically delightful and melodically charming.

Television

HBO's 'Lovecraft Country' Is Heady, Poetic, and Mangled

Laying the everyday experience of Black life in 1950s America against Cthulhuian nightmares, Misha Green and Jordan Peele's Lovecraft Country suggests intriguing parallels that are often lost in its narrative dead-ends.

Music

Jaga Jazzist's 'Pyramid' Is an Earthy, Complex, Jazz-Fusion Throwback

On their first album in five years, Norway's Jaga Jazzist create a smooth but intricate pastiche of styles with Pyramid.

Music

Finding the Light: An Interview with Kathy Sledge

With a timeless voice that's made her the "Queen of Club Quarantine", Grammy-nominated vocalist Kathy Sledge opens up her "Family Room" and delivers new grooves with Horse Meat Disco.

Books

'Bigger Than History: Why Archaeology Matters'

On everything from climate change to gender identity, archaeologists offer vital insight into contemporary issues.

Film

'Avengers: Endgame' Culminates 2010's Pop Culture Phenomenon

Avengers: Endgame features all the expected trappings of a superhero blockbuster alongside surprisingly rich character resolutions to become the most crowd-pleasing finalés to a long-running pop culture series ever made.

Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews

Features
Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.