follow us in feedly
‘The Sound of Progress’: Coil, Current 93, Foetus and Test Dept star in Dutch TV documentary
02:26 pm


Current 93
Test Dept.

Scraping Foetus off the Wheel
Broadcast on Dutch TV’s Videoline program in 1988, the forward-looking documentary The Sound of Progress combines interview and performance footage of some of the period’s most thoughtful and articulate musical extremists. If you have any interest in what Coil, Current 93, Scraping Foetus off the Wheel or Test Dept thought about, sounded like, or ate for lunch three decades ago, these 40 minutes will whiz by. And if you don’t have any interest in these four artists, might I recommend, as your personal medical adviser, that you remove the shit from your ears?

Let the anger, despair and hatred of these musicians, who all recognize the total emptiness of their cultural moment, stand as a corrective to ‘80s nostalgia. Their diagnosis still applies because the whiny, sedative, garbage-ass clown music saturating everyday life was just as bad then, though it might be twice as pervasive now. Here’s David Tibet’s take on the hot sounds of 1988, which he concludes by prescribing “a good kicking” for the anesthetized pop audience:

People listen to pop music for an easy way out, just for enjoyment of the most shallow and tedious type, really. The problem with Western music—contemporary Western music—is that it offers nothing except shallow pleasure, petty enjoyment, and the promise of dancing the night away and drinking, fucking, picking people up, all completely pointless things to do. Western music used to have something important in it if we look back at the classical composers, but even the classical music of the West now can’t offer anything to people, because it exists in its own sphere. It’s a finished sort of music.


“Maldoror Is Dead”: Current 93
As you might expect, Tibet speaks for C93 and JG Thirlwell for Foetus, while everyone in Test Dept—the most explicitly left-wing of the industrial groups—gets an equal say. John Balance and Stephen Thrower do most of the talking for Coil, though you’ll catch glimpses of Peter “Sleazy” Christopherson sticking his fingers in Balance’s mouth over a champagne lunch and playing a Fairlight in the studio. Everyone looks really young.

Sleazy pops the cork
Aside from their shared disgust with the popular music of the time, the four groups don’t necessarily agree on much. Coil’s insistence on the primacy of mystical experience is met by Test Dept’s stark social realism; Tibet’s conviction that Western civilization is stone dead is balanced by Thirlwell’s professed love for cultural trash. Nor do the occultists in the bunch agree on what is to be done: as the members of Coil turn inward, Tibet prepares to abandon the moldering corpse of Western civilization and seek truth in India. (It’s worth sticking around until the end of the doc to learn what he found there.)

Some of Test Dept’s instruments
For years, the only version of this documentary on YouTube was of fucking ghastly quality. I salute user vortexeyes for uploading this sharp copy in December 2014.

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
How to Destroy Angels (for free): Hours and hours of Coil’s music and video on Internet Archive
03:16 pm



I check this page at Brainwashed every few months to see how the Coil reissues are coming along. No news, in this case, is bad news; I’m eager to have a more or less complete set of the band’s works on CD.

It was never as if you could just skate down to Walgreens and grab the latest from Coil, but it didn’t used to be like tracking down the Maltese Falcon either. Since the untimely deaths of Jhonn Balance (in 2004) and Peter Christopherson (in 2010), even used CDs of albums that didn’t used to be particularly scarce are highly valued. The last authorized CDs of Scatology and Horse Rotorvator, which came out in 2001, will now set you back at least $50 each on the secondhand market; used, non-bootleg CDs of 2005’s The Ape of Naples start at about $100. And that’s the stuff that isn’t rare. Coil’s limited releases regularly appear among the most expensive items sold on Discogs Marketplace, where last year, a special edition of Gold Is The Metal (With The Broadest Shoulders) sold for $1,889 and Live Box fetched $3,130. Sadly, the cupboard is bare at the band’s Threshold House label, which only has a few releases for sale as digital downloads, along with a couple CDs and the European Blu-ray of Pasolini’s Salo.

The Colour Sound Oblivion DVD box set
Until Brainwashed comes out with the remastered, enhanced and enlarged versions of Coil’s works, you can—at least, as of this writing—download and stream days and days of the stuff free of charge at Internet Archive. That means FLAC files of How to Destroy Angels, Scatology, Musick to Play in the Dark (both volumes), The Remote Viewer, The Ape of Naples, ...and the ambulance died in his arms, among others; the demos for Love’s Secret Domain in 24-bit; scads of concerts, released and unreleased; and, yes, the entire fucking 16-DVD box set, Colour Sound Oblivion. A couple treats from the hoard are embedded below.

A four-hour Dutch radio special about Coil broadcast in June 2001

Coil live in Paris, May 23, 2004

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
‘Danach’: A film by Anna Österlund featuring music by Mikael Karlsson and Black Sun Productions

Talented film-maker and designer Anna Österlund’s latest short Danach is a collaboration with composer Mikael Karlsson and queer post-industrial collective Black Sun Productions. Österlund previously worked with Karlsson on the haunting, beautiful and disturbing film Breathing, and this time she has used his composition, which is the last track “Danach” on the final album release by Black Sun Productions, Phantasmata Domestica.

Black Sun Productions is a collective centered around “artivists” Massimo and Pierce, who for the past decade have performed as sound and visual artists and political activists under the name Anarcocks. Black Sun Productions have worked with Coil (Plastic Spider Thing), Lydia Lunch and H. R. Geiger. Massimo and Pierce met on the set of an underground porn film, and their work includes explicit elements of ritualized sex magick, chaos magick and elements of fetishism and sado-masochism. Phantasmata Domestica is the last ever release from this talented and uncompromising duo.

Now based in New York, Swedish composer Mikael Karlsson, who wrote the track “Danach” for Phantasmata Domestica, holds a masters degree in composition from the Aaron Copland School of Music and graduated Summa Cum Laude with departmental honors in June of 2005. He is a multi-award-winning composer, recognized as one of the most exciting and original working today. Karlsson has worked with Lydia Lunch, Mariam Wallentin, Kleerup, Lykke Li, Benoit-Swan Pouffe, Alexander Ekman, amongst many others.

Anna Österlund told Dangerous Minds about her latest film collaboration and the music which inspired it.

‘The album name is Phantasmata Domestica which means something like house ghost and Black Sun Productions call it “an epic and emotional tale about sorrow and loss.” The last track “Danach” is about the next day, the ceremonies are long since gone - the pity with them. Waking up, being forced to move on with your life. What hereafter? What now?

‘I got to interpret these words and the music freely and came up with this video during last week. We filmed for just a few hours, in the same forest and only a few hundred meters away from where I made Breathing.

‘I made the heavy wool coat that she’s wearing and added my grandmother’s old mourning veil to the costume. The house I built on top of an old record player, so I could rotate it and the wind comes from my blowdryer. I had a lot of fun making the film, it’s quite tricky to go through with ideas when you don’t have a budget or a crew to help out, but sometimes that gives birth to new ideas.’

Danach stars newcomer Maja Mintchev, who Anna spotted for the role in a department store in Malmö, and the film was released just last month in Europe.

Danach is a film by Anna Österlund in collaboration with Black Sun Productions and Mikael Karlsson.

Phantasmata Domestica by Black Sun Productions, featuring Mikael Karlsson, Massimo & Pierce, Lydia Lunch, Othon, Cory Smythe, Fung Chern Hwei, Sirius Quartet and Michael Bates is available here.

More on Anna Österlund at Ravishing Mad and Mikael Karlsson.

Previously on Dangerous Minds

‘Clara’: A film about joy, love and struggle by Anna Österlund

‘Breathing’: A haunting and eerie short film by Mikael Karlsson, Anna Österlund and Truls Bråhammar


Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
The Dreamer Is Still Asleep: Ring pays homage to the band Coil
05:13 pm



The website An Occult Experiment is making these sterling silvers rings as an homage to the band Coil.

The outside reads the dreamer is still asleep in a mix of raised / recessed lettering over a blackened background.  The inside is engraved the dreamer is still dreaming followed by a chaosphere.

The ring comes in various sizes and can be ordered at the website.

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Derek Jarman: ‘The Angelic Conversation’ with music by Coil, from 1985

Derek Jarman’s The Angelic Conversation plays Super 8 imagery against a selection of Shakespeare’s sonnets, in its “exploration of love and desire between two men”.  Jarman descibed the film as:

“a dream world, a world of magic and ritual, yet there are images there of the burning cars and radar systems, which remind you there is a price to be paid in order to gain this dream in the face of a world of violence.”

The sonnets are read by Judi Dench, and the soundtrack is by Coil.

Bonus footage of Peter “Sleazy” Christopherson, along with David Tibet, Othon Mataragas and Ernesto Tomasini, performing soundtrack to ‘The Angelic Conversation’ from 2008, after the jump…
With thanks to Muriel Couteau

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Some of Sleazy’s Best: The ecstatic anthropology of Threshold HouseBoys Choir

Peter “Sleazy” Christopherson’s passing yesterday evoked many tributes to the man as a member of influential electronic acts Throbbing Gristle, Psychic TV and Coil. But we haven’t heard quite enough about one of his best solo projects, Threshold HouseBoys Choir.

Both live and on the guise’s single proper release, Form Grows Rampant, THBC basically comprised Sleazy backing his own video of various rituals at the Vegetarian Festival in southern Thailand’s Krabi Town (12 hours from his adopted home of Bangkok) with an abstract soundtrack that drew on the many field recordings he made in the city. Christopherson’s infamous fascination with the young active male body is clear in this work. But many of the problematics surrounding the European gaze that typifies exotica seem mitigated somehow by the late composer’s intimate audio-visual treatment. 

Overall, Christopherson’s work helped create a literary, psychotropic aesthetic that synthesized aspects of outside sexuality, technology, and ritual magick, bound by a wry sense of humor. THBC brought that angle to a highly personal level, and will stand as an evocative late moment in the man’s prolific career.

More from Form Grows Rampant after the jump…

Posted by Ron Nachmann | Leave a comment
Little Annie Anxiety Bandez & Paul Wallfisch: Billy Martin Requiem

Little Annie AKA Annie Anxiety Bandez, has collaborated with a who’s who of avant garde musicians: Coil, Marc Almond Adrian Sherwood, Kid Congo Powers, Crass, Rubella Ballet and Nurse With Wound.

Her 2006 album, Songs from the Coalmine Canary was co-produced by Antony Hegarty. “Strangelove,” a song from the album co-written with Hegarty, was used as the soundtrack for a Levi’s campaign in 2007, going on to win a Cannes Bronze Lion award for “Best Use of Music.”

Tomorrow night, Little Annie and the fab Baby Dee are the opening acts for Marc Almond at the Philharmonic Hall in Liverpool and for several more UK gigs after that. What a great triple bill.

When I was 18-years-old, I saw her performing at a Crass gig at the Islington Bingo Hall. She stuck her hand down my friend’s pants!

Genderful, her latest album, with Paul Wallfischl is just out on Southern Records. The following statement was put on YouTube along with the video for “Billy Martin Requiem”:

December 1 marks the 22nd annual World AIDS Day, and while there is still no “cure” for or viable vaccine against HIV, the positive strides made battling the virus over the last few years are undeniable. New drugs are making what was a death sentence now a manageable - if serious and chronic - condition. Generic versions of these medications, along with ambitious public health policies are helping make real inroads against the disease in the developing world. There is space for much optimism this year. But what’s lost sometimes with the good news is a space to contemplate what has been lost to us - irrevocably. The talent unrealized, the creativity and vitality extinguished, the knowledge and experience that won’t be passed on to new generations - this was and continues to be the fall out from the AIDS epidemic.

At first I wondered why in the world Little Annie was singing about Billy Martin of all people, but DO keep watching, it’ll make sense. This is a really catchy song, too.

Thank you Tim Harris!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
The King of Woolworths
12:59 am


Kings of Woolworths


The King of Woolworths is the musical alterego of Mancunian Jon Brooks, who makes reprocessed tributes to 1960s BBC soundtracks. This is good shit. Here’s a BBC interview with him:

The King Of Woolworths is Jon Brooks, a man inspired by the soundtracks of 60s and 70s film and television like Get Carter, The Sweeney and the music of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. “It was always my dream to work for them,” he says. “Just that kind of experimentation. I like that attitude where anything went. You could use guitar or trumpet but the way you treated it was something else, and they created some really amazing sounds.”

L’Illustration Musicale is his second album, the follow up to 2001’s sampledelic soundtrack Ming Star. “Ming Star was me and a load of samples, whereas there are no samples on this album, it’s just a load of loops and stuff.” The new LP also features Jon’s first work with vocalists, including tracks with Dot Allison who has previously added vocal flushes to Death In Vegas and Emma Pollack from indie rockers The Delgados. She features on Nuada, 60s sugary pop soul inspired by the film The Wicker Man. “It was a very different thing to do for Emma, but I kind of had an idea it might work.”

Throughout the album, the Roy Budd-influenced instrumentals are cut up with Scott Walker-tinged pop. “I love pop music as well, especially 60s and 70s pop, and I wanted to get an essence of that,” he says. “I didn’t want to do the same thing again. I didn’t want the album to sound like the last one.”

(The King of Woolworths)

(Kings of Woolworths: Ming Star)

(You may recognize the song below as the source for Coil’s “Wraiths and Strays.”)

Posted by Jason Louv | Leave a comment
Coil / Nancy Sinatra / Frankie Goes to Hollywood: The Power of Bang-Bang


OK, this is just utterly wrong. Utterly wrong, yet… somehow… strangely… compelling... It’s a 12 minute?

Posted by Jason Louv | Leave a comment
Burning Ground Boogaloo!
02:24 pm



I hacked this video together a while back by using a classic Disney cartoon remixed with a new backing track, “Princess Margaret’s Man in the Djamalfna” by Coil from the album “The New Backwards.” This kind of perfectly encapsulates one of my mini world-views. As Brion Gysin said… we’re all just Here to Go!

Posted by Jason Louv | Leave a comment