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Coil – Queens Of The Circulating Library

Label: Eskaton Format: CDS

Coil - Queens Of The Circulating LibraryImmediately the title conjours images of Thighpaulsandra and John Balance driving across the wetlands of Wessex in a peripatetic wagon filled with books and synthesizers. Perhaps this is how this CD was recorded after all – it sounds as if they were spiralling though an electromagnetic storm of drones, a whirlpool of oscillator eddies, and squall of electricity. As they pass over the marshes and into the woods, a commanding presence arrives – the titular Queen herself, berating, scolding and fulminating on the lack of returns of books to her library, the passing of the lender’s, if not the volumes’, expiry date, all delivered by Dorothy Lewis with the pitch-shift and timestretched ring of otherwordly possession.

The atmosphere created on this release is one of the more peculiar to emanate from a most peculiar group. It’s somewhere between Terry Gilliam at his most crazed and the stoned circles generated by the synthesizers of two (or more) generations of electronic acidheads, but with more esoteric intentionality and the knowledge to back it up. Mesmerising, time-dilating, sussurating. Music to play with the eyes shut and to dive right into and come up gasping for air when the last pulse fades away. Enveloping. Disquieting. Familiar and uncanny, part of the soundtrack of the collective unconscious made present through the application of minute and/or gradual shifts in tone and volume, colour and phase, mythological evocations drawn from oscillations. The sort of music to fall asleep to and awake uncertain of whether the dream is continuing.

-Antron S. Meister-

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