Shortly before his musical partnership as Coil ended following the
death of Jhon Balance, Peter Christopherson performed a live soundtrack
to his old friend and collaborator Derek Jarman's abstract 1973 Super 8
short The Art Of Mirrors in Paris.
Sleazy had worked with Jarman on many occasions, including providing the music as a member of Throbbing Gristle for In The Shadow Of The Sun in 1974, Coil's highly-charged compositions for The Angelic Conversation, as well as their singularly psychedelic disco contributions to the director's final swansong, Blue.
Since The Art Of Mirrors is barely six minutes long, quite how
Christopherson made more than an hour of music to accompany the film's
screening is something those who were there can answer best, but
ultimately it's more or less irrelevant to the music as it appears here.
Split carefully across three sides of vinyl, the LP divides a continuous performance into what are now essentially three interrelated movements.
Each ebbs and flows with the same hallucinatory feeling that so much of the music that Christopherson made with others has, especially in Coil, and it soon begins to seem that time itself has become far more of an unnecessary frippery than usual.
As each side of vinyl unfolds, Christopherson's adherence to his
oft-stated intention that his music was made to provoke a change of
state in the listener is fully apparent.
Anyone who saw Coil or (to a lesser extent Throbbing Gristle) live will attest to their preference for hypnotic digital mandalas which were often as much a part of the experience as the music and their elaborate and sometimes bizarre costumes.
On his own here, Sleazy shifts and slides from deceptively calm
stretches of almost-brittle digital electronics complete with passages
of birdsong or human chanting into bass-heavy tremors shaking the floors
like nobody's business.
They fill up space with the pressure of spectral presences and tectonic rumblings.
These digital ghosts in Sleazy's machine fall somewhere between later Coil instrumentals which aimed for a particular psychotropic effect on the listener (such as the epic, mind-altering Time Machines) and Christopherson's later work with Ivan Pavlov (COH) as SoiSong.
Old Europa Cafe AVS