Apr 2014 13

Coil / Nine Inch Nails - RecoiledCoil / Nine Inch Nails
Category: Industrial / Experimental
Album: Recoiled
Stars: 4
Blurb: After two decades, these unreleased mixes from one of the most successful collaborative efforts in industrial and experimental music are finally unleashed as a tribute to the legacy of the late great Coil.


The ‘90s was an exciting time for industrial and experimental music as the genre enjoyed a period of hyperactivity and mainstream attention. One of the most exciting occurrences during this time was the collaborations between members of Coil and Nine Inch Nails, with Peter Christopherson directing the Broken short film, and Coil remixing several tracks from Broken and The Downward Spiral. In the years to follow were rumors of unreleased material from these collaborative efforts, but neither Coil nor Nine Inch Nails would confirm their veracity… until now. Thanks to the diligent efforts of some devoted fans, onetime Coil member Danny Hyde was contacted to unveil several unreleased remixes from this period, resulting in the downloadable Uncoiled collection on the NIN forums. Experimental label Cold Spring could not pass up the opportunity to give this veritable Holy Grail of music a more proper release, now presented here as Recoiled.

With Hyde and Christopherson working on remixes independently and then culling their efforts into the versions that would finally be released, Recoiled offers five never-before-heard remixes that bear the hallmarks of the time period, utilizing much of the same palette of audio manipulations and full of Coil’s signature darkly ambient and magickal passages, transforming Reznor’s industrial/rock assaults into alchemical explorations of sound and psyche. Beginning with the Open My Eyes mix of “Gave Up,” the listener is treated to unsettling atmosphere as layers of Reznor’s heavily manipulated vocals interweave atop an almost lounge-like pad and bass line before erupting into a vicious percussive clamor that is immediately recognizable for its similarity to the version that appeared on Fixed. Strangely though, the version presented here seems to have been slowed down from the previous Uncoiled mix, making for a distinctly noticeable distortion and down-pitching of the overall track; whether this was the original intent or not is ultimately irrelevant since it still makes for an effective introduction. The Precursor mix of “Closer” was famously used in the opening credits to SE7EN, while the Unrecalled version is essentially an alternate version that features additional ambient effects and sequences that give the soundscape greater melodic depth, though it is no less disquieting. As a fan of the Bottom mix of “The Downward Spiral” that appeared on Further Down the Spiral, this writer didn’t think the track could be made any more disturbing, though after listening to the A Gilded Sickness version here, I realize that was an error; this version screeches and slithers at a languid pace that seeps its way into the subconscious, and the repeating lounge-like synth and beat sequences are sure to resonate in the listener’s mind long after the track is over. Closing Recoiled out are two mixes of “Eraser,” with Reduction being an inexorable display of vocal manipulations and feedback that is at once beautiful in its design and torturous in its effect on the listener, while the Baby Alarm remix brings in the marching rhythm and scathing guitar riff to make for a more straightforward and cacophonous ending to the album.

Given the similarities these mixes bear to those previously released on Fixed and Further Down the Spiral, some might wonder if these versions were worth waiting two decades for. However, to dismiss Recoiled on that basis would be a mistake as these mixes represent the full range of Coil’s creative process and the extent to which even a single idea can take multiple paths to a final result. It’s fair to say that such legacies will only be enjoyed by a selective niche audience, but Recoiled stands as a testament to the dedication of the fans who helped to unearth it, but even more so to the imagination of the musicians in the pre-laptop generation; these mixes were created without the benefit of today’s tools, and one can sense through these ethereal sonic journeys just what an arduous task it was to produce and mix music in this time. As well, with founders Peter Christopherson and Jhonn Balance no longer with us, Recoiled is a fitting tribute to a productive time in Coil’s career and touching on the impact these two sonic wizards had on music.
Track list:

  1. Gave Up (Open My Eyes)
  2. Closer (Unrecalled)
  3. The Downward Spiral (A Gilded Sickness)
  4. Eraser (Reduction)
  5. Eraser (Baby Alarm Remix)

Nine Inch Nails Website http://www.nin.com
Nine Inch Nails MySpace http://www.myspace.com/nin
Nine Inch Nails Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ninofficial
Nine Inch Nails Twitter http://twitter.com/nineinchnails
The Null Corporation Website http://nullco.com
Coil (Threshold House) Website http://www.thresholdhouse.com
Cold Spring Website http://coldspring.co.uk
Cold Spring MySpace http://www.myspace.com/coldspring
Cold Spring Facebook https://www.facebook.com/coldspringhq
Cold Spring Twitter http://www.twitter.com/coldspringhq
Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3
Cold Spring (CD)
Cold Spring (Black Vinyl)
Cold Spring (Color Vinyl)
Cold Spring (Picture Disc)
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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