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Gender: Male
Country: United Kingdom
One of the most important projects to have pursued the aesthetics of industrial music and confronted it with a number of other forms of musi- cal expression, e.g. experimental electronics, ambient and even techno. It was started in England in 1983 by two people. John BALANCE (1962- 2004), born Geoffrey Laurence BURTON although he had his name changed to Geoff RUSHTON while still a child, was the leader of an industrial/punk band MURDERWERKERS at the turn of the 1980s, plus in 1982 was brie- fly a member of CURRENT 93 and in 1981-1984 a member of PSYCHIC TV, too. Peter „SLEAZY” CHRISTOPHERSON (b. 1955) is a photographer (from 1974 to 1983 he worked with HIPGNOSIS, a graphic design group, with whom he produced artwork for albums like PINK FLOYD’s Wish You Were Here and Animals), a movie maker, a member of THROBBING GRISTLE and PSYCHIC TV (1981-1984). Their first recordings, made during collaborative live performances with ZOS KIA, were inspired by ritual industrial music in the vein of PSYCHIC TV. Their first studio composition, How To Destroy Angels (1984), had a similar sound and was released as a 12” single and was remixed and reissued with several other pieces on CD in 1992. A con- tinuous process of radical style shifting actually started as early as their debut album Scatology. However conventional in terms of form, it was primarily composed of antimusical sonic matter. Apart from industrial noises and feedback, the sounds of crying babies, vomiting and defeca- tion were also used. Thematically, the compositions revolved around themes of death, decay, dark areas of human sexuality and love. Much as the next releases were concerned with similar subjects, their style conti- nued to shift towards more rhythm-oriented regions and in the second half of the 1990s it underwent even further transformation. Their fascination with drug-induced madness, going back to the early 1990s, took its most mature form in experimenting with sound. The opus magnum of that time is a minimal ambient album Time Machines (1998), which marked their entering a completely new territory of sound, inspired by chemically indu- ced altered states of consciousness. At the end of the 1990s, they turned to more narrative compositions, through which they could come to terms with their own, often traumatic, personal experiences. BALANCE and CHRISTOPHERSON also hid behind a number of monikers, forming various ephemeral side-projects (e.g. ElpH, BLACK LIGHT DISTRICT, The ESKATON). They were active collaborators, inviting other artists (e.g. Drew McDOWALL, Boyd RICE, Marc ALMOND, FOETUS, Stephen THROWER or THIGHPAULSANDRA) to record with them in the studio and perform live. John BALANCE’s tragic and premature death in 2004 put an end to the project. According to the group’s manifesto of 1984 and BALANCE’s own interpretation of it, the very name COIL has a number of meanings, ranging from the literal ones (an electric or steel coil, DNA helix) to meta- phors for noise, time or sex. Fascinated with the occult, surrealism and the likes of William BLAKE, William S. BURROUGHS, Timothy LEARY and Aleister CROWLEY, the duo managed to invoke a fascinating world of contempo- rary, non-trivial psychedelia, permeated with esoteric knowledge and the fundamental aesthetics of industrial culture. These notions were success- fully adapted to modern circumstances and social trends, embracing at the same time the most inspiring aesthetic tropes amongst the emerging movements in music. They explored human nature in a consistent manner, and expressed a belief that a will to seek the meaning of life is an end in itself, even at the highest price, that of self-destruction. On the basis of their own lives they sought to portray the tragic condition of a modern man, entangled in the dualistic existential dissonances between physica- lity and spirituality. Discography: collaboration with ZOS KIA Transparent (Threshold House 1984) CD collaboration with The NEW BLOCKADERS / VORTEX CAMPAIGN The Melancholy Mad Tenant (Black Rose Recordings 1984) CD How To Destroy Angels (L.A.Y.L.A.H. Antirecords 1984) 12” EP Scatology (Threshold House 1984) CD Panic / Tainted Love (Wax Trax 1985) CD The Anal Staircase (Some Bizarre 1986) 12” EP Horse Rotorvator (Threshold House 1986) CD Gold Is The Metal (Threshold House 1987) CD The Wheel / The Wheal (Threshold House 1987) 7” EP The Unreleased Themes For Hellraiser (Solar Lodge / Torso 1990) CD The Wheal / Keelhauler (Threshold House 1990) 7” EP Wrong Eye / Scope (Shock Records 1990) 7” EP Unnatural History (Threshold House 1990) CD