Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Coil - Stolen and Contaminated Songs

Coil - Stolen and Contaminated Songs
Label - Threshold House
Released - 1990
Style - Experimental/Deranged/Electronic

1. As It Really Is
2. Chaos
3. Who'll Tell
4. Exploding Frogs
5. In The Lost Kingdom
6. Love's Secret Domain (demo)
7. Nasa - Arab (live)
8. Who'll Fall
9. Original Scot Song
10. Wrim-Wram-Wrom
11. Oboe Cop
12. Her Friends the Wolves
13. Dark Nova

download zip

I had bought my original version of this CD from RRRecords in Lowell, MA back in 1992. The CD that arrived in the mail included NO information or print whatsoever. The sleeve artwork was a weird black/red fractaly mirrored image where I could pick out little pieces of pentagrams and pills and angels or something. Very weird. Prior to ordering this, I had become obsessed with the Windowpane single and loved the electronic dancefloor-friendlyish studio production therein. After receiving Stolen & Contaminated, it immediately became clear that this was the strangest music I had ever heard. And I loved it. Upon first listen, I knew something sounded familiar but couldn't really figure it out - and I didn't know the background on this release as it was Stolen & Contaminated from the Love's Secret Domain album. Then I figured it out, which made it even weirder somehow. Next weird thing about this was that I went to Tower Records a few months later or maybe even a year later - and saw this album there but noticed the pattern on the CD sleeve was same style but totally different than on mine. I guess they manufactured slightly different artwork for all CDs within that first ltd batch that came out? I lent mine to somebody awhile back and he moved along with it. Sucks. So I got it again later on with even different artwork. Confusion...

(from -
Coil's long awaited limited edition release is finally available. Over 60 minutes of material evolved from the Loves Secret Domain sessions, extensively reworked and remixed with the addition of previously unreleased material. Possibly not the ambient release we were expecting but a worthwhile recording all the same. A version of Further, Back and Faster opens the album. Gone is the lyric replaeed by a weird sample over an even weirder obsessive rhythm. A strange mix of Chaostrophy, covering familiar Coil temtory is present. A new track with real percussion, ethnic singing maybe and another strange lyric of "Whose To Tell" is followed by a sort of jazz piece which puts the sex back in Coil, excellent. An early version of Loves Secret Domain is the singular vocal outing by John on the album. The track itself catches Coil in a jovial mood, providing what can be basically described as a pop song, with its deep flowing bass. Some conventional dance sounds are utilised by Coil in a couple of traeks though as John says "it's dance music for the head".

If the Tainted Love video stopped the dancing in the clubs, the track using the answering machine dialogue telling of suicide will make you stop whatever you're doing in the house. A devastating track aided by sympathetic backing music very moving and emotionally draining. From then on in like prior Coil releases nothing really flows together, lengthy disembodied pieces of music, showing their versatility. S&CS's shows Coil have more tricks up their sleeves and remains a remarkable piece of work.

(from AMG) -
Truly one of the highlights in an excellent catalog of work, Stolen and Contaminated Songs isn't even a proper "album," but a collection of outtakes from the Love's Secret Domain sessions. And what sessions they were to have such a wealth of superb material that was leftover. Showcasing Coil's diversity, the album veers from the orchestrated classicisms of "Original Chaostrophy" and "Corybantic Ennui" to the slow, mutant lounge shuffle of "Omlagus Garfungiloops" and the utter despair of "Who'll Fall?" The last track there is a highlight, a detuned guitar and phone line noises underscore a harrowing answering machine message from someone who's friend has just committed suicide. Haunting in its execution and utterly compelling. The peak of the album, and one of the band's best songs, "NASA-Arab," is placed in the middle of the album, and like the main pole in a circus tent, supports everything around it. Multiple swirling keyboard lines cross paths with a groovy bassline and the strangest syncopated drums on this planet. Close listening will bring about a trance-like state in the listener. This is a great album for people new to the magic of Coil, easier than Time Machines and better produced than Horse Rotorvator. ~ James Mason, All Music Guide


MrC said... ... they make some mad noise! for Coil, can't remember if i've experienced it or not, so grab i shall, & taste i will

cheers ;)

Lee said...

Exploding Frogs sample taken from the exquisitely twisted american gothic movie "The Reflecting Skin" (1990).

wassonii said...

The first edition of this was released in a limited edition and began to get bootlegged. Coil then changed the artwork and mass-released it. I, too, have had both editions at various points in my existence. mad artwork, even madder sound manipulations. thank you. It's been a few years since I've heard this one en toto.

XMP said...

Yay comments. i love the comments. they make me feel aliiiiive almost. I figured the artwork weirdness had something to do with sneaky bootlegs but couldn't be sure. I think everything that came from RRRecords was bootlegged - including old tapes the guy just recorded over, calling them 'Recycled Music'. $3 a piece so whatever.

dominic vine of the owls said...

Thank you so much for posting this
i listened to it all the time as a stoned 15 years old when it first came out
"Reflecting Skin" was one of my favourite movies of the time and i was thrilled to hear it used on here...
i met John's lover in London last year and he says he can't listen to "Who'll Fall" anymore
the whole thing is amazing
and i've not heard it for at least 10 years...
thank you thank you

XMP said...

That is an amazing comment man. I'm stoked someone else stumbled upon this at such an early age and it made an equally impressive impact on their lives. I just posted a weird comment on your livejournal page - but please keep checking my blog and I look forward to more bizarre comments! cheers