Speakers Push Air

Travelling North East, Feeling Thailand.
December 22, 2009, 11:35 pm
Filed under: Miscellaneous

For all the enigma and mythology, Coil were in no way an unknown quantity – we knew how they worked, who they worked with. Threshold Houseboys Choir, Sleazy’s first post-Coil project, is – to me at least – quite the opposite.

I know he’s in Thailand, I have an inkling the Choir is just him and a studio, and that’s about it. For some reason, it’s taken me a couple of years to get round to listening to any, and it (in this case, Form Grows Rampant) is far better than I might have expected. Voices (just Sleazy’s?) are to the fore, but they’re treated and processed in myriad ways, producing a sound that channels both throat singing and a kind of rain forest / tribal quality style that blighted the arse end of ambient techno and Deep Forest-dross in the 90s. The voices are layered over sparkly electronics, gamelan percussion, drones, some positively Durutti Column-esque guitar loops and deep bass tones. There’s even an accordion.

Although in places it does recall Coil’s darkness, it also manages at times to be quite conventionally beautiful, especially the later tracks. Although hardly an easy sell, THBC could in many ways be Sleazy’s most “approachable” music yet, the sort of thing you could slip into the CD case for a Now That’s What I Call Faux-Ethno Ambient compilation and get away with for a few minutes before the listeners started feeling uneasy.

As I chug through the dark and snow up to the wilds of Northumberland (well, near the wilds anyway), it’s a perfect fit, even if the album is presumably supposed to be summoning up a humid, verdant Thailand rather than a bleak, barren north-east coast. Totally recommended. So now I’d better check out SoiSong too.

PS – I’m near the end of the Top 20 and I’ve already started encountering albums from this year that would have been shoe-ins for a chart placing if I’d been more on the ball. Jim O’Rourke’s The Visiter, Alabama Three’s 12 Step Plan, Todd’s Big Ripper – and that’s just in the last couple of days. Cold Cave, on the other hand, are Pitchfork-endorsed scenester bollocks.

1 Comment so far
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Seriously good isn’t it?

Comment by Mona

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