Rising from the UK post-industrial underground of the early 1980s, Coil were the visionary duo of Peter Christopherson (Throbbing Gristle/ Psychic TV) and Geoff Rushton aka Jhon Balance. The two core members were joined over the years by a rotating cast of like-minded artists that included Thighpaulsandra, Drew McDowell, Stephen Thrower and others. Their cross-genre music and art incorporated everything from experimental/ electronic, post-industrial, ambient, soundtracks, drone etc. and explored the occult, magick, altered states, the human condition, mysticism, mortality and beyond.
After the untimely death of Jhon Balance and later Peter “Sleazy” Christopherson, the future of the extensive Coil back catalogue has since been in limbo - shrouded in controversy and rumour. To say that this first batch of reissues has been keenly anticipated would be an understatement. Their beloved and highly collectable discography has seen prices increasing on the second hand market to ridiculous levels of unattainability for most fans; hence the emergence of inferior bootlegs.
Now, finally, after much speculation - the time has come and Threshold Archives is now active. The label dedicated to preserving and making available - in the best possible quality this important, diverse and often profoundly affecting body of work. The seeds of the label were sown by Peter Christopherson prior to his transition into the next life and have since been nurtured by former members, friends and family.
Eight CD reissues of long out of print and rare material have emerged; The Angelic Conversation, Panic, The Wheel, The Consequences of Raising Hell, The Anal Staircase, Wrong Eye, Windowpane and The Snow. Audio has been painstakingly remastered from original sources including; DATs, cassettes, Betamax masters, reels, and old computer hard disks. These new editions have been expanded to include previously unreleased tracks, demo versions and instrumentals. A dream come true for Coil heads.
To mark the occasion, for the hardcore Coil fans, we’re offering all eight titles as a convenient, discounted bundle for £65.00, saving £7.00 on purchasing them all individually.
Discounted bundle of 8 remastered + expanded reissue CDs on Threshold Archives. Includes The Angelic Conversation, Panic, The Wheel, The Anal Staircase, The Consequences of Raising Hell, Wrong Eye, Windowpane, The Snow. NOTE: This is NOT a box set.
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9/10 Matthew Dick 21st October 2015
The Coil legacy has been in limbo since its founding members, John Balance and Peter Christopherson passed away. Since that time there have been numerous bootlegs and unofficial releases, all seeking to exploit the scarcity and massively inflated prices of Coil’s back catalogue. These CDs have been compiled and released to counter the growing number of vultures. They come via Threshold Archives, an imprint set up by Jon Whitney, better known as head honcho of Brainwashed.com. The archives from which these discs have been compiled was supplied by Peter Christopherson himself in the form of DATs, CD-Rs and hard drives, all with his full consent to forge ahead with getting Coil’s music back into the hands of the fans. Jon Whitney has confirmed that all profits will be shared with any surviving band members, as well as John and Peter’s families.
Presentation wise, the sleeves are nicely printed up card wallets, similar to what you’d get with an old style CD single or promo. The print quality is excellent, and the music comes direct from source, so no dodgy mp3s or low quality stuff. There are numerous unreleased songs and alternate version of fan favourites. Basically, this is a total blessing for Coil fans everywhere and finally puts the music back where it deserves to be; out in the worlds for fans both new and old to enjoy. This will be an ongoing re-issue project, so there’ll be more to come from the archives! I’m personally hoping to see ‘Horse Rotorvator’ and other landmark albums get a re-issue later on in the series.
It almost goes without saying that Coil were massively influential, pushing the boundaries of electronic music to new and interesting places. They’re an essential touchstone of the 80s UK ‘Industrial’ scene (a tag they never embraced), along with landmark acts like Throbbing Gristle, Test Dept and Psycic TV. I personally arrived late to the Coil party, but was absolutely captivated by what I could find. Coil became a bit of an obsession for me, and diving into their back catalogue, as well as their ideology, cultural links and history was fascinating. There’s a massive spiralling network of connections that bind Coil to artists, film makers, writers and occultists like William Burroughs, Derek Jarman, Alistair Crowley, Austin Osman Spare and Brion Gysin.
Coil are a quintessentially British proposition, who made music that was always hard to categorise or stick in any given genre box. They remained consistently challenging during their career, evolving with each new release. There’s a deep connection to nature and the male psyche, and if you stop to muse on the fact that Coil were making openly gay music during Thatcher’s reign, it really does become apparent just how hard they were kicking against established norms and the horrific politics of the time.
But in the end, it all comes back to the music, which remains unique and beguiling.
What the artist or label has to say for themselves. Read more.