Coil – Time Machines
Although much of Coil’s work falls under the conceptual category, this is probably the album where concept and utility are taken to their logical extreme. Within this album are four long drones. Also, by “drones”, I mean it in the purest sense of the word: electronic pulses and slowly oscillating synths that lethargically evolve and permutate over a period of time. Each track is named after a psychotropic drug: Telepathine, DOET-Hecate, 5-Me0-DMT, and Psilocybin (respectively), which it is supposed to represent (I seem to remember reading an article once which stated something to the effect of these songs were meant to replicate the subconscious ‘hums’ one is said to experience under the influence of these drugs, but of course I cannot verify this for certain). Also, the tracks were apparently “tested and retested for maximum narcotic potency”, so that they may “dissolve time” to the maximum effect.
Is the album good? Yes, but mainly from an intellectual standpoint. Due to the highly unique characteristics of the sound and the mostly repetitive nature of the compositions, this definitely is not an “everyday” listening experience. The question you probably are scolding yourself for asking, but are asking anyway is: Does it work? My short answer to this is: I’m not sure. Granted, I will not be taking any of the aforementioned drugs, so I imagine I am not experiencing the “ideal conditions” (if any exist in this instance). Nevertheless, “Time Machines” succeeds admirably at presenting four drone documents, and is a stand-out release from Peter Christopherson and the late Jhonn Balance. A two-disc version is to be released by Threshold House at some point, so I eagerly await when that day arrives.