CoH

0397post-pop

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This double-CD set showcases COH's beat-driven side, bridging back to Mask of Birth, as opposed to the more textural, abstract approach featured on releases like Iron and Netmörk. Disc one consists of 11 tracks (for a total duration of 50 minutes) recorded live in June 2003. The set focuses on looped rhythms, cold glitching, and structures resembling pop songs -- it could almost be seen as a long medley of hits, except it's not. The opening "Da Kota Rap" features Mia Farrow singing her lullaby in the movie Rosemary's Baby. Buried in the background, her voice nevertheless imbues a certain pop grace to the whole set, resurfacing in "Dynamo Babe." "Post-Pop" and "Albatross" stand out as expert attempts at a form of experimental electro-pop, but overall disc one is surprisingly lightweight and insubstantial. Here, COH sounds torn between the riveting abstract sound-sculpting he is capable of and the more mass-friendly format he is trying to find. The compromise is lukewarm, lacking the rough edge found on Mask of Birth or the downright industrial influence of the Love Uncut EP. Disc two features COH's very first recording, released in 1997 in an edition of seven hand-made copies handed out to friends and idols. Ironically, the material on the second platter comes closer to a form of post-pop, by way of the artist's strong Coil/Current 93 influences. The tracks are more raw, more vital, and unambiguous about their beat foundation, even though most rhythms derive from looped glitches. The humorous aspect of COH's approach is also more obviously displayed. These first works showcase COH had an already commanding level of artistry and are definitely worth seeking out, especially for those who put Mask of Birth on a higher level than his other albums. The 2003 set has its good moments but pale in comparison with the artist's 2002 Mort aux Vaches session.

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