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Coil - Born Again Pagans (released under the name Coil vs ELpH) CD (album) cover




Progressive Electronic

3.05 | 2 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
3 stars In addition to the numerous albums released from the unique experimental electronic entity known as COIL, the band also released many albums under aliases as side projects such as Black Light District, Time Machines and Sickness of Snakes. BORN AGAIN PAGANS (EP) is the first release that introduces their alter ego ELpH which was name of the invisible member that created random musical compositions from their equipment as a by product of their recordings or just unsolicited noise. This is the first of the ELpH releases credited as COIL vs ELpH (a full-length ELpH vs COIL would come out the next year) and continues the wild world of experimentation that John Balance, Peter Christopherson, Drew McDowall and Danny Hyde were conjuring up with their bizarre alien sonicscapes that take the listener into totally new musical dimensions. This one has also been referred to as the "Protection EP."

This short 21 minute and 34 second EP consists of only one COIL track and three by ELpH. The COIL track is basically a hyper psytrance type of house music with all the appropriate counterpoint noise effects to make it weird but when the dance beat kicks in it's time to hit the dance floor! The three ELpH tracks are the complete opposite and for the most part are meandering ethereal ambient tracks. "Glimpse" sounds like some sort of hidden chant buried underneath a sea of ambient effects and electronic haze with occasional burst of percussive bubbles emerging from the underworld. "Crawling Spirit" is a more sinister dark ambient stroll into a tube of horror with a terrifying tension creeping along like a possessed caterpillar from below hell. The ethereal swirling of synth noises only adds to the horrific mood. "pHILM #1" consumes nearly half the EP and lightens up the mood with a more ambient display of synth noises ushering in the chants that were heard in "Glimpse." Actually this is the same track only augmented and extended and given the proper creepiness injections.

BORN AGAIN PAGANS is a testament to the demented imagination of COIL being weird even by their own standards (and that's saying something). Ultimately this is an interesting piece of experimental electronica but not the best these guys dished out. I much prefer the following ELpH vs COIL "Worship The Glitch" to this one, but even so, this is one wild electronic ambient ride that fits in with the weirdest of the weird. Unfortunately this and many other COIL releases are out of print and can be a little tricky to find. While this is available on YouTube for your listening pleasure, i must say that this and most COIL albums are so intricately designed that for maximum enjoyment one should employ the use of the highest quality stereo system or headphones to be found for the ambient effects are worth the price of admission alone.

siLLy puPPy | 3/5 |


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