03 October 2005

Astral Disaster & Kate Bush



Back near the start of this blog I was supposed to be doing an innerview (his words) with the much missed Jhon (his spelling) Balance of Coil - we'd swapped a few e-mails and I'd finally got round to sending off the questions (I bottled out of meeting him, having a sudden attack of the fanboy jitters) when, well, he died.

One of the questions I sent - I guess they're probably still on an e-mail / harddrive somewhere waiting for his astral body to solidify - concerned this track, from the often ignored Astral Disaster album.

Coil - The Mothership and The Fatherland


I wanted to ask him about Kate Bush, who apparently is on this track, singing about "little lost children" about 16 mins in. I knew that Jhon had long felt a psychic affinity with Kate Bush, to the extent that he kept feeling she was coming up with the same ideas as him for songs, especially round the time of The Dreaming (still her best album by a way) and I wanted to ask him if she was really on the album (as opposed to metaphorically, spiritually etc) and, if so, did they actually meet up or swap tapes or what...

Not sure why this little lost piece of knowledge has bugged me all this time but it's still gnawing somehow, perhaps because the two of them seem like an oddly apt couple - a Sea Priestess and an Ur-Prince / Jester - and I can imagine them hoppdancing together at a cliff edge somewhere, hailing the Moon, grinning all over their faces, spilling mead and mushrooms into the sea...

Always hoping that the new Kate Bush stuff will solidify the link with Jhon and let him through again... or maybe she'll hook up with Peter Christopherson as the new Coil vocalist and they'll start all over again from a female perspective...

What's female for Gongs and Swords?

Ah well, I've hardly bothered to even try and interview anyone since, having the ever-so-slight suspicion that my 12 or so questions might have acted like a Ringu curse and thus feel a teensy bit responsible for ending an exemplary musical career around ten albums too soon. I mean, he must have got the questions about a day before and they were easily as thought provoking as that joke that kills people in Monty Python. I did send some to the Shpongle guy after a rather terse email correspondance but never got a reply from him, perhaps because either he or I or both are in fact utter tossers with nothing to ask or say(i know where my money is).

Anyway, listen to the track; it's slow, swirling, weather-beaten, deep listening stuff,understandable only at full volume by which time it's utterly immersive and, in the right psychological state, will gently crush your being into woodpulp and chitters.

And, oddly, I've just noticed that it uses the exact same swirling wind humchatter sound that I kept hearing around the College where I work and became convinced was mushrooms speaking to me...

5 comments:

Psychbloke said...

Best not send anything to Kate y'know.... just to be on the safe side....

Dave said...

Your brainwashed link is broken, btw.

I hated this album when I first heard it, when it came out. Couldn't stand it's sound, the way it never seemed to go anywhere and just kind of meandered.

So I shelved it and didn't listen to it for about a year.

And then came the hurricane, and the power went out and I ran across the album again and decided to give it another chance and spent a few days on my porch in front of the flooded streets, the hot and muggy atmosphere giving a perfect contrast to the cigars I smoked then, the ambient noise kind of seeping in behind the headphones.

Something about the muggy feeling of the weather, the waiting, the futility of stressing over not being able to leave the house or to distract myself with a computer or TV or anything more complicated than a cold drink and something running on batteries made the album for me.

I still don't listen to it often, but damn, when I do, I really love it now.

Have you seen the video that Whitney put together of "The Sea Priestess"? It's at http://brainwashed.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1132&Itemid=61 (I'd post the direct link to download it, but I don't want to leech off of brainwashed's bandwidth over-much)

Chardman said...

I had sampled bits of Coil for decades, but they never managed to get their hooks into me 'till recently. I'd always put them on the 'I don't dig them now, but may in a few years'. Astral Disaster is the one that finally did it, though.
Great album. I'm in the cult, now.

Psychbloke said...

Enough of that.... are we all going to The Fall? Shall I get tickets?

johneffay said...

If you go here:

http://www.thewire.co.uk/web/unpublished/coil.html

There's an interview where Balance talks about Kate Bush: He says that he never met her.

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