Zos Kia / Coil - Transparent

by paul_guyet Rating:10 Release Date:2017-03-10

"We've been witnessing your many and varied forms of control today. They're very effective...very pretty." These are the first (and most intelligible) words one hears at the start of Transparent, one of the very first recordings of what would later evolve into Coil. This is not a good album, or, at times, a listenable album, but it is perfect for what it is. Recorded in various live situations (and one studio) over the course of 1983, what was originally a cassette has been restored* and released. This is raw and pure and explosive, the soul and seed of Coil.

Zos Kia was comprised of John Gosling (Psychic TV, Mekon), Min Kent (the real person on which Helena Bonham Carter is based), John Balance, and Peter "Sleazy" Christopherson, and it was artfuck without compromise or pretension or artifice. Track one, 'Sicktone' features John Balance murdering a violin, 'Truth' is a bit of a precursor to PTV's 'Neurology', 'Silence and Secrecy' is, in Balance's own words, "a tape of cicadas amplified really loud with wolf noises". The female vocalist, Min Kent, adds something perhaps lacking in a lot of later Coil; a sick softness, like the skin of rotten fruit. She sounds like a drowning victim who's resigned to her fate and her ear-splitting shrieks on “Poisons"** will chill your blood.

Will you ever play this at a high school prom, probably not, although it would be remembered. Is this something you’ll throw on to unwind on the drive home, no. It's not even for fans of Psychic TV, Coil, or Throbbing Gristle; it's for true worshippers, devotees, cultists of what these people created. It’s also perfect in its destructive capability and raw, world-ending scum. To say it’s just noise would be 100% accurate and yet a complete dismissal of what’s on offer. If I could, I’d give it a 1 and a 10. But I can’t, so I’m giving it a 10, perhaps the most solipsistic 10 ever, but, still, I stand by it.

For far more information on Coil than you'd ever need, please visit my Coil Review Project, in which I, yes, review every Coil album and a few works associated with Coil.

* As much as one can restore a shitty cassette from the early 80's

** Although said shrieks are actually part of the previous track, 'Violations', a live and renamed version of Zos Kia's 'Rape' which also features Coil's 'Here to Here (Double Headed Secret)' as a sound bed, all featured on the original version of this album. You got all that?

Overall Rating (1)

5 out of 5 stars