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COIL.ANS.

: COIL

 

Coil - ANS UK Released: 2003 1:03 Label: Eskaton :

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: Electronic, Ambient, Experimental

An album of material recorded using the ANS Synthesizer, a one-of-a-kind photoelectronic instrument at Moscow State University. Available at the merchandise table at several live Coil performances in Spring, 2003, and also as part of a limited edition box set of the LIVE ONE to LIVE FOUR series.

Theres a bright orange sticker on this new Coil release says: WARNING. Contents may make you spazz out. Definitely not the sort of sticker you would expect to see on a Coil record. And most certainly not this one. Coilans find the extended Coil family, Johnn Balance, Ossian Brown, Peter Christopherson, Thighpaulsandra and Ivan Pavlov, composing for a 1930s mechanical device called the ANS, a machine designed to convert graphic designs into sound. The text describing the machine is quite dense and technical, and some folks here are convinced its all a big hoax. The liner notes do however reference two works actually composed for the machine, Flow by Alfred Schnitke, and Edward Artemievs music for Tarkovskys Solaris, which perhaps does lend some credence to the existence of the machine. Whether Coil actually have a version of the ANS machine as they claim, or are merely making sounds that they imagine might be produced by an ANS is still maybe debatable. But it hardly matters, as the results are sublime. Long, slowly evolving pieces spread across the disc. Gorgeous and minimal, hissing distant drones, insect-like shimmers that pulse and throb into warbling sinewaves, and chiming smears of upper register skree spread into keeing sonic ripples of warbling decay. A series of lush minimal mesmers worthy of Coleclough, Mirror, Arcane Device, Sachiko M, Rafael Toral and other practitioners of fragile high end exploration. The DVD is compelling, a series of beautiful and strangely hypnotic animations by Peter Christopherson, that pulse and squirm and slowly shift along with the music.

According to Russian resources the ANS is considered the first electronic synthesizer in the world, technically following the Varifon built by Sholpo back in the early 30s (which was an earlier attempt at conversion of optical information into sound). The various sound pieces in the Coil - Ans boxset are the work of Jhonn Balance solo, Jhonn Balance and Ossian Brown, Peter Christopherson solo, Thighpaulsandra solo, Ivan Pavlov solo and Jhonn Balance and Ivan Pavlov together.


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