Transparent (1984...a) [Zos Kia/Coil...CD]

01 Sicktone [Zos Kia. Berlin Atonal. 3.XII.1983]
02 Baptism Of Fire [Zos Kia. Berlin Atonal. 3.XII.1983]
03 Rape [Zos Kia. Berlin Atonal. 3.XII.1983]
04 Poisons [Zos Kia. Berlin Atonal. 3.XII.1983]
05 Truth [Zos Kia. Berlin Atonal. 3.XII.1983]
06 Sewn Open [Coil/Zos Kia][Rehersal 5.X.1983]
07 Silence & Secrecy (Section)[Coil/Zos Kia][Live At Magenta Club, London 5.VIII.1983]
08 Here To Here (Double Headed Secret)[Coil/Zos Kia]
09 Stealing The Words [Coil/Zos Kia][3.VIII.82]
10 On Balance [Coil/Zos Kia][5.V.82]


The first five tracks ("Sicktone" to "Truth") form Side 1 of the cassette version, which is labelled "Zos Kia. Berlin Atonal. 3.XII.1983". The remainder of the tracks form Side 2, which is credited to "Coil/Zos Kia", and were recorded in 1982/83. The line-up of Coil and Zos Kia were basically identical at this time:

John Balance
Joan D'Arc [John Gosling]
Peter Christopherson

CD version: "Rape" is the same as "Violation" from the cassette release. "Silence & Secrecy" is shorter than the version on the cassette.

The dates listed for "Sewn Open" and "Silence & Secrecy" are incorrect. They should be 5.X.1983 and 5.VIII.1983 respectively (corrected).

The disc is packaged in a mini LP style cardboard slipcase, and includes a booklet with photos from Coil/Zos Kia performances, text of a Coil Manifesto written by John Balance in 1983, and a transcript of a coversation between John Balance and Peter Christopherson regarding the Coil/Zos Kia performances and recordings.


This is a historical tome in the Coil discography that the pioneering U.K. industrial group released as a cassette-only album on Nekrophile Records. Performances of early Coil as a harsh industrial noise/performance art group are captured in various live settings during 1983, including Berlin and London concerts, as well as studio/rehearsal room sessions that predate the Coil of the legendary 1984 album Scatology, which subsequently became a massively influential recording in the post-industrial movement. Here are the earliest Coil recordings, exhibiting the band as it develops a fierce noise music that later became some of the most poetic and elegiac of the era. Whether reshaping electro, new wave, hyper-minimalism, or futuristic folk, Coil remained one of the most vital groups of the '80s post-punk movement. For fans of the group, this early archival material is essential listening. The disc is packaged in a mini-LP-style cardboard slipcase, and includes a booklet with photos from Coil/Zos Kia performances. A text of the Coil manifesto penned by John Balance and a transcription of a conversation between founders Balance and Peter Christopherson are included in the booklet. Newcomers to the group are advised to explore first the albums Scatology, Horse Rotorvator, and Love's Secret Domain, though Coil fans and collectors will not be disappointed by this obscurity. Transparent provides a much-needed insight into the very early work of the extraordinary industrial music institution. - Skip Jansen...From Allmusic


* DLK says:

My first impression was in the store before I even heard the CD. I don't like the cardboard CD single type packaging. The first thing I'll need to do is find a jewel case for it. I hope it's not an indication of things to come.

Upon listening: Since I prefer early (pre-LSD) Coil albums over the more recent ones, I like the noisy/rough nature of the tracks on this CD. There's lots of noise and screaming so it's probably not for everyone though. Also, the hiss level makes it sound like they may have used one of the original 1984 cassettes for the CD master.

There is a nice booklet inside which explains the pieces and has pictures of the events they were recorded at as well as the posters for those events. It also includes "The Coil Manefesto" circa 1983. It was interesting to see how much of the text of the manifesto eventually made it's way into the lyrics of later songs.

This disc is important for it's historical documentation of that period of Coil's history, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone except completionist/rabid/insatible fans. If there are any other Coil albums that you don't already have, you should probably get them first before this one.

* John Deek says:

WARNING : Do not listen to Rape on headphones with the volume turned up loud.....I was listening to this CD on headphones.. track 3 came along and I said "ooh a live version of 'here to here'...I wonder why they call it 'rape'?"...then Min came in with some spoken word and I said "ah that explains...still a pretty harsh name for such a mellow song...."just then the phone rang, and a split second after I took the headphones off a pierching shriek ripped from the headphones...they were nearly a foot away from my ears and I was still deafened...had I been wearing them my ears would probably be bleeding...deafened in the pursuit of ultimate sound.....how ironic..."


bookletimage 1
bookletimage 2
bookletimage 3
bookletimage 4
bookletimage 5

How to Destroy Angels (1984...b) [Coil...12'']

01 How to Destroy Angels
02 Absolute Elsewhere


This release is subtitled "ritual music for the accumulation of male sexual energy".

"How To Destroy Angels" was originally intended to be the b-side to the track "Silence & Secrecy" on a clear vinyl 12" released by Temple Records. This release was aborted, presumably due to Balance and Sleazy's departure from Psychic TV who ran the Temple label.

The b-side, "Absolute Elsewhere", is intended to be non-playable, and according to Coil:

* first pressing had unplayable noise-filled grooves
* second pressing had playable multi-layered music
* third pressing had a smooth, grooveless surface as originally intended.

However, there's also evidence of two other versions existing (perhaps the 1988 edition?):

* playable b-side with a constant tone for around 15 minutes.
* playable b-side with a series of "test tones" in unconnected locked grooves

A pink vinyl edition exists, although it's unclear how many copies of this edition were pressed. This may be a bootleg.

First pressing included an A3 black & white poster.

This track also appears on the Unnatural History anthology in mono form, and various reworkings of the track appear on the How to Destroy Angels (Remixes And Re-Recordings) CD.


Here we have the very first Coil oil change. The engine in question would be the pop culture of the early '80s and how performances such as this, basically an extended duet for percussion and electronics, were perceived as inspirational and cutting edge. The moody trance this piece immediately evokes and clings to like a life raft was, to the newly exposed, something of a real alternative to drowning in a wave of groovy rock bands with packaged presentations and looks. Removed from any such sociological discussion and placed in comparison with the entire history of electronic music, percussion music, avant-garde improvisation, or any other related field of activity, this EP retains a surprising charm. An obvious hurdle to leap would be the "duh" factor -- the title track is as much about banging on gongs as destroying angels, although these are actions that could be connected. Anyone who has ever spent time making noise on a gong will have done everything on this record. The contrasts arising instantly from the instrument's built-in dynamic range are the main motivating factor in how the music develops, rather than any creative invention of the performers. The performance requirements of bringing these dynamics into play on a gong also require very little skill of any kind, meaning that most of the praise that can be directed at this recording has to do with the concentration displayed, both intense and impressive. The B-side of the recording is blank, creating an instant and quick composition entitled "Absolute Elsewhere" that might just be the more successful conception of the two. At least the person who said "I don't have time to listen to this stuff anymore" about the first side wouldn't be able to make the same comment!. - Eugene Chadbourne...From Allmusic


front cover
close-up of cover text
labels: side 1, side 2


Dolbied (The Melancholy Mad Tenant) [This Version Was Reissued & Expanded In 2005] (1984...c) [Coil/The New Blockaders/Vortex Campaign...CD]

01 Coil / The New Blockaders / Vortex Campaign, "Dolbied 1"
02 Coil / The New Blockaders / Vortex Campaign, "Dolbied 2"
03 Vortex Campaign, "Untitled"
04 Vortex Campaign, "The Melancholy Mad Tenant Part 1"
05 Vortex Campaign, "The Melancholy Mad Tenant Part 2"


Track 1 and 2 originally released on the "Dolbied" cassette (VC, Belgium 1984) in an edition of 50.
Track 3 originally released on the "Slaughter Of The Innocent" cassette (Private, UK 1983). Track 4 is previously unreleased.
Track 5 is listed as previously unreleased on the cover, but was previously released, in a slightly shorter version, on the "Slaughter Of The Innocent" cassette (Private, UK 1983).
Edition of 500, including a special cloth bag edition of 100.

Nightmare Culture (1984...d) [Sickness of Snakes/Current 93...12'']

01 Killy Kill Killy (A Fire Sermon)[Current 93]
02 Various Hands [Sickness Of Snakes]
03 The Swelling of Leeches [Sickness Of Snakes]
04 The Pope Held Upside Down [Sickness Of Snakes]


Sickness Of Snakes Is John Balance & Peter Christopherson + Boyd Rice

Sickness Of Snakes's Songs appear also in Unnatural History (Compilation Tracks Compiled)

Scatology [This Version Was Reissued In 2001] (1984...e) [Coil...CD]

01 Ubu Noir
02 Panic
03 At The Heart Of It All
04 Tenderness Of Wolves
05 The Spoiler (Unreleased Alternative Version)
06 Clap
07 Restless Day
08 Aqua Regis
09 Solar Lodge
10 The S.W.B.P.
11 Godhead=Deathead
12 Cathedral In Flames
13 Tainted Love [Soft Cell]


The working title for this album was Poisons, and John Balance originally intended to release it on his own Hearsay And Heresy label.

The track "The Sewage Worker's Birthday Party" was originally intended for release as a single-sided flexidisk to be included with an issue an Italian magazine called "Free". This release never took place.

"Restless Day" is taken from the compilation album Devastate to Liberate. "Aqua Regis" and "Tainted Love" are taken from the Panic/Tainted Love single.

"The S.W.B.P." is the same track as "The Sewage Worker's Birthday Party" from the LP release.

Remastered by Thighpaulsandra, and fully authorized by Coil.

It features a different cover from the Some Bizzare edition, with the text "Stevo, Pay Us What You Owe Us!" printed on the cover and spine, in reference to the fact that Stevo at Some Bizzare has not paid them for the many CD reissues he has released. The cover also states that this is Volume 1 in a series of remastered reissues, with Volume 2 being Horse Rotorvator and Volume 3 being Love's Secret Domain. The spine mistakenly has it printed as Volume 2.


Coil's first official full-length album, Scatology, is one of the essential landmarks in the group's discography and, moreover, one of the '80s industrial scene's more vital and influential recordings. This is the first part of the essential Coil trilogy that also includes Horse Rotorvator and Love's Secret Domain. The 1984 album exhibits the group at its early industrial stage, in transition to the undefined genre of astral noise psychedelia that Coil would inhabit for the following decades without peer or precedent. The core duo of Peter Christopherson and John Balance are joined by Clint Ruin (aka Jim Thirlwell), whose role in the production cannot be underestimated, as well as Stephen E. Thrower, Throbbing Gristle's Alex Ferguson, vocalist Gavin Friday of the Wolfgang Press, and one Raoul Revere (who is in fact British camp pop legend and Soft Cell vocalist Marc Almond). "Restless Day" is a haunting rumination that defies description, other than being an utterly essential self-defining moment in the Coil paradigm, with an atmosphere hanging in the tense space between harsh noise and harmony that apparently causes time to cease. "The Tenderness of Wolves" features the vocals of Friday in one of the more poetic moments of the '80s post-industrial sound. At the album's somber end, this outstanding work finishes with a rendition of "Tainted Love" featuring Almond, who had made the track a new wave hit with Soft Cell. Here, however, the tune is given a bleak slow-motion version that could be read as a tragically suggestive commentary on the AIDS epidemic of the era. The album was originally released on Force & Form/Some Bizzare, and was the subject of numerous bootlegs and illegitimate versions. For the record, the 2001 version on Threshold House/ World Serpent is the only version authorized by the group. Maybe the numerous LP and CD versions that have appeared since its original release are suggestive of just how vital the album is, not only in the Coil discography but to the industrial electronica scene as a whole. Scatology is nothing short of essential. - Skip Jansen...From Allmusic


* In his "Coil Album Guide", Dave Piniella writes:

Coil's first full-length album, Scatology is part of the backbone of Coil's great albums (along with Horse Rotorvator and Love's Secret Domain). This is Coil at their early, industrial stage. The album is about making good music from shitty sounds, hence the title. Most of the songs are harsher and less polished than more recent releases. "Restless Day" and it's description of a mundane life filled with ennui is accented by strange tickings and a throbbing bass. "The Tenderness of Wolves" features vocals by Gavin Friday and the album ends with a somber rendition of "Tainted Love", which was originally released as a single with two album cuts ("Aqua Regis" and "Panic") was later added to the CD reissue. Coil's cover and subsequent video of "Tainted Love" was their reaction to the AIDS epidemic of the era (mid-to-late 1980's). Originally released on Force & Form/Some Bizzare, (along with Horse Rotorvator), the illegitimate repressing of these albums has been the cause of much anger and frustration on Coil's part. The short version: Stevo (from their old label) kept on releasing the album(s) and screwing Coil out of their share of the profits.


front cover
back cover
tray card

Panic/Tainted Love (1985) [Coil...CD EP]

01 Aqua Regis
02 Panic (Remix)
03 Tainted Love [Soft Cell]


"Panic" is different from the version on Scatology. This version also appears on the Unatural History III anthology release.

"Aqua Regis" and "Tainted Love" also appear on the CD editions of Scatology.

All profits from the sale of this release were donated to the Terrence Higgins Trust AIDS charity.


Coil had only been around a couple of years by the time the material on this EP was considered of interest for an American pressing courtesy of Wax Trax. A comparison between this and the previously released How to Destroy Angels EP is like the difference in view between a basement apartment with no windows and a balcony panorama of an entire neighborhood -- although in the latter case it might be located in a city such as Houston, TX, in which there is no such thing as zoning and people just do whatever they want. It is part of the appeal of this set of three tracks that such disparate elements come into the mix, some of them expected and some of them not. Dreary, depressed vocals and purloined drum and keyboard beats of noxious simplicity are associated with this musical style and era, but a player such as acoustic bassist Bill McGee adds something special. "Panic" is a performance that is full of the stimulating joy of collaboration, factors assuming varying relationships of importance as if someone had the courage to make a sandwich with his eyes closed. Several decades later a listener can pick out accomplishments that were imitated literally to death as well as details too idiosyncatic or original to pass into general useage. The much-heralded cover version of the Soft Cell hit "Tainted Love" is pretty boring, unfortunately. - Eugene Chadbourne...From Allmusic


The Anal Staircase (1986...a) [Coil...12'']

01 The Anal Staircase (A Dionysian Remix)
02 Blood From The Air
03 Ravenous


Some copies came with a card advertising the upcoming release of Horse Rotorvator. Some copies came with an insert advertising the Hang Loose With Coil fanzine published by R&D Group 28.

"The Anal Staircase (A Dionysian Remix)" also appears on the cassette edition of Horse Rotorvator.
"Blood From the Air" also appears on Horse Rotorvator.
"Ravenous" also appears on the cassette and CD editions of Horse Rotorvator.

Record Vox, the label which released Horse Rotorvator in Germany, distributed this release as well. The record is identical to the UK edition, they just imported copies and put a Record Vox address sticker on the back cover.


front cover
labels: side one, side two
Horse Rotorvator card insert
Hang Loose With Coil insert - art side
Hang Loose With Coil insert - text side

we miss you Jhonn...