ANS (2003...c) [Coil...CD]
First sold at Mutek 2003 concert in Montreal, Canada
Originally came in a black C-shell case.
Came in the Live Box.
In addition to some suitably odd printed art cards and scrying mirrors, every live box set also includes a black plastic clamshell containing this, a tour-only CD available at some of Coil's most recent shows. ANS contains three long tracks of about 20 minutes each, consisting solely of tones made with the Russian ANS synthesizer. Invented by Eugeny Murzin in 1938, only one ANS synthesizer has ever actually been built, and it sits neglected and obscure, collecting dust in the basement of Moscow State University since 1958. Coil were given access to experiment and record with the strange machine, and their experiments are chronicled on this disc. ANS is a "photoelectric" instrument that produces music via a completely unique process. The user must inscribe a series of line drawings that represent visible sound waves onto a series of glass discs. The shape, location and nature of the drawings determines the sound that the synthesizer produces, which encompasses the entire range of audible sound, 720 pure tones. Unfortunately, the fascinating history and musical theory behind the ANS instrument is ultimately far more interesting than the music Coil has managed to make with it. While there are many dramatic points of convergence buried within these abstract, long-form compositions, the overall effect is of dilettantes noodling around with an unfamiliar piece of equipment that reportedly takes years to properly master. Though there are some parts of ANS that are reminiscent of Time Machines, none of these pieces has the trance-inducing intensity of that album's minimalist drones. Reportedly, Coil are remixing and expanding ANS into an official double album release scheduled for later this year. Perhaps with a bit of the signature Coil touch added to these naked tones, this material will come alive. As it stands, ANS is a fascinating but musically non-compelling tangent into the avant-garde realm of theoretical music. - Jonathan Dean
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