Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Alternative Rock, Special Interest, New Age, Pop, Rock
loteq | Regensburg | 06/05/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Commissioned as a soundtrack to the seldom-seen Derek Jarman gay film of the same name, 1985's "The Angelic Conversation" marked a huge step forward in Coil's evolution - not only did the band attract the interest from numerous artists working in other media, the soundtrack also was their first real venture into the world of ambient music that would dominate their latter-day records such as "Black light district" and "Moon's milk". One thing that is apparent here is how far the band had got after only two years of existence - the meticulous and exacting production as well as the flawless audio quality and the way environmental noises, samples, voices, and sounds are arranged prove that Coil are absolute masters of the genre. However, the music on "TAC" does rarely follow any structural patterns, being instead a continuously mutating and challenging entity that moves effortlessly from moments of almost complete silence to field recordings (water, bees, seagulls, and so on) to spoken word interludes to passages of majestic drum crescendos. On the surface, it may all sound rather simple, but when studied more closely, "TAC" offers an astonishing depth of composition which is rarely found in the ambient genre. Over this impressionistic and sometimes impossibly sparse and subdued music, which at times seems to be quite similar to Brian Eno's "Ambient 4 - On land", Coil have drafted the voice of actress Judi Dench, who intones some parts of Shakespeare's famous sonnets and breathes further life into the ambitious concept. Almost groundbreaking stuff, but I wouldn't be at all surprised to find that other people would describe this approach as terribly pretentious or are utterly annoyed when listening to this album while driving in their car - for me, the latter complaint misses the point completely because you have to be in the right mood to appreciate "TAC": Very late, very alone, with the lights very low, and with headphones on. The pieces on the 71-minute album rather construct an overall mood and do not much stand out on their own because they flow together so nicely that "TAC" has more in common with a carefully composed classical work; yet there are some distinct movements: It opens with the comparatively anthemic "Ascension" before "Enochian calling" displays the sonic diversity of this disc in all its glory, fusing the sound of ritual washings (as featured in the movie) with hypnotic bell tones, electronic drones and sudden metallic clangs before it seamlessly leads into the dark, mysterious "Angelic stations". The 8-minute "Cave of roses" features muffled Gregorian chants with overlaid vocals by Judi Dench until we're treated to the great atmospherics of "Sun ascension". "Madriiax" opens with the sound of flying bees but the second half of the track is more dynamic: Heavy metallic percussion floats in and out of the mix and reappears periodically until the scene suddenly shifts to the peaceful water noises of the 15-minute "Escalation". Again, the last few minutes of the latter piece are more dramatic and immediate, even claustrophobic and harrowing at times, but the subsequent "Never" comes up with a peaceful string arrangement. The last two cuts, "Enochian calling II" and "Montecute" almost feel like a summary of what has gone before, echoing several of the ideas found in the other tracks and bringing the album to a great conclusion. In sum, "TAC" certainly isn't easy listening, so it may be quite difficult to devote one's attention for its full 71-minute duration, but in smaller doses it offers an incredibly intense and complex listening adventure. Perhaps there's only one statement which can convey my impression: Coil create where others merely recreate."
Dreamy and Ethereal
Ulfster | 07/05/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Combining old and new material, the former sometimes, but not always, slightly reworked, Coil scored the soundtrack to Derek Jarman's "The Angelic Conversation", which in itself is a fascinating, albeit far too little known, piece of art. Combining the vivid imagery of the film with the atmospheric, sometimes slightly eerie, but to a much greater extend dreamy, ethereal music of coil, was a bold, but very rewarding step to take.
But, the music, being as brilliant as it is, particularly the re-worked snippets of "How to destroy Angels", works just as well without the visual input, as a very important aspect of the film has been retained for the record: Dame Judy Dench (yes, THE Dame J.D.!) with her most beautiful voice reciting sonnets of Shakespeare. This combination can only be described as "absolutely stunning", making the record a fascinating work - and an album to really listen to. It is not, as many other soundtracks are, pleasant background music for everday life: This is something to consciously enjoy, explore - and exhilarate with."
P. Ortman | Midwest | 03/14/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This CD has Shakespeare in it true, although the Poetry was in the movie, and this is a movie soundtrack. The poems were written to Shakespear's male lover at the time. Which certainly makes it the less publicized side of Shakespears writing. "He had to have been heterosexual. He just had to be." Anyway the sounds found on this album are completely unique adding "snic imagery" the little snippits of sound from the movie coupled with the ritualistic ambience paint a unique tapestry, so that without having seen te movie you can almost envision what it looked like. No other soundtrack has ever matched "The Angelic Conversation" for brilliance. A definately worthwhile purchase. Close your eyes and enjoy the show."