As those of you (both of you?) who have followed this blog for a while will know, Lord Bassington-Bassington isn’t very good at keeping up with the pace of modern life. There are too many books, films and records coming out for a poor Hound to keep up.
But while snooping around MySpace the other day, Lord Bassington-Bassington came across a little gem of a record. Admittedly, it’s been out for a few months, but after ordering, receiving and listening to it, His Lordship felt the need to share some information about This Immortal Coil.
This Immortal Coil is, simply put, an ensemble creating acoustic interpretations of the songs of legendary electronica band Coil.
The project name This Immortal Coil is an obvious tribute to This Mortal Coil, the “supergroup” put together by label 4AD Records back in the 1980s and consisting of people from bands like Dead Can Dance and Cocteau Twins. This Mortal Coil released some of the most exquisite records ever produced in Britain, and were especially engaging when they interpreted songs by other bands and artists, such as Tim Buckley’s "Song to the Siren" or Big Star’s "Kangaroo".
This Immortal Coil, which is what we’re really talking about here (pardon the digressions, Bassets are prone to wander) do essentially the same thing with Coil’s back catalogue.
An impressive coterie of musicians such as Bonnie Prince Billy, Yann Tiersen and Matt Elliott participate, and the results are impressive. Sometimes folky, sometimes symphonic, sometimes jazzy. Always great.
While it’s probably a misnomer to refer to any of Coil's songs as ”hits”, This Immortal Coil's record also functions as a sort of ”greatest hits” compilation, collecting many of Lord Bassington-Bassington's favourite Coil songs. But then, His Lordship holds that Coil are at their best when they write songs, instead of just creating electronic structures (which they are, admittedly, terribly good at). As this collection of interpretations reveals, these songs stand their ground well outside Coil’s soundworld. And let’s admit it: That songs function when played by other people is the true test of songwriting.
And because it’s Vinyl Appreciation Week here at Bassington Manor, we had to show you this picture of the vinyl edition of the record. It’s released in a lavish gatefold which contains two Long-Playing records with an added 7 inch single with two extra songs, and a beautiful poster.
The LP’s are on beautiful, transparent vinyl. But it’s also available on CD, for those of you stuck in the digital age.
(Ensemble photo stolen from This Immortal Coil’s webpage, album photo courtesy of Lady Mju Photography).