Not only is Transparent an important recording in the history of the band Coil. It’s also important in the history of early industrial or pre-industrial music.
from Cold Spring…”Zos Kia was formed by john Gosling (of Mekon), John Balance (of Coil) and Min. – with guest peter “Sleazy” Christopherson (of Throbbing Gristle).”
Transparent was originally released in 1983 on cassette by Nekrophile records (now defunct). Coil reissued the album years later in an edited edition.
However, Cold Spring Records now have released Transparent on CD/vinyl for the first time, completely remastered and unedited. The double vinyl edition comes in a gatefold sleeve with a 12″ booklet of previously unseen images. The white vinyl (ltd. 500) edition is available via Cold Spring mailorder only. Both come with a digital download card.
Transparent may very well be the most if not one of the most disturbing and unsettling musical recordings I have ever heard. Needless to say, I loved it. It starts off with muffled voices and a shaky reverberating sound followed by a all of harsh noise. Some inaudible vocals and screams are added for an even scarier effect.
Track 2, “Baptism of Fire” sounds like someone walked into a very early Depeche Mode factory and took some hallucinogenic drugs and talked about how the body of the engineer should suddenly just go missing. In track 3,”Violations” we hear what appears like a discordant orchestra strike followed by disturbing female vocals with noises and blips interspersed. Track 4, “Poisons” is just plain bloody terrifying. Don’t listen to this track if you are alone with the covers over your head. Here we have another series of industrial hits followed by more female screams and a minimal wall of noise. In track 5, “Truth” we hear an audio sample (pretty sure it’s Charles Manson), some male screams and a noise similar to that in track one…
You get the idea. And that’s just the Zos Kia part. The Coil tracks are filled with low analog keyboard which sound detuned to the depths of purgatory or in the case of track 7, “Sicktone,” it sounds like the soundtrack to some of the scariest of nightmares. Or 11, “On Balance” has a beat similar to the very early Sisters of Mercy recordings and somewhat sounds like the soundtrack to a 70s B-horror movie.
Typically I wouldn’t do much of a track-by-track analysis. However, in this particular recording, there is an incredible microcosm of early industrial artistry and in the case of this live recording, it is more spontaneous. Because of the diversity in each track, it forces the listener to continue like a trip through a haunted house. There’s a unique unsettling moment around every corner. Just the fact it IS live, it makes the disturbing and unsettling qualities that much more effective. Again…very important recording in the history of Coil and in early industrial in general here prepared on CD from the unedited masters. If you enjoy the early industrial work before it got completely compartmentalized and stored in disc drives and further broken down into categories. Although there are some great indstrial/electro bands as well) then Transparent is without question, for you.
1. ZOS KIA ‘Sicktone’
2. ZOS KIA ‘Baptism Of Fire’
3. ZOS KIA ‘Violations’
4. ZOS KIA ‘Poisons’
5. ZOS KIA ‘Truth’
6. COIL / ZOS KIA ‘Sewn Open’
7. COIL / ZOS KIA ‘Sicktone’
8. COIL / ZOS KIA ‘Silence And Sorcery (Section)’
9. COIL / ZOS KIA ‘Truth (Version)’
10. COIL / ZOS KIA ‘Stealing The Words’
11. COIL / ZOS KIA ‘On Balance’
12. AKE ‘No Mas’
13. AKE ‘Rape Live @ Equinox’
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