Compulsion | PO Box 19577 | Kilbarchan |Johnstone | PA10 2WX | Scotland | UK


Much of COH's work is instrumental but over the years and over countless albums and singles COH has featured voices in his work. COHGS is a compilation of tracks from the Russian electronic and experimental musician Ivan Pavlov which focusses on that work with singers. It's an intriguing release flitting between minimalism, abstract pop, industrial and dance tracks featuring vocal work from Little Annie, Frankie Gothard and various Japanese singers. COHGS also features some of Ivan Pavlov's work with the Coil nucleus of John Balance and Peter Christopherson, the latter of whom Ivan Pavlov went on to work with as Soisong. COHGS compiles those vocal tracks with one previously unreleased track recorded with esteemed fashion designer Ann Demeulemeester.

COHGS opens to the previously unreleased 'Exercise In Colour' which unfurls to a click with disembodied piano notes swelling into a piano score, as fashion designer Ann Demeulemeester speaks a series of singular words. A slight electronic undercurrent surfaces but it remains quite minimal. 'Sleepwalker' continues with the minimal piano approach with female wordless harmonies, before evolving into queasy disorientating pop with the clear, pure voice of Japanese actress Anna Yamada. Electronics pulse, shudder and quiver amidst hovering piano notes and passages of organ chime as Yamada's voice soars. I think at this point I'd be hard pressed to guess that this is a release from COH. There's another playful exercise in abstract pop electronics on 'Alcohol' with the childlike voice of Noriko Taguchi achieving a sound much closer to Momus than the experimental electronics associated with COH. It like 'Sleepwalker' was taken from 3 Girls Mixed Up a collaboration with Hidenobu Ito.

Little Annie aka Annie Anxiety is the other female vocalist on COHGS. But unlike the more melody based tones and timbres of Anna Yamada and Noriko Taguchi, Little Annie offers a more expressive dynamic with her part-sung, part-spoken delivery. On 'Curious Yellow' which first appeared as a single on Tourette Records Little Annie drawls words and observations around sine waves and a gentle piano score. Location recordings and slight electronic treatments embellish the sounds, as Little Annie paints a text daubed with colour based descriptions in this contemplative and fragile piece. On '46 Things I Did Today' which opens to the tinkling of music box like tones before moving into ricocheting metallic electronics Little Annie in her own inimitable and characteristic New York tone lists her activities and mental thoughts for the day ranging from counting her blessings to getting her nails done to contemplating suicide. It's worth pointing out that '46 Things I Did Today' offers an extended reworking of Little Annie's 'Thirteen Things I Did Today' which appeared on the Sentrax compilation Interiors which was put together and released by John Everall the subject of COH's other new release COH plays Everall.

COH's Love Uncut was a tribute of sorts to eighties culture and featured cover versions of Soft Cell's 'Meet Murder My Angel' - as 'My Angel (Director's Cut)' with Coil's Peter Christopherson on vocals - and Vicious Pink's 'Fetish'. 'Fffetish' is taken from that release and emerges from clipped tones and sliding drones into a danceable slice of pumping electro sequences and rhythmic hi-hats. "You give me everything that I desire" Gothard aka Ivan Pavlov rasps before shrouded in distortion he shrieks "when you're near me my whole body aches". Gothard's vocals are resolutely sleazy and seductive. It may be of its time but 'Fffetish' fulfils its promise as a satisfying electro-punk updating of Vicious Pink's 'Fetish'.

Coil's contribution to Love Uncut was much more surprising and surprising in itself from COH. The aggressive industrial noise posturings of 'Love's Septic Domain' which appeared on the mini-album as 'Health And Deficiency: Love's Septic Domain' featured the voices of John Balance and Louise Weasel (an artificial studio creation and pseudonym for Balance). Harsher than I remember it, 'Love's Septic Domain' rides a fine line between Balance's intense vocalisations about dirty hospitals and a copious medicinal intake while Weasel's more sombre tones speak about rules and regulations. Balance is the patient while Weasel offers patience. COH, meanwhile, conjures up a glitchy harsh noise outpouring more akin to something like the digitized power noise of Consumer Electronics.

'Silence is Golden' dates from 1999 and represents some of COH's first work with Coil and features one of Peter Christopherson's rare vocal appearances. "I send you this message, my love is endless" and "whisper goodnight forever, whisper forever good night" are just some of the intriguing vocal snippets he intones in that homely becoming voice of his. Wrapped in a Coil-esque atmosphere that veers between jaunty playful glitchy electronics and ominous dark drone those John Balance penned lyrics spoken by Sleazy over the phone takes on an altogether more prescient meaning since its initial appearance on Vox Tinnitus all those years ago. "You won't see my kind again", Sleazy imparts. Indeed we won't.

COHGS displays another side to COH, and the use of distinctive vocalists some delivering melody based sounds, some partly spoken, and some aggressively delivered allows COH to display his versatility in minimal, pop, industrial and sleazy disco. Surprisingly there's nothing from COH plays Cosey where he utilised the voice of Cosey Fanni Tutti as a sound source. That's something of an omission but COHGS is a wonderful introduction to Ivan Pavlov's collaborative work with vocalists. COHGS is released as a vinyl LP by Editions Mego. For more information go to