Saturday, June 23, 2012

Coil - Bee Stings

Where's the bells?
Where's the bats?
Where's the summer?
Where's the keyboard?
Where's the instinct?
Where's the patience?
Where's the tiny golden books? 
     - Glowworms/Waveforms

We're soldiers of my soul
- Summer Substructures

Summer is a time of growing. A time of adventure, of energy and vitality. The seeds that we have planted in the Spring shall come to bloom in the summer, yielding abundance, and gathered in the Autumn chill. In winter we reflect, and scheme.

In 1998, British occult noise sculptors Coil released a series of limited-edition 7"s. Bee Stings was released on the summer solstice. At the time, i was a devoted collector of all Coil related ephemera, and had money at the time. I hopped off the road and made a special trek to Gopher Sounds, in Flagstaff, Az., to buy this on yellow wax. 

Used to hearing Coil in their dark Industrial tatters, i was surprised to find this esoteric transmission full of haunting electric viola, courtesy of William Breeze (a member of Current 93 and Psychic TV) and pagan poetry incanted by Jhonn Balance (R.I.P.). It reads like William Blake and sounds like High Mass, but with light traces of Industrial drum machines and swirls of gelatinous noise. This is like like listening to modern classical music, high on cough syrup.

This version is from the collection Moon's Milk (In Four Phases), which collated all four Equinox recordings. Its got three tracks, "Bee Stings," "Glowworms/Waveforms," and "Summer Substructures." The original 7" only had "Bee Stings" and "Glowworms/Waveforms". There was also a CD EP version of this released with the additional track "A Warning from the Sun (For Fritz)," which was dedicated to a friend of their's who had committed suicide earlier that year. 

Coil were always about bridging the gap between tradition and the future. They revered 20th century art movements, like Dada and the Situationists, along with gay club culture and the works of their Industrial Records brethren (Genesis P-Orridge, Z'ev, Chris & Cosey, Current 93, Nurse With Wound). They were creating their own reality, free of history and of dogma. They championed the works of occultists like Aleister Crowley and Austin Osman Spare, and spoke freely of re-designing one's own consciousness, through techniques like psychedelic drugs, ceremonial magick and tantric sex. They were uniquely British in their tone. One can picture Druids gathered around stone monoliths, when listening to this musick. 
Coil led many black-clad lost souls down a subway tunnel of myth, magick, poetry, high art. This is vipassana for performance artists. Not secular, not wholly religious. Music for mutants in the in between spaces. Its a terrifying road, full of uncertainty. There are many briar patches and stalking wolves, when one leaves behind the lighted path of Consensual Reality. But there is healing to be found by the firelight. One can overcome conditioning, free one's self of desire and suffering. Spread the wings of consciousness, and soar on wings of imagination.
Today is the summer solstice. My band, Lore Acts, is playing at a noise ritual, in the woods of SE Portland, with a gathering of occultists and unicorns. When i first heard the music of Coil, it seemed alien and incomprehensible. I spent a decade longing for gear, and feverishly plotting what i would do, when i had it. Today is a dream come true, and like all dreams, sometimes it is a nightmare. There is no surrender and no compromise when one is one's own MASTER, and no one to blame but one's self. Time to do the laundry and take out the trash. Time to write those heartfelt letter's you've been meaning to write. Here, in 2012, we have it all at our fingertips. The world spreads herself wide to us. The Akashic Records are rising. Widespread empathy is just around the corner. We are right on the edge of telepathy. Today, i humbly invoke my higher self, ask it to spread its wings of dark light in every corner and crevice of my consciousness. I invite you to do the same. God is alive. Magick is afoot. You can be whoever you like, this time around. Today, light a candle and say a prayer; banish cynicism and defeatism forever. We need not be slaves to our demons; they are figments of dust. 

Keep on fighting the good fight.

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