Coil - The Snow EP

Released: 1991 Torso and 1991 WaxTrax!

Track listing:

  1. Driftmix
  2. Answers Come in Dreams I
  3. Out in the Cold
  4. As Pure As?
  5. Answers Come in Dreams II
  6. The Snow
  7. Windowpane (12" version)

The usually interesting and sometimes infuriating required notes for navigating Coil releases follows:

1,3 remixed by Peter Christopherson
2,5 remixed by Jack Dangers for Meat Beat Manifesto Productions
4 remixed by John Balance and Drew McDowell
7 appears on WaxTrax cassette release only
2,3,4,6 do not appear on the vinyl
Both 3 track 12" singles are DJ promo releases.
Wax Trax! promo release limited to 500 copies.
Torso promo release limited to 1000 copies.

This is one of my favorite Coil releases, along with Worship the Glitch, Windowpane and Love's Secret Domain. Oh, and Nasa Arab (Coil vs. The Eskaton). And the ELpH stuff. Some Coil fans and purists would perhaps be critical of such an admission, as if Coil has a more accessible side this would probably be it.

While I do enjoy their darker and more experimental albums - The Anal Staircase, Horse Rotovator, Love's Secret Domain, Black Light District just for starters, but certainly not inclusive - I'm very fond of their more electronic and dancable offerings. They make the Thee Infinite Beat offerings of Psychic TV sound pedestrian and downright tuneless and noodle-ly by comparison. (Not that Psychic TV isn't actually pretty tuneless or anything. Just depends on where you're at, I guess.)

The melodies of The Snow are haunting and original. The beat signatures - as always for Coil - are complex, obtuse, terse, driving, and international or even alien. The sparse vocals are effects-laden and heavily gated, ghostly and soaked in that wild, strange sort-of gnosticism that Coil is famous for. There's a fair amount of depth in this album, with downtempo or even ambient qualities for the more mellow tracks to quite dancable, driving pan-electronic EBM energies in the more active tracks.

By today's standards for electronic dance music, the fastest tracks are fairly slow, the most complex tracks perhaps not so complex (at first listen!), but keep in mind this was released in 1991 and still sounds quite current, and certainly still sounds original and fresh. I've listened to this album thousands of times over the years. This is Coil. This is Coil with Jack Dangers, making acid techno and bridging the electronic-industrial/EBM/IDM/EDM sounds in the way only they could.

Finding original copies of this album will be difficult, but not nearly as difficult as finding other Coil albums and rarities. To hear it for yourself, I'd recommend joining a Coil discussion list, making some friends and asking someone for a copy or scouring a P2P network. (Your best bet would be slsk, which is dedicated to electronic music.) Coil is pretty much all about bootlegs, anyway. I think I could safely guess that the majority of existing copies of Coil albums would be bootlegs, as Coil tends to do a lot of limited releases which makes actually purchasing their music a pain in the ass.

If you feel leery of downloading their music, ask them. I hear they're really rather nice. You can find them (and discographies and album art) at

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