Boomkat Product Review:
Coil’s cherished masterpiece, The Ape of Naples, now officially presented as a standalone release for the first time, re-animating one of the 20th century’s most vital recordings over ten years since it took physical form. Ask almost any Coil acolyte and they’ll tell you; this is the one you need, badly.
The Ape of Naples is the final album completed by Peter “Sleazy” Christopherson (1955-2010) following the tragic death of Jhonn Balance (1962-2004); his partner since the early ‘80s, when they both defected from Psychic TV to form one of electronic music’s most enduring, important duos. The results of this, their ultimate album, remain some of the most deeply arresting, cathartic, dilated recordings ever made, certainly worthy of their own pedestal in any personal collection.
Transgressive, transcendent, transformative; the cumulative energy of Balance’s lyrics, which range from devil-on-the-shoulder descriptions of pharmaceutical excess and digital era eschatology to a falsetto delivery of the Are You Being Served theme, when matched by the sheer scale of Sleazy’s inventive sound design, resonate throughout The Ape of Naples in a non-verbal, metaphysical manner that’s hardly been felt stronger across any of their other works.
This may well be due to the finality of the album and the circumstances of its recording, which we can only imagine must have been incredibly painful, if not necessary, for Sleazy, but also the fact that they were arguably reaching the apex of their musick, subsuming light from everything they had previously touched upon - electro-acoustic praxis, neo-folk riddles, free-jazz expression, sidereal ambience - in their most seductive consolidation and expression of black hole sonics.
It’s the sort of record that you never forget the first time you heard it properly, and, whilst we’re more than happy to take receipt of a new vinyl copy (this divvy has been kicking himself since missing Important’s 2007 boxset edition), we’re pretty envious of anyone about to pop their Ape Of Naples cherry.