Boomkat Product Review:
Coil heads beware! Peter Chistopherson & Ivan Pavlov’s SoiSong finally see a vinyl release with the Dais reissue of their enigmatic 2008 EP of contorted rhythmic impulses and fractured tones.
A thorny wreath of glitch inception, ‘qXn948s’ is amongst SoiSong’s earliest invocations, dating to not long after Peter Christopherson (Throbbing Gristle, Psychic TV, Coil) moved to Bangkok, some years after the passing of his creative and life partner, John Balance in 2004. Acquainted with Ivan Pavlov aka CoH since 1997, the pair developed a vital creative relationship adjunct to Christopherson’s work as Threshold Houseboys Choir, taking the name SoiSong as a play on the Thai word for ‘two’ and a street in the nearby notorious redlight district. Their resultant recordings form a taut, chewy compound of the brusque pointillist muscularity of Pavlov’s cultishly prized work as CoH with Christopherson’s eerily naif and enchanting traditionalist and classicist melodic counterpoints, achieving a sort of cybernetic sleaze that resonated the otherworldly neon environs of downtown Bangkok.
Early SoiSong releases, this one included, followed a medium-as-message approach, discreetly issued in scant CDr editions and even within a Walkman melted shut that could be played as long as the batteries survived. 14 years after release, they early ‘qXn948s’ still imparts an occultist fever dream message, an invitation to lose oneself to the writhe of Pavlov’s barbed roil and Sleazy’s mutated nods to Eastern melodic minimalism and bittersweet tunings. In ‘Kabuki-Chop’ the soft peal of temple bells and meditative wind congeal with gooey drones and ultimately curdled in sticky pulses, and ‘Soijin No Hi’ follows to mess with proprioceptions in the druggily sensual gyre of squashed bass and spiralling keys that buckle and rupture in uneasy ecstasy. Slippery melodic fractals of a febrile lullaby dance in contorted union with gnarled stop/start rhythms on ‘Koi Ru’, and ‘Jam Talay Sai’ furs Pavlov’s acrid synth etching with processed string in a final unravelling of the senses, sprawled and exhausted, gooey and prickling.