Boomkat Product Review:
Special double set of COH’s TO BEAT album (released previously as CD) featuring exclusive remixes by Matmos, JG Thirwell, John Parish, Ryuchi Sakamoto and Drew McDowall. Vinyl only. No digital.
'To Beat' is surely the most accessible album in CoH's long and illustrious catalogue of extreme electronic music. It picks up right where 'RETRO-2038' left off on 'Method As Fun' by keenly focussing on the aesthetics of pure sinewaves and rhythm. Like some origami high master, the Swedish-based Russian producer folds and layers sheer tones into pulsing, spitting waves of rhythmic and melodic energy, transforming sine-waves into a waveform which is essentially a beat. He makes the maths involved audibly clear in the opening track 'Wave To Beat''s mercurial transition from near-static hum to a clipped, rounded throb, before expanding this idea in more vibrant, colourfully adventurous manner across the proceeding eight tracks.
'Meguro 10-6' is the most dynamic, alloying washes of white noise with bristling, stereo-swept swing techno rhythms and even a strange vocal - a combination also explored in the more reduced, darker 'Eena Ferroix' - whilst others take on mutant forms of coiled, serpentine techno, as with the trance-like flux of 'Moonviewhigh' and the tucked, pendulous shuffle of 'Bond Number', before 'BEAT TO WAVE' inverts the formula to transition back from wonky thumps to sine-wave resting point, accentuating the duality of rhythm and tone. Those of you who crave CoH's uncompromising aesthetics will be pleased to know it's all still assuredly visceral stuff; only you could almost dance to it now.