Boomkat Product Review:
Investigative minimalist Ivan Pavlov turns attention to the guitar with typically fascinating results, including a cover of SoftCell, on his return to the cold teet of Noton.
As the titular nod to The Beatles implies, ‘While Your Guitar Gentle’ is CoH’s latest dalliance with pop, rock and song-based forms, as heard from his radical minimalist perspective. Processed guitars are core to his interests here, perpetually flickering between acoustic and re-synthesised strings in a subtly curious sort of captcha for the aural senses. The sometime Coil affiliate draws on an ever innovative sort of craft to give a fizzing character to his scalpelled riffs and glitching textures, variously congealing into wiry creatures that resemble parts of his most memorable works such as the retrospective comp ‘CoHgs’ (CoH = “Son” in Cyrillic; CoHgs = u get it), the grizzled ‘Iiron’ or indeed his 2007 set for Raster-Noton,’Strings’.
Not for everyone, but a real pleasure to keener listeners of electronic music, the nine parts follow in CoH’s singular, practically unparalleled practice to eke out new nuance in classic forms, variously making his axe chatter with a folk-rock jitter in ‘WYGG [For Tom Waits]’, and smearing it into spare oily notes and shadows in ‘Bolero with Ola’, while slipping into his Frankie Gothard guise to dismantle and rebuild Soft Cell’s ‘Heat’ as a piece of spidery post-techno-pop brilliance. Followers of CoH’s pulse-based styles will also be intrigued by ‘Gear Chill Spell’ and ‘Arrows of Faith’, where he also parallels the pointillist intricacies of Oren Ambarchi and Konrad Sprenger in his puckered balance of precise and elusive soul.