When Coil released Time Machines the first time, back in 1998, it was considered enough of a departure from their existing catalogue that they decided not to put their name on it. For that reason alone, this new double-vinyl reissue from Dais Records — sporting Coil's name — is welcome news. These four pieces still stand up as impressively penetrating drone recordings two decades later, and at 74 minutes, the album offers plenty of volume, too.
This is bare-boned electronic music. It isn't difficult to listen to — in fact, some of it is quite agreeable — but Time Machines is demanding in a different way. To appreciate the work, you must consume the tracks in their entirety. But make no mistake, they will demand your full attention.
According to the late John Balance, the work was intended to be hallucinogenic, principally to help listeners lose track of time.
The four pieces are named after chemical compounds: "7-Methoxy-β-Carboline- (Telepathine)," "2,5-Dimethoxy-4-Ethyl-Amphetamine- (DOET-Hecate)," "5-Methoxy-N,N-Dimethyl- (5-MeO-DMT)" and "4-Indolol,3-[2-(Dimethylamino)Ethyl], Phosphate Ester- (Psilocybin)."
It's not an overstatement to describe this as a piece of drone music history. Non-fans of the esoteric genre may feel less inspired to give this a spin, but the work deserves our respect, for its spirit of experimentation and straight up boldness. (Dais Records)