COH Mask of Birth

Mask of Birth features music by COH, aka Ivan Pavlov, with some help from members of Coil, and is released by one of the wackiest avant-electronic music labels around, Mego. Mask of Birth is heavily abstract, featuring static noise, mechanical hums and electronic gurgling noises, yet there is something oddly grooveable about this CD. This may have something to do with Pavlov's deceptively innocuous statement in the liner notes, "New Disco for the New Human." The rhythm, build-ups and layered sounds that lead to crescendos are cleverly hidden, or even masked, on Mask of Birth, in the same way images are encrypted for those who attempt to watch a pay-per-view movie without a de-scrambler. There is something about this music that is undeniably nod-able, danceable in the way Autechre paradoxically is by taking dance music to its most extreme fringe. It may be ventured to say that this CD is what dance music may sound like 20 to 30 years from now, given the rate that techno music in clubs get more adventurous as time progresses. Apparently, every sound on this recording was made entirely on keyboards, which ought to be food for thought for some of the laptop heads out there. (Mego)