Coil / The New Blockaders / Vortex Campaign – The melancholy mad tenant

This album contains recordings created in 1984, but I doubt if many people will have the original release, since it was released on a cassette named "Dolbied" in an edition of 50. Back then, the for me totally obscure Belgian group Vortex Campaign invited two now legendary acts to collaborate on a split release: Coil and The New Blockaders. This resulted in two very long tracks on which the three acts join their forces.

As you could expect of these early industrial pioneers, the lo-fi music is not very accessible. The two untitled collaborations last almost 15 and 30 minutes respectively and are quite noisy, with repetitive sampled loops, scraping industrial sounds and droning backgrounds with a quite ritual end result. It’s not typical Coil-stuff, it sounds perhaps more like their related project Zos Kia. I find especially the more powerful and rhythmic second piece very hypnotic and fascinating, great unconventional music fueled by raw energy.

For this reissue, by Stephen Meixner’s label Black Rose Recordings, the original material has been thoroughly re-mastered. Furthermore three tracks by Vortex Campaign have been added, of which two are previosuly unreleased. Apparently this forms the complete output by ‘VC’. I must say that the three shorter Vortex Campaign tracks are certainly interesting and compelling as well, sort of primitive electronic ambient pieces with noisy rumbling sounds and quite spooky elements,

This reissue, filled with historically very interesting material, comes in a fold-out cardboard sleeve with hand-printed covers. Of the 500 copies of ‘The melancholy mad tenant", 100 cd’s come in a special cloth bag edition to satisfy the collector’s cravings.

artist: Coil
label: Black Rose Recordings
details: 5 tracks, 63 min, 2005