COIL Projects

COIL was an experimental music group formed in England in 1982 by Jhonn Balance with his partner/collaborator Peter Christopherson joining soon thereafter. COIL remains one of the most influential and best-known “industrial” bands, though with both main members of the group having now passed away (Jhonn from an alcohol-related fall in 2004, and Peter dying peacefully in his sleep in 2010).

Over the past couple of years I have created a variety of COIL-related items, and continue to find COIL a notable inspiration in my creative work (their methods and philosophy more than any similarities in actual output), with many framed works of mine finished whilst using their sounds as an “atmos” soundtrack, mostly accompanied by incense, candles and wine during nocturnal flourishes of activity in my countryside studio.

The Golden Age of Bloodsports
Compiled by Phil Barrington

A book collated and curated by myself of Jhonn Balance’s creative writing, lyrics and other COIL tracks, with additional photography created for this project.

“For the first time ever the large majority of the writings, lyrics and performed songs of Jhonn Balance are collected in one book. Famous for leading the british band COIL into uncharted musical, magickal and psychical territories until his tragic death in 2004, Balance was a cultural pioneer who blended the occult with heartfelt emotional outpouring, experimental sound with medieval sensibility and and electronic avant-garde.

An artist, lyricist, essayist, visionary, performance artist and inspiration to a great many leftfield creatives before his death and possibly the most mysterious, traumatic and obsessive character in recent popular culture history after his passing, this book identifies key lyrical themes embedded within his vision.

From a tumultuous childhood nurturing occult promises of escape, to long chemical journeys into the wooded wilderness of moonscapes, vegetation and displeased rabbits, Balance’s world is undeniably unique.

A potent tableau of wordplay, rhythm, repetition, nature, astronomy, magick, sex, high emotion and psychedelic surrealism are all part of his writing, perfectly mirroring the ways that COIL uniquely assembled their recorded sounds, though there are other strong qualities uncovered here in this book.”

Note; Since the re-release of COIL singles from autumn 2015 onwards, an update of this book to include newly-unearthed lyrics is likely in the future, once all re-releases are issued.

The first set of 8 COIL CD re-releases in 2015 did not have inserts/tracklistings with them, so I made some inserts for them here (rar file of 8 x pdf sleeves).

Photoshoot and Sample Pages of the Book

This is a totally unauthorised collection of Jhonn Balance’s words and ideas, salvaging and piecing together scraps of words/lyrics from all other unofficial (and official) sources, together with a little private research and transcriptions, into one coherent and respectful tome. Please refer to the various credits and copyright notices within.

“International Dark Skies” – A Fan-made COIL album

Grey shadows fall on a distant wall and brooding cloud-choked skies overhang narration of apocalyptic thought, cut-up recollections and mysterious tales as COIL presents International Dark Skies…

Called various things over time by COIL themselves (including “Wounded Galaxies Tap at the Window”), this free album is my unofficial fan-creation of COIL’s aborted album from the mid-1990s featuring a host of famous writers, performance poets and musicians that COIL recorded, or recorded with, but whom abandoned the project soon after. This collection includes, with permission, a very rare collaborative demo of the mid-1990s era from the legendary Scanner (aka Robin Rimbaud).

COIL recordings of Terence McKenna, William S. Burroughs, Taylor Mead and John Giorno (all circa mid-1990s), mixed with COIL music taken mostly from the same era with my aim to make a cohesive concept album of COIL’s unfinished spoken word album project.

I stress again; This is an unauthorised fan creation including mixed and edited sounds from COIL with some use of stock and found sounds too.

Download or stream here;
https://archive.org/details/International_Dark_Skies_COIL

Or download the 138mb zip of mp3 files from here.

40-page booklet for the project also found here.

The World Ended a Long Time Ago
(COIL & William S. Burroughs)

A fan-film I made for a track on the above “International Dark Skies” album;

COIL Hallucinators

A series of experiments I made to create drug-less hallucinations based around a variety of COIL sleeve artwork, with two films here and more found on my Youtube channel.

COIL Hallucinator;
“Black Light District” Edition
Please expand to full-screen

COIL Hallucinator;
“Side-By-Side” Edition
Please expand to full-screen

Constant Shallowness Leads to Evil (CSO Goat Soup Mix)

My combination of elements from two COIL tracks, with further sounds from a live performance.

Q. What is it?
A. It’s a simple mix of the instrumental studio backing track for the live favourite ‘CSLTE’, with Jhonn Balance’s vocal tracks from ‘Tunnel of Goats’ mixed into it.

Q. Is that it?
A. The last five minutes of this mix is gatecrashed by the great finale of the USA live version of ‘CSLTE’, with Jhonn’s presence felt at odd times throughout this long track, along with very minor instrumental portions of the ‘Tunnel of Goats’ track/s to help fill out the sound of the backing track from the original CSO boxset reconstruction disk.

I’ve always loved COIL’s “Constant Shallowness Leads to Evil” album, especially the intense live interpretations they did of certain tracks of it, along with their own live-only album amalgamation called “Constant Shallowness Leads to Evil”. Well, we may not have the definitive studio version of that track, but I designed this mix to remedy that for my ears.

Constant Shallowness Leads to Evil (CSO Goat Soup Mix)

320 kbps mp3 mix Download

This mix is released taking note of the CSO Creative Commons License, all source materials by COIL.

unBALANCED

A satirical dramatised spoof film trailer about COIL “by Oliver Stone”. I released this on the Facebook COIL page for April Fool’s Day 2015, and have kept it online ever since, as a “what if” kind-of thing.

“The Beginning is Always The End” (Jhonn Vox Version)
A 320 kbps mp3 mix of elements from two COIL tracks (for a non-existent soundtrack to this fake unBALANCED film).

unBALANCED

A spoof film trailer about COIL “by Oliver Stone” (2015)

Essays & Reviews

A growing selection of pop-culture essays and reviews that I’ve written on a random assortment of topics over the years. These pieces may contain adult material.

Joel-Peter Witkin; An Objective Eye
(2013, Thomas Marino). A review by Phil Barrington (Dec 2013).

Marco Malattia, “No Vaseline“, digital expression of sexuality and the evolution of transgression art on film. An essay by Phil Barrington (Dec 2103).

Mr. Witkin, I Presume
An account of meeting Joel-Peter Witkin in Paris by Phil Barrington (Nov 2007).