The word “Coh” means “sleep” in Russian, but though this music can be sedate at times, it’s never soporific. Coh is the work of Ivan Pavlov, a Russian living in Sweden who manages to use extremely minimalist electronic techniques to create music that actually has a bit of heart to it. The first disk on this new double-CD opens with the glitch-based composition “Da Kota Rap,” a blur of static and fuzz with Mia Farrow’s eerie lullaby from “Rosemary’s Baby” wafting through it. The rest of the disk, which is actually a sort of remixed version of a live performance, moves from the almost song-like pulses of “Post-Pop Reprise” to the gradual building tension of “Untitled Smash Hit.” The disk closes with “Starlust,” a paradoxical mix of sweet melody and grating, wasp-like high frequencies that exemplifies Coh’s mixture of pop sensibility and sonic experimentation. The second disk is a reissue of Pavlov’s earliest work, originally issued in only seven copies. Like the newer material, it’s minimal and glitchy, but it also shows more plainly the darker influences of such experimental industrial acts as Coil. “Wasp Wisp” pulses rhythmically, while the slow bubbling and weird tones of “El Hombre, Invisible” evoke vintage science fiction atmospheres. Things get mellower towards the second half of the disk, with the soft droning of “Morphine Twinge” and the echoed twangs and chimes of “The Closing,” but the unsettling oscillations of bonus track “Scotch Sleaze” have a certain disquieting effect that’s absent in Pavlov’s more intellectual recent work. In any case, though Coh occasionally gets lumped into the same category as such experimental techno acts as Aphex Twin, the emphasis is definitely on the “experimental” act of things. This album might have rhythm, but it’s not the sort of rhythm you dance to. As abstract headphone music, though, it doesn’t get much better than this.
Visit Ivan Pavlov at www.post-pop.org or get more information or read the biography on the label’s website at www.mego.at/coh.html.
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