SoiSong is the stunning but short-lived partnership of Coil co-founder Peter “Sleazy” Christopherson and veteran Russian electronic experimentalist Ivan Pavlov. Though friends since 1997, the project birthed roughly a decade later in Bangkok, where Christopherson relocated following the death of his Coil collaborator John Balance in 2004. Named after the Thai word for ‘two’ along with a notorious red-light district street nearby, the duo dialed into a cryptic language of lurching synthetics, Eastern minimalism, and interdimensional glitch, oscillating between elegance and mayhem. qXn948s collects some of their earliest recordings, and remains as transgressive and transcendent a listen now as it was upon its release a decade and a half ago.
Pavlov characterizes SoiSong as less a musical group than a “utopian, semi-alien platform for collaboration, devoid of pronounced personality or centralized authority… more like a message from elsewhere that anyone is welcome to participate in and spread.” Every facet of the project was disruptive and oblique: self-released CDs packaged in elaborate origami that had to be destroyed to be accessed; a website with password protected sections, where different passwords were provided for different events, objects or releases; performance merchandise of headphones and a Walkman melted shut so the music can only be heard as long as the set of batteries last. Theirs was a muse as unprecedented as it was uncompromising, equal parts pranks and profundity.
qXn948s began with samples and software composed intuitively in tandem before a large monitor, then progressively processed and scrambled into bewildering arrangements of digital frequencies, alternately spartan and claustrophobic, uneasy and uncanny. Vignettes of small melody emerge and are obliterated; gamelan-esque tones spiral above cybernetic pulse programming and funereal didgeridoo; skeletal piano meanders in t....... więcej