I would like to think that among friends and neighbors my odd tastes are balanced by the acceptance that I know some of what I talk about – at least some of the time. So when I say unto you, dear people, do not listen to this album while driving, I am not merely engaging in some kind of erratic hyperbole, nor am I buying into some kind of homoerotic masculinist cult approach to “penile soundscapes” and the like. I am instead buying into the idea that distracted people moving a two thousand pound death machine are a hazard, both moral and physical.
I will go further than this – sensitive people do not mix well with this sort of music, especially if they are given to drug taking or nervousness. I spent enough time in my late teens and early twenties babysitting people who thought it would be fun to “trip out” but didn’t reckon on having to deal with their mind thrown up on a drive-in movie screen twice the size of the universe. Either they hadn’t been told, dealt only with the fratboy mindset or they’d simply chosen to ignore warnings from reasonable, responsible people, and as such got themselves into a corner with The Fear and had no way out. Not that it isn’t fun to tell someone that everything will be ok every two minutes for an hour and a half, of course, but – ok, I’m kidding. It’s not fun at all.
This piece of work is like The Fear in album form. Either you deal with it or it deals with you.
Time Machines came with six stickers to stare at while listening to the four tracks, ranging from ten minutes to half an hour. I transferred them to my MPC case a long while back, after I’d gotten used to watching them melt in a darkened room while cold sober and got a little bit sick – and scared – of having strange lapses of time. There is a definite mood to each piece, named after a different chemical compound of the more boutique entheogenic sorts, labeled by their chemical compound names, which you can go look up on wikipedia if you like.
It’s easy to dismiss the more lofty expressions of any musical group, even one so varied and life-altering as Coil was, but this truly is music that destroys time. That’s why you don’t drive to it, and it will probably never bring any kind of comfort. Back when I was more foolhearty I’d put this on and try to do some freelance work; I’d be left staring at a blank screen fifty minutes later, not really remembering what had happened. I’ve also found it makes a horrible soundtrack to a muted tv – a special kind of ugliness comes through. And pornography? Forget about it.
Time Machines is an amazing work, both my most and least favorite Coil release. It is unforgettable and unique, but not to be taken lightly.
“Telepathine” – A foyer, simultaneously nostalgic and alien.
“DOET/Hecate” – Ground between two flat pieces of stone over a million years.
“5-MeO-DMT” – Buzzing, invokes rage.
“Psilocybin” – Long, slow trail.