Music Reviews

Artist: CoH (@)
Title: RETRO-2038
Format: 2 x 12" vinyl
Label: Editions Mego (@)
Rated: *****
This record by Russian-born, but Sweden-based Ivan Pavlov (what a reminiscent surname...), whose nom de guerre is CoH - a word which should be pronounced as "son" and mean "dream" or "sleep" in Russian if you read it in Cyrillic -, could be described by an allusive paraphrase of the album title by Coil, a band Ivan might like: "Retro-2038", a title whose reference should be clear to many nerds and people dealing with computational bugs related to time counting, could be considered as a collection of new backwards or possibly old forwards. This specimen of retrofuturism or avant-primitivism seems to play cowboys and indians with the concept of future and past, as if it was inspired by the defilement of a disused robotic prototype, who sounds rewired in the initial track "Retrotech Overture": the electric hiss, the reactivation of logical circuits and even a feeling of dizziness that even machines could experience after a prolonged "coma" have been mirrored by CoH before the playful electronic tingling of the following "Bugs Build A House", where the merry micromelody rejigs and gels with other sonic elements of the track, and the amazing analog/digital tic tacks of "Time To Time", where the binomial distribution of time scanning seems to emphasize the intrinsic logics of this record along the lines of an ambigous duality, which is even more stressed on the gleaming buzzers of entrancing low-frequencies of the following "On Wings Of Gravity". Crystalline drops over buzzing electronic bruises and shredded sequences oddly group together on "Aniki" and the beatless bleeping dance of "Disco Discrete". In spite of the dedication to Mika Vainio on the nubby glissando of "Vainio", "Retro-2038" sounds definitely less coarse-grained than CoH's previous releases, while the final "Method As Fun" is the peak which enshrines the declension of suprematist retro-futurism by this talented composer and his learned modulation of attacks and decays.

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