Monday, 12 May 2008

COH Plays Cosey

This is the first part of a collaboration between Ivan Pavlov (COH, Soisong) and Cosey Fanni Tutti (Throbbing Gristle, Chris and Cosey, Carter Tutti).

The basic premise behind this album is that Ivan takes vocal recordings make by Cosey and turns them into this album. He does this very successfully whilst retaining his trademark COH sound with the rhythms and pulses you’d expect but it does have the feel of a true collaboration rather than just becoming COH featuring Cosey. You have Cosey’s spoken vocals coming through in snatches here and there and her cornet also makes an appearance.

In the press release that accompanies this a lot is made of the lack of inhibition and the openness of the use of private material that Cosey used to create the lyrics. This doesn’t particularly come across in what you hear or what you read as the words of the pieces themselves are too ambiguous for anyone not familiar with the context from which they were derived to really make that much sense of them. The lyrics printed in the booklet that comes with the CD are extracts from email exchanges.

There’s a sexual undercurrent going on in the delivery of some of the vocals, some of the lyrics and the photo of Ivan and Cosey on the back of the booklet. What this is alluding to I have no idea it’d be interesting to have more background on the themes they are exploring as you’re left feeling you have more questions than answers. It also appears to suggest in the introduction Cosey has written that there is some element of catharsis involved in the project.

It took a while to really get to grips with this. It’s by no means instant gratification but it has stood up to repeated plays and gets more and more compelling the more you hear it.
It’s a fine addition to the discographies of both of them and I’m looking forward to part 2 of the collaboration.