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36 Years Ago: COIL record How to Destroy Angels

Daily Noise -

36 Years Ago: COIL record How to Destroy Angels

COIL know how to destroy Angels. How to paralyse. Imagine the world in a bottle. We take the bottle, smash it, and open your throat with it. I warn you we are murderous. We will massacre the logical revolts. We know nothing. We know everything. We know one thing only. Absolute existence, absolute motion, absolute direction, absolute truth.

COIL - John Balance (ex-PSYCHIC TV) and Peter Christopherson (ex-THROBBING GRISTLE, ex-PSYCHIC TV) - recorded their debut 12", How to Destroy Angels, on this day in 1984 at Britannia Row Studios, London.

How to Destroy Angels is a 12" one-sided single and 17 minutes in length available on LAYLAH records of Belgium (LAY005). This was released good Friday 1984. This is ritual music for the accumulation of male sexual energy. I am very interested in the Caballa. The ancient jewish originally formulated the system of organisation of universe, man, and the universe, micro and macrocosm. H.T.D.A. is based around MARS* it is not entertainment - its a functional tool which we hope will be usable by other people. All the elements are male and cyclic, based on spirals and metals. The single is onesided because its not a record to be treated like an ordinary entertaining release.

Coil interview, Unsound Vol. 1 No. 5, 1984

It has had some very confused reactions which is nice. I stick by it, it is pure and as we intended which is always a good thing. We could have easily done a weird rythmn track to keep peoples attentions, but that was not what it was about. It's uncomfortable, not because there are extreme noises, but because it's very hard to follow you have to involve yourself.

Geff Rushton (John Balance) / Coil interview, They are Going to Take Me Away Ha Ha, 1984

The b-side, although titled ("Absolute Elsewhere"), was intended to be blank and unplayable however there are differences between pressings. Some feature blank or noise-filled grooves, some multi-layered music or tone patterns. The third pressing was smooth/grooveless therefore unplayable as originally intended.
For the 1992 How to Destroy Angels (Remixed and Re-Recordings) CD "Absolute Elsewhere" is represented by 1 second of silence.

Throughout history man has made and used music for two distinct and separate purposes.
In recent years, particularly since the advent of sound recording, the most popular use of music has been for entertainment - the temporary amusement and distraction of as large a number as possible.
As a consequence many people tend to overlook its more fundamental and ancient use as a tool for affecting man's body and spirit.
The many varieties of religious music from around the world contain a vast quantity of clues to the way in which sound can affect the physical and mental state of the serious listener, yet many find their associations with the religion itself - the dogmatism of the churches and the obvious shortsightedness of many cult leaders and their followers - too difficult a stigma to overlook in their appreciation of the sound and its potential, for its own sake.
Over the past few years we have been involved with a number of contemporary music groups that have tried to some extent to investigate this aspect of sound but only with varying success.
On this record, hopefully the first in a series, we have tried to produce sound which has a real, practical and beneficial power in this modern Era. Specifically, it is intended as an accumulator of male sexual energy.
Although we make neither claims nor rules for its use, we do suggest that for maximum potency it should only be played in circumstances that are exclusively male and/or onanistic in nature. What these are is entirely up to you.
Obviously, the execution of the piece was structured around concepts that we felt would work for us, in this case magickal and numerological rather than conventionally musical in form, but detailed information about the recording process, much of which was personal and relevant only to us, might well confuse and distract from the purpose.
One image or symbol which we draw upon that may be useful to bear in mind is that of Mars, often indicated by the male ♂
Mars is the Roman god of Spring and Warfare. His qualities are dynamic energy combined with a vital stabilising discipline; when self-control is missing the unbalanced force results in cruelty and wanton destruction.
Mars is a deification of forces within Man which can be found in very culture in one form or another, even to this day.
Finally, since prejudice and fear of the unknown seem so far to have been unaffected by civilisation, we would like to state once again that, should this music have any power, over and above the banal and transitory titillation achieved by most records available now, it is a positive and beneficial power to be used and controlled by the listener, as he desires.

Thank you,

COIL, London 17th March 1984.