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COH and Cosey Fanni Tutti - COH Plays Cosey

COH Plays Cosey grew out of email discussions between Ivan Pavlov and Cosey Fanni Tutti around a number of subjects to which Pavlov suggested Cosey create a diary of voice sounds "that represented and exorcised the clusters of emotional responses to events over a period of time". Pavlov then reinterpreted, reconstructed and formed these responses, which according to Pavlov were often raw and explicit, along with texts created together during their electronic discourse. That material ranged from spoken word, singing to moans, groans, screams and some cornet playing. In short: Cosey's voice.

Pavlov's experimental electronics and meticulous sound editing are very much to the fore but there are surprises too in this intriguing and fascinating release. On 'Closer' Pavlov displays his precision editing assembling an array of moans and groans with the occasional word slipping through even generating a melody of sorts. It all sounds quite erotic and ends on some touching words of love. Pavlov splices the words of 'Crazy' through split channels, with little moments of glitchy sounds and silence. His clever dissection of Cosey's voice offering striking permuations of the lyrics. Cosey's voice is subjected to glitch effects on the opening minutes of 'Mad' before giving way to an absurd love song, sung softly by Cosey, directly drawn from email communication. It's the most song based track where the main vocal is isn't subjected to Pavlov's treatments.

'Near You' is rhythmic electronics where Cosey's voice becomes computer generated and just another layer of electronic sound, punctuated by the occasional short scream. The screams are carried over into 'Fuck It' a brutal slice of electronics, interspersed with Cosey's swearing, reappearing as a torrent of electronic noise that would satisfy the most ardent of extreme noise fans. Much better are 'Sin King' and 'Inside'. On 'Sin King' Pavlov accentuates the breathy aspects of Cosey's voice, stretching it slightly before processing it through the computer and eventually returning to a sensual whisper. 'Inside' is much more intimate where a sultry repeated whisper forms a backdrop to Cosey's spoken breathy voice. 'Lying' is constructed from gentle lilting harmonies over brittle rhythms and Cosey's trademark drifting cornet parps.

It's an interesting concept subjecting the private innermost feelings of Cosey with COH's clinical electronics and digital processing. The problem with COH Plays Cosey is just as Cosey wasn't keen to relinquish control and Pavlov physically blushed at times as a result of Cosey's explicit responses the outcome at the hands of Pavlov is heavily obscured. It's a fascinating but infuriating listen. It draws you in, and then cuts away, the intimacy between the particpants becoming somewhat fragmented and illusory. The voice is left but the personality of Cosey is hard to decipher, and especially since Cosey has explored her own work in Time To Tell (and in the subsequent EAR volumes) which offered a far more revealing insight. That said, on COH Plays Cosey Pavlov has crafted a complex piece of work that lends itself to repeated listenings. COH fans and followers of Cosey Fanni Tutti won't want to miss out as this offers a new facet to their already expansive discographies. In the near future the tables will be turned when Cosey Plays COH in a subsequent release. Collectors might care to know that COH Plays Cosey is available in a Japanese and European edition with separate sleeve designs. For more information go to