Coil (band)  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Coil was an English cross-genre, experimental music group formed in 1982 by John Balance—later credited as "Jhonn Balance"—and his lover Peter Christopherson, aka 'Sleazy'.


Although Coil expressed interest in many musical groups, they rarely, if ever, claimed to be influenced by them. Coil explicitly stated the influence of such non-musical sources as William Burroughs, Aleister Crowley, Bryon Gysin and Austin Spare. Furthermore, the group were friends with Burroughs and owned some of Spare's original artwork. John Balance encouraged fans to trade, discuss and discover new and different forms of music, stressing the importance of variety. Music that Coil expressed interest in is diverse and wide-ranging, from musique concrete to folk music to hardcore punk to classical. Among the musical artists Coil expressed interest in are the early electronic, experimental and minimalistic pioneers: Harry Partch, La Monte Young, Karlheinz Stockhausen (once referred to by Balance as "an honorary member of Coil"), Alvin Lucier, and Arvo Pärt. Coil also expressed interest in krautrock groups including Cluster, Amon Düül II, Can, Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream. Rock musicians and groups Coil have expressed interest in are: Angus Maclise, Captain Beefheart, Flipper, Leonard Cohen, Lou Reed, Nico, Pere Ubu, The Birthday Party, The Velvet Underground and The Virgin Prunes. Coil expressed an interest in the Russian composer Igor Stravinsky, and in 1986 used a sample of a piece of his music on the Horse Rotorvator song "The Anal Staircase". Furthermore, on the album Black Antlers Coil dedicated a song to Sun Ra and covered a song by Bam Bam.


Coil's influence on electronic music has become more evident since the death of Balance with electronic musicians from all over the world collaborating on a series of tribute albums. Some notable artists who appeared on these albums are Alec Empire, Chris Connelly and K.K. Null (see ...It Just Is). Nine Inch Nails front man Trent Reznor has also expressed his influence by the group. The album Scatology by rap group The Great White Hype was a freestyle rap parody of Scatology based around its samples. The track "At The Heart Of It All" (found on Scatology) later became the name of an Aphex Twin track on Nine Inch Nails remix album Further Down the Spiral. It is possible that Trent Reznor named the track as a reference to Coil, since Coil also provided remixes for Further Down the Spiral.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Coil (band)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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