COH | Mask of Birth
Mego | CD
The pace of releases at Mego has accelerated of late: Pita's 'Get Down'; Jim O'Rourke's 'I'm Happy...'; the long-awaited 'Return of...' laptop superstar trio Fenn O'Berg; Massimo's 'Hello Dirty' (and that's just the tip of the proverbial iceberg). It's good to see though that whilst still looking forward, Mego are making the time to document past works that might otherwise have slipped through the net.
COH's 'Mask of Birth' is a welcome re-release of the original recording of the same name that appeared on Raster-Noton in 2000. With the strapline 'new disco for the new human' (and the assertion, "this sure is electronic stuff"), there's no mistaking the motivations behind the hour long recording on offer.
Melodies sheathed in shimmering electronics unfold slowly but surely to an ever-present backdrop of sine waves and the occasional ghostly voice. 'Hurt Later' pulses and throbs over rhythms buried in echo, while a hollow melody plays itself out in the distance. 'In Spaces Between' oscillates from foreground to background between clipped bursts of gently shuddering rhythm.
A captivating work, 'Mask of Birth' hasn't aged in the slightest since it's original release. If you missed out first time around, remedy the situation now and you'll be rewarded with two bonus tracks, both of which add significantly to the electronic pleasure.