In the early 1980s, shortly after the breakup of Throbbing Gristle, Boyd Rice went to London to record a one-off studio session with Jeff Rushton and Peter Christopherson, who had recently started releasing records as Coil. The trio called themselves The Sickness of Snakes, and the recordings were released on a split 12 inch, with Current 93 taking the opposite side of the album.
Now, more than 25 years after the original release, Boyd Rice is reissuing the three Sickness of Snakes tracks as a one-sided 12 inch record and a CDEP. Both editions are presented in lavishly printed sleeves, and include previously unpublished photos of Boyd Rice and Coil, and a new essay written by Boyd Rice. For the CDEP, the photos and essay are printed in an eight page booklet, and for the vinyl edition, they're printed on a long, folded insert.
A excerpt from the essay follows:
“Shortly after the breakup of T.G. I began a correspondence with a young man calling himself Geff Rushton, who introduced himself as Sleazy’s boyfriend. The two were going to start a band, he said. By and by, the earliest recordings of Coil arrived in my mailbox. Geff seemed a kindred spirit and on my next visit to London he was my tour guide, introducing me to David Tibet, Marc Almond and a who’s who of the scene back then. Geff participated in the recording sessions I did for Current 93’s Nightmare Culture, and it was decided that it would be fitting for me, him & Sleazy to go into the studio as well. So we did. Sleazy booked some studio time and over the course of a day & evening we created three songs we were quite happy with.”
“As it turned out, these were some of the first songs released using a Fairlight synthesizer (the earliest sampler) as primary instrument. Legend has it that only two Fairlights were in Britain at the time – one was privately owned by my pal Daniel Miller, and the other was available for hire. I’d been given access to Daniel’s Fairlight and his studio, but the operating manual for it was about five inches thick and it would have taken me weeks to get my head around it. As it happened, Sleazy rented the other Fairlight for our recording session and already knew how to use it adeptly.”
“Geff & Sleazy were both huge Kate Bush fans (a British singer – not related to George or George W. as far as I know). And both were excited to find out that the last person to use this Fairlight before us was Kate Bush. Better yet, her samples were still on the machine. And we used them. The sounds of explosions, shattering glass & flying debris were left for us by Kate, and we used them to great effect on “Many Hands”. The sounds of squealing pigs being put to death, on the other hand, were provided by Geff & Sleazy.”