It was always pretty clear that Trent Reznor was influenced by Coil – one of the important experimental/industrial outfits. There was the videos that Coil’s Peter Christopherson made for Nine Inch Nails in the early 1990s but then Reznor announced it overtly when he named his side-project after Coil’s debut single, How To Destroy Angels.
Since the deaths of both Christopherson and Coil’s other main man, John Balance, there have been some mumblings – and sneaky download/boots – of the remix work the pair created around NIN’s high water mark, The Downward Spiral. Now you can get your hands on them with this remix EP similar in scope/length to the NIN Fixed and Broken EPs.
These are worth hearing – though some NIN fans might not like the changes it certainly won’t disappoint Coil fans to hear these ideas. And if you’ve had any time for either band you’ll want to check Recoiled – Reznor isn’t buried in any of these mixes, it’s all easily identifiable as his work but the stretches and phasing, the added lurk and creepiness on Gave Up (Open My Eyes) makes for a thrilling intro. And even when the blast-beats kick in, instantly giving an early 90s feel, there’s something that stops this from feeling dated, Coil’s additions actually give a new breath of life to the old material even though these remixes themselves are old – it means you can hear a song like Closer (in its “Unrecalled” remix) all over again where previously you were probably completely and utterly sick of the sound of the song.
The biggest success though is The Downward Spiral (A Gilded Sickness), it meanders and crawls toward the sort of territory now occupied by the likes of Tim Hecker, where noise, as a type of post-industrial texture, begins to swirl into a melody all on its own/all of its own.