Picture Disc + CD. Limited edition of 333 copies.
With his second release for Swiss label Hallow Ground, Ivan Pavlov pays tribute to the late Sentrax founder and prolific musician John Everall, who passed away in September 2014. Sourced from analogue material provided by Everall, who was best known for his output under the Tactile moniker, for a collaboration that never came to fruition, the six tracks are an exercise in minimalism and subtlety singular even in Pavlov’s impressive back catalogue. On CoH Plays Everall, Pavlov focuses on swirling arpeggios whose colourfulness is mirrored in Ruth Stofer’s artwork for this limited picture disk release.
From the joyful, handclap-driven “2016” to the hectic gabber-inspired “Overbeat”, Pavlov explores a minimalistic yet organic style-spanning palette of synthesizer sounds that reach from the hymnic poise of “Wavetrap” to the playful and warm vibes of “Alone (Minimal Selfie). While it might sound almost pointillistic on first listen, Coh Plays Everall unfolds its multitude of layers at a gradual pace. With the contribution of Coil’s Jhonn Balance on the CD-only bonus track “Hunger Remix”, Pavlov adds yet another facet to this evocative marriage of sonic purity and emotional rawness. Over a throbbing rhythm, the late poet’s dry intonation serves as an eerie coda to this tender tribute to lost friends. As a dialogue between this world and the other, CoH’s digital manipulation and Everall’s analogue source material as well as stark minimalism and tonal richness, Coh Plays Everall captures two kindred spirits bidding each other farewell.
1) 2016, 6:43
2) Impossible Machinery, 6:22
3) Wavetrap, 6:44
4) State Calm, 6.24
5) Alone (Minimal Selfie), 5.21
6) Overbeat, 5.29
7) Hunger (feat. John Balance) CD bonus track, 5.54
Personal thoughs on this record by Ivan Pavlov/CoH:
I met John Everall in late 1996, soon after hearing the mesmerizing “Inscape” by his band Tactile. We quickly became friends, sharing musical enthusiasm and a few interests in other subjects. John was the first to offer releasing my work on his label Sentrax Corp. The label went bankrupt before it could happen, yet we didn’t lose faith – together John and me conceived a new record company we named Wavetrap. Unfortunately, due to problems with alcohol, largely caused by his mental condition, John disappeared around the time of the first release on Wavetrap and I ended up carrying on without him. In the following years Wavetrap released a few records, including a very dark album by John himself (The Minimal Self) which he managed to pass on to me one day when briefly emerging from the abyss before disappearing again. Few years later John Everall was back into the social world, full of energy, ideas and enthusiasm, despite difficulties with health. Our contact was rather sporadic yet he would always send to me his new works, and at some point we had decided to produce something together, something that would refer to our common interests in sound. To find that common ground turned out to be not as easy as we thought – it became quite apparent that we went in somewhat different musical directions over the years. Eventually, in 2013, John sent in a dozen of raw mono recordings of arpeggios from his old analogue synths, surprising and challenging me with their primal simplicity. He was eager to hear what I will be able to make out of it. The sound of the old machines felt nostalgic and catchy despite the rawness, it was fun to work with, its patterns providing for long, nearly meditative hours in the studio. Unfortunately, John only had time to hear a couple of the sketches before he disappeared from this world again, this time for good. Yet, having spoken to him shortly before he left, I am happy to know John appreciated my approach and liked what he got to hear. Coh Plays Everall is the final shape of our collaboration, of our friendship, and it is released to celebrate John’s boisterous spirit and genuine passion for everything we called music.