17
Aug 04

A LONDON SONGBOOK

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COIL – “Lost Rivers Of London”: sheer coincidence that this track should turn up just after Pete’s post. The ‘lost rivers’, like the lost tube stations, are a terribly romantic concept – though perhaps an over-explored one. Coil’s track captures the mildly corny mystery well: a stately, resonant near-instrumental full of creaks and foggy drones. That sense of an ancient, secret, second London to be glimpsed through the shabbier gaps in our new one.

The rationalist in me would like to scoff at the idea, call it a cliche – and it does seem more and more familiar (witness how the word ‘psychogeography’ has become so relatively well-known!). I don’t want to have to oppose a London of bright streets and a London of arcane nooks. But you can let the idea of a lost London seduce you without committing to it entirely, and tracks like this one show you how.

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