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Alessandro Adriani’s label has done some excellent reissue work over the past few years, but this release is surely one of the most valuable pieces of archival trawling to feature on Mannequin. It’s even worth buying a copy of the basis of the back story alone. In the ‘90s, Mexican industrial band Ford Proco met John Balance and Peter Christopherson from Coil at an Orb gig in LA. Bizarrely, Coil then invited the band to star as extras in an Ice T video, after which these tracks were recorded.

Clearly, the rapper’s tales from the hood had little impression on the collaborators and instead they used a recording method that the release is named after. There is no explanation about what this entails but the end results – written and produced in 1999 – are expansive and drawn out. “Ecuación De Las Estrellas” is a slow affair, but its atmospheric washes and low frequency bleeps prove hypnotic and the accompanying drums sound like they were recorded deep under the sea, clanging and trashing but sounding blurry and indistinct.

The title track is more energetic, despite starting with fragile chimes. Following this intro a voice, presumably Balance’s, proclaims ‘echo over here’ repeatedly before a high paced, dense rhythm kicks in. It also keeps yielding, first to atmospheric breakdowns and then followed by Christopherson’s squalling sax. Finally, Balance’s vocals re-appear with the word ‘echo’ audible in a high pitched version, followed by a more solemn exhortation to ‘do drugs’.

Although the arrangement is structurally all over the place, like “Ecuación De Las Estrellas” it is held together by an atmospheric glue and sounds remarkably fresh. Mannequin also deserves praise for the time and effort invested into the artwork and mastering, which was carried out by Rude 66 – qualities which combine to make Expansión Naranja one of the finest historical musical documents of recent years. - Richard Brophy

Ford Proco / Coil: Expansión Naranja

Expansión Naranja Ford Proco / Coil
Ecuación De Las Estrellas Ford Proco / Coil

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