Coin Toss

Thermos Malling's new project, COiN, makes a strangely intriguing symphony out of the video-game sounds of the past

While a solid amount of cut-and-paste manipulation occurred in Malling's home studio, he is quick to defend the computer hackers of old and their songsmithing. "A lot of the arrangements are songs. They just don't have lyrics," says Malling. "They don't have lyrics and big beats, so we just kinda nipped and tucked and made actual songs."

All this technology, old and new, might not seem like the warmest music to view live. Not so, claims Malling. To solve the no-singer problem, COiN has secured the services of a mysterious female vocalist known only as "Walter." The two are rumored to have met in a Laundromat in Europe where they found that they shared similar interests musically and otherwise (it's not known whether "Walter" and her Laundromat are the inspiration for the aforementioned COiN song). Comprising the live version of COiN, "Walter" sings lyrics while Malling bangs away on organic drums. A huge network of Commodore 64s and an Apple server provide the high-tech karaoke music. "It's kind of like the opposite of a band playing with a drum machine," explains Malling. "We have a chick that fronts the band that rocks, and I'm pounding the fuck out of drums. We're not a techno ambient band; we're not meandering. We have songs that have parts and they end and start. We're just taping sounds that are going to be vaguely familiar."

Although COiN is an unknown live commodity, the record speaks for itself. Never degenerating into shtick, Attract Mode is truly unlike anything else out there, and that's saying something in today's oversaturated music market. The disc (available at COiN's Web site www.buyersphere.com) is the ultimate form of fun for twisted adults who long to hear the electronic symphony of their youth.

And what does the future hold for this electronic flower in the desert? Malling says the group's plans include recording a Christmas album that will be ready for the upcoming holiday season. After that, the group will make its mark metal-style with -- appropriately enough -- a note-for-note COiN-style rendering of Metallica's Kill 'em All.

COiN is scheduled to perform on Friday, September 24, at the Green Room in Tempe, opening for Les Payne Product. Red Shifter, and the Penny Drops are also scheduled to perform.

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