Sunday, April 27, 2008

Another Exit

Absolute Body Control, "Wind(Re)Wind", "Never Seen"
Claus Larsen's announcement that he was reissuing Leather Strip's back catalog with bonus discs of re-recordings of the original albums may have started something of a trend. EBM legend Dirk Ivens of Dive, Sonar, and, oh yeah, just a little band known as Klinik, is turning his attention to one of his first projects, Absolute Body Control. ABC released just a handful of cassettes and singles in the early 80s before the project morphed into the nascent stages of Klinik. Ivens and fellow controller Eric Van Wonterghem recently reunited and have just issued two releases detailing their past and future.

I'll confess my ignorance of the original Absolute Body Control recordings (having missed out on the hella limited "Lost/Found" retrospective a few years back), so I can't say how the "best of re-recorded" tracks that appear on "Wind(Re)Wind" measure up to their earlier forms. That being said, these are stellar cuts that walk a very fine line between the epochs and genres of electronic music and sound great in doing so. Some ("Figures") play at pure synthpop sparkle, others ("Love At First Sight") evoke the tension and awkward weirdness of Fad Gadget (a pretty accurate point of reference for much of this release, actually), while later tracks ("Touch Your Skin") anticipate the menace and commanding tone of Klinik. Ivens and Von Wonterghem have wisely avoided the impulse to wildly contemporize the material via overproduction or excessively "now" instrumentation, and instead have opted for a sleek and polished yet minimal sound that keeps "Wind(Re)Wind" from ever sounding like it's indebted to a particular era.

The EP of new Absolute Body Control material, "Never Seen", has a more uniformly dark mood, but never forsakes the clean and clear sound of their earlier work. The band's impact on pure, dark electro is readily apparent here - opting for a remix by The Horrorist was likely no accident. The two remixes included don't do too much of note with the originals, but the emusic release of "Never Seen" appends the brand new and impossibly limited live from WGT EP, which contains versions of classic material done in "Wind(Re)Wind" style.

There's lots to like in these two releases - here's hoping they portend an LP of all new material which continues to straddle the boundaries of dark electronic.

Absolute Body Control @ Myspace

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