Music Reviews

Artist: Absolute Body Control (@)
Title: "Lost/Found"
Format: CD
Label: Tarantulla Productions (@)
Rated: *****
It is not very often that one release can define an entire era of its genre. With that said the forty-four tracks of this two CD digi-pak do exactly that. They not only define the early roots of the many musics of Dirk Ivens and his prolific shadow Eric Van Wonterghem, but they define the minimal electronic pop glory days of the early 80’s. A musically creative time marked by the new romantic movement in London and of course the Belgian electronic music scene. Certainly as interesting as anything that came out of Britain at that time, this music remained under the radar because the tracks were somewhat difficult to obtain. Often appearing on various artists’ vinyl LPs and sold out limited edition singles, they were scarce. That rareness has no doubt contributed to their monetary value through the years, but it really is their intrinsic value that makes this collection so special. Long over due, someone needed to document the beginnings of what many of us consider to be one of the great electronic music stories of our time.
The music consists of simple yet effective analogue electronic arrangements combined with the anthemic vocals of Dirk Ivens. Hypnotically reaching out in what often seems to have the duality of naïve English flash card phrases and the sophistication of a direct and worldly savvy artist, Iven’s vocals will you to trust him as authoritative. Songs like "Do You Feel Me Inside" or "Melting Away" are so strong they create an emotional response that is as powerful now as it was in the early 80’s. Seeds of what would later become the industrial music stylings of The Klinik and later Dive sprout up here and there, but never really over take the sparse landscape that is Absolute Body Control. Marked by the minimal if not anti-tech approach, the aptly named "Lost/Found" is an often a dark and sonic experience that reeks of authenticity unlike the corporate versions of this genre at that time. A dream collection of minimal electronic synth-pop for whoever can get their hands on a copy "Lost/Found" will not be forgotten.

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