Absolute Body Control – Lost/Found

Absolute Body Control was founded in 1980 by Dirk Ivens, of later Klinik / Dive / Sonar etc. fame. He was soon joined by Eric van Wonterghem. This double cd with 44 (!) tracks is a welcome release. Most material of this pioneering Belgian act only appeared on tape. The single previous cd Eat This (VUZ, 1993) is long out of print, so I had to cope with mp3’s for a while.

This is the first release for Tarantulla Productions, a division of mailorder TarantullaShop. Lost/Found comes in a digipack and is limited to 1000 copies. The packaging looks quite nice, but I miss something like a biography and a more detailed tracklisting, stating when the tracks were originally released. Lost/Found is an almost complete collection of Absolute Body Control material, except for some instrumental, live and cover songs. The sound quality is quite good, after a careful restoration of the original tapes.

Absolute Body Control were clearly inspired by the cold electronic sounds of acts like Suicide, DAF, Kraftwerk, Human League and Gary Numan. Though this is of course historical material, created at the time by quite minimal musical tools, a lot of the tracks still sound surprisingly fresh. A few of them sound a bit anonymous, but many tracks stand out through a nice melody, a catchy vocal line or cool synth sounds. There’s also a good variation between rawer, experimental pieces and lighter, poppier songs.

My favourite on the first cd is ‘Figures’, which has such a good melody, cool bubbling synth sounds and a refrain you easily sing along. But also slower, melancholic songs like ‘I am leaving’, ‘A broken dream’ and the classic ‘Melting away’ are very worthwhile.

Disc 2 contains the excellent first single ‘Is there an exit?’, when Mark De Jonghe still played synths alongside Ivens. After 25 years still a nice tune. There are of course various other gems to be found, like ‘Love at first sight’ and ‘So obvious’. An essential cd release for wave / minimal / electro fans!

artist: Absolute Body Control
label: Tarantulla Productions
details: 2cd, 2005 [TNT001]