Skip to main content

Most overlooked albums ever #2


Dive:: First Album (1992, Minus Habens)

Living in Toronto, I’ve been somewhat impressed at how local DJs will occasionally go out on a limb and pack the dance floor by playing a track from the Ant-Zen label, or, even more daring, from Hands. Wow. Before Ant-Zen, who would have imagined this kind of a sound- danceable rhythms with layers of harsh noise and guttural vocals over the top? Dirk Ivens, that’s who.

Ivens was part of the seminal electronic band The Klinik (who might also have a place on a list like this, under different circumstances) until their demise in 1988. He had always been the vocalist for the band rather than the musical component, so it might have come as a surprise for many that Dirk was the one who embarked first on a solo career. It might also have come as a surprise what shape that solo career took.

Instead of approximating the clean electro sounds of The Klinik, Dive (Ivens’ name for his new project) produced what was probably the harshest rhythmic music available anywhere. Although industrial dance music had found its footing, no one had ever done anything as raw as Dive. And for years, no one would.

Now, of course, the world is replete with rhythm and noise artists, none of whom feel the least inclination to look into where their music came from. In the utmost irony, The Klinik (without Dirk) saw fit to release their turgid new sounds on Hands, a label whose entire existence would never have come to be without Dive’s remarkable first album.

I have yet to hear any of the new-age noise releases that approach the bludgeoning intensity of this album, because, quite simply, they all have the benefit of a blueprint. Ivens didn’t. He was doing something for which no boundaries had been established. As a result, this album, released over a decade ago, sounds fresher than music in the same blueprint released within the last five years.

NB- I’ve referenced the version of First Album from Minus Habens, however, the true original album was released on Dirk Ivens’ own Body Records in 1990. The 1992 release featured bonus material not available on the original.

Comments

now that I think about it, one would say that Esplendor Geometrico might have had a strong hand in DIrk iVEns sound...
pelao said…
esplendor geometrico rule! and see how he lives happily ever after in big old china!

as long as you're here, why not read more?

fun-raising

no, i am not dead, nor have i been lying incapacitated in a ditch somewhere. i've mostly been preparing for our imminent, epic move, which is actually not so terribly epic, because we found a place quite close to where we are now. in addition, i've been the beneficiary of an inordinately large amount of paying work, which does, sadly, take precedence over blogging, even though you know i'd always rather be with you.

indeed, with moving expenses and medical expenses looming on the horizon, more than can be accounted for even with the deepest cuts in the lipstick budget, dom and i recently did something that we've not done before: we asked for help. last week, we launched a fundraising campaign on go fund me. it can be difficult to admit that you need a helping hand, but what's been overwhelming for both of us is how quick to respond so many people we know have been once we asked. it's also shocking to see how quickly things added up.

most of all, though, the ex…

losers?

just a short time ago, i waxed prosaic about trump supporters who felt betrayed by their candidate pursuing in office the exact things that he said he would. short version: i have no sympathy.

today is a bit different. in the wake of america's bombing of a syrian air strip, in response to a chemical weapons attack by the syrian government, my facebook and twitter feeds were peppered with plaintive shades of "we believed you". these are the people who heard trump say that he wanted the united states to step back and focus on defending its own. indeed, trump did say such things, over and over; america cannot be the policeman of the world. even arch-liberal cynics like me had to admit that this was a refreshing argument to hear from someone outside the paul family, and, could easily have been turned into trump's greatest argument against hillary clinton. [he chose to go another way, which also worked.]

trump also said, repeatedly, that america needed to invest heavily …

long division

after the united states election last year, there were the usual calls for the country to unite behind the new president. that never happens anymore, because, since george w. bush scored a victory in 2004, having launched the country into a war in iraq for no reason, the people on the losing side of a presidential election have been pretty bloody angry about it. democrats hated bush 43. republicans really hated obama. democrats really hate trump.

it didn't help that trump didn't make the typical conciliatory gestures like including a couple of members of the opposite party in his cabinet, or encouraging his party to proceed slowly with contentious legislation. barack obama arguably wasted at least two and as many as six years of his tenure as president trying to play peacemaker before he felt sufficiently safe to just say "screw you guys" and start governing around the ridiculous congress he was forced to deal with. not-giving-a-shit obama was the best president in …