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...
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?

do you not know what you do not not know?

i've been meaning to get back on the blogging bandwagon for ages but i've been lousy at focusing. i mean, i'm never great at focusing but it's been particularly bad lately. i've also made the horrific mistake of following the news too closely, not just in the last few weeks but in the past several months. i realize now that that isn't healthy. [no pun intended.] my head has been so wrapped up in politics that shifts from moment to moment, half-baked debates about social policy, trying to track what's happening behind the smoke and mirrors of the biggest news stories because we all know that those are the things that are really going to affect how we live. there are few things worse for anxiety than knowing that your dark fears about the chaos of the world are actually pretty close to the truth; and the thrill that comes from being able to say "i told you so" is remarkably short-lived.

however, it's pretty much impossible to deny that we'r…

making faces :: a lip for all seasons [winter edition]

it seems oddly canadian to have two posts in a row about winter/ cold/ snow, but they're obviously unrelated. after all, for most people winter is a season, but in colour analysis terms, winter is part of what you are, an effect of the different wavelengths that comprise the physical part of the thing known as "you". this might be getting a little heady for a post about lipstick. moving on...

if you've perused the other entries in this series without finding something that really spoke to you [figuratively- lipsticks shouldn't actually speak to you- get help], you may belong in one of the winter seasons. winter, like summer, is cool in tone; like spring, it is saturated; like autumn, it is dark. that combination of elements creates a colour palette [or three] that reads as very "strong" to most. and on people who aren't part of the winter group, such a palette would look severe. the point of finding a palette that reads "correctly" on you…

making faces :: a lip for all seasons [summer edition]

this may seem like an odd time to think about summer, but not to think about coolness. it can be hard to wrap your head around the idea that summer is considered "cool" in colour analysis terms and, in my opinion, reads as the coolest of the cool, because everything in it is touched with the same chilly grey. winter may have the coldest colours, but its palette is so vivid that it distracts the eye. everything in summer is fresh and misty, like the morning sky before the sun breaks through. in my original post on the season, i compared it to monet's paintings of waterlilies at his garden in giverny and, if i do say so, i think that's an apt characterisation.

finding lip colours touched with summer grey and blue is, as you might expect, kind of tricky. the cosmetic world seems obsessed with bringing warmth, which doesn't recognise that some complexions don't support it well. [also, different complexions support different kinds of warmth, but that's another…