Genre/Influences: Industrial, Electro-Industrial, Industrial-Ambient.
Format: Digital, CD, Box (CD, Vinyl, Vinyl 7”)
Background/Info: Dirk Ivens (The Klinik, Absolute Body Control, Sonar, Motor!k) is back on track unleashing a new album of his sonic alter-ego Dive! Throughout the years he collaborated with soul mates Eric Van Wonterghem (The Klinik, Absolute Body Control, Sonar, Monolith, Detune-X) and Ivan Iusco (Nightmare Lodge). There also was an album in collaboration with Sigillum S while the previous full length (cf. “Underneath”) also featured Rafael M. Espinosa (Geistform). Dirk this time joined hands together with Jan Dewulf (Your Life On Hold, Diskonnekted, Mildreda). It’s not their first collaboration as Diskonnekted in 2006 released the “Frozen”-EP featuring Dirk Ivens.
Content: It doesn’t really matter with who Dive collaborates with; Dive remains Dive! Driven by an Electro-Industrial sound and the spooky vocals of the artist, this new work is directly linked to the particular ‘dark’ and ‘industrial’ sound of the Belgian sound terrorist. I however have to say that this work is probably the darkest Dive-album ever; you simply can hear it the tormented atmospheres, which became pretty explicit at some more Ambient-driven songs in the midst of the work.
“Underneath” was the most sophisticated Dive work so far, but some tracks from this opus are even moving a step further. The drum patterns from some tracks have never been that complex; even featuring a kind of slow Industrial breakbeats at “Black Star”. This work is filled with anguishing spheres, little sonar bleeps and ‘Klinik’-al’ sequences. Notice by the way, the title song is also an early Suicide Commando track on, which Dirk sung while “Inside Your Head” is an original Monolith-song featuring Dirk as guest singer.
The EP featured at the ‘Box’-edition reveals “EP Versions” of the songs “Inside Your Head” and “Black Star” plus remixes by Numb and Suicide Commando.
+ + + : The “Frozen”-EP from Diskonnekted already was a song that could have been released as Dive, but “Where Do We Go From Here?” confirms there’s a real connection and chemistry between both artists. Jan Dewulf injected a refreshing –although tormented, touch to the Dive sound. It’s the darkest and most disturbing work to date, which is accentuated by 3 more ‘ambient’-driven pieces on, which some background drones are empowering the darkness mixed with Ivens’ spooky vocals. But the best passages clearly are the most danceable cuts like the brilliant opening song “Inside Your Head”, but also “Black Star” driven by an Industrial –although breakbeat inspired, cadence. The minimalism running through “Invisible” is another remarkable cut while the title-song –as the last track, reminds me of good-old Klinik. On top of the production you still will notice the charismatic vocal performance of Dirk Ivens. From the EP-tracks I especially recommend the elaborated remix of “Death Machine” (one of the so-called ‘Ambient’-cuts) by Don Gordon (Numb).
– – – : I’m not as convinced by the softer, Ambient-driven songs. The production of Ivens’ vocals remains absolutely great, but I now and then miss the more enraged, shouting way of singing from the early years. The Suicide Commando–remix from “Leave Me Be” couldn’t convince me; the tune being a bit simplistic and not adding a bonus to the song.
Conclusion: The first self-named Dive album was released in 1990 (!), but 30 years later the Belgian Industrial ‘dino’ is still kicking ass. The collaboration between Ivens and Dewulf opens perspectives for the future!
Best songs: “Inside Your Head”, “Black Star”, “Where Do We Go From Here”, “Invisible”, “Leave Me Be”.