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The Body Lovers/The Body Haters

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Michael Gira's work under the Body Lovers and Body Haters names has been reissued as a double CD with a few changes. Gone are the albums' original titles and the artwork from the original Body Haters release is absent. In their place is an extra ten minutes of music on the Body Haters disc.
Young God Records
Given that these two albums were meant to be a three part series I can only speculate that the bonus material was part of the never finished third album. Perhaps part three became Gira's Angels of Light? This would make sense as listening to the reissues as it is possible to chart the transition from the Swans to Gira's later works both solo and with the Angels of Light. The Body Lovers album (originally titled Number One of Three) is a number of interlinked tracks that over the course of the album shows the diverse styles and range of Gira's output over the last 20 years. There are riffs taken from older Swans songs and material that would later become part of Angels of Light releases. On the first track Gira seems to be working the Swans out of his system. Towards the end of album, a tone that is more the Angels of Light takes over. In fact, The Body Lovers sounds almost like a dual between both bands with the Angels seemingly the victors. The Body Haters album (originally titled 34:13) is the second round of the fight where the Swans come up trumps. Divided into two tracks, the first is ten minutes or so of unreleased material and the second being the original album. The unreleased material is only partly unreleased, it is a collage of various recordings, most of which seem to be used later in different contexts on the Angels of Light album Everything is Good Here/Please Come Home. It does not really fit with The Body Haters, it sounds exactly like what it is, a piece of unused music to entice someone who already owns the album to buy it. The second track makes up for the first with thirty minutes of drones and noise, not in an abrasive way but more ambient. It starts off disorientating as a few small samples are looped and processed. It eventually builds up into a clamor that sounds like a church organ made of fire alarms. This goes up and down in pitch and Gira adds layers of effects to it over the next half an hour. It finishes up with what sounds like Jarboe's vocals time stretched and heavily treated which builds up to an intense and loud finale, something the young Gira would have been proud of. Whether this reissue is worth buying for those with the original albums is debatable, the bonus material is good for a Frankenstein-type creation but possibly not worth buying the set again for. Both albums do still sound as fresh and exciting now as they did seven years ago. The Body Lovers/The Body Haters works as a nice overview of Gira's work, something like a best of without any actual songs that you know on it.

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Last Updated on Saturday, 30 July 2005 06:35  


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