BODY OF WORK 1984-1997

You can only imagine what a joy it was to get a review copy of Nitzer Ebb's release to Geneva while my vinyl collection sits some 4 000 miles away unheard in Toronto. I am not of the iPod age so this compilation made it's mark on me.

For those who don't know, or aren't quite sure, Nitzer Ebb started making music in Chelmsford just north east of London in 1982 with a few singles self released on their label Power of Voice Communications.

After their album "That Total Age" was released on Mute, they created new fans on about every EBM dancefloor worldwide and helped define that new sound. "Murderous" and "Join in the Chant" became the soundtrack to the Hard Beat movement.

After their next and more experimental album "Belief" things got interesting and more modern due to production by a young Mark "Flood" Ellis, such as the edgy "Captivate". The primitive sounds that weren't obviously musical at the time are now common in today's over the top techno. The out of sync opening to "Hearts and Minds" was peculiar for the day but modern break-beat tracks are now accepted with full malaise. After "Belief", many can say that their output had waned along with a band breakup, all seemed over. Word of a Nitzer Ebb reunion 2005 was a dream come true for many in the scene.

Did they wait until a reunion to cash in on the product? This compilation was first meant for summer 2003 but there was a delay and more delays... then Mute got purchased by EMI and we didn't know if this release would really happen. Today, we see it without the third disc intended as a DVD.

The first CD contains their most well known tracks with CD two covering the more popular B-sides and remixes. Yes, it does sound freshly crispened but it's missing some remixes post the band's 1995 split. These post split remix tracks plus other newly remixed products are to appear on a new Nitzer Ebb "Body Rework" remix album out soon on label NovaMute.

It's difficult to review "Body of Work" as all songs this 2CD set are previously released and owned by most Ebb heads. This older music has lasted the test time and does come through sounding cleanly innovative today. Clearly, the second CD has more appeal with the lengthier dance remix aspect such as "Control I'm Here", "Shame" and "Kick It". I do believe a band with this type of legacy deserves a better packaged collection but it sure beats hunting down your old collection.

Some live performance clips and vintage videos on a third disc would have topped it off nicely but sadly we can't rate on what we don't have. Stay tuned for more.


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