DIRK DE SAEVER
Collected 1984-1989 (Long Play)
Musique Pour La Danse presents its latest Collected anthology, the label's most ambitious release since an anthology of music by New Beat pioneer Ro Maron (MPD 001CD/LP, 2016). Label managers Olivier Ducret and Ed Isar have focused on another essential Belgian producer: Dirk Desaever, the man behind White House White, A Thunder Orchestra, and Danton's Voice. Some of his productions under these aliases have appeared in compilations such The Sound of Belgium (LMFLF 193CD, 2014), along with edits by Mick Wills and Marcel Dettman. What was initially supposed to be a simple reissue soon turned into a wider project, as Desaever shared heaps of amazing unreleased material. It seemed more interesting to shed light on the dark side of this producer's body of work, rather than to focus on content already reissued elsewhere. After listening to noisy tape rips over and over, Ducret and Isar opted to break this release into three formats, each with different content. They entrusted engineer Lorenzo Targhetta with remastering the music; it's impressive how much he managed to polish the sound without altering the unmistakable grain of music committed to cassette tape. All the music on this LP has never been heard before, except for a single tune released on a rare 7". The track selection and sequence is the result of Ducret & Isar closely listening to the many hours of material. The record can be approached as an imaginary album or even the soundtrack of a lost film or TV show. The idea was to tell a story about Desaever's music by highlighting its themes and variations. While some tunes can be imagined within a New Beat context, it's clear they were not created with clubs in mind. In fact, most of the material here is actually closer to minimal wave, synth wave and dark wave. With a certain gothic melancholia as the common thread running through the record, some tracks can only be described as lo-fi library music with a strong medieval reminiscence, others are closer to the wave aesthetic; a few could even be considered ambient. Desaever's house holds many rooms, each different from the other. After completing a grand tour of the mansion and seeing the bigger picture, it will become clear for listeners how truly unique this producer sounds, even compared with other Belgians from the '80s. Saved from oblivion and irremediable decay, the music on this LP is waiting to be played and listened as well as to inspire.