The Body Lovers / The Body Haters, The Body Lovers / The Body Haters

Philip Sherburne

By Philip Sherburne

on 11.27.11 in Reviews
One of Michael Gira’s most adventurous releases

In 1998, with Swans officially over, Michael Gira set about attempting to find a new way forward. Before throwing himself into his next band, Angels of Light, he adopted a new solo alias, the Body Lovers, for an all-instrumental collection of home recordings, Number One of Three. (In 1999, it was followed, in true Gira style, by a complementary release from his alter ego the Body Haters; both are included here, along with a previously unreleased Body Haters track.) Of course, also in true Gira fashion, the definition of “solo” is a loose one. Pan Sonic, Deathprod, James Plotkin, Ultra Vivid Scene’s Kurt Ralske, Jarboe, and various former Swans all contribute sounds and ideas, which Gira mixes into brooding drones and stark, acoustic meditations. Of all his albums, it’s the closest he ever came to pure ambient music, and in terms of sonic experimentation, it’s one of his most adventurous releases.