Dirk Ivens – Interview for ElectroWelt by Malice F

One of our most appreciated artists, Mr. Dirk Ivens was kind enough for answer our questions here at ElectroWelt OnLine Music Magazine, only a few days before one of his music projects, Absolute Body Control appears in Athens for the 1st Death Disco Open Air Festival...

DIRK IVENS, electro synth, industrial pioneer musician and producer from Belgium, a country with tradition in bands, that literally transformed the new wave minimal and ebm music scenery, is well known for his powerful live performances and his work, having more than 28 studio albums, dozens of 12 inches, live albums, compilations, tapes and 7 inches material.

Dirk started off with a punk band in the late 70s and in 1980 he formed Absolute Body Control discovering electronic music with this legendary, minimal electronic and experimental band, being influenced by Suicide, DAF and Fad Gadget.

His other musical projects, The Klinik, Dive, Sonar and Blok 57 were also very successful and huge influences in the scene, and furthermore Dirk has the krautrock project of Motorik.

He was also the driving force behind the labels Body Records, Minimal Maximal and Daft Records, but decided to focus more on his own music and creative side than the business one.

In 2007, 22 years after splitting up, Absolute Body Control re-formed (ABC are Dirk Ivens and Eric van Wonterghem) and released Wind[Re]Wind, which contains newly recorded versions of selected classic material and older tracks, alongside the new EP Never Seen including a remix by The Horrorist. Shattered Illusion & Sorrow followed and were released in 2010. In 2011 came the album Mindless Intrusion & Surrender No Resistance with remix by the French project Millimetric (aka François-Xavier Michel of Binär Code and Digital Blood).

Electrowelt.com has photographed Dirk many times all these years during shows with The Klinik, Dive and Absolute Body Control at WGT, AMPHI and other important festivals of the dark scene and every time the thing that was most impressive about him was his stage performance, each time unique and electrifying.


  • Let’s catch up with him, it’s been a while!
  • Interview by Malice F. – Fotini G.

1. EW: Hello Dirk! Thank you so much for finding the time to do our interview. How do we find you these days? Many live gigs or did you have time to rest and travel? 

Dirk Ivens: These days are very hot ha, ha 🙂 I try to combine everything , playing lots of shows with several projects but also been on some free time travels, mostly by car because delays or cancellings of flights are a nightmare these days.

2. EW: We are coming out of a difficult last 3 years with the pandemic. How was this time for you? Unbearable or maybe creative, because you were able to do things you never had time before?

Dirl Ivens: Besides walking and biking a lot i had a lot of time to clear the mind. The first months where a real blessing for me, no stress and no commitments whatsoever. And we find time to make a new ABC, DIVE and MOTOR!K album. So all in all a very relaxing and busy time not knowing how long it all would take and what the future would bring. Now it seems already so long ago.

3. EW: We had the pleasure to organize a Dive show here in Athens years ago, in fact you performed at Death Disco club, it was an awesome night, everyone kept saying how energetic you were on stage and how intensely you interacted with your fans. How was it performing live with Dive that night, did you have fun as much as we did?

Dirk Ivens: I remember very well how energetic that evening was. It was a real pleasure to perform there and i look so much forward to my next visit this weekend.

4. EW: You started creating and experimenting with electronic sounds more than 40 years ago! You were always a silent force to be reckoned with, your music and stage performances with the stroboscopes said it all. ABC, as well as The Klinik and Dive, have influenced many bands that came after. How do you feel looking back at your career? Would you change anything or do things differently in a way? 

Dirk Ivens: The fact that i could make always for 100% the music that i wanted to do without any compromises made me a happy man. I always preferred to be the underdog, in this way there where never big expectations and i could continue for this long time. Less means more in everything 🙂

5. EW: It seems that in the last years minimal wave has become a huge music trend again, Absolute Body Control seem more in trend again, with your synth pop and at the same time experimental sounds. What is your opinion of the scene currently, how do you find the new minimal synth scene?

Dirk Ivens: Yes, the intrest these days is very big and there are a lot of very nice newcomer bands. It’s a fresh wind in the scene. Two years back many of these bands where compiled on a ABSOLUTE BODY CONTROL ” x LP tribute and it was a big honour for us. Now we enjoy playing a lot live with a set full of tracks people love to hear, our reward for all this time work and it’s so nice to see people enjoy.

6. EW: Dirk, do you ever get confused changing bands or deciding on which project to focus creating music and tour with? 

Dirk Ivens: No, not really , because each project has his own style. Some are instrumental like SONAR and MOTOR!K but different in sound, while ABC Is synthpop and DIVE and The Klinik much more dark. Right from the beginning we already know wich direction we go. 

7. EW: Your collaboration with Eric in ABC, how does it work? Do you both write music and lyrics, do you follow each other’s inspirations or one of you dedicates himself more to the technical aspects of your albums and tracks, their production etc.

Dirk Ivens: Eric is the technical and musical wizzard, we listen to his demo’s and then we both change them and put the idea’s  in a songstructure. Then after i write the lyrics and record the voice. We don’t need many words under eachother, always working fast.

8. EW: What kind of music do you prefer listening to nowadays? is there any kind of guilty pleasures that you might have in music and would like to share with us? 

Dirk Ivens: Oh, i have a big intrest in all kinds of music. These days a listen a lot to Sivert Höyem , the singer of Madrugada. The perfect music for driving my car, makes me very relaxed.

9. EW: I wouldn’t think of doing that to you, asking you to choose what is your favorite of all of your “children” bands, but George P. has another question for you! Could you please name your top 5 albums you can’t live without?

Dirk Ivens: In not right order = SUICIDE / WIRE / TRISOMIE 21 / TWICE A MAN / PORTION CONTROL This is just a fraction, i have a huge collection and listen every day to music.

10. EW: ABC live at WGT 30 th anniversary this year was an awesome live gig! What should fans expect seeing you live at Death Disco Open Air on Sunday? New tracks, remixes or more classic ABC sounds?

Dirk Ivens: Yes, that was an awesome show, it’s a set full of people’s favorites, so i don’t think we will change a lot because it’s also the first time that ABSOLUTE BODY CONTROL will perform in Greece.

11. EW: Will there be new ABC music coming soon? Do you also have scheduled further performances or participation in festivals, you would like to share with Electrowelt readers?

Dirk Ivens: The last ABC release “A New Dawn” did very well and me and Eric are talking now to start gathering new ideas soon for a following up. And for the rest we keep on performing everywhere we can. Mera Luna is coming, Madrid, Sao Paulo and many many more. Keep and eye on my website but for now we are really really looking forward to the Death Disco Festival in Athens 🙂 

EW: Thank you again for your time and we can’t wait to see you live on stage, as always!

Don’t miss Absolut Body Control live at Death Disco open-air festival in Athens, on

Sunday 23 th July 2023 at Technopolis Athens!

◊ Dirk Ivens Homepage: https://www.dirkivens.com/?fbclid=IwAR2FgJvbpl2vmgOrkZroBQ1BnB1wTI2WddQ1io45fu-N9_uK3-s4f4nWk60

◊ Dirk Ivens on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=dirk+ivens

◊ Dirk Ivens on Discogs: https://www.discogs.com/artist/110455-Dirk-Ivens

◊ Dive / Sonar / Absolute Body Control / Motorik on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheKlinikDiveSonarAbsoluteBodyControl

◊ Death Disco Open Air Festival: https://www.facebook.com/events/1212139756091583/