Scratching and clawing through the muck of a pandemic, not to mention the muck of parenthood, Fabian Fenk is back with Bodi Bill after a seven-year hiatus. The Berlin indietronica group actually reconvened just before Coronavirus struck, but their collective, lightbulb-like motivation shimmered just as the world put itself in a chokehold, and much of their reimagination is now imperforate thanks to I Love U I Do.
We weren’t necessarily asking for a German Metronomy to enjoy alongside the new Metronomy album, but I Love U I Do scratches that itch, existent or not, with style. Big Gong Sounds juggles psychedelic passion, new romantics, and futuristic thought similar to much of Metronomy’s output, whilst following track Close is the indietronica fan’s dream; heavily digitalised with lashes of human instinct, including Joseph Mount-style baritone bellows.
It’s a hat that Fabien Fenk wears with undeniable style, but while the singer-producer shines as a singer, he brags as a producer. The producer’s effort, I Love U I Do contains some of Bodi Bill’s most engaging, kaleidoscopic sounds, initiated by opening track Be Sure; pianos chime with regularity like high-pitched, underwater heartbeats; synthesisers intervene just in case such a sensation wasn’t exciting enough.
While chord work somehow shows up the submerged quirks of Peruhu – likely the album’s most concise group effort – Fenk’s trunk of sounds is regularly I Love U I Do’s cause for celebration. Whether it be IDM that refuses to water down (that’s Cluster), or a keyboard with a mind of its own, grinding arpeggios that splutter into view as if played by an out-of-control thumb (that’s Self Improvements), “weird and wonderful” would be an understatement.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bIXHJUYIw30
The grandest IDM appeasement is Kiss Operator, concurrently academic and club-friendly, containing dramatic downpours of robotic orchestration. What If and Good Advice split extroversion and academia respectively; dig the digital brass wizardry of the latter, eventually fizzling into Eno atmospheres.
It’s good to have ‘em back, even better that Bodi Bill never lost any of their conviction in their absence. They’re refreshed, they’re gutsy, they’re seldom stuck in one lane; I Love U I Do is a flavoursome return.