One of my favorite singers in the Pacific Northwest, Irene Barber, has a new project with the electro producer Vox Mod. It's called Body Unltd, and the duo's first album, Genevieve, sounds like the score for a cyberpunk movie. Barber's work on Erik Blood's 2015 Lost in Slow Motion is, to use a pretentious word, numinous. There's the river of rain, the greenness of the trees, the short days, the long nights, the volcanoes, the monochromatic bodies of water. This is were we live, and this is also Barber's mode of expression on Blood's album, a Pacific Northwest masterpiece in much the same way that Loscil's First Narrows is.
With, Body Unltd, Barber is in cyberspace mode. The machine is all around her and also part of her. The beats are faster and louder, and at certain points, as her voice swirls with the ghosts of her voice, you get the feeling of the spinning camera shot that The Matrix made famous. And also the feeling of that moment when a Link train suddenly accelerates in a tunnel.
"Like a hole in wall, there is a mystery here," sings Barber on "Pathway", the duo's main and gorgeous track. But here, the green gothic of Blood is replaced by the green techno of Vod, who, like Blood, now lives in LA. Barber is the voice that remains when Seattle has vanished.
Body Unltd's first show in Seattle is tonight, November 18, at Barboza.