All music composed, performed & Produced by Ian Boddy, Januari - May 2006
- Never Forever [3:11]
- Stormfront [5:54]
- If all the World was Blue [4:51]
- Foundry [7:37]
- Reflex [9:35]
- Flux [6:00]
- All roads lead to Home [7:36]
- Elemental [7:15]
Markus Reuter - Warr guitar loop on track 3 taken from the Zero-G virtual instrument Morphology
Stefan Bojczuk - analogue sequencing assistance on track 6
Mark Shreeve - Moog & Doepfer analoque bass samples taken from the Zero-G virtual instrument Analoque Sequencer Loops
With the release of "Elemental" DiN reaches it's quarter of a century of titles since Boddy's inaugural release "Box of Secrets" in 1999.
This is his fourth DiN release with "Chiasmata" in 2004 and "Aurora" in 2002 being the other two. He has also been involved in collaborative projects on eleven other DiN releases working with musicians from diverse backgrounds. These include the American ambient pioneer Robert Rich, Throbbing Gristle member Chris Carter, German virtuoso touch guitarist Markus Reuter and UK synth artist Mark Shreeve.
Such a broad range of influences have had a positive effect on Boddy's music and he has absorbed and distilled many of these to startling effect on "Elemental". Indeed this album shows off his chameleon like ability to constantly change and develop over what has now been a long musical career since his first cassette only release way back in 1980!
Furthermore Boddy has also composed several library music albums for DeWolfe Music Limited.
These have often been atmospherically themed releases but by their very nature have to be compositionally compact. This has also influenced much of the music on "Elemental" which is certainly Boddy's most structured set of pieces for quite some time.
The 8 tracks run in a continuous set merging into each other via ambient cross fades. The first, "Never Forever" and last tracks, "Elemental" have a grandiose, chordal character that nicely bookend the album. Four of the other tracks are strongly rhythmic and include hefty bass lines and intricate percussion overlaid with beguiling and subtle melodic themes.
The remaining two tracks are in a more atmospheric, ambient vein and provide aural resting points in what feels like a musical journey.
However "Elemental" doesn't have a spacey feel as found on his last two releases but exudes a more organic, down to earth approach.
After Aurora I continue my discovery of Ian Boddy's charming musical world with Elemental. A different album, because more down-to-earth and less cosmic, with a more rhythmic and just as much melodious approach, Elemental offers 8 tracks which are linked and teem with a rhythmic life halfway between Arc and the very eclectic, sometimes industrial universe, of the English synthesist. A very nice album that makes us discovers another facet of this pioneer of contemporary EM and founder of DiN Record.
Never Forever begins this new musical adventure with fine and twinkling arpeggios of which the echo is hiding into slow synth layers that waltz and entwine around a delicate melodious Mellotron mist. Nice and short Never Forever frees its last notes in the nebulous oceanic intro of Stormfront where hesitating pulsations from a heavy line of bass draw a rhythmic which staggers besides chords of an electric piano. A soft Mellotron fog wraps this uncertain tempo, a little as the mystic universe of Arc, and floats above these e-piano chords which dance of a crystal clear and random pace, conferring to Stormfront an at once melodious and mysterious ambiance.
A fine metallic shower unite Stormfront to If all the World Was Blue, a long track to hybrid ambiances which crowned the intro of Stormfront. Foundry is as much brilliant as delicious. A cooing line of bass encircles an intro to metallic sonorities. Quite early, percussions and a syncopated sequence mould the bass circle and shape a surprising rhythmic dipped in steel and which waves among nice melodious chords. Percussions strikes with anvil resonances strew the lively cadence of Foundry of which the insistent tempo is wrapped with nice Mellotron pads, always dressing Boddy music of a mysticism and bewitchment aura, before falling in its finale with floating industrial ambiances to join the very ambivalent Reflex.
Emerging out of a slow intro stuffed with metallic tones and scattered percussions, Reflex is waking up with a hypnotic pulsating beating, flickering cymbals and a soft Mellotron synth which wraps these strange metallic percussions which unfold with a stroboscopic approach. The tempo slow, encircled by a nice line of bass of which the vibrating oscillatory pulsations espouse a superb line of synth with subtle spectral lamentations, Reflex evolves quietly on a supple cadence fed by a pleiad of electronic and metallic tones before merging in the very ambient and atmospheric Flux and its floating synth layers. Although less heavy, All Roads Lead to Home is a crossing between Stormfront and Reflex with its uncertain rhythm which oscillates between hypnotic strikes and pulsations that make feet trample and its fine melody forged in delicate crystal clear chords. Fine pads roam in oblivion whereas twinkling arpeggios swirl delicately on Elemental opening. Itís a very nice cosmic Bolero where hatched chords are grafting to this dance of stars. The rhythm is getting heavier and becomes more dramatic with its percussions which roll beneath a sky streaked with synth layers which illuminate a dark astral procession.
Itís a very nice track that crowns another Ian Boddy's finest album which definitively deserves that we discover this artist for whom the name seems more known than its immense skill and wonderful music.
Sylvain Lupari / Synth&Sequences
Ian Boddy's music consistently sounds fresh; seeming to exist in an eternal now. Continually coming up with new ideas and approaches on each release he is involved in, Boddy is always redefining his relationship with Electronic Music. His innovative contributions to Electronica retain fragments of a time gone by and make for a daring and passionate vision of a present constantly slipping into the past.
His album Elemental (52'11") possesses more than just the tricks and technology of its time. Its eight songs of innocence and experience cast a wide resonance - one that speaks from the past to the present. This work emits a significant amount of energy by way of swinging drum grooves and throbbing electro-rhythms. Boddy's deliberate and dramatic pacing construct these forms gradually, adding layer upon layer of enticing arpeggios and coarse-grained loops to a point just prior to where production and tech power would outshine the subtle emotion of this disc. Separating the power tracks are ambient stretches of stark intimacy.
In these regions Boddy sets an altogether different mood. Complex synth modulations and uniquely manipulated sound samples lead the listener to a cool introspective space.
From these chilled out regions the listener may notice the many peaks and depressions on Elemental, and how Boddy, using a keen musical sense fueled by pure curiosity, ably navigates.
2006. Chuck van Zyl / Star's End
Ian Boddy is one of the few artists who have been able to create their own style, fascinating, unmistakable, within electronic avantgarde associated to Space Music, melodic Ambient and to Synth-Pop.
In this album, he once again displays his skills with an impressive collection of pieces. In the slow ones, surrealist atmospheres, almost Dalinesque, shape the path for ambiguous melodies, flowing from the Dark to the grandiloquent.
In the fast ones, powerful, complex rhythms, that sustain brilliant architectures are intertwined with melodies that swing between the enigmatic and a romanticism beaded with melancholy.
"Elemental" is the work of a dreamer, far from any fashion or commercial constraints, an ideal music for those who look for this "something more" that does not exist in conventional music.
2009. Edgar Kogler
His first true solo studio album in a while, Elemental is a great fusing of Ian Boddyís past and present. The DiN label has often brought out Boddyís more exploratory side, delving into experimental ambient, and perhaps even dashes of trip hop and other genres. But Boddyís early works were tightly composed melodies with cohesive themes. His experimental and accessible sides have come together here, bringing to fruition a thoroughly satisfying musical listening experience.
"Never Forever" is relaxed and assured, gorgeous pads and tinkling electronics melding together to form a three-minute gem.
"Stormfront" is ultra cool as well, shuffling along a bed of deep bass and beats with some light synth work over the top, scoring high marks for both melody and atmosphere.
We slip into some glitchy electronica fun with "If All The World Was Blue." The trademark Boddy "groove," if there is such a thing, is evident on "Foundry," a real mover.
A similar albeit darker groove is carved out on "Reflex," which reminds me a lot of Rhys Fulber and Bill Leebís work as Synaesthesia.
"Flux" tends toward the modern ambient electronica that Boddy has frequented of late, and is a solid effort in that regard.
More glitch melds with melodic electronics in "All Roads Lead To Home," a laid-back toe tapper.
The title track ends the disc with a majestic flourish.
2007. Phil Derby / Electroambient Space
This release from 2006 offers 52 minutes of versatile electronic music.
Joining Boddy on this CD are: Markus Reuter on Warr guitar loop, Stefan Bojczuk on analogue sequencing assist, and Mark Shreeve (from Redshift) on moog and Doepfer analogue bass samples.
The first track is a delicate tune of shifting textures and twinkling effects swimming in a symphonic fog.
The next piece captures an imminent tempest with sparkling keyboards and pensive e-perc possessing an engagingly fuzzy quality. The melody is dreamy and contagious.
Past the rain comes a track that builds slowly with atmospheric tones punctuated by dripping sounds that evolve into liquid swirlings. Quite an ambient composition.
A sharper sonic palette marks the next piece with more demonstrative demeanor as pulsations share the stage with quivering metallic percussives. Tension mounts as the electronics spread with an oozing pace to encompass a bouncy terrain of ricocheting riffs.
The next track (the longest on the CD at nearly ten minutes length) features hesitant effects that gradually accrete cohesion and slide into a heavenly harmonic seasoned with languid e-perc. Vitality builds here, and although the pace remains sedate, the piece's potency is glaring by its crescendo.
A winding path of vibrating beats and astral strings commands the next piece. This fragile composition exhibits a severely serene mien.
The next track crawls out of that tranquil territory with growling tempos and novel effects that spin and whirl with cybernetic character. A fanciful melody emerges which engages the audience with complex keyboard riffs.
The last piece employs crystalline synthesizers to counterpoint a nest of shuddering effects. Conventional beats join forces with rhythmic keyboards to achieve a powerful finale.
While the compositions vary from dynamic to ambient to abstract, a central theme of fundamental drives exists in this tuneage. Boddy's excursion through these natural forces demonstrates complex versatility and a dedication to dreamy tunes laced with infectious rhythms.
2008. Matt Howarth / Sonic Curiosity
Back in 1980 Ian released his first cassette only album OPTIONS. It was actually a quite interesting EM debut. Today with the release of ELEMENTAL he has reached a creative peak.
Its 8 tracks employ ambient cross fades to sequel way effortlessly one into another. The subtle melodies, atmospheric passages, powerful sequences and dramatic themes are enhanced by intricate percussion and aural exotica to create a spellbinding listening experience.
2007. Archie Patterson
I already praised Ian Boddy's "Chiasmata", which is really great, but - honestly - this one is even better! A totally outstanding work containing all the elements which Boddy fans adore so much and which will certainly appeal to anyone who likes electronic music.
The deep sonic quality just adds to the great ideas displayed here, just take, for example, the track "Reflex" which contains sounds and washes, coming over you like rain, combined with deep, almost subsonic beats, which will blow away your mind. Outstanding!
This collection of deep ambiences, melodies and hypnotic rhythms is very much "Boddy" and certainly elemental in every collection of electronic music!