1. Arcturus - Part 1 [21:06]
  2. Arcturus - Part 2 [24:09]
  3. Helicon [15:47] MP3 soundclip of Helicon [3:00]
Ian Boddy & Mark Shreeve once again combine forces for their fourth outing as the duo ARC. As with their first release on the DiN label, Radio Sputnik, Arcturus is a recording from one of their rare live performances. Indeed their appearance at the Hampshire Jam III festival in October 2004 was only their second venture onto stage performing together as ARC.
This festival held in Liphook, Hampshire has a cult following amongst fans of „Berlin school" style electronic music and always attracts a very enthusiastic audience. In these days of laptops & virtual synths it‘s quite a sight to see musicians from across Europe assembling to play music using classic synths and struggling to tame large modular systems through a hefty PA and with a mesmerizing light show.
Apart from the ARC releases Shreeve has been busy establishing his Redshift group as one of the premier UK electronic music groups with a string of very well received releases as well as five concert appearances both in the UK and The Netherlands.
For the last decade his music has been built around his massive custom Moog IIIC modular system and his increasing virtuosity with real time sequencing performances.
Boddy of course has been building up his label with a string of highly acclaimed albums that have spanned many areas of both retro and modern electronica. It is this combination of styles that have made ARC such an interesting act in their combinations of classic analogue sequencer textures with more modern forms of ambient electronica.
Arcturus captures the duo in full flight with it‘s combination of full on analogue sequencing, electronic loops, dark atmospherics and haunting keyboard work. The main set which was played as one continuous piece is split into two sections with the encore, Helicon taking the total playing time of the disc up to the 61 minute mark. The music was recorded onto multi-track allowing Boddy & Shreeve to fine tune the production quality of the performance to the highest standard and should ensure Arcturus goes down as one of THE legendary electronic music concert albums

Press Information I have been looking forward to this release more than any other since Hampshire Jam 3 in 2004. Arc's performance was simply the best concert I have ever been to. What we have here is that complete gig split into 'Arcturus Part 1' and 'Arcturus Part 2' plus 'Helicon' as the encore. The band enter to tumultuous applause.

Dark swirly pads create a lovely brooding atmosphere. Gorgeous Mellotron tones add just the right lonesome touch taking me back to those halcyon days of Electronic Music in the mid 70s. Four minutes in and the scene is set for a superb bass sequence to rumble forward. It mutates, becoming more complex and even meaner as a second, just as impressive sequence falls into formation alongside it. Delicate lead touches add that little extra detail like rays of light shinning from an exquisitely cut diamond. As expected the sequences are turned up and morphed to increase the excitement still further.
At the eleven-minute mark things start to calm down and I thought we were just going to be left with atmospherics but the sequences never completely go away. Instead new pulsating patterns form and we surge forward once more with renewed vigour- and it builds - and builds - and builds. This is just sooooooo good! After reaching a climax things become calmer with three minutes to go gradually winding down to a finish and as the last notes fade away the audience (including me) go wild!
I really didn't think things could get any better- until I listened to Part 2 that is! If anything, it has an even moodier start than Part 1. Strange animal noises and half heard speech mix with windy effects. An organ type sound then comes forth giving a rather gothic feel which gradually changes in character to one of more ethereal beauty before once again returning to the dark as another rapid bass sequence strikes up. Yet again it is simply stunning as are the other sequences that are brought into play around it. From rapid beginnings the pace and intensity are increased still further as a staccato lead line bounces over the top whilst another flutey synth line tries to add a little softness. Take the best bits from 'Rubycon', 'Ricochet' and 'Encore' then add the pure genius that Mark and Ian posses in abundance and you will get some sort of understanding of what to expect. It can be tempting with Berlin school music to set up the sequences and just let them run. This is so not the case here. They are being tweaked, morphed and bent all the time creating the most incredibly organic wall of sound which reaches a crescendo at around the sixteen / seventeen minute mark. We finish with an absolutely exquisite piano solo. The audience again show their ecstatic appreciation and demand an encore.
'Helicon' has a rather cosmic start which then becomes quite symphonic. The sequences are again excellent but a little gentler than in the main set. They mutate beautifully in a rather melodic way and even though a more urgent sequence is added just before the half way mark, overall it is a much more serene experience.

This is one of my all time favorite CDs.

DL The impressive music that ARC (Ian Boddy & Mark Shreeve) performed at the Hampshire Jam 3 Festival on October 23, 2004, is now available in this CD. This is a magnificent release of a Space style, with powerful sequencers and analogic sounds. The three compositions included in the album have a vertiginous, floating quality. They are not abstract, but they have epic, majestic melodies instead, sometimes somewhat romantic in nature.
The structure of the work is very rhythmic. The rhythms even sustain the melodies, in the shape of hypnotic sequences that keep oscillating around a determined basis. There also are moments of a greater introspection, perhaps near to meditation, together with other passages of a dark experimentation, yet always keeping to the most melodic aspects of the musicians.

Edgar Kogler I usually do not begin a review with this remark, but this time I have to. This is a fantastic cd! The fourth album of these two electronic masters contains a recording of the Hampshire Jam III festival on October 24, 2004.

The album consists of two pieces: "Arcturus" (Part 1 and Part 2) and the encore "Helicon". Both gentlemen have a distinctive style, and together their styles combine to produce something unique. I must say, though, that the music of ARC sounds more like Shreeve’s Redshift than Boddy’s work.
The gig opens fine with effects, atmospheric sounds, a soft electric piano, and a Mellotron flute, after which Shreeve starts in with the Moog IIIC as he creates sequences that are arranged in real time and that become more dominant by the minute. Loaded with echo, this results in a fantastic sound that is comparable with the time when Tangerine Dream’s loud sound was a danger to churches and cathedrals. The influence of Boddy can be heard in the rhythms and atmospheres.
Part 2 begins with organ sounds, Mellotron strings and choirs. When Shreeve’s sequences follow, there is some heavy soloing featuring sampled Mellotron sounds. This is absolutely masterful. In the nice, melodic "Helicon", the well known strings also play an important role.

These two top musicians together constantly generate albums that can be considered highlights in electronic music.

Paul Rijkens / SonicImmersion.org On Arcturus (61'05"), the live album from Arc, the duo of Ian Boddy and Mark Shreeve sounds a bit more like Shreeve's side project Redshift in that the pieces are arranged a bit looser and explore themes a bit longer than on previous Arc albums.

"Part One" (21'09") and "Part Two" (24'11") transpire in classic Spacemusic fashion. Out of the all-humbling darkness rises mechanistic reiterating sequencer riffs intertwined with strident, propulsive rhythms. The patterns mix, shift and divide like a twisting double helix of echoing electronic tones. Engaging synth melodies saturate each piece; their timbre a complicated layering of familiar elements fashioned into an artificial yet somehow recognizable sound. These performances eventually progress through their brawny phase to gently turn ethereal and otherworldly.
Along with being shorter, the third track "Helicon" (15'47") is also an even further departure from the known Arc repertoire. Here the throbbing space bass pulse of the previous pieces has been replaced by a more hypnotic, modern and minimalistic sound. Shreeve and Boddy hit on all the major aspects of this genre, their melodies are human, rhythms machine-like, harmonies ethereal and the range of timbres they create to voice their music original and extraordinary.

Arc filters the past into a vital contemporary landscape without sinking to cliche. Their music is a sincere exploration of the mood and mystery of the Spacemusic genre.

Chuck van Zyl / Star's End The year is now 2005 but the heart of most of the music on Arcturus is rooted back in the 1970s when Tangerine Dream pioneered a style of spacemusic and sequencing that is still in vogue in parts of the EM community. This album is a live recording from the duo Ian Boddy and Mark Shreeve who get together under the name Arc. Both of the musicians have distinctive styles though, so one can sometimes guess at who is playing what sounds. It's very much a retro outing both in its use of analogue equipment and the musical style which has classic TD written all over it.
Arcturus is almost like an old vinyl record in that it has a part 1 and part 2 track which are each over twenty minutes long, but it also has an additional track called "Helicon" running at nearly sixteen minutes.

Right from the beginning of "Arcturus - Part 1" we are taken to the wonders of outer space and celestial objects. Eerie synth lines move around like cosmic winds as strange chirping sounds come in briefly and flutey refrains add to the atmospherics. After a few minutes a fat sequence starts up to be joined by male chorals and a slightly distant sounding melody, it's reminiscent of Rubycon but with more energy - and like that TD album the track ends quietly. The second track "Arcturus - Part 2" follows a similar motif with a subdued start of synths and effects before the main sequencing event, concluding with an eased down section. The retro feel of this second track is less pronounced, indeed some aspects near the beginning are rather gothic sounding - especially the church organ like sounds. I think the influence of Ian Boddy is more noticeable on this piece; some of the rhythms and sequencing are more like what I'd expect from him than Mark Shreeve. Not surprisingly the final track "Helicon" is similarly structured to the first two pieces. Besides being the least retro of the lot, its mood is more contemplative in the early sequencing passage which is also quite melodic.

These days I'm happy to listen to a retro album, though I can just as easily leave it. Arc tread the path I prefer for this kind of music where the motifs are familiar but it's not done merely as a reworking of old TD material.

Dene Bebbington Long, moody ambient introductions slowly open out into evolving sequences and rhythmic electronica in three lengthy organic/mechanic assemblages. Lush musical drones and melodic strains bedded deeply with synthetic effects counterpoint constantly revolving sequencers that sweep and morph in readiness for percussive overlays that eventually creep in. Nothing remains fixed for long as new voices and new patterns come to the fore ... midway sections are more beat-driven, more rhythmic - the beats dominate for a while, shift, dissipate and are gone, the staccato cycling of the synths leading ultimately into drifting beatless conclusions.
From clear and blissful, expansive and floating, Arcturus passes through sections of regimented mechanistic revolution into sparse darkness inhabited by dim shapes that loom, lurk and crawl. Optimistic for the most part and quite human despite the technology - harmonic structures are hopeful in places, wistful in others, shadowy brooding and mysterious in others.
Abstract imagery in textured indigo shades veined with orange and white fill the front cover. The same image appears again on the rear jewel case with the three track titles, contact details and the fact that this is a limited edition release of only 1500 copies. The inner booklet opens out to reveal a bronze/brown flying figure against a stark black and white graphic panel that contains a gear list for both performers.

Acturus was recorded live at Jam III in Hampshire 2004. The complete performance is presented here on disc as Arcturus - Part 1 and Arcturus - Part 2 and the encore piece Helicon.
Artists Ian Boddy & Mark Shreeve (of Redshift) have worked together as Arc a number of time previously - Shreeve focuses on analog sequencing and electronic loops whilst Boddy deals primarily with creation of all the atmospherics and ambient keyboard work.
The shortest track on the album is fifteen minutes forty seven seconds long - the longest is over twenty four. The three tracks here follow a similar format, pattern and mood - each builds gradually in density and intensity with unhurried intros and outros - rhythms and loops dominate the central body of the music, book ended by drifting, amorphous abstractions.

Morpheus Arcturus captures two of EM’s quintessential masters, Ian Boddy and Mark Shreeve, in fine form at Hampshire Jam 3 in October 2004.

Things begin dark and moody, with surreal synth textures and warm mellotron flutes. Just past the 4:30 mark the fun starts, an ambling bass line that sets the tempo for what’s to follow, with a hypnotic echoing sequence behind it. Shreeve’s influence is evident here, as this sounds very much like Redshift. A dreamy lead line drifts along. Some more industrial-type noises give it a ballsier, very Node-like flavor midway through "Arcturus – Part 1".
Synths soar into the higher register as the energy peaks around the 15:00 mark, followed by the obligatory drop-off into atmospheric reverie for the last couple of minutes to close out a trademark ARC track.
"Arcturus – Part 2" is more of the same, starting with gurgling bubbly electronics. As it forms a melody the tone is heavy, dirge-like as organs come to the fore. It’s a good twist on the typical Teutonic formula. Sequencing is again on the unhurried side, content to set the pace and nothing more. It gains muscle as it goes, with cool spacey sound effects panning from side to side. Electric piano comes in just so, as well as a synth lead that sounds sort of like mellotron flutes again, but perhaps processed in some unusual way. The end result is another highly successful variety of vintage sounds, which finishes with a bombastic (in a good way) flourish.
"Helicon" is the "short" number at just under 16 minutes, and once again starts in the dark shadows. Ominous strings are added. The inevitable sequencer comes in, a lighter faster variant this time. The sounds layer on top of one another, gradually building up the energy. In the end, only the sound of a spaceship adrift is left, and the audience signals its approval, as well it should.

2005. Phil Derby / Electroambient Space The UK’s leading synthetic maestro’s team up for their duo effort under the nom de plume ARC. Recorded Live at Hampshire Jam III in 2004, it’s a rousing performance of sequential, propulsive EM.

Mark’s soaring cosmic atmospherics and Ian’s rhythmic/ melodic power surges fuse into a molten mélange of currents/ melodies and celestial soundscapes extraordinaire.

Plug this one into your head, and blow out some cobwebs.

Archie Patterson Ian Boddy & Mark Shreeve once again combine forces for their fourth outing as the duo ARC. As with their first release on the label, Radio Sputnik, Arcturus is a recording from one of their rare live performances. Indeed their appearance at the Hampshire Jam III festival in October 2004 was only their second venture onto stage performing together as ARC. This festival held in Liphook, Hampshire has a cult following amongst fans of “Berlin school” style electronic music and always attracts a very enthusiastic audience. In these days of laptops & virtual synths it’s quite a sight to see musicians from across Europe assembling to play music using classic synths and struggling to tame large modular systems through a hefty PA and with a mesmerising light show.
Apart from the ARC releases Shreeve has been busy establishing his Redshift group as one of the premier UK electronic music groups with a string of very well recieved releases as well as five concert appearances both in the UK and The Netherlands. For the last decade his music has been built around his massive custom Moog IIIC modular system and his increasing virtuosity with real time sequencing performances.
Boddy of course has been building up his label with a string of highly acclaimed albums that have spanned many areas of both retro and modern electronica. It is this combination of styles that have made ARC such an interesting act in their combinations of classic analogue sequencer textures with more modern forms of ambient electronica.

Arcturus captures the duo in full flight with it’s combination of full on analogue sequencing, electronic loops, dark atmospherics and haunting keyboard work. The main set which was played as one continuous piece is split into two sections with the encore, Helicon taking the total playing time of the disc up to the 61 minute mark. The music was recorded onto multi-track allowing Boddy & Shreeve to fine tune the production quality of the performance to the highest standard and should ensure Arcturus goes down as one of THE legendary electronic music concert albums.

Manuel Lemos Muradás / Ultima Fronteira Now and again an album comes along which confirms "the reason why" - why EM is such a special type of music. In the past decade or so, albums such as Redshift's 'Ether' and Arcane's 'Future Wreck' have served this purpose. Go further back and you get albums like 'Ricochet', 'Encore' and 'Logos' which form the very bedrock upon which it all stands. Now add to this mesmeric collection 'Arcturus'. Recorded live at the Hampshire Jam 3 festival this album contains possibly the best sequencing I've ever heard, combined with the sort of atmospheric synthesis which can only be described as perfection.

Superlatives simply do no justice to the quality of the music. Mark Shreeve's mastery of the Moog modular, particularly in terms of sequencing, seems to know no bounds. I am a huge fan of Chris Franke, and cherish every pulsation from Nottingham '76 to Paris '81. But in my book the sequence crown has now unequivocally passed to Mark Shreeve. In terms of structure, variation, sonic manipulation, raw power and overt melodicism the sequencing on this album outstrips anything I've heard before. What transcends the music even further is the way Ian Boddy supplements, reinforces and cajoles the ebb and flow of the Moog sound-wall with sonic tapestries of amazing quality, both rhythmic and texture. Stabby percussives dart mesmerically in time with the sequencing, lush pads oil the industrial collage, sublime keyboard treatments swoop and soar.

Anyway, enough of my simpering, I'm sounding like a star-struck fan-boy. Arc have already proved they can do "the Node thing", on this album they prove they can also deliver "the Berlin thing" in spectacular fashion. I just hope there's more of the latter to come!

GG