Tone Science sub-label, from DiN records, continues to explore the world of modular synth music.
DiN was initially set up in 1999 by well known UK synthesist Ian Boddy to bridge the gap between the analogue music of his heritage and the emerging digital possibilities of the future. This label has always forged its own independent path and to date has released 56 physical CD albums as well as 21 download only releases. |
- Floating World by Todd Barton [8:41]
- Magnetic Lullaby by Bluetech [6:36]
- Additive Procedure by Parallel Worlds [5:56]
- Euneirophrenia by Paul Nagle [7:52]
- Overtone by Dave Bessell [6:37]
- Radar Hill by Richard Quirk [7:22]
- Your Strange Glitter by Hainbach [5:02]
- Prophet & Loss by Nathan Moody [5:02]
- Marine Layer by r beny [7:02]
Even after being involved in music since the late 1970’s Boddy has continued to explore new sonic territories and in 2016 he released what was probably his most experimental album in “Tone Science” (DiN48). This album comprised five long, slowly evolving self playing compositions realised entirely on his vast arsenal of modular synthesisers. Boddy’s love of the analogue sound has been well documented not only through his own releases but many sound and sample libraries. These instruments all but disappeared in the 1990’s but recent years has seen an unprecedented growth in interest in this form of synthesiser with a proliferation of both module manufacturers and performers using these highly flexible and personal systems.
Thus, inspired by his “Tone Science” release, Boddy has set up this sub-label to feature artists and performers working in the field of modular synthesis. The first release “Module No.1 Structure and Forces” was released in March 2018 and has garnered a lot of critical acclaim. This second compilation “Module No.2 Elements and Particles”, like its predecessor, features nine artists from different musical backgrounds with the common thread being that all the tracks were composed entirely with a modular synth system.
The album opens and closes with the ambient soundscapes of two tracks by Todd Barton and
r beny. Barton is a world renowned exponent of Buchla modular systems as well as the Music Easel employed on this track. Austin Cairns (aka r beny) has a penchant for lo-fi looped synth atmospheres which combined, in this case, with a field recording creates a haunting, evocative piece. The next three pieces by Bluetech, Parallel Worlds and Paul Nagle build up rhythmic and sequenced elements with a fascinating amount of detail that modular systems are so good at. They also all use various methods to produce a poly-rhythmic, fractal feel as patterns shift and change throughout their tracks. The middle of the album then sees a fascinating experimental ambient interlude by Dave Bessell (a member of the synth group Node) using waveguide physical modelling in the analogue domain. The second half of the album has a rawer, more gritty feel with Richard Quirk building up a crescendo of wonderful textures in his track “Radar Hill”. This is followed by Hainbach using the exotic Ciat-Lonbarde series of hand built instruments to produce, in his words, a piece of “pure electronic music”. Nathan Moody then brings proceedings to a climax with a gnarly, muscular track using a Buchla modular system before the blissful ending piece “Marine Layer” closes out the 60 minute sonic journey the listener has just travelled.
Boddy has curated both the artists and tracks on this album to flow in a musical way and not just be a collection of equipment heavy demos. Though fascinating and always cool to look at, it is important not to get lost in the gear for gear’s sake syndrome. Having said that this album features Eurorack, Serge, Buchla & Ciat-Lonbarde modular systems and the nine tracks show how varied and flexible these instruments can be.
“Tone Science Module No.2 Elements and Particles” continues the journey down the rabbit hole of possibilities and sound worlds inhabited by artists and musicians working in this ever fascinating and varied musical field.
And if I told you that there is a way to discover contemporary progressive electronic music without breaking the bank, would you believe it? That's the bet of Ian Boddy who year after year pushes the limits of his creativity by innovating on several fronts. DinDDL is a virtual record company which is in parallel with the activities of DiN Records. Aware that EM is an art whose engine resides in research, Ian Boddy has set up this division to expose works where the craftsmen of analog and modular synths carry the fruit of their research available to everyone. Experimental and progressive EM, yes! But there are always filaments of harmonies which are hiding there. Harmonies as elusive as the patterns of rhythms and the textures of vibes. Available on June 15, “Submission Vol 2” is built following the same ideology as Submission Vol 1, either by choosing a title among the albums 11 to 19 which have been offered for download since the very good T he Secret Society from Lyonel Bauchet. Apart from this album, the nine other titles of “Submission Vol 2” are spotlights on Ian Boddy and the progression of his solo career, there are 4 of his albums, or in duet where we also find 4 albums. Ian Boddy has edited this compilation on last May and concocted an album which fills our ears with a feast of tones, from analog and/or modular synths, but also a feast of rhythms as odd as quite lively. In the end, it's an nice compilation of an amazing EM.
The album opens with a title from The Secret Society, "Pavane K4816". According to my tastes, this is not the best title of this album, I would have preferred Dawn, but Ian Boddy doesn't necessarily choose the best title on each of these albums, he wants to create a heterogeneous mosaic that meets the criteria of creativity of the label. "Pavane K4816" is a slow track. A kind of experimental ballad that is rather melodious in its colorful cocoon and evolves slowly on its ascending structu re decorated with dark breaths, ominous buzzing, Tibetan percussion and other unidentified tones. A Mephistophelic mist envelops chords and synth riffs that seem lost in this avant-garde setting that remains astonishingly melodious and alive. The Secret Society was a revelation for me in 2011. Subsequently, one dives into the evolutions of DiN's boss. It's missing just over 2 minutes at "Crossing the Range", a title from the album Strange Attractors which was released in 2012 and which is the recording of a magical concert that Ian Boddy gave in the framework of the Awakenings festival in April 2011. Superb and animated with a rhythm which will explode like the best of Arc, "Crossing the Range" evolves slowly throwing between our ears a panoply of elements worthy of the hallucinatory decorations of Arc and Redshift. This is a big track in this album, as well as "Arclight", which are actually 2 albums of pure England School. "After the Rain" also comes from a live album that Ian Bod d y has performed at Berlin's Basic Electricity in June 2012. This is an excerpt from a long experimental title of more than 40 minutes where Boddy pushed the limits of his Serge Modular system. The proposed excerpt flirts between atmospheres and industrial rhythms and fits very well to this mosaic whose primary purpose is to introduce you to the new horizons of EM and of the Modular systems. We can't extract more beautiful harmonies of crumpled and twisted metal here!
Then come the first 10 minutes of "Monument", a monumental title that comes from the album Sepulchre and whose music comes from a concert, more intimate, given in the studios of American university radio, University of Pennsylvania, WXPN 88.5 FM. We hear a totally unleashed Ian Boddy who proposes a furious rhythm, woven by heavy and organic sequences, which rolls under the synth spectral breezes. Heavy and attractive, this is the pinnacle of an album released at the beginning of 2013. "The Basement" is a title of so und experimentation which, placed in a context of this compilation, comes right on time in order to rest the ears which bleed in front of so much tones' aggressivity. Recorded at the very beginning of his career, with his friend Sid Smith, the album Other Rooms offered a dark and experimental universe where the sound experiences of the analogous years ended in sound cocktails as much astonishing and strange as well as sometimes strangely mesmerizing. "Prime Blue" from the album EC12, also recorded in concert, proposes an electronic rock which evolves on a good pattern of sequences and electronic percussions and where Wollo & Boddy exchange solos from a biting guitar and other dreamier synth solos. Erik Wollo is fiercely convincing here. "Arclight" is some solid Arc on stage in Liverpool 2014. "Cantata" is one of the first titles of Ian Boddy which has appeared on a cassette format, entitled Images, at the beginning of the 80's. It's an electronic rock which is very The Doors with i t s layers of organ tones. We recognize the essence of the England School style debut with a constant and hypnotic rhythm on which get accumulate multi-lines of synth and/or keyboard in a dark and Chthonian texture. "Stay" is the title-track of a more contemporary album released last year and made with Markus Reuter. The music concluded the album with a dark texture full of heavy buzzings which cross an area of tranquility.
Here we go! You have most of the last 7 years adventures of the DiN-DDL label. As you can see, there is everything in this compilation which exceeds 90 minutes of a creative and appetizing EM for those who still want more. It's also the best way to initiate the ears to a universe of disparate and unidentifiable tones which are not just floating. No! There are heavy and lively rhythms in this compilation which is also a superb trip in the electronic years of Ian Boddy and of his label. Available in download format only, starting this Friday, June 15, 2018.
2018. Sylvain Lupari