samedi 24 mars 2012

BODDY/WOLLO: Frontiers (2012)

"Frontiers is a superb album which get discovering even more to each new listening"
1 Vista 3:59
2 Trek 5:45
3 Undergrowth 4:37
4 Steppe 6:05
5 Migration 3:29
6 Reverie 4:25
7 Searching 7:13
8 Shelter 7:32
9 Frontiers 7:57
10 Ascension 5:25

DiN: DiN39  (CD 56:33) ****
Frontiers is the meeting point between two musicians and exceptional composers who left their imprints in their respective fields of creativity. If Ian Boddy is the chameleon par excellence of the modern and contemporary EM, Erik Wollo is specializes to create musical patterns which exude some unknown mystic landscapes. It’s an extremely poetic work where Wollo's guitar layers caress the fluty synths and the Martenot waves that Ian Boddy had slipped so well in our ears on Strange Attractors. The rhythms are soft and fluids. Weaved on a skilful mixture of sequences and percussions they are carried by moderate winds which structure surprising panoramic ambiances where Berlin School embraces the poetry of an ambient music filled by emotionalism.
Atmospheric, "Vista" spreads its exploratory wings and opens this musical soundscape with a breath of Eole which lifts a thick cloud of prismatic layers from which the iridescent breaths float on the undulating and piercing winds of the Martenot waves, feeding the light crescendo of "Vista" which ends its crusade of winds in a finale imprint of serenity. A finale of gust of the winds which throws itself into the intro of "Trek", there where the first sequenced stammerings shake Frontiers. Sequences finely drummed which skip and flutter among breaths of flutes while the percussions which are add and click of certain random strikings, in which some remain wrapped up in wadding, mould a light chaotic rhythm. A hybrid rhythm which squabble between the tenderness of the fluty lines and the sinister reverberations on a canvas of heterogeneous percussions before forking towards a short ambient passage, giving a second breath to "Trek" which becomes heavier and more incisive. After the morphic layers of "Undergrowth" which soak into the silence of the prismatic singings of frosty whales and galactic mermaids, "Steppe" transports us in a very soft ascending rhythmic movement. An upward spiral drawn by shimmered arpeggios which swirl with lightness on a delicate bass line, before being gobbled up by percussions which hammer with fineness an increasing procession under the angelic layers of a dreamlike guitar. Between the clanic universe of Steve Roach and the soundscapes world of Erik Wollo, "Steppe", progresses on a meshing of sequences and percussions to which are adding flitted jingles, shaping marvellously a difficult ascension under a sky of azure where the guitar strata merge with beauty with those of a discreet synth but oh so much effective. One would believe being at the time of Steve Roach's Western Spaces or Desert Solitaire. With its bells of ewe which ring in the increasing winds of plains, "Migration" is an atmospheric passage where the breaths of synths lift the anger of Eole and its northern winds which resound through immense Tibetan horns.
"Reverie" is a jewel in this musical box which is Frontiers. Fine guitar riffs sculpt some delicate harmonies of which the chords roll in loops on echoing percussions which slam in a dense vaporous mist. The harmonies of the guitar go astray into the tears of the Martenot waves which slide and caress the thoughts while drawing the dreams on shimmering arpeggios which dance and sparkle under a superb canvas of paradisiacal musical waves. It’s a wonderful title of an infinite tenderness which evaporates in the sequenced tams-tams which shake the introductory morphic vapors of "Searching". These sequences shape a quivering rhythm which holds onto a heavy bass line while the percussions fall to embrace a rhythm supported by a fusion of sequences and arpeggios which crisscross and pulsate in a kind of triturated resonance, hiccupping of a strange spasmodic fury where the rhythm seethes with a static friction. It‘s the progressive rhythm which hooks to its meshing of sequences and percussions, to which are grafted jingles which clink beneath the philharmonic breaths of synths to aromas of the TD years. Moreover, the growth of the rhythm reminds me the metallic rhythms of Tangerine Dream of the Logos years. It’s very good, but wait until the title-track before exulting! "Shelter" unveils the wings of its darkness with a shower which crackles on a dome covered with iridescent breezes. Ambient and dark "Shelter" mystifies the moon with its heavy loner line of bass of which the oblong elastics notes modulate arcs of resonances to criss-cross a black musical landscape fed by foggy synth layers, which float with an ethereal delicacy, and virgin arpeggios which twitter under the arcs of an abstruse sun. It’s a very solitary title of which the arid winds throw themselves into the intro of "Frontiers" and its strummed sequences which tinkle and emerge out of singing winds. A bass line with pulsating notes watches in wait for the rhythm to takes shape while another line of more crystal clear sequences is outlined and that percussions wait for the bite of an elastic note of bass to embark on the sequenced whirlwind of "Frontiers". And the magic takes place in our ears! On an oscillatory rhythm stuffed by chiselled and crisscrossed sequences as well as sober percussions, the breaths of synth to warm philharmonic harmonies awaken our memories and fill our ears of fine musical nectar to the soft perfume of Tangerine Dream and the Stratosfear era. Erik Wollo's guitar comes to add a filet of nostalgia with floating solos while that Ian Boddy affixes the seal of the electronic poetry with singings solo from a synth which wrap a rhythmic structure which makes no compromise in regard of its influences. "Ascension" comes closing this wonderful album with Martenot waves and guitar layers which cry in the solitude of astral winds.
Frontiers is a superb album. It’s a musical story on unknown territories told with the strength of the compositions and influences which furnish the know-how of these two icons of contemporary EM. As a first musical communion, the Boddy/Wollo duet shows a surprising complicity and weaves a wonderful musical universe where the celestial ambiances are skilfully measured to suave rhythms which flow with a dreamlike sweetness. If synths and guitars are sculpting horizons without borders which transcend any forms of imaginations, sequences and percussions are rocking their delicate poetic approaches; sign that our ears deal with two artists who understood each other from the beginning, making of Frontiers an album which get discovering even more to each new listening.
Sylvain Lupari (2012)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:
* If you want to have more infos on Frontiers and hear some MP3 snippets, you can visit this link:

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