Music Reviews

Artist: Ian Boddy & Parallel Worlds (@)
Title: Exit Strategy
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: DiN (@)
Distributor: DiN
Rated: *****
Ian Boddy is a name you should already be familiar with; it's Electronic Music 101 going back to the early 1980s. He runs Something Else music and the DiN label in the UK, and has lots of releases. Parallel Worlds is the project moniker for Bakis Sirros from Greece. The project has released a number of albums in the ambient/dark ambient/electronic vein since 2003 with 32 prior releases on the DiN label. It was likely inevitable that Boddy and Parallel Worlds would collaborate together at some point, and that culminates in 'Exit Strategy' now.

Maybe it's odd that I haven't heard much of Boddy's work before, only bits and pieces I may have used for comparative reference points I've used in other reviews. Parallel Worlds is also unfamiliar to me but as they've collaborated with Alio Die previously, that's a 'thumbs up' credential-wise in my book.

'Exit Strategy' is one spacey piece of ambient electronica in 7 tracks. There is plenty of analogue modular synth on the album and it often has quite a huge sound. From what I gather, Bakis initially provided much of the raw material for the album and Ian sculpted and refined it into the finished product, adding his own touches along the way. The often complex multilayered soundscapes make for fascinating listening with a high replay factor. (You won't get bored after a couple of listenings.) The moods vary considerably in a number of different shades of light and dark, and the percussive elements (when present, which is by no means constant) always seem to be well-integrated with the music. Throughout the deep space ambience there is also a fair amount of melodic content. Boddy's glissando keyboard (first introduced on his 'Slide' album) adds quite a bit to the aural richness of these soundscapes. It could even be described as cinematic, in a Vangelis sort of way. Elements explored here may hearken back decades, but there is no doubt this is modern electronic music, not a retro nostalgia trip. If Tangerine Dream had stuck together and taken this direction, I'd probably still be listening to them. A highly recommended album by two electronic composers who are truly craftsmen, not workmen. The CD is limited to 600 copies, so unless you're planning on doing the download version, you might want to grab it before it's gone.

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