Dec 2011 28

Ian Boddy & Parallel Worlds - Exit StrategyIan Boddy & Parallel Worlds
Category: Ambient / Experimental
Album: Exit Strategy
Stars: 3.5
Blurb: Subterranean atmospheres giving way to subtle melodies making for a lush and lovely listen.


Since 1983, Ian Boddy has been one of the most experimental electronic musicians in the UK, known for his impressive skills as a sound designer and utilizing such techniques as tape manipulation and analog synthesis. Similarly, Greek musician Bakis Sirros has with his Parallel Worlds project been creating lush ambient soundscapes and rhythmic atmosphere since the mid ‘90s, primarily by way of modular analog synthesizers. Perhaps as both artists have worked with similar tools and styles of music and have been colleagues on Boddy’s own DiN label, it was only a matter of time before an album like Exit Strategy would come to fruition, featuring the two musicians taking their skills to their collaborative extreme. Through seven tracks, each undergoing numerous permutations of melodic composition and sonic construction, Boddy and Sirros seek to take the listener on a journey through subterranean realms of ambient discovery, beginning with the ominous “Portal.” Thunderous percussive sounds underscore a discordant melody that is at once inviting and intimidating, hinting at the vastness of the material to follow. “Impresario” follows with an almost orchestral progression of ambient pads that lead into a dissonant bass loop offset by sparse, intricate percussive patterns. Electric pianos appear to augment the melodic properties of the track and bring things to a satisfying quietus that gradually fades into the somber loneliness of “Soliloquy,” a twinkling lullaby of lovely pads and pianos. “Entwined” slows the proceedings down a tad, both in terms of tempo and in terms of the album’s energy, offering little more than a steady drone of dark ambience that is perhaps a few minutes longer than necessary before the expansive title track enters with layers of resonant arpeggios full of tones that remind this writer of Drew Neumann’s scores for the Æon Flux animated series while a glissando melody reminiscent of Shankar’s double-violin solos on Peter Gabriel’s soundtrack for The Last Temptation of Christ hover ethereally. At just over 10 minutes long, “Exit Strategy” never loses interest as it transitions from movement to movement fluidly and seamlessly, fading out into a foreboding atmosphere that segues us into “Hidden.” Similar to “Entwined,” the track features warm, embracing layers of ambient pads that unlike “Entwined” hints at a burst of rhythmic energy that doesn’t quite arrive until “Return,” which closes the album out with a veritable choir of synthesized sonic habitats and shimmering tones that offer no respite from the haunting caverns of sound the listener has endured throughout. All in all, Exit Strategy is an album Boddy and Sirros can be proud of as it sees the two musicians doing what they do best, transporting the listener to other musical worlds as only truly good ambient music can accomplish. There is a soundtrack quality to the melodic themes that occur that will surely remind many of Tangerine Dream or Vangelis, making for a familiar yet exploratory sound and style that is as trippy as it is dreamy, as chilling as it is enticing.
Track list:

  1. Portal
  2. Impresario
  3. Soliloquy
  4. Entwined
  5. Exit Strategy
  6. Hidden
  7. Return

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DiN Website
Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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