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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

Ian Boddy: Liverdelphia (2013)

Updated: Sep 20, 2022

Liverdelphia is a brilliant album where the universe of EM gets cover of its warmest tones in a superb progressive shroud

1 Open Door 8.22

2 Crystal Light 8.12

3 Driftwood 6.32

4 Triptastique 12.27

5 Overture 4.53

6 The Long Road 14.33

7 Never Reaching 7.05

8 Destination Zero 10.19

9 Coda 2.52

(CD/DDL 75:24) (V.F.)

(Progressive cosmic Berlin School)

Ah Ian Boddy. When we talk about EM we forget too easily his name. And nevertheless, if there is an artist who doesn't stop to surprise, from album to album, and this no matter the kind, it's got to be Ian Boddy for sure. Drawn from the recordings of concerts given at the antipodes of the planet, Philadelphia and Liverpool, LIVERDELPHIA is a powerful work. A work where the musical duality spreads its veil of magnetism and where the listener is swallowed to be teleported in a sound universe to the measure of the immoderation of an artist to the visions as infinite as the musical meanders of his synth cables. A work where the cosmos of the vintages years is skilfully rediscovered, a work where the atmospheres get revitalize in rhythms as hard than pure, LIVERDELPHIA will nail you in your dreams with a surprising dominance on your fascination.

Winds, of any forms and of all colors, which blow among electronic chirpings are quietly chased away by a series of twinkling arpeggios. These sequences, which skip shyly from the tip of their chords, forge a clumsy rhythm which limps under the grave octaves of the chthonian choirs. The ambience becomes of mist, while that Open Door hears its chords of rhythm ringing out with more vivacity under the sinuous curves of solos in the soft analog perfume. Solos of synth which float lazily on a rhythm became soft that a bass line harmonizes with some metallic jingles, whereas calmly Open Door sinks into the gaps of an electronic ambiospherical universe where twisted reverberations and dialect of the machines prowl in the cosmos while waiting for the soft circular rhythm of Crystal Light. Like a carousel of magnetism, Crystal Light offers a superb structure of tranquillity with its glass arpeggios which swirl like the horses of woods in the old merry-go-rounds of our childhood memories. The rhythm is ambient. It revolves with a morphic slowness in beautiful sequenced volutes, while the rippling mist is switching shape into some fine poetic solos, allying magic, fancy and virginality in a long waltz slow and floating where the crystal sings its lunar lullaby. It's very beautiful. These fragmented singings get lost in the very ambient Driftwood and of its symphony of solos singers which cry in a cosmos disrupted by oblong dying reverberations and by scattered astral gong sounds. The ambient world of Boddy is pretty unique. It's rich in composite sound elements which always manage to create a fascinating symbiosis where the slightest wind, the slightest beating stigmatize a sound wealth in perpetual mutation. We dream, we float in Driftwood which serenely brings us towards the piece of resistance: Triptastique. We are in full heart of a pulsations storm which forges the bases of percussions drummed in the winds of ether. Even static, the rhythm is exhilarating. It pounds on the spot, lazy that it is to make caress its whimsical jumps by the vapors of the ionosphere, by orchestral sighs. One would imagine being at the heart of the genesis of Jean-Michel Jarre's Oxygene. And the solos arrive. Tinted of ambivalent tones, they overhang this long track of long twisted breaths. Curly breaths which shout on a rhythm which becomes more intense and whose chaotic fluidity marries that of solos before becoming blurred in a peace of mind drummed by some pulsations forgotten on the path of space. And so, closes the first act of LIVERDELPHIA.

The concert of Liverpool opens with the vampiric veils of Overture. Slow strata are wrapping us, as the night switches off the day, in a dark and bewitching atmosphere. It's a track where Arc stumbles over Redshift in a slow movement where the synth layers inhale of a black life among scattered explosions and chthonian choirs. Intense and puzzling, Overture does all its effect in a black night out of electricity. The Long Road is drinking from the finale of Overture with hoarse winds and guttural reverberations which intertwine and fade into abstract bangings and shamanic shouffs while the first furtive chords are trading the bass pulsations against resonances of glass. And The Long Road to spread its slow structure of cosmic groove. The luminous chords are sliding under the influence of cosmic gases, while the cymbals flutter about of their silky jingles and the slippery solos are dancing on a structure in perpetual bickering between its light rattling rhythm and its erratic cosmic cha-cha. This uncertain rhythm kisses a steadier pace, making war to ambitious solos which swirl ceaselessly over the false dance steps of a dance without precise schema of which the drummed steps get lost in a line of crystalline arpeggios which tint in the echo of its harmonies. This is some great Ian Boddy we have here! After the very ambient and very wrapping Never Reaching and its huge vampiric veils which blend in beautiful orchestral arrangements, Destination Zero offers a breakneck pace which sits on violent spasmodic oscillations. Percussions and bangings feed this starving rhythm which runs with ferocity beneath the solos of a synth among which the melodious presence and the oneiric mists spread a bit of sweetness on this oscillatory storm. Here is a powerful track which knows a little short quiet passage before being reborn of its unchained oscillations. And Coda ends a concert amazing of violence and of tenderness with the same imprint of mysticism as Overture.

LIVERDELPHIA is brilliant album where the universe of EM gets cover of its warmest tones in a superb progressive shroud. Ian Boddy surpasses himself with pre-JMJarre cosmic ambiences and rhythms of which the surprising variations stabilize this fragile harmony between the ambient world and the universe of sequences fed by thousand arrhythmic pulsations. There is not one single minute of lost on this splendid album where all the colors of EM are used to give a sound picture of a fascinating hearing beauty. An album as wonderful as the borders of the art itself.

Sylvain Lupari (June 20th, 2013) *****

Available at DiN Bandcamp

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