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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

Ian Boddy: The Uncertainty Principle (2020)

Updated: Sep 20, 2022

How can we not recognize the value of this album in the scale of modern Electronic Music?

1 Times Arrow 4:06

2 Virtual Journey 7:47

3 Chromazone 5:36

4 Space Cadet 5:42

5 Interstellar Interlude No. 1 1:34

6 Cassiopeia's Dream 6:21

7 Interstellar Interlude No. 2 2:26

8 Supernova 4:28

9 The Uncertainty Principle Part 1 3:45

10 The Uncertainty Principle Part 2 3:29

11 The Uncertainty Principle Part 3 3:21

12 Beyond The Event Horizon 8:28

13 Times End 3:01

14 Live At Klem Dag 1993

(Bonus Track) 18:46

(CD/DDL 78:53) (V.F.)

(E-Rock, Cinema, England School)

THE UNCERTAINTY PRINCIPLE is one of the albums that have marked a generation of fans. Out of print for a long time, Ron Boots of the Dutch label Groove NL has selected it to give it a second wind through an edition remastered by Ian Boddy. The album is rich in its diversity where the styles of the era follow one another in a 60-minute musical mosaic. And there's something for everyone! From space-rock to film music, including big England School rock with a sequencer powered by percussion in energetic rock à la Mark Shreeve. We are also entitled to ambient moments and to atmospherical ones with an orchestral vision that has nothing to envy to Vangelis. In short, a solid album which retains this cachet of the 90's.

A wave struck by bubbles of wood seizes our ears. Want it or not, we jump! But thereafter, Times Arrow develops a bucolic melody with a strong cinematic presence where horns, violins and flutes sew a spooky melody, genre Legend, with explosions of percussions which root this perception of film music inspired by Vangelis. Attached to the Times Arrow's finale, Virtual Journey continues in this perception of film music with a darker vision that loses control around the second minute of introduction with a down-tempo structure adorned with cosmic electronic effects from which emerges a melody whistled by the synthesizer. We are in the realm of melodious style of EM, a bit like the music of Thierry Fervant in Seasons of Life. Or, his sublime Universe released back in 80. Chromazone follows with a more nervous sequencer that makes stamp its jumping balls in a static cosmic setting that is near the England School style. The synth modulates really nice whistled harmonies, while the rhythmic indecision is unraveled halfway with the arrival of percussions. Good big cosmic e-rock that changes its skin, a little after the 3rd minute, to accentuate a speed synchronized with the harmonies of the synth. It's a fiery Electronic Music style that continues with the hyper wild rock of Space Cadet and its musical envelope that does very Mark Shreeve. I imagined this track as the album's single! Intense at the level of cosmic atmospheres in scission, Interstellar Interlude No. 1 and its big gasps lead us to Cassiopeia's Dream. An evolving cinematic title that takes full advantage of its 6 minutes and dust, Cassiopeia's Dream pushes its rhythmic constancy on awesome harmonies embellished with Arabian flutes. A phase more in dance music mode agitates the spirits towards the middle of the title, but the electronic rock side with essence of Muslimgauze brings the title towards the cosmic orchestral arrangements of Interstellar Interlude No. 2.

Then comes the big heavy and unbridled rock of Supernova which is like on fire as Space Cadet. It could have been the album's 3rd single! These are hollow breezes that bring the saga of THE UNCERTAINTY PRINCIPLE. Thus, The Uncertainty Principle Part 1 is woven in the intensity of its orchestral structure, The Uncertainty Principle Part 2 drifts in limbo with the voice of Ian Boddy on vocoder who guides us towards The Uncertainty Principle Part 3. This last part is animated by a sequencer whose keys jump in the shadows of reverberating waves from which a beautiful fluty air emerges. It reminds me a lot of Software cosmic vibes. It's in the particles of its finale that the chthonian choir which is behind Beyond The Event Horizon appears. Its opening is bathed in a din that is winded through by a line of oscillations. The synth pads are chthonian, and the crashing of percussions make its opening even more titanic. The dread gives way to a hammered rhythm in a video game atmosphere before taking the shape of a heavy English e-rock flirting with the synth-pop and techno from the 80's and 90's. The vocoder effect spits out organic phases that fit really well here, while the synth is doing well by working on a good melodic approach and weaving good synth solos that leave Beyond The Event Horizon in its envelope of music for films of the genre Big Trouble in Little China. Times End finishes this album with an intense vision always as cinematographic with this voice who rehashes the same sentence with an effect of attenuation, of slow motion. This new edition of Groove comes with a bonus title; Live At Klem Dag 1993 where we recognize extracts and titles such as Times Arrow, Virtual Journey and Space Cadet. A very solid interpretation by the way!

Possibly hiding 3 singles, maybe even 4, and a lot of cinema music themes; how can we not recognize the value of this album in the scale of modern Electronic Music? Personally, I was amazed by the quality of Ian Boddy's compositions and the many styles of music that follow one another with an amazing musical vision. A very solid album which is well worth this reopening over time with a particularly good remaster which retains all the coquetry of the 90's. And even 27 years later, THE UNCERTAINTY PRINCIPLE 2020 deserves its place in 2020.

Sylvain Lupari (May 28th, 2020) ****½*

Available at Groove NL.

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