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Shifting Sands (with Ian Boddy)
“Shifting Sands” by David Wright and Ian Boddy is an album of sublime space music; rhythmic, but with both artists very much in a chilled mode. Fans will no doubt have great fun trying to determine “who did what” but one thing for certain is that this is electronic music of the very highest quality, and the creative efforts of these highly respected composers has produced a sensational album of varied electronica that is sure to surprise and delight and garner plaudits from fans and media alike.
The first four long tracks explore gently rhythmic and beautifully textured soundscapes, but with a modern edge. As you would expect, the production is sublime and apart from sounding (obviously) very much like an amalgam of the two artists involved, the music occasionally nods gently in the direction of Tangerine Dream, Kraftwerk and Vangelis while always remaining true to the individual styles of Boddy & Wright, and more importantly, to the unique new sound this terrific collaboration has produced. The shorter 6 minutes closer “Comets” is an unashamed foot-tapping synth music stomper that’ll make your hi-fi speakers rattle.
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7 reviews for Shifting Sands
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Chuck van Zyl/STAR’S END –
Ian Boddy & David Wright, two of England’s most renowned Electronic Musicians, have at last combined forces. Their CD Shifting Sands (62’35”) contains five elegant and energetic collaborative pieces. Meticulously arranged, this album expands and recedes along a curving band of ever-evolving rhythm. Entwined with percussive Electro-riffs synchronized sequencer patterns dance in synch beneath hovering eminent melodies. Both share the gift of lyrical playing. Wright, with his warm, easy-going lines and Boddy, blending a questioning delicacy before full-blooded passion, provide as many memorable melodies as any well-known classic by Vangelis or Kitaro. Each also brings to this project a wonderful appreciation of synthesized sound. From life-like piano samples and rounded synth voices to strange modulations and celestial effects, their work possesses a rich sonic character. Two personalities are clearly at work in this music – each with its own expressive sensibility and raw musical talent. Working together Boddy & Wright exhibit a stylish understanding and refined communicative flair. Their work Shifting Sands captures like few others the feeling of moving through a golden moment and knowing it.
Matt Howarth/Sonic Curiosity –
This release from 2009 features 63 minutes of dreamy electronic music with rhythmic support and Boddy and Wright are assisted by Dave Massey on this recording. With most tracks being between 12 to 15 minutes long, the music is allowed suitable opportunity to mold itself and evolve into works of alluring beauty.
Track one blends gently searing guitars with dreamy electronics, while pacific rhythms contribute a tasty oomph to the floating pastiche of sinuous tonalities. Keyboards establish comfortable cycles that transport the listener to breezy heights, where the tempos generate an understated propulsion.
The second piece juxtaposes traditional piano with quirky electronic effects, creating an innovative foundation for the textural flows to expand in conjunction with languid-to-peppy rhythms. While generally moody and atmospheric, the song features mildly bouncy traits lurking in the mix. As the track progresses, the highly stylized beats muster dominance and the tune slides into a pleasant mobility peppered with engaging keyboard riffs.
The third track introduces thereminesque sounds to a bewitching blend of beats and loops, bestowing an eerie haunting edge to the cosmic milieu. While a constant feature, the rhythms adopt a suppressed presence, producing tempos that ripple along with the streaming pulsations. The electronics strive for a state of animation, with choppy keyboard riffs burrowing through the airy theremin strains. As the piece continues, the rhythms surge in puissance, but never become overwhelming, happy to remain a contributor rather than a driving force in the melody.
The next piece sees a more prominent return of grand piano ushering in the gently bouncy beats and equally sprightly electronics. Heavenly textures establish a lovely backdrop. The nucleus of the music is comprised of keyboard expressions that convey a softly inspiring mood of ascension. As the song progresses, a vertiginous vantage is achieved with dramatic chords and snappy tempos, all kept aloft by the divine atmospherics…until the piano resumes control for the sober conclusion.
The final track is a short one (at 6 minutes), and the temperament becomes somewhat frenetic. Surging pulsations establish an edgy velocity while auxiliary effects swarm to coalesce into a driving force. Upbeat rhythms complete the animated demeanor. A sense of mature urgency is accomplished as a keyboard riff sweeps into play.
Both Boddy and Wright are talented veterans of the EM field, and this collaboration is an excellent meshing of those talents. These compositions fully display Wright’s majestic predilections seasoned by Boddy’s rhythmic sensibilities and his inventive approach of fusing futurist stylings with contemporary electronic motifs. The result is tuneage possessed of a gentle grandeur tempered with spry elements.
John Turner, fan –
Few em artists can achieve what Boddy and Wright have achieved here. This is an amazing album and I can’t remember the last time I enthused about electronic music so much! From start to finish this is just amazing, with terrific and atmospheric space music that is years ahead of just about anything I’ve heard in recent years. The opener ‘Halcyon is one of the most sublime pieces of em I’ve ever heard. If you’re a fan of either of these artists or not doesn’t matter – if you like em of the highest calibre – buy ‘Shifting Sands’!
Sylvain Lupari / Guts Of Darkness –
A collaboration between two icons of the English EM owed give more than interesting results. In fact, the expectations were very high in respect of an alliance between these two creative paradoxes that are David Wright, who is more melodious and extrovert, and Ian Boddy, who is more contemporary and introvert. It results from it an album which is exactly the meeting point between two musicians with so different approaches but which are always in search of musical excellence.
A little as if we where at Pink Floyd doors (Wish you Where Here and A Momentary Lapse of Reason areas), Halcyon’s intro floats beneath an absent-minded synth, which is a sort of prelude to beautiful strata of a great solitary e-guitar synth. We are deeply into David Wright and Code Indigo’s musical world, assorted by the soft romantic Callisto’s touch, when the movement livens up slightly under fine pulsations flavored by cymbals and smoother synthesized layers. Hypnotic and bewitching, Halcyon cadences with good robotics percussions which strike a heavy measure, while the guitar recaptures its poetic flights.
Bumpy, but symmetric pulsations, adorned by tinkled agreements so slightly animated, Still Motion moves in a static atmosphere where felted and metallic percussions measure a progressive pace below a hesitating keyboard. A keyboard which dives into an ambient universe where piano notes get lost in an astral cosmos filled of superb synthesized pads, before the title blows up again of an even heavier tempo. A hammering cadence, nervously groovy, which moves like a zombie dance, beneath cracking percussions and strange chords of a cosmic guitar with a bizarrely bluesy approach.
When I say that the Boddy / Wright union is synonymic of strangeness and challenging, Still Motion is a striking example. An audacious and strangely bewitching title, which cogitates between different atmospheres and rhythms. A little as the title track which stirs nervously under riffs of a metallic guitar and a synth to spectral breaths, Shifting Sands increases gradually its tempo, following its nervous chords which find refuge in echotic waves. The rhythmic structure is hatched, wriggling and becomes magnificently harmonious with its loops in echo which overhang a jazzy approach, especially towards finale and its big bongos percussions. An audacious title which reveals Boddy influences and which constantly slides under rippling synthesized strata. Superb is all I have to say.
After a strummed intro which unfolds beneath a sky surrounded of streak and mellotronned choirs, Endless Terrain diverges towards slightly bumpy structures, echotic and nervous which surround those all around Shifting Sands. Here the rhythm is more varied and the work of the percussions very ingenious. It hammers a structure in constant permutation which is molding the various rhythmic approaches with a touch of contemporaneousness appropriate to Ian Boddy. I like this hatched structure which hiccoughs and furrows these scattered percussions and assorted rhythmic elements which pass from soft techno to a jazzier mood.
A weighty sequencer with hyper ventilated oscillations opens the first beatings of Comet that encloses Shifting Sands with a short manic nervous and heavy track. Redshift on poppers, and even TD in Franke area, which oozes from a big progressive rock filled with synths to twisted and steroidal curls on a bass line to clean out ears, as well as of fine ingenuous percussions of which their discretions do not escape attentive ears. A whole way of enclosing an album!
Shifting Sands amply meets the expectations that such a fusion between two artists to opposite musical ideas can create. We find the poetic and melodious touch of David Wright to the boldness and progressive approach of Ian Boddy. A superb opus which transcends the paths of EM to get onto a more progressive and contemporary approach. One of 2009 top 5.
Roberto Vales / Ultima Fronteira –
En este trabajo nos encontramos con cuatro largos temas, en el más puro y fiel estilo de la música electrónica que en su momento nos brindaron nombres ya míticos como Tangerine Dream, Vangelis o Klaus Schulze. En este disco, ambos músicos son fieles a sus estilos individuales, pero los fusionan a la perfección para crear un trabajo lleno de música melódica, de bellos paisajes sonoros, pero no exento de ritmo, con momentos más algidos o otros más suaves como el que protagoniza el piano con el que da comienzo al tema “Endless Terrain”. Además de esos cuatro largos temas, el disco se cierra con un quinto que lleva por título “Comets” y es una explosión musical llena de sonido y color, con numerosos guiños que nos lleva a explorar la capacidad de nuestro equipo hi-fi.
Colaboraciones como estas son de agradecer en un mundo musical donde se tiende solamente a la repetición, cada músico en esta ocasión aporta su propio estilo, no se olvida de él y la fusión de ambos provoca un nuevo placer musical, un nuevo disfrute para todos aquellos que nos gusta disfruta de la música, y pese al título de este disco, ambos no se están moviendo en arenas movedizas sino en tierra firme con la esperanza de sus seguidores de que muy pronto nos vuelvan a ofrecer obras de similares características.
Ross McGibbon – Vanguard Online –
If you’ve heard anything from this label before, you’ll not be surprised to hear that this album opens quietly with a building swell of sound, breaking into a slow but loping robotic pulse as washes of synth rise and fall. Fragments of detail colour things, from lyric melody lines to glittering sonic sparkles. This is probably more like Tangerine Dream than anything I’ve heard in a while. It’s all produced on synths, even the lines that sound like the path a lead guitar would make. And those paths are noodley explorations of dream-space.
Ian Boddy and David Wright are both well known, insofar as anyone in the UK electronic scene outside of dance music can be called well-known. David runs a music label and has numerous releases to his name, whilst walrus-whiskered Boddy played recently with Wright and the fabulously monikered Klaus “Cosmic” Hoffman at Derby’s electronic music festival. The guitar there added another layer but this is richly textured in itself.
Four long tracks and a six-minute ‘filler’ set of on sequencer journeys of the mind; rhythmic but relaxed – a set to drift away on. The listener can become oblivious to the passing of time – not necessarily focusing hard on the music (it has a habit of coming into focus then floating out of sharpness for a while) but receiving it by way of an aural massage; a therapy of the lugholes. Just at the end, they throw in a perkier short track for a “one, two, three and you’re back in the room” effect, leaving you feeling pleasantly chilled.
This is never going to be fashionable but it meets the needs of moods and provides a context for astral ponderings. Or a nap. It’s all down to the contours of your inner cranium.
A Pleasure to listen to.