Ian Boddy - As Above So Below album review

Compact, suite-like six-parter by the prolific English electronic music composer

Cover art for Ian Boddy As Above So Below

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Ian Boddy’s avowed intent is to meld different genres together, something that the acclaimed North-Eastern composer manages with subtlety on As Above So Below. The title track is based on one of JS Bach’s Preludes, but in an unshowy way, and casts the material in a more romantic light with banks of ethereal synthetic strings, but with ominous, darker voicings in some of the chords.

Time Lapse opens with spartan piano before expanding into a series of lilting cadences reminiscent of the poise of Hans-Joachim Roedelius and which is briefly tracked by a synth, before ending with single chords once more. Quantum Of Memory is based on a scintillating mosaic of sequenced notes. There are no longueurs on As Above So Below as the compositions are all of a song-like structure. Shrine clocks in at over eight minutes and sonically it reminds of Tangerine Dream or Node with a mobile, shifting melody underneath a grumbling synth bass line, before a 44 beat kicks in like something off the Warp label Artificial Intelligence compilations of the early 90s. The best comes last with the exquisite melancholic piano of One Day, underpinned by bass and garlanded with a halo of synthetic strings.

Mark Beaumont

Mark Beaumont is a music journalist with almost three decades' experience writing for publications including Classic Rock, NME, The Guardian, The Independent, The Telegraph, The Times, Uncut and Melody Maker. He has written major biographies on Muse, Jay-Z, The Killers, Kanye West and Bon Iver and his debut novel [6666666666] is available on Kindle.