Ian Boddy and Erik Wøllo have both been round the musical block for many moons but have never worked together before.
On the evidence of this release I really hope they work together again! The album starts and finishes with hauntingly
beautiful atmospheric pieces bringing up images of polar landscapes.
The sequencer is put into action for "Trek", a classy mid paced chugger that fittingly has a feeling of movement to it,
as if we are on a journey. It"s rather infectious stuff making it hard to keep the body still. We move back to atmospherics
for "Undergrowth", but this time the feel was a lot warmer with relaxing sultry night noises. The feeling of movement and
sequences return for "Steppe" along with a foot tapping rhythm and moody but also intense lead line. The pattern now
seems to be set of placing more ambient pieces between the rhythmic and this time the images that come to mind are of
a wind blown ghost town. With "Reverie" tinkling notes shimmer above a slow rhythm and two absolutely stunning melodies, one glistening low in the mix while the other, with crystalline sharpness, soars above it all. Absolutely fantastic. At the very
least give this sound sample a listen. It was not chosen as the "king track" for the album, so you will have to click on the
album cover first to find it, but it"s well worth the bother.
The title track was the one chosen for the main sample probably because it is the most upbeat and great fun it is too.
There are so many jewels here. "Searching" for instance, has a really catchy rhythm and blissful lead. Then bubbling
sequence to finish. This is a cracking album and so easy to get on with. Not one track is a dud, and most are real gems.
- Dave Law
Sonic Immersions (Holland):
There are many EM-albums that take the listener on an evocative journey with great sonic vistas passing by as the aural
landscape of sounds unfold. Mr Wøllo is already known for his great cinematic sound paintings of the cold northern
hemisphere, most notably displayed on albums such as "Wind Journey".
For "Frontiers", Erik has joined forces with experienced E-musician Ian Boddy, playing some great e-guitar and guitar synth
complimenting the fine, immersive synth magic of Mr Boddy.
If you love intense atmospheres, soft soaring, lyrical leads and multi-layered sound tapestries with a pleasant mysterious
undercurrent, the complex sonic canvas making up "Frontiers" is most satisfactory due to the constantly shifting in mood and tone on each of the ten tracks.
The groovy and rhythmic "Searching" is one of those great gems found among them. But if you are looking for space and
intrinsic immersion, "Frontiers" does the job as well.
The very well-produced and mastered outcome is a fascinating and unexpected result by all means.
Bravo you two!
- Bert Strolenberg
Synth & Sequences.com (USA):
Frontiers is the meeting point between two musicians and exceptional composers who left their imprints in their respective
fields of creativity. If Ian Boddy is the chameleon par excellence of the modern and contemporary EM, Erik Wøllo is
specializes to create musical patterns which exude some unknown mystic landscapes. It"s an extremely poetic work where
Wollo"s guitar layers caress the fluty synths and the Martenot waves that Ian Boddy had slipped so well in our ears on
Strange Attractors. The rhythms are soft and fluids. Weaved on a skilful mixture of sequences and percussions they are
carried by moderate winds which structure surprising panoramic ambiances where Berlin School embraces the poetry of an
ambient music filled by emotionalism.
Atmospheric, "Vista" spreads its exploratory wings and opens this musical soundscape with a breath of Eole which lifts a thick cloud of prismatic layers from which the iridescent breaths float on the undulating and piercing winds of the Martenot waves,
feeding the light crescendo of "Vista" which ends its crusade of winds in a finale imprint of serenity. A finale of gust of the
winds which throws itself into the intro of "Trek", there where the first sequenced stammerings shake Frontiers. Sequences
finely drummed which skip and flutter among breaths of flutes while the percussions which are add and click of certain
random strikings, in which some remain wrapped up in wadding, mould a light chaotic rhythm. A hybrid rhythm which
squabble between the tenderness of the fluty lines and the sinister reverberations on a canvas of heterogeneous percussions before forking towards a short ambient passage, giving a second breath to "Trek" which becomes heavier and more incisive. After the morphic layers of "Undergrowth" which soak into the silence of the prismatic singings of frosty whales and galactic
mermaids, "Steppe" transports us in a very soft ascending rhythmic movement. An upward spiral drawn by shimmered
arpeggios which swirl with lightness on a delicate bass line, before being gobbled up by percussions which hammer with
fineness an increasing procession under the angelic layers of a dreamlike guitar.
Between the clanic universe of Steve Roach and the soundscapes world of Erik Wøllo, "Steppe", progresses on a meshing
of sequences and percussions to which are adding flitted jingles, shaping marvellously a difficult ascension under a sky of
azure where the guitar strata merge with beauty with those of a discreet synth but oh so much effective. One would believe
being at the time of Steve Roach"s Western Spaces or Desert Solitaire. With its bells of ewe which ring in the increasing winds of plains, "Migration" is an atmospheric passage where the breaths of synths lift the anger of Eole and its northern winds
which resound through immense Tibetan horns.
"Reverie" is a jewel in this musical box which is Frontiers. Fine guitar riffs sculpt some delicate harmonies of which the chords roll in loops on echoing percussions which slam in a dense vaporous mist. The harmonies of the guitar go astray into the
tears of the Martenot waves which slide and caress the thoughts while drawing the dreams on shimmering arpeggios which
dance and sparkle under a superb canvas of paradisiacal musical waves. It"s a wonderful title of an infinite tenderness which evaporates in the sequenced tams-tams which shake the introductory morphic vapors of "Searching". These sequences
shape a quivering rhythm which holds onto a heavy bass line while the percussions fall to embrace a rhythm supported by
a fusion of sequences and arpeggios which crisscross and pulsate in a kind of triturated resonance, hiccupping of a strange
spasmodic fury where the rhythm seethes with a static friction. It"s the progressive rhythm which hooks to its meshing of
sequences and percussions, to which are grafted jingles which clink beneath the philharmonic breaths of synths to aromas
of the TD years. Moreover, the growth of the rhythm reminds me the metallic rhythms of Tangerine Dream of the Logos
years. It"s very good, but wait until the title-track before exulting!
"Shelter" unveils the wings of its darkness with a shower which crackles on a dome covered with iridescent breezes.
Ambient and dark "Shelter" mystifies the moon with its heavy loner line of bass of which the oblong elastics notes modulate arcs of resonances to criss-cross a black musical landscape fed by foggy synth layers, which float with an ethereal delicacy,
and virgin arpeggios which twitter under the arcs of an abstruse sun. It"s a very solitary title of which the arid winds throw
themselves into the intro of "Frontiers" and its strummed sequences which tinkle and emerge out of singing winds. A bass
line with pulsating notes watches in wait for the rhythm to takes shape while another line of more crystal clear sequences is
outlined and that percussions wait for the bite of an elastic note of bass to embark on the sequenced whirlwind of "Frontiers". And the magic takes place in our ears! On an oscillatory rhythm stuffed by chiselled and crisscrossed sequences as well as
sober percussions, the breaths of synth to warm philharmonic harmonies awaken our memories and fill our ears of fine
musical nectar to the soft perfume of Tangerine Dream and the Stratosfear era. Erik Wøllo's guitar comes to add a filet of
nostalgia with floating solos while that Ian Boddy affixes the seal of the electronic poetry with singings solo from a synth
which wrap a rhythmic structure which makes no compromise in regard of its influences. "Ascension" comes closing this
wonderful album with Martenot waves and guitar layers which cry in the solitude of astral winds.
Frontiers is a superb album. It"s a musical story on unknown territories told with the strength of the compositions and
influences which furnish the know-how of these two icons of contemporary EM. As a first musical communion, the Boddy/Wøllo duet shows a surprising complicity and weaves a wonderful musical universe where the celestial ambiances are skilfully
measured to suave rhythms which flow with a dreamlike sweetness. If synths and guitars are sculpting horizons without
borders which transcend any forms of imaginations, sequences and percussions are rocking their delicate poetic approaches; sign that our ears deal with two artists who understood each other from the beginning, making of Frontiers an album which
get discovering even more to each new listening.
- Sylvain Lupari
Sia Ian Boddy che Erik Wøllo hanno collabarato in passato con Bernhard Wostheinrich. Ora si ritrovano insierne per la prima
volta ad indagare i confini delle terre artiche (riportati) anche graficamente nel libretto del cd). Frontiers si apre con i
caratteristici di Boddy: e l’nizio di un vaggio tutt‡ltro anche il tempo di riscaldarsi su un beat di silicio che ricorda (Steppe).
La maggior parte delle tracce in scaletta sono sculture aeree che cercano di ricordare la difficolta e allo stesso tempo la
bellezza dei paesaggi artici. Il disco si chiude nello stesso modo in cui e cominciato: con un drone celestiale sul quale Boddy suona le sue gliss-keyboards.
- Roberto Mandolini
IGLOO Magazine (UK):
Part of the collaborative projects directed by Ian Boddy for his musical laboratory and independent label DiN,
Frontiers features the presence and active artistic participation of Erik Wøllo. The musical chemistry perfectly operates,
surrounded by fascinating, complex and slowly changing sound textures. Ian Boddy is a brilliantly prolific musician and an
intriguing sound alchemist who made a name in the 80′f0 s, providing with Mark Shreeve a sort of British answer to the
legendary Berlin ìkosmischeî electronic school of electronica (Robert Schroeder, Edgar Froese, Michael Hoenig to name a
few representative figures). If his musical production also reveals close stylistic relationships with glorious names of
ìsacredî ambient music (Steve Roach, Robert Rich et al) he successes to distinguish himself and to find his very own
Frontiers is a deeply moving , cerebral and constantly charming spacey musical adventure largely made of majestic floating
synthesized waves, sinuous drone textures, hypno-ish rhythmical punctuations, programmed drums and frantic synth-like
guitar tones. Intense sonic atmospheres and instrumental synth tendencies in the authentic tradition of classy ambient
music. Next to a cascade of melodically contemplative synth lines, the spacious sound tapestries offer punchy and almost
progressive rockiní experiments. Such instrumental experimentations harmoniously interact with this discreet and almost
new agey collection of solemn synthesizerís hymns. The content also features splendidly processed environmental sounds
fully recorded and treated by the two authors.
Highly recommended to everyone who wants to explore or to approach a state of inner dialogue through an unique
and fascinating electronic sound-world. The perfect musical companion to visit the secret corners of intuitively
- Philippe Blache
SONIC CURIOSITY (USA):
This CD from 2012 features 56 minutes of enchanting electronic music.
Boddy plays synthesizers, gliss-keyboard, samplers and field recordings. Wollo plays electric/slide/E-bow and fretless guitars, guitar synthesizer, synths and field recordings.
Artificial, natural and processed guitars merge with electronics to generate a panorama of sparkling mellow tuneage.
There are so many guitars here, it's difficult to break them down for analysis, especially since many of the chords reach the
listener's ears after undergoing influential treatments. Some riffs soar, while others drift on whispery breezes. Many of the
passages adopt an ethereal character that defies codification, delightfully so.
The electronics merge beautifully with the guitars, achieving a sly masquerade that often blurs the distinctions between the
two classes of instrument. Atmospheric textures coexist with fluid cybernetics. For all the versatility of the electronics,
however, they are intentionally proximate to the myriad of sounds created by the guitar array, which (you'll recall) are
particularly un-guitar-like in their sultry resonance.
Boddy's stylistic electronic signature superbly compliments Wollo's dreamy flair, resulting in music of an enchanting nature.
Some rhythms occur (albeit synthetic), but these tempos are hardly a driving force in those tunes, seasoning rather than
propelling the music.
While there's an ambient edge to these compositions, they are flavored with a touch of oomph that elevates them from that genre. Subtle density prevails, giving the airy music a solid power that is quite entrancing. The melodies convey an icy quality tempered with a sense of exploration, seeking new frontiers with these pleasant sonic excursions.
- © 2012 Matt Howarth.
In una label discografica come la DiN, fondata con il presupposto collaborativo di avvicinare diversi musicisti della scena
elettronica contemporanea, sembrava in effetti strano che Ian Boddy ed Erik Wøllo non si fossero ancora incontrati... I pi
attenti ricorderanno sicuramente lÕesperienza di Wøllo insieme a Bernhard Wostheinrich per la realizzazione dellÕottimo
"Arcadia Borealis", uscito per la DiN nel 1999, per˜ fino ad oggi il veterano dellÕambient scandinava non aveva ancora
collaborato direttamente con Ian Boddy... "Frontiers" pone fine a questa attesa e ci presenta i due musicisti immersi nelle
grandi distese della natura scandinava: registrato in Norvegia sul finire del 2011, "Frontiers" in termini di suggestione si
collega al precedente "Arcadia Borealis", anche se lÕaspetto concettuale in "Frontiers"vuole forse essere pi contemporaneo
ed infine pi immediato e diretto del predecessore.
Boddy e Wøllo si dividono la strumentazione a loro pi congeniale, quindi Ian Boddy impegnato a tessere le sue trame
ambientali ed atmosferiche con i sintetizzatori, mentre Erik Wøllo si concentra in particolare sullÕaspetto melodico scaturito
dalle sue chitarre. I dieci brani interamente strumentali di "Frontiers" rendono bene lÕimpressione del luogo e del periodo in cui il disco stato registrato, i paesaggi glaciali e cristallini dellÕestremo nord sembrano davvero materializzarsi allÕascolto
delle melodie dilatate ed eteree dei synth; come nelle altre opere di Wøllo e Boddy gli ambienti e le suggestioni di una
natura incontaminata vengono rievocati attraverso la musica elettronica in un grande senso di serenitˆ e rigogliosa purezza, sia negli aspetti sonori pi mistici (e psichedelici) che nella semplicitˆ di melodie ariose e dal respiro sinfonico.
La sintesi tra i due musicisti si evidenzia in uno stile musicale piuttosto omogeneo e compatto in cui si alternano momenti di pura contemplazione sonora ed ascesi mistica, dove si mettono in evidenza le penetranti sonoritˆ in glissando delle tastiere e delle chitarre elettriche (sempre molto discrete ed efficaci), e brani pi ritmati e diretti, dove il contesto melodico diventa pi accattivante ed essenziale per lÕascolto. Si potrebbe imputare a "Frontiers" solo una sostanziale mancanza di novitˆ,
chi frequenta questo genere musicale non verrˆ certo sorpreso dal suo contenuto, anzi, il tutto potrebbe sembrare anche
leggermente prevedibile... quello che forse manca in originalitˆ viene comunque compensato dalla grande intensitˆ dei
brani. Quindi in definitiva lÕincontro Wøllo-Boddy ha dato buonissimi frutti.