Ian Boddy has been releasing electronic music out of his base in Newcastle (UK) since the dawn of the eighties, and has worked with, and released work by a variety of seminal musicians including Robert Rich, Chris Carter and Tetsu Inoue. Exit Strategy is DiN’ most recent offering from label head Boddy, this time in conjunction with the pulsing analogue modular synths and warm vintage keyboards of Bakis Sirros, a Greek musician who has released two albums on DiN under the Parallel Worlds moniker. Reworking the base material of Parallel Worlds, Boddy sculpts a journey summoning forth the slightly damp underground realms of the troglodyte and links the spacious ambient sounds into a suite that should melt the heart of many a headphone-cocooned listener.
“Portal’ opens proceedings with a portentous build up of synth tones reminiscent of the Theremin, before “Impresario’ slowly builds into a gothic cathedral of sound somewhere between Arovane, Boards of Canada and an electronic approximation of Ennio Morricone. “Entwined’ is an unsoothingly good lullaby – insects and figures from Grimm’ tales soporifically cavort in an underground labyrinth. Definitely the centrepiece of the album, the title track reminds me of late 90s era Coil crossed with the modern Arcadian voyagers of the Ghost Box label; melding glitchy IDM beats and chirruping synths into an emotive and hypnotic paean that mixes psychedelic ambience with subtle minimal rhythms. With three distinct parts contained within the tracks’ ten-minute duration, “Exit Strategy’ showcases the calibre and experience of the musicians involved with this project.
It took repeated immersions in the (parallel) worlds of Boddy and Sirros for the overall sound palate and subtle story telling of the duo to start to transport this reviewer. At first seeming overly synthetic and fussy, the self-assured logic of Exit Strategy slowly made peace with my sensibilities. Nowhere was this more apparent than on “Hidden’, a study in emotive ambience that had me drifting along in an entropic bliss of laid-back keys and space-bound effects. Boddy’ DiN label has been a bastion of this style of electronic music since its inception in 1999. The DiN sound might not quite be zeitgeist defining in 2011, but the fact that an established network of artists maintain aesthetic focus and stay true to their vision pays dividends for the true believers and neophytes alike.