DiN 17 Pure by Reuter / Boddy
Limited to 1,000 copies
Arguably the UKs leading independent electronic music maestro Ian Boddy has teamed up once again with German touch guitarist, Markus Reuter to create a stunning new album called Pure.
Although Boddy and Reuter have collaborated in concert (at Jodrell Bank in 1999 & the E-Live Festival in Eindhoven 2000), Pure represents their second proper studio outing since their impressive 1999 debut, Distant Rituals.
Pure is radically different from the impressionistic prowl of its predecessor. Their collaboration earlier this year was based around a series of distinct musical ideas. Boddy and Reuter explored and expanded the pieces into a cycle of intricate, inter-connected compositions; delicate in expression and character, graceful in execution and richly harmonic.
This is not a collection of drifting textures but rather a series of crisply defined vignettes with tight arrangements and close attention to fine detail. Filled with achingly beautiful melodies and deceptively simple orchestrations, Pure is the sound of two musicians at the top of their game.
This isnt some somnolent chill-out CD or music with which to decorate the air. Dont expect to turn on, tune in and drop off. What you get with Pure is an album of sustained reverie; alert, engaged and insightful; totally in the moment; Pure music of here and now.
Pure has the warmth and human-touch so often lacking in modern electronica. This isnt about wires and interfaces; Pure is about contact and exchange; in this sound world nothing is separate or isolated. With Pure everything connects one idea leading to another
From the first second of the opening track, Presence, the listener is taken somewhere special, somewhere out of the ordinary. Moving easily between the diaphanous sound that youd expect from Ian Boddy and the deft, fleeting guitar work for which Markus Reuter is rightly lauded, the eleven tracks contrast and compliment each other perfectly.
On the twitchfunk pulse of This Life, Reuters bottomless guitar shadow-dances between layers of muted colouring and surging beats;creating something playful and dynamic.
The Level is utterly enthralling. Cascading lines jostle and push against an unswerving beat; high notes popping like paparazzi flashbulbs, their ghostly after-trace still with you long after the track has passed by.
Glisten begins with a sequence of gently repeating gamelan bells, iced over with fleeting wintry tones. Here as elsewhere, prowess and skill are sublimated; serving the needs of the track rather than any witless grandstanding or look-at-me soloing.
The short piece Breathe is pure light. Not the kind of light you might see glaring in a shopping mall but more the kind streaming through a stained glass window. Pure inspiration.
The title Pure is a fitting closes to the album. Assured and deliberate, the heart-rending melody moves to an emotional resolution; uplifting and ultimately satisfying.
In the end though, theres not much point in worrying about whom does what on this album; Boddy and Reuter have created something that is seamless, something that is greater than the sum of its parts. Whats important is that theyve colluded and conspired to create a piece of outstanding, irresistible music. Thats Pure.
Production Notes :
Cut-up, sequenced, and pre-mixed in Ableton Live.
Original compositions based on ambient textures and dry recordings of touch guitar performed by Markus Reuter.
Voice & vocoded textures by Markus Reuter.
Markus Reuter plays Warr guitars.
Ian Boddy plays synth pads using Atmosphere & sampled Mellotron.
Percussion programming by Ian Boddy using Roland 100-M, Analogue Solutions & Analogue Systems modular synths with NI Reaktor & AAS Tassman.
Mixed on Apple G5 using Emagic Logic with Pluggo, Altiverb, Waves, SFX-machine &
Music and words written by Markus Reuter, except "Immersion" and "Breathe" by Reuter & Boddy.
Arranged by Ian Boddy & Markus Reuter, Feb. 2004. Produced and mixed by Ian Boddy, July - Sept. 2004.
Mastered by Denis Blackham at Skye Mastering
Ian Boddy has been a veteran of the European electronic music scene since the late 1970s. In addition to his numerous solo albums, Boddy has a knack of developing creative partnerships with artists such as ex-Throbbing Gristle, Chris Carter, Mark Shreeve (as ARC), and American ambient guru, Robert Rich, turntablist and beatmaster, Nigel Mullaney and of course, Markus Reuter. With each successive title, Boddy has won acclaim and plaudits from fans and critics alike for the widescreen vision that his music so brilliantly encompasses.
Gifted with an impeccable technique as befits someone who attended Guitar Craft sessions led by Robert Fripp, Markus Reuters dazzling touch guitar work has graced albums by Centrozoon, the Europa String Choir and No Man vocalist, Tim Bowness. With his work appearing on DiN, Burning Shed, One Little Indian, and Hypnos, Reuter has established himself as a musician of integrity, precision and capacity. Not for nothing did King Crimsons Pat Mastelotto jump at the chance to remix some of Reuters work with Centrozoon in 2003.
Markus Reuter and Ian Boddy's last collaboration was the ethereal DiN release Distant Rituals, and if anything Pure is even more engaging. Boddy's light airy synths are combined with a variety of Reuter's ambient guitar samples and processing, including his voice and vocoded textures. The result can be funky, as on the bass-laden "History" and "This Life", or smooth as glass, as on the crystalline tones of "Presence", the opening track. "History" includes a liberal dose of the so-called vocoded textures, adding depth and richness to the sound environment. "Glisten" does just that, as beautiful sounds softly trickle out into the atmosphere. "Immersion" features crisp bell tones, eventually joined by sounds that are much more overtly guitar than in prior tracks. The playing on the guitar is relaxed but skillful. "Clearing" is a bit more abstract, with a stuttering beat that seems to catch and start and catch again. As the disc progresses, the symbiotic relationship between Reuter and Boddy grows and matures, each piece showing a slightly different side or emotion than the one before. Unlike a lot of Boddy's recent work the pieces here, while delicate, have a considerable degree of musical structure. Though the liner notes suggest Reuter is the primary contributor, "The Level" has Ian's musical signature all over it, with excellent sequencing, rhythms, and synths. This one is a real standout, as is "Fragments", a compelling piece that does seem to be made up of bits and pieces, held together with a totally infectious beat. The title track finishes this strong album on a light, optimistic note. One of the DiN label's finest releases to date.