Artist: Ian Boddy
Album: Tone Science

Released: 26 February 2016
Label: DiN

Tone Science Ian Boddy
Much like the apes struggling to comprehend the monolith, there are those among us who will not understand Tone Science (60'46"). But, this music is not for them - as it, and its producer Ian Boddy, benefits more from intelligent company. To enjoy Tone Science it helps to partner with its author, and leave all mainstream musical concepts behind. Here Boddy plays with an ear for color, motion and texture, forsaking conventional narrative clarity. It is an experience by way of the senses, rather than through pure mental interpretation. Our focus expands beyond sound, to the sources of that sound, to its imminent fragility and a state of unbeing. It may be difficult to lose ourselves in Tone Science, as its negative space is constantly asking us to make sense of it. One moment triggers the next so seamlessly that eventually chaos is re-engineered into the illusion of a natural order. Throughout the soundspace, tones flicker lightly across the surface, or burrow deep within it - and come into focus, or all but disappear. The gentle descent into incandescent timbres and rambling, fearsome energy has the ability to stir the imagination. Throbbing with texture, then snapping into focus, Boddy's five lessons on loudness, denseness, sonority, and several unidentifiable musical traits, enmesh the listener in aural events that are impossible to live aloud. Taking refuge in a world of abstraction, sonic figments may summon mental imagery to supplement aural input, but really only offer spatial and cognitive distortions. As a fragile stability gives way to strange, vigorous explorations, we wonder if these works could actually be destroying Boddy's studio equipment in their production. Beauty may be found in maximal passages, when the details (as here) are done right. Peaceful moments are few, with boiling oceans, frozen wastelands, disconnected time and states of imminent collapse arising out of Boddy's most innovative electronic modulations. Without any concession toward standard Spacemusic plotting, Tone Science descends into artistic reverie - representing a state of total disengagement. Defying metaphorical interpretation, its most salient tension may be found in our fraught relationship between known and unknown tones. At times frustratingly complex and impenetrable, we do not reason our way through an album like this; we must allow it to just wash over us. In a journey through the sense of hearing Boddy hopes to re-diagram our impressions of time, memory and consciousness. He has the uncanny ability to infuse a familiar genre with deeper meaning, and leave the listener feeling exhilarated. With Tone Science we find a deliberate exposure of Boddy's psyche, which feels even more intimate than his many more conventional works. From safely behind his thick walls, we feel the satisfaction of the master.

- Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END   14 April 2016

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