Get this crazy baby off my head!




Arc - Fracture - 2007 - Inner Knot

ARC is the recording alias of electronica staples Mark Shreeve and DiN label boss Ian Boddy, a duo who have been working together for almost a decade. The two producers bring very different elements to the table: Boddy mans all things digital, running a variety of synthesizers in conjunction with software, while Shreeve brings an analogue presence to the album, sequencing via a vast Moog Modular system. This meeting of new and old technologies makes for a brand of electronica steeped as much in thick, tangible electronic textures as it is in modern sound designs. Pieces like 'Fracture' and 'Slipstream' have as much to do with the primordial circuitry of krautrock as they do with IDM, based around a sturdy mainframe of rhythmic pulsations and floating, vaporous synth densities. This combination works best on the epic closing track 'Rapture', which clocks up almost twenty-three minutes of melodic ambience and layers of deep synthetic atmosphere. A pretty ideal release for any devotee of the DiN sound. © www.boomkat.com/artist.cfm?a=15902

Ian Boddy & Mark Shreeve strike again! This ARC album is by far their most sonically sophisticated. Both light and dark melodic themes blend exotically with slow undulating, dense ambient layers of sound and incredible diverse sequential riffs. The result is totally modern EM at it’s most creative. © www.eurock.com/ProductDetails.aspx?productID=1721


1. Fracture
2. Departed
3. Slipstream
4. Friction
5. Rapture


Ian Boddy (electric piano, synthesizer);
Mark Shreeve (synthesizer, sequencer).
Producer: Ian Boddy, Mark Shreeve


A really deep menacing but contemporary sounding rhythm provides an impressive start to the title track. There is a snarl to proceedings full of menace. A superb melodic sequence bounces forward, forming quite a contrast to the earth shaking syncopations. Things subside for a moment but the bass rumbles soon return, this time accompanied by a slow but stunningly effective water droplet lead. Shuddering rhythms reappear juxtapositioned by the most sublime of melodies. The level of sound manipulation and production on this track is just awesome. More wonderful sounding sequences weave around each other from the very first moment of 'Departed'. A haunting lead line floats above the pulsations like some lost soul. Another lead conjures a feeling of longing. As with the first track it's the way that the melodies combine with the rhythms that is so impressive, both elements exquisite in their own right. Then quite unexpectedly the rhythms depart for a piano solo before the intensity builds once more to epic proportions. It's the sort of music that would accompany some triumphant conclusion to an intense film.
The film would have to be one Hell of a classic to justify music of this standard however. 'Slipstream' uses deep sonic stabs and string pads to create quite a melancholy atmosphere through which another bass laden sequence (fans of their last album should love this) rumbles forward. Another sequence, much brighter that the first is deployed then a playful organ lead. The sequences morph and combine in differing patterns whilst fresh leads come and go so that the mind is kept in a state of wonder. Sometimes it all seems quite mellow and then at others, when the growling sequence snarls to the surface, we are treated to that ever-present darker edge. 'Friction' takes the standard of production to even greater levels, the pulsations so bass laden that they are felt as much as heard- then in come layer after layer of melodic but intense sequences. This is really in your face stuff. As is becoming quite a trademark of this album the lead line is simply stunning but also a softening element to the mayhem.
The final track, the twenty-two minute 'Rapture' is well named, as it will have fans of 'Arcturus' in Berlin School bliss. We commence with atmospheric swirling sounds with quite ominous undertones. These take over the mind providing a sort of uneasy peace until we are brought back to wakefulness with strange animal noises. A storm starts to brew and the biggest beast of a sequence on the album so far (and that is really saying something) is unleashed. A lead skips over the top, and excellent it is too, but it is that sequence that will grab you most, getting the whole body moving to its irresistible power which grows and grows - turn that volume right up and really let yourself go! We return to fantastic moody atmospherics to finish. Absolutely awesome! (DL) © www.synthmusicdirect.com/arcfrac.cfm

With each release, Arc (the British duo of Mark Shreeve and Ian Boddy) ventures out across new sonic territory. The CD Fracture (53'34") exists at the intersection of their previous works (the space-rock based) Blaze and (cosmic-influenced) Arcturus. The title may be referring to the odd arithmetic that yields the engaging sequencer rhythms found on Fracture. The patterns roll and crest dramatically as Boddy and Shreeve follow the beat's story. Lyrical melodies lend a sense of dramatic narrative while chilled synth pads pull the mood into dark areas. The first four of the five tracks build amazingly from spare beginnings. On top of a halting, mechanistic pattern grows layers of synchronized arpeggios that switch direction and colour in breathtaking dexterity. The closing piece is a sprawling realization that extends into a cool textural and atmospheric realm - an excellent ending, one shrouded in fine cosmic dust. Continually finding new meaning in the Spacemusic style, Arc has produced yet another unexpectedly perfect album. © Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END 1 November 2007, www.starsend.org/Fracture.html

Ian Boddy & Mark Shreeve have been at the centre of the UK Electronic Music scene since the late seventies and have known each other since they both appeared at the very first UK Electronica festival in 1983. They've both enjoyed considerable success in releasing a succession of solo albums. However it wasn't until 1998 that they first collaborated under the ARC banner for their first CD release, "Octane". Then in 1999 Boddy set up the ambient electronica label DiN that has achieved considerable success in releasing CD's by artists such as Robert Rich, Tetsu Inoue, Markus Reuter, Chris Carter, Surface 10, RMI & of course Ian Boddy. "Fracture" is ARC's fifth album release and their fourth on the DiN label. It features their fabled retro style sequencing, courtesy of Shreeve's giant Moog modular system, coupled with a heady mix of quirky melodic lines and spacy atmospheres. The album is wholly instrumental and the first four tracks constantly morph and evolve with a set of chilled out grooves and sublime melodic themes. The fifth track, "Rapture", is an epic in every sense. Nearly 23 minutes in length it features a central, pounding sequencer riff section cocooned within truly awe inspiring deep space ambiences for a truly memorable track. Voiceprint © 2006