Ian Boddy – interview in Sonic Report – Dec 1982

This interview, with a younger Ian Boddy (23 years at that time) appeared in the (Dutch/Flemish) magazine Sonic Report – December 1982. Unfortunately we couldn’t find any reference to an author of this article. Please note that the original article was in Dutch, so we scanned and translated it with some help of Google. Below this post you’ll find the pdf with the original scans of the article.

Musicians, who do not have the facilities to release a gramophone record, are increasingly distributing their musical qualities by music cassette. An excellent idea, because not only are the production costs considerably lower than with the gramophone record, you can also adjust the circulation to the demand, not to mention the enormous cost savings with regard to the presentation of the product . Sonic Report has gained some insight into the total range of electronic music cassettes. In this section, we will deal with identifying this current of cassette heroes.

As the first artist in our new cassette category Ian Boddy from England. England is sparsely populated with electronic artists and it’s about time some people stepped out of the shadows . Hasn’t England always been the cradle of original pop music? Developments in the music world are unimaginable without involving the English pioneers . Especially now that the German school has passed its most influential period, discovering electronic musicians from virgin countries is becoming a necessity to bring some life to the brewery. When I go over my purchases of the past year, I have to come to the gloomy conclusion that I have in fact come across little new, that is to say records that make me go crazy. Real sensational records this year were really just Thomas Dolby and Erdenklang.

Of course good products are also delivered, but either they are clones of other musicians or they are trying to get a piece of the pie from the margins. A gift from heaven for me was the song Starlights by lan Boddy! Ian, 23 years old and working in a laboratory in a hospital in Newcastle, was introduced to electronic music at the age of 18, on the one hand through Schulze and Tangerine Dream, on the other hand through contacts with the Spectro Arts Workshop. This Workshop is a government sponsored facility where different branches of art are represented, including photography and sound. As a result , there is a sound studio that is open to everyone for a small fee. So Boddy found the equipment that can produce the futuristic sounds of his idols there and was hooked . Endless practice on the available VCS 3 eventually made him long to expand his options. In the beginning he had his equipment expanded through the purchase by Spectro, but soon he realized that the best possessions are own. Anyway, recently Boddy is the proud owner of Roland system 100M, a polyphonic Moog and extensive peripheral equipment in the form of sequencers , drum machines, echoes, etc. Especially the Roland system 100M has greatly enriched his sound. Because he still makes his recordings in the Spectro sound Studio , he can continue to use the equipment available there. On to the music.

His first product Images are from ’79 and ’80. Side 1 contains two melodic songs and the very original Cantata , a kind of church music with a striking rhythm box. Side 2: two long songs, the first not dissimilar to Phaedra , but certainly not plagiarism. The highlight is Floating, a title that other artists have used before. This version really makes you drift away in your thoughts, so very emotional music.

His second cassette, Elements Of Chance, is his most successful product to date and we gradually recognize a specific Boddy sound: cheerful tunes with smooth drums and a beautiful melody. As a composer I consider Boddy capable of great achievements and he proves that here with Laja, Natura! Motion and Surface Touches. Special mention no Four Views, no less than eighteen minutes. Similar in style to Rolf Trostel and about the same time as Inselmusik conceived. The song Elements Or Chance is a bit of a letdown but can barely affect the level of the rest.

A third cassette from Boddy, titled OPTIONS has been released also by Mirage. This mainly seems to be a sketchbook of ideas, supplemented with a live registration from November ’81. Options is therefore not very consistent, but it shows to some extent how lan makes his music. On the one hand songs based on a clear composition and carefully worked out, on the other hand purely improvised sounds and on top of that some multi- layered keyboards. The live part consists of two pieces of which Till quiet Descends is broodingly atmospheric, it wouldn’t look out of place as a soundtrack to a horror film; a good contrast with 21 Degrees, a rather industrial song with many sequencers and heavy drums and a very thin melody line. Fortunately, it ends very sweetly. Skylights and Follow from the Flowmotion LP can also be found on this cassette.

So far lan Boddy, a surprising introduction to a young English talent. For the foreseeable future , his plans are to have material ready for a record in the spring of ’83 , which will be self-released or not, depending on orders from the major and minor companies. In addition, he tries to put himself in the picture locally and regionally by performing live. If lan Boddy will profile himself in the tradition of which he has chosen the main lines for the Flowmotion LP, then his LP must be the surprise of 1983. the word is for lan!

The picture on the right was not included in the original article, but is taken recently.

This is the original Dutch article from Sonic Report, december 1982.