Exposé Online banner

Robert Rich & Ian Boddy — React
(DiN DiN29, 2008, CD)

by K. Leimer, Published 2008-10-01

React Cover art

Space is the place for this live set – marking the 30th anniversary of Chuck van Zyl’s Star’s End. Synthesized voices overlap lap steel guitar phrases that sometimes float, sometimes charge in with pleasing levels of feedback. Synths, flute, processed laptop, and plenty of swept and stepped filters join closely-tooled sub and sonic metallic percussion. Once assembled, the pieces straddle the gulf between analog and digital styles. Sound like early Kraftwerk? Nope. But React does look both forward and back, showing off a wealth of highly polished technical skills illuminated by an aura of days-gone-by compositional largess based on the formlessness so central to the formation of space music. The eleven pieces slip and stream together, shifting in texture and mood with a conscious sense of pace and contrast, dropping hints here and there until we reach the tenth and title track. “React” is the summa, aggregating the preceding elements into a more deliberate whole. Here, darker hued nervous energy and a thicket of beats are layered with sampled or synthesized female voice and gouts of guitar all interacting with each other rather than remaining satisfied with the mere coexistence within the preceding pieces. Stopping short of Tangerine Dream’s formulaic “Stratosfear” – emulation of rock without rock insight – React is mostly brushed washes of stream-of-consciousness entrances and exits either hard or soft, fast or not fast, sheer or opaque, resulting in restless, layered music more intent on gaining your attention than holding it.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 36, 2008 releases

Related artist(s): Ian Boddy, Robert Rich

Latest news

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart $amp; Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more

2017-09-06
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more

2017-08-22
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Richard Pinhas - Metal / Crystal – If it's true – at least in creative work – that quantity yields quality, the recent releases by Richard Pinhas are proving that maxim possesses a limited applicability. Built as a...  (2011) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues