Quite prolific in their solo studio and live efforts as well as in collaboration, the creatively restless duo of Ian Boddy and Erik Wøllo meet up again on EC12, a live album recorded at Germany's Electronic Circus Festival on 22 September 2012. Undoubtedly a unique and magical live album of contemporary instrumental works, a larger theme does emerge as the boreal textures and frosty atmosphere of their previous CD provides the core sonic identity of EC12. Somewhat of a follow-up to their studio release Frontiers (2012) EC12 works as both an introduction to the unaware and a deeper excursion for dedicated fans. While the majority of the tracks are live renditions of compositions from Frontiers the remaining concert pieces are unique to EC12 - and deliver remarkable pleasures. As the pace of the music picks up nothing passes by in a blur; the arrangements retaining their clarity very well. Their complex and expressive performance of beautifully glazed keyboard textures, threatening bass rumble and percussive build becomes truly beautiful when we are really paying attention. In an unexpected burst of clarity Wøllo and Boddy trade then layer lead lines of liquid guitar tropes and sliding synthesizer tones. In another exciting passage Wøllo and Boddy rock out with pulse quickening steel string and keyboard melodies - ever so sweetly overdriven - easily reaching the last row of the venue and the kinetic center of the brain. In contrast the sweeping emotional feel of the dense synth-string chords, echoing sequencer runs, breathing guitar and environmental interludes are where tiny details become indelible landmarks. This duo has produced a concert album that does not rely on melody, harmony or rhythm alone, but instead has them working together in patient harmony. Boddy and Wøllo do plunge in deep on EC12, but never leave the listener behind.
- Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END 17 April 2014