“Octane” is the remarkable debut album by UK synth-giants Ian Boddy and Mark Shreeve, who know each other already since the start of the ’80’s. When the two founded ARC, they were looking for a more modern electronic sound, apart from the retro-space sequencer style.
The music of Arc focuses on using vintage analog synthesizer gear only, which on “Octane” leads to rhythm/sequencer-based (“Steam”, “Relay”) and atmospheric outings (“Who Walks Behind You”, “Turn and Face Me”). Its cyclical melodies and free-form solos take the listener on an edgy ride with thick, thudding bass lines, paying its own compelling tribute to the cosmic sequencer music of the ’70s.
I’m especially fond of the unpolished, organic feel running through the music, re-defining the sound of the Berliner Scholl with a huge twist. The final track “Relay” releases all spine-chilling energy in awesome, thunderous form, pointing in the direction where Mark’s project Redshift would venture into.
The hardcopy edition of this album is long out of print, but fortunately the album’s tasty music is still available as digital download through e.g. MusicZeit.
You can see what reviews I have done of this artist on the Arc artist page