Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Steve Roach - Emotions Revealed (2016)

Atmosphere legend Steve Roach has never been one to sit on his laurels, and yet another one of his magnificent soundscapes is here in the form of this two track recording. Technically, it consists of pieces dating all of the way back to the eighties, and was previously lost. There wasn't even a name on the tape! But due to the magic of technology, these old recordings sound as if they'd been made just a few months ago. That being said, both pieces will require a large degree of observation, such as I will offer here. The first piece is the title track, which is composed of two separate pieces. A basic piece composes the background, whilst something that I would almost liken to a sort of guitar seems to go off in several directions throughout the mix. The reverberation in the simplistic foreground piece seems to serve as a sort of conscious conductor, which seems to hold more of my attention than the artistic wizzums of which I'm being exposed to in the background. But it oddly enough works, because of it's mantric nature. It's like clockwork and feels almost mechanic, yet in an ethereal sense of things. As the piece continues, the background gets a bit louder and mixes in with the foreground mantra, making something that sounds just like we'd expect from Steve Roach. The piece fades out rather quietly, yet still retains it's machine-like atmosphere up until the end.

The next piece we have is called “Firelight” and it's by and large different. Whereas the title cut was very artistic and moving, this piece feels like a trip of sorts. Though we're first assaulted by a rather grim sort of notion, the piece does lighten up a little to a sound which doesn't even feel natural. It feels inhuman, like something completely not of this world. The piece is not overbearing, it feels almost non-existent and almost like the mere ebb and flow of a galaxy. I believe I've heard similar approaches in a visual novel or computer game, especially the very deep ones, where such a piece might benefit the story. There's something ancient, powerful and removed from our world that exists within this piece. It drones for a bit, albeit in a pleasing way, until it finally explodes into what I can describe as a burst of color, where it finally explodes and fades out like a dead star... which still manages to glimmer brightly a few more times before it finally flickers out. All in all, you're getting two drastically different pieces from Roach, which embody everything we've come to expect from him. They're definitely worth your attention and the price of the journey.

(2 Tracks, 51:00)


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