Monday, January 30, 2017

Steve Roach - Spiral Revelation (2016)

The first time I listened to this album, I was having horrible sinus pains. These happen quite often (especially with all the frequent weather changes) and of course I needed some music that wasn't quite as brackish in which to calm my mind and hopefully soothe the pain. Spiral Revelation did just that for me, and I actually played the disc twice in a row just because I literally couldn't risk listening to anything else at the time.

The disc is largely electronic, as most of his work has been as of late and it feels more active than the meditative atmospheres we are used to. “We Continue” begins the record almost with a crystalline cavern sort of feel, and I can almost hear the water rushing. Slight electronic clicks come into play later, which sees more movement in the waves courtesy of a number entitled “Unseen Hand.” As for “Finger On The Pulse”, it takes us directly into space. I'm often reminded of games, possibly something that might suit the setting inside of a spaceship. It feels very cybernetic, quite vibrant and truly active. “A Righteous Thing” sort of reminds me of Metroid, but many similar soundfonts do. That's not a bad thing, as anything that feels like it belongs in the atmosphere of an alien world is certainy worth a listen in my book.
This one truly feels otherworldly, almost like an obtuse experiment that sounds strangely beautiful. “Primary Phase” brings us right into what I feel befits an office building, yet in the year 3047. It sounds as if busy robots are hurriedly filing reports and sending out parcels throughout the galaxy. Without a doubt, it will have your synpases firing on all levels, which this album manages to do very well.

The record itself feels vastly futuristic, making me feel as if I've walked into what I'd consider a very productive and utopian future, where the population has now become more machine than man. Though this is not a bad thing either, it just feels like a sort of transhumanist evolution into what might be a more versatile form of life. The record concludes with it's title track, which is by far the most active of them all. It is nearly twenty minutes long and considered a perfect piece by which to obtain focus and accomplish a task. There's something hugely unique about this album, and that might be the patterns it speaks to in my brain. One's head can feel a bit odd while listening to it, which might have been the real reason I sought to listen to it more than once in a sitting, despite it's length.

In any case, I definitely feel that this is one of Steve Roach's very best albums and it's probably the most active and vibrant electronic atmosphere that I've heard in my life. It is the complete opposite of meditative, and seems primed to get you going. Definitely give it a listen during those times when you feel that you will be at your most productive, as it will certainly work in your favor. It certainly got me writing.

(4 Tracks, 40:00)


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