Steve Roach — Landmass
(Timeroom Editions TM20, 2008, CD)
Steve Roach — A Deeper Silence
(Timeroom Editions TM19, 2008, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2009-07-01Most of the Steve Roach releases we have reviewed in these pages are on the Projekt label. Timeroom Editions is his private label, offering additional releases from this prolific artist, available for purchase on the website. Many times I've written about the innate suitability of much of Roach's music as perfect accompaniment for relaxation, meditation and slumber. There are a few things that can work against this, though (and I suppose this is subjective, but I'm writing this review, so...) One is driving electronic sequences that overwhelm all else, another is drumming, and the last: seemingly endless patches of dead silence between tracks. Nothing wakes this writer up quicker than silence. I'm happy to report that these two releases contain none of that: both are essentially continuous pieces of music lasting well over an hour with no breaks. Landmass does contain six tracks, recorded and composed live on Chuck van Zyl's Stars End radio show, but all six pieces flow together into a seamless whole. There are sequences and percussive sounds (drums), but they are fairly muted and masterfully flowed in behind the more prominent cyclical waves of drones and ambient coloration, making a perfect soundtrack for the downward spiral at the end of a stressful day. A Deeper Silence starts two or three steps further down the consciousness ladder, 74 minutes of pure deep space drone, very dark and at times so quiet that I needed to boost my volume a few notches just to keep it audible. The sound breathes and grows in formless fashion over seemingly endless cyclical evolutions, but the sonic palette here bears little color, and no sequences or percussive content of any kind. Both of these are excellent releases, but very different.
Related artist(s): Steve Roach
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