Steve Roach — Atmosphere for Dreaming
(Timeroom Direct, 2019, DL)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2019-04-25
Released on January 1st 2019, I’ve been spinning this nearly every early morning for almost three months as this review is written, and it could go on like this for much longer too. We have a single sprawling 73 minute track that could actually go on forever were in not for the limitations of the CD medium. Beginning with beautiful cloudbursts that spin forward and backwards and textural washes of melodic color that follow them, before long the listener will find themselves in a rich jungle canopy with the sounds of birds, cicadas, small animals, and other mysterious natural sounds mixed in with all that has gone down before it. These seemingly ‘natural sounds’ were field recordings from Roach’s many trips to Australia going all the way back to the time of Dreamtime Return that he has kept in his archives all these years; these were also processed and altered in the studio to create a deeper and more surreal shift out of real time. Eventually the natural sounds diminish more as the colorful atmospheric washes from the background overtake them, but they never fade completely. Everything in the mix plays well together as it proceeds, with everything having its moment in the spotlight. In some ways I’m reminded of the best parts of the Mathias Grassow & Alio Die classic Expanding Horizon, the mix of atmospherics, droning, slow loops, magnificent panoramas and natural sounds integrated into the fabric of it all. Over time, Roach has become one of the single most prolific visionaries in this kind of immersive sonic world, and for all his works leading up to the present, there has never been one quite like this before. For fans of his long-form floating ambient opuses, Atmosphere for Dreaming is an absolute must have.
Related artist(s): Steve Roach
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