Steve Roach — Back to Life
(Projekt 267, 2012, 2CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2013-10-11Roach presents another mystical journey into deep-dream space spread out across two full length discs. Even though disc one contains seven titles, make no mistake, it is one long continuum that shifts mood and pace in six different places along its 74 minute path, occasionally approaching darkness, but otherwise filled with light, textures, and muted tonal colors. The second disc contains only one piece, the appropriately titled “Mist of Perception,” that is essentially a linear exploration and re-exploration of the same themes, each with slightly different perspectives, navigating deeper into inner worlds exploring shimmering textures and percepts of imagination. Those who have experienced Roach’s long-form floating ambient work before will be right at home here. This is more kinetic than some of his quieter works; there is always something going on, any number of parts or levels that the listener can focus on, feeding the expanses of the imagination. As the listener travels with the music – especially on “Mist...,” eventually it doesn’t matter as the sounds and imagery fuse into the psyche, eventually becoming on in the same, there are no places here to hide. Again, I can’t recommend Roach’s music highly enough, but if one is coming from the virtuosic chops and complex compositions side of music, appreciating the subtle nuances of the floating ambient experience will take time to learn, absorb, immerse within, and appreciate, but ultimately it will lead into a whole new relationship with the worlds of sound, on an entirely new experiential level.
Related artist(s): Steve Roach
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more