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Steve Roach — Fade to Gray
(Timeroom Editions TM41, 2017, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2017-03-22

Fade to Gray Cover art

A Companion release to Painting in the Dark, which I eviewed a couple weeks ago, Fade to Gray is a similar endeavor but without a lot of the melodic color and variation that Painting provided; this is one focused more on textures, although slower swells of muted colors run regular interference across the vast palette that it encompasses. This is a single track that clocks in a few seconds shy of 74 minutes, and the title fits the music perfectly, as does the cover art. Imagine floating through a warm cloud with limited visibility, where vague sounds, lights and shapes punctuate the distance, like peering off the bow of a ship as it passes through a heavy fog in the early morning. Nothing pierces the fog other than distant hints of variation, motion, and occasional brighter highlights, comprising elements all merging in a confluence of textures. Yes, this is much darker and less colorful that the companion release, but the vastness, detail and beauty found herein convey something much larger, with a seemingly infinite amount of emotional depth, in a spiraling cauldron that one can get completely lost within. With no apoloies, I’m not even going to try and speculate on how the composer produced all the textures that make up these mysterious shimmering soundscapes, but it’s probably best that the listener doesn’t think about it anyway, and just accept the complete engulfment that Fade to Gray provides.


Filed under: New releases, 2017 releases

Related artist(s): Steve Roach

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