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Steve Roach — Reflections in Repose
(Projekt PRO418, 2024, 2CD / DL)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2024-04-17

Reflections in Repose Cover art

A convergence of myriad texrures and subtle tonal colors into a vast ambient sonic fabric. One can call it spirited meditation music, or a slow dreamlike odyssey, mystifying cavernous sounds, or a warm pillow of soft cloudlike structures, or a slow evolution of shimmering sonic beauty; I’m sure I may have come up with some even better descriptives of Steve Roach’s floating ambient music in the 70 or so previous times I’ve reviewed his solo works and collaborations. He does occasionally perform sequenced electronic works, and other times offers up heavy percussive fare with hand drums and didgeridoo, but the better portion of his solo work, especially that from more recent years, is exactly what Reflections in Repose has an overwhelming abundance of: beauty, warmth, subtle textures, drifting dreamlike structures, and a viewing of introspective emotional landscapes that works subtly as it calms the nerves and soothes the spirit. Listeners already familiar with Roach’s music really don’t need this review — his style is well established across 200-plus releases to date since the early 80s, and those who appreciated Structures from Silence (one of his earliest works, reissued a few months back) or any of a hundred or so others along the way will know exactly what’s in store; for those who are new to Roach’s work, Reflections in Repose is a perfect place to get on board and begin your exploration. What’s on offer here are five long-form compositions (meaning: an LP side in length or longer, a couple of the numbers approach the 30 minute mark) spread across two CDs, in his floating ambient textural style, without drums or percussion, without any busy sequencing — what’s here is all borne of synthesizers and electronics, but that of a gentle, introspective nature that wraps around the listener like a warm blanket, and allows the listener to lock in and follow the sounds and textures down the eternal spiral. And yes, if slumber is in your path, Reflections in Repose will be there to guide you down gently.

Filed under: New releases, 2024 releases

Related artist(s): Steve Roach

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