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Steve Roach — Zones, Drones & Atmospheres
(Projekt PRO393, 2022, CD / DL)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2022-01-10

Zones, Drones & Atmospheres Cover art

Since the early 80s, Steve Roach has been releasing powerful ambient chronicles of the imagination, forward-looking minimalist music like no other before it, although his music has served as guidance and inspiration for many who came after. Roach’s first release of 2022 offers a wellspring of expressive soundscapes that encompass all of what the title bluntly suggests: zones of alluring beauty and nuanced shades of light and darkness; drones that offer a persuasive vision that engulfs the listener completely; and atmospheres that shimmer and weave, swirling in hazy heady textures and opening out into the vast reaches of the cosmos. Those familiar with his previous ambient works, both short and long form pieces, might not be too surprised by what’s on offer here, given that it all fits into Roach’s expected and expansive trajectory — dreamy sounds that meet the mysterious and cavernous reverberations of space that fit within no existing genre of music other than to say that its essence is explorative and, by virtue of its presentation, hypnotic. The compact disc version contains seven evocative and mystical tracks of varying length, from the near-fifteen minute opener “The Living Space,” where the dark sky breathes freely as stars curiously light up the heavens with beautiful sonic artifacts, to the dense atmospheres and dark growling textures of “Immerse Indigo,” the disc's shortest track at six minutes. With “The Perfection of Solitude” one will hear deep electronic pulses across a gentle field of shaded atmospherics, while “Neomorphic” takes the listener on a guided journey through the depths of space, with subtle flashes of ancient tonal color driving the abstraction forward. Downloaders will get a couple extra cuts that are not featured on the CD, the 73-minute “Submerged” and the near-hour-long “Isolation Station”; both are long-form pieces that immerse the listener in slow waves and shimmering cascades, meditations that are all but guaranteed to send one down the eternal spiral of slumber and beyond.

Filed under: New releases, 2022 releases

Related artist(s): Steve Roach

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