Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Steve Roach "Mercurius" (2018)


Far from the minimalist magic of Structures From Silence or the spiritual revelations of Dreamtime Return, I underestimated what an old master would be up to far from the emergence of Ambient music. Steve has not lost his touch, Mercurius delivers four soundscape pieces amassing over seventy minutes between them. This lengthy record isn't about event and progression. Its built around mood and tone and with layers of select synthetic tones and appropriate reverberations Steve conjures gleaming, glossy and meditative atmospheres to sink the mind into. It may be thought of as background music but it is potent and powerful, sucking one in slowly.

Liminal is a light and airy piece of peaceful ambiguity, gentle murmuring synths drifting in and out of focus with a heavenly vibe that flirts with illusive melodies. The lengthy Immanent rumbles into darker, spacey territory with its deeper, dense synth tones bleeding lengthy notes that overlap as they fade in and out of each other. Aeon is my favorite, with a similar pallet to Liminal but spiraling instruments take on a psychedelic sense of exploration as a semblance of tune and melody creeps in. Mercurius has a thick, rich smothering of smooth synths with a grander stretch of sound fading in and out, having the closest sense of "event" in bulging growths of volume.

All in all its an easy record to let pass you by as its soft atmospheres breath slowly and the uneventful nature of the music may dull but in the right moment its meditative magic seeps forth and will cast its calming spell. It did take a few listens to click and now its a noted "go to" for in need of some calming relaxation. A great listen!

Favorite Track: Aeon
Rating: 7/10

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