Thursday, 11 April 2019

Steve Roach "Eclipse Mix" (2017)

In the mood for more meditative music I stumbled onto a free, hour long release from Ambient master Steve Roach! It is initially quite the uneventful and hard to pin down record as its soft alluring drones of calmness continuously perpetuate the stillness of space. The spacial humming murmurs illusive creaks of notes that fall like a blanket, one big blur of rising sound that makes a moment feel eternal. The knobs and dials of Steve's synthesizers are tweaked to that magic tone where the reverberations ooze into one another as gleaming synths seem to turn over each other without collision. It grows in intensity, its repeating elements building up and then unwind.

The calm, inviting space carved in the beginning of the track gives way to a darker shift as the twenty minute mark passes. Eerie, uneasy synths bring disharmony to the forefront with buried, disjointed melodies and reverberations that sound reversed to unsettle the listener. Whenever enjoy the relaxing music in the background, it doesn't take long to notice this shift in tone as one feels on edge in its presence. Beyond this phase the music rears itself on an icy path, the warmth and fire of the two opening phases seem distant, the tone is of limbo, as the new setting holds hints of these differing dynamics yet is suspended between them all.

It lacks the distinct and consistent tone of the opening, always unsettled by subtly shifting and allowing for big, glacial synth tones to rise, melt and flood the soundscape. It may be devoid of obvious melody but it becomes quite eventful in the final phases as big brooding sounds revolve around each other and cut the stillness like passing monoliths, inanimate but massive in scope and presence. All in all its a really enjoyable hour when in the right mood. I sought something out and got exactly what I was looking for! Best of all it was free on Steve's bandcamp page!

Rating: 6/10