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Steve Roach: Arc of Passion

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STEVE ROACH: Arc of Passion (double CD Projekt)

This release from 2007 offers 101 minutes of truly inspired electronic music.

Four compositions (technically three since the title track starts on disk 1 and continues on disk 2) are found on this release:

Celestial tones establish a cloudy foundation that sedates the audience, wiping clean all traces of tension or material concerns from the mind. Gradually, these drones swell with puissance, and alternate layers emerge to season the soundscape with a rising sense of authority. Density evolves from these sparse expressions, achieving a heavenly intensity that becomes peppered with instances of stratospheric brilliance. Chillier resonance enters the mix, forcing the harmonies back to earth...

...where the grandeur adopts a livelier disposition. Keyboard patterns appear, injecting pep with a dreamy lining. Additional threads surface, increasing the flow's depth. Hyperactivity creeps in as these patterns begin to amalgamate into a luscious convergence of passionate substance. These bundled notes surge with such velocity that they adopt a rhythmic presence, propelling the music to even more emphatic levels of cerebral stimulation. The mix becomes a crowded realm of urgency.

The second disk picks up where the prior track left off: amid a swirl of penultimate excitement. This time, the electronic riffs are bolstered by a percussive undercurrent that remains subliminal yet thoroughly infectious. Lofty tones attribute a Germanic flair that serves to start the mix on an angelic elevation. The pace becomes relentless, establishing a sedate frenzy that spurs each synapse into acute activity.

Gradually, this impulsive hyperactivity ebbs, dwindling into a cosmic pause of breathy cybernetic sighs. Abstract electronics soon fill this void, evoking an interstellar medium of portentous character. Growling tones rise into dominance, establishing a harsh epiphany that flows into a glimmering passage designed for insights to flourish. A hint of didgeridoo lends a numinous edge to the tranquil finale.

The majesty of this music is incarnate, from the delicate soundscapes to the compelling intensity inherent in the title track(s). Roach creates tuneage here that blends ambience with passages of impressive vitality. There is no escape from being drawn in; whether the seduction is gentle or vibrant, his compositions bewitch as they revitalize.

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