STEVE ROACH Structures from Silence (CD on Projekt )
This is a 2014 reissue of the release from 1984 and features 59 minutes of remastered flowing electronic music.
When this album saw its original release in the mid-Eighties, it quickly became a classic recording, a vanguard document for what would grow into the ambient music genre.
While considered by many to be an ambient release (and granted, the tuneage is quite gentle), this music actually possesses a definite degree of melodic definition.
The electronics are soft and the riffs waft on easygoing breezes. Delicate tones sigh, while smooth keyboard sustains pulsate to form vaporous backdrops. A percentage of the chords exhibit twinkling properties, nicely counterbalancing the airy character of the majority of the electronics. The riffs are carefully layered in such a manner that each texture eloquently slides into play, influencing the extent thread with its entrance, endurance and passing.
Subliminal pools of water churn deep within the minimal mix, creating an interesting aquatic tinge to the airy structures.
While empowered with gentle melodic aspects, these compositions instill a placid calm on the listeners, evoking skyscapes filled with majestic clouds crossing the heavens at pensive velocities.
This release is also available in a deluxe edition which includes two bonus discs featuring 131 minutes of newly recorded electronic ambience by Roach.
The music on these bonus discs is more representative of conventional ambient music, comprised of elongated textures that rise and wane like space breathing. The tracks are exceptionally long, allowing the tones ample opportunity to establish seemingly unvarying stretches while actually mutating at a subtle pace.
Roach has a particular talent for coaxing seamless passages into sneaky evolution, as harmonic flows stream from one character to another, with shrill pitches giving way to dreamy atmospherics and eventually sliding into moody vistas - and all without obvious transitions. Each passage evokes a sedating effect that actually contains a subtle edge that mounts peaceful drama. Another novel trait to his ambient compositions is their tendency to lull without inducing any tiring effects, keeping the listener attuned to the gentle passage from one dreamstate to the next, inspiring introspection of an alert type.
Fans of the original release will delight in this remastered version, and really dig the additional material.
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