Exposé print issues (1993-2011)
Steve Roach — Bloom Ascension
(Projekt 364, 2019, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2019-08-20
Much like the cover art might suggest, Bloom Ascension uncovers numerous aspects of Roach’s more sequenced interests, melding the more dreamy elements of his floating ambient style to a very busy kinetic undercurrent; each of the four tracks here approaches this combination in a different way, but all are equally effective. The effect is spirit-lifting, gently morphing as is goes through various changes over the duration of each piece, and the listener won’t accidentally fall asleep at any point, even though there are slow moving loops of soft floating ambient vapor permeating every piece, the busy undercurrent of rapidly sequenced kaleidoscopic coloration mingles with it and works as a very effective counterbalance. There are certain points, especially toward the end of the sixteen minute title track, where the fast sequenced undercurrent dissipates completely, leaving the listener floating on a pillow of clouds. More typical, though, is “Synesthete” where the patterns of the sequences are higher in the mix and merge beautifully with ambient undercurrents and other timbral elements, all shapeshifting continuously over its six minute duration. The twelve minute opener, “The Beauty Relentless,” goes far in establishing the parameters of all that comes after it, the balance and symmetry while a driving energetic development ensues, as well as delivering the goods with respect to its title. In a general sense listeners who found Spiral Revelation (2017) and Molecules of Motion (2018) to their liking will find themselves right at home with Bloom Ascension. Interestingly, and unlike most of Roach’s recent CD releases that clock in at around 70-74 minutes, the four pieces here combined are an approprite length for an LP release at 41 minutes, each a discrete piece fading to black at the end (no crossfading), so it is being released as a CD and vinyl this time, as well as on cassette.
Related artist(s): Steve Roach
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