Exposé print issues (1993-2011)
Steve Roach — Into the Majestic
(Timeroom Editions no#, 2021, CD / DL)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2021-02-12
Roach released his first album of 2021, Into the Majestic, on January 3rd, this time featuring two long tracks, the opening title cut closing just shy of 50 minutes, and “The Spiral Heart” clocking in at just over 24, together adding up to that magical number 74. When describing the music contained herein, the most important factor is the emotion that is conveyed to the listener as each piece slowly unfolds. For the opener, the piece just floats and drifts freely for nine full minutes until sequences start to form in the haze of the background, eventually taking the piece over and setting a gentle, mathematical pace that combines elements from both worlds, with slow-morphing sequences embellished with interesting elaborations and melodic drifts opening one sonic world over another. Layers of sound continue to build on one another, enveloping the listener in warmth, beautiful textures and colorful sprites darting like stars through an imaginary dark sky. The listener might not even notice as the overall sound level starts to slowly and gently fade away around the 35-minute mark, but there’s still a lot going on at that point, where one can focus their attention during the track’s protracted slow fade out drifting gently back into the void. “The Spiral Heart,” while only half of the title track’s length, is every bit as interesting, this time concentrating on floating textures and leaving the brisk sequences of the title track to rest for another day. There are several slow enveloping layers of sound that essentially distill into about four chords, sometimes repeated in alternate order, moving and shifting as it proceeds down the spiral, waiting patiently for a dream to take hold and carry the listener onward. There are some gentle percussive elements that appear midway through (hand drums, shakers, bells, etc.) and deep bass pulses, as if the piece had a heartbeat pushing it forward to a point around the fifteen-minute mark, where all sound seems to fade away, only to return again to revisit the ever-flowing cosmic drift. As a whole. Into the Majestic offers the listener two different sides of Roach’s muse, presented in the correct order for listeners seeking to flow down the eternal cosmic spiral.
Related artist(s): Steve Roach
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