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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

ROACH & SEELIG: Nightbloom (2010)

Updated: Feb 9, 2022

Both men take us through amazing moments of a trance and meditation

1 Part I 18:32

2 Part II 12:39

3 Part III 13:55

4 Part IV 12:32

5 Part V 16:02

(CD/DDL 74:34) (V.F.)

(Tribal, Trance, Ambient)

A Steve Roach and Mark Seelig collaboration can only take us on a musical adventure of trance and meditation that floats and blows beyond unknown territories. With electronic as well as acoustic and organic instruments, including Mark Seelig's diphonic vocals and Beate Maria's Tamboura strings, the duo is guided by their spiritual and ecological impulses. Without revolutionizing anything, NIGHTBLOOM offers a fascinating musical journey where the music takes on the flavors of a virginal ethnic universe woven from the duo's fertile imaginations.

Divided into 5 long continuous parts, NIGHTBLOOM begins with a dark sinuous wave paired to a voice with strange intonations, as sweet as unreal. Diphonic breaths that come from an elusive depth and intertwine with the slow synth reverberation effects, flowing a slow intro with mixed sounds between the vocal cords and the resonant drones. A rhythm settles around the 8th minute. Softly it pitches under fine drumming and groove effects, courtesy of Dwight Loop, sculpting a soft and strange trance animated by heavy buzzes, drone effects, with fat resonances that twist around a structure fed of finely nervous jolts. Seized by a tribal rhythm of a hypnotic trance, Nightbloom I releases thin lines of hybrid voices where heavy and slow buzzing strata trace a curious duel organs/instruments. Nightbloom II unfolds with large reverberating loops and tribal percussions whose blows resonate in a deep echo. This unusual meshing of paradoxical sonorities in a world of ambivalent harmonies shapes a movement without rhythms, evolving in super slow motion in a vast tenebrous plain where the night seems eternal. A night disturbed by heavy percussions and multiple heterogeneous sounds that draw a surrealist nature as example; big toads with bellied legs that gambol and leap with a heaviness and an extremely lyrical slowness. Diphonic sounds shoot out from everywhere, like synth laments, and flood a placid world that lives in reclusion in a musical universe as unrealistic, but just as entrancing, as the most beautiful moonsets on a Mars sun.

The percussion falls on Nightbloom III, sculpting a rhythmic pattern that contrasts with the slow incantations both sung and played through a fusion of voices, drones and reverberating loops. Towards the 10th minute the percussions turn silent. They give way to long and sinuous shamanic incantations which undulate and merge with resonance on Steve Roach's ethnic instruments to continue their slow spiritual atony on the desert plains of Nightbloom IV. Suave this 4th part quietly joins the den of atony with its filiform hybrid reverberations while slowly the amphibian rhythm comes out of its lair, merging marvellously the unsubdued paradoxes which swarm all around NIGHTBLOOM since its very beginnings to sink in a tenebrous quietude drawn by the etiolated breaths of the finale of Nightbloom IV. Nightbloom V comes out of this nothingness of quietude and resumes its hordes of breaths jostled by hyperactive percussions. A grandiose finale for an opus that has always held us in suspense with this fusion of voice and ethnic instruments on latent rhythms. Rhythms that explode with force on a short tribal trance, before the atony resumes its rights with warm breaths and twisted resonances that float gently, as the dust of the powder dissipates after a furious fight on a desert plain.

Fascinating is the word that sticks in the mind after this musical adventure that is NIGHTBLOOM. An intense album rich in heterogeneous sounds where the tone of voices and Steve Roach's unconventional electronic instruments draw an astonishing unreal world that takes the shapes of our imagination on driving and bewitching tribal percussions, unifying the paradoxes of quietness that abound on this astonishing dance of the wildlife's spirits. A nice album that is a good listen and where the ingenuity of Steve Roach and Mark Seelig takes us through amazing moments of a trance repressed in the abyss of our subconscious.

Sylvain Lupari (November 2nd, 2010) *****

Available at Projekt Records Bandcamp

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