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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

Steve Roach Bloom Ascension (2019)

Updated: Sep 20, 2022

“This is yet some great Steve Roach who is a jewel for the ears and an impulse for the imagination!”

1 The Beauty Relentless 12:12

2 Motivating Factor 6:43

3 Synesthete 6:18

4 Bloom Ascension 16:11

(CD/LP/DDL 41:26) (V.F.)

(Sequencer-based ambient beats)

Wow!!! This is the expression that comes to mind most exhaustively after the 42 minutes of BLOOM ASCENSION. Composed and structured between Molecules of Motion and the very atmospheric Atmosphere for Dreaming, this last album, since we are talking about vinyl format here, of Steve Roach continues the work on analog sequencer with futuristic tones undertaken with the album Skeleton Keys in 2015. And this complexity in Steve Roach's sophisticated streetcar-sequencer routes is expertly crafted and mastered by the unique Howard Givens, thus preserving the fusion of yesterday, today, and tomorrow of sequencer-based EM. Available in vinyl, cassette, manufactured CD and download, BLOOM ASCENSION follows Steve Roach's quest for analog modular synthesizer­/sequencer-based system from A jewel for the ears, a pill for the imagination!

Already the sound and the spiral texture of the sequencer plunges us into this crossroads of ambient rhythms that rise, descend, confront each other and intertwine in canvas where wander these sweet percussive elements that sound like millipedes having lost all sense of direction. The Beauty Relentless climbs unreachable peaks with series of more harmonic than rhythmic sequences hugging in a chronogyre that bridges the warmth of the 70's and the crystalline tones of the 2000's. The soundscape is dressed of idle layers which extend their compact mass into loose filaments and whose sibylline approach infiltrates this molecular rhythmic entanglement. It's a sublimity to make work my Totem Tower that require more. And Motivating Factor responds to this demand with a dizzying kaleidoscopic structure. The rhythm gets lively with loops with competitive tones that are supported by a bass line as hungry as these spiral rings of the sequencer. The soundscape reflects Steve Roach's passion for tribal rhythms and chloroform layers that are merely decorative accessories in this structure that flirts with the Berlin School universe. Universe that perspires even more with Synesthete. Here, the lines of rhythms scroll nervously, but with an ethereal sweetness whose result is ambiguous. Is it a spasmodic structure or loops of hypnotic rhythms that attract us in an aphasic state, so much the soft seems to have the best on the hard rhythm? The lines of the sequencers run at full speed before hitting a surf that straighten them into articulated loops ... and so on. The long title-track gathers all the elements found in BLOOM ASCENSION, with Molecules of Motion perfumes, to create a huge mesh where rhythmic spasms, unbridled elements of rhythms, organic elements and percussive sequences converge on the chronogyre to disperse Bloom Ascension in the timeless corridors that Steve Roach has built over the years. Here, as everywhere in the album, the meditative tablecloths of the synth remind us above all that the one who gave us Structures from Silence controls our destiny in his immense sound universe. This is some great Steve Roach! But are you surprised?

Sylvain Lupari (August 28th, 2019) *****

Available at Timeroom Direct

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