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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

STEVE ROACH: Dynamic Stillness (2009)

Updated: Jan 15, 2021

This is a powerful floating music album which is filled of emotions and sensitivity from an artist in constant quest of a spiritual ideal

CD1 (72:43)

1 Birth of Still Places 40:28

2 Long Tide 19:41

3 A Darker Light 7:34

4 Opening Sky 5:06

CD2 (73:01)

1 Nature of Things 8:50

2 Further Inside 16:58

3 Slowly Revealed 23:55

4 Canyon Stillness 23:17

(DDL 145:44) (V.F.)

(Dark ambient Music)

The dynamic stillness. It's quite a tour de force to create such a sound illusion which flows like a weighty reverie. Steve Roach has thought about and matured for a long time on DYNAMIC STILLNESS over the past 3 years. A period where he also made albums much more impactful in terms of rhythms and sequences. But above all, DYNAMIC STILLNESS is a quest for silence transmitted by sound waves that are slightly in motion, personifying the quiet strength of the mind and its invisible but noticeable movements. We are in the territories of Structures from Silence and A Deeper Silence but with more heaviness, sadness and nostalgia.

A heavy musical wave accentuates a dark movement at the opening of Birth of Still Places. It's a world of sound reverberations that coo slowly but with a musical force that leads to cerebral hypnosis. Powerful, but languidly slow, the musical structure unfolds like a big charming snake ready to grab you and bring you to your sleep with a long musical piece of nearly 61 minutes, divided into 2 soporific and gently ethereal acts; Birth of Still Places and Long Tide. Powerful, the movement slowly fades as if sleep has taken hold of us. A Darker Light opens with a less intense structure, as a soft warm wind which caresses our hearing leading us and making us float all along Opening Sky. CD2 opens with the same chloroformed effect which ended CD1. Nature of Things is a long passage with finely oscillating waves which revolve in a somber cosmos that lets filtering wandering voices. A cosmic journey as if we were there. Always in the cozy comfort of immobilism, Further Inside slowly flows like enchanting loops that would form an invisible cadence. It's a long piece of music where the rhythm tries to gush out, held it is by an internal strength that Roach controls by his synths. That's a melodramatic quest which pushes more towards the nostalgic reverie than the meditation and which is tied to Slowly Revealed, a softer and a more romantic track with its delicious fragrances of tranquility which sails on a harmonious sea with its fine charming undulations. We don't get tired of it so much the movement flows with a strange melody blown by an obscure romanticism, from where leak out subtle fluty essences of a spectral ambiance. Canyon Stillness depicts the creative strength of Steve Roach. Here, like throughout DYNAMIC STILLNESS, Roach forges his music with an incredible dexterity for his nominative structures. Throughout this 23 minutes music piece, we feel winds whistled towards the imperfect furrows of Roach's desert canyons. A desert with thousand utopian facets that lull Steve Roach's creative illusions.

DYNAMIC STILLNESS is a powerful floating music album which is filled of emotions and sensitivity from an artist in constant quest of a spiritual ideal. It's quite beautiful and mostly very sincere; this is ambient Steve Roach at his best.

Sylvain Lupari (July 23rd, 2009) *****

Available at Projekt Records Bandcamp

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