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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

STEVE ROACH: Immersion Five - Circadian Rhythms (2011)

Updated: Mar 6, 2021

We have here Steve Roach's best of both worlds in one album; ambient vibes and tribal beats

CD I (73:44)

1 Circadian Rhythms-Phase One 13:56

2 Circadian Rhythms-Phase Two 23:05

3 Circadian Rhythms-Phase Three 36:43

CD II (73:33)

1 Shroud of Night 73:33

(CD/DDL 147:17) (V.F.)

(Tribal Ambient)

Was there something to add after the first 4 parts of the Immersion series? You have to believe that with Steve Roach, we are never safe from surprises. IMMERSION FIVE – CIRCADIAN RHYTHMS is an amazing album where ambient music and tribal rhythms distance themselves from each other. If Shroud of Night is a long meditative introspection that does not add anything new to this immersion of atmospheres of the series, Circadian Rhythms teems with a finely dissected microscopic life.

Circadian Rhythms is a musical reflection on the fascinating animal and plant world. The circadian rhythm is a 24 hour biological rhythm. More visible in plants, it's also very present in unicellular organisms, such as molds and bacteria. And it's a bit like this microscopic world filled with multifaceted creatures that Steve Roach sets to music. Circadian Rhythms-Phase One begins with strange tones of an effervescent world whose tiny movements are finely exposed to amplified sonority. Those who are familiar with the musical universe of Roach will not be disoriented, since the very finely crafted sounds here have already seen the sound on Possible Planet. So long and threadlike serpentine movements with metallic glides circulate and push in a world of shadows where guitar chords balk weakly among various dark oscillations. A journey into "beyond" where a thousand eclectic sounds swarms and a world of multiple sounds of chimerical insects that teem with an astonishing musical life. From this mess of spongy sounds and microorganisms emerge soft astral waves which gradually gain in opulence and cover this Lilliputian fauna with soft floating molecules which drift at the end of a world in stigmatization. Layers of synth over layers of guitars on a gently surging rhythm, Circadian Rhythms-Phase Two is in contrast with the tranquility of the slow immersions of the first 4 volumes. These layers intermingle and agonize oblong corrosive riffs above an increasingly precise rhythm. A tribal rhythm unique to Roach where the percussions have this strange impression of being forged from the bells of rattlesnakes and heterogeneous elements that hang out under the rocks of the desert plains of Arizona or Australia. I have the strange image of vultures on a diet flying over the remains of a civilization to spare when I listen to this second part which bathes in the sweet ambience of his recent works like Landmass and Destination Beyond. Little by little, the frantically stationary rhythm of Circadian Rhythms-Phase Two calms down with beautiful layers of soothing synths that crisscross a finale marrying the hesitant rhythms and marching stealthily of Circadian Rhythms-Phase Three. This last portion of Circadian Rhythms offers a weighted rhythm which leans on a soft hypnotic sequenced sway and a bass line which wriggles among spasmodic chords. All topped with beautiful synth layers that wave to a delicate dreamlike rhythm. We are in the lands of Dreamtime Return and Western Spaces but with a zest of musical freshness that touches the evolution of Steve Roach.

There isn't much to write about Shroud of Night. It's a long nocturnal lament that respects the precepts of the Immersion series but with a more accentuated abyssal depth where a mixture of synth and guitar layers floats in an immersive tranquility, a bit as if we were in communication with the aquatic world. whose whales feed our subconscious with slender enveloping complaints. And that's undoubtedly the great beauty of Shroud of Night. Throughout we have the vague impression of being submerged by a chimerical suspended ocean where cetaceans float in tune with our immense need for immersive tranquility, a bit like on First Light of Immersion Three. Equal to himself, Steve Roach fills every diameter available on the CD so that our subconscious is invaded by that sweet tranquility that began with Immersion: One in 2006.

With IMMERSION FIVE - CIRCADIAN RHYTHMS we have Steve Roach's best of both worlds in one album. Which is not to be despised. We have the tribal and progressive rhythms with atmospheres as seductive as they are motley on Circadian Rhythms and the best of ambient music on Shroud of Night. IMMERSION FIVE - CIRCADIAN RHYTHMS is the kind of album that can help tame Steve Roach's two main genres.

Sylvain Lupari (May 24th, 2011) *****

Disponible au Timeroom Editions Bandcamp

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