STEVE ROACH: Into the Majestic (2021)
Updated: Mar 5
“The live event here is concentrating on the Tomorrow album with a splendid extended version of the title-track”
1 Into the Majestic 49:40
2 The Spiral Heart 24:19
(CD/DDL 73:59) (V.F.)
(Tribal Ambient, Berlin School)
Our friend Steve has been very active in 2020, producing a few shows in his Timeroom studio that his team filmed and broadcast live on You Tube. INTO THE MAJESTIC (click on the link to see the show) is attached to the concert on October 24th with music inspired by his latest studio album; Tomorrow.
A line of synth rises between distant tinkles to solidify its presence with a tonal color of a sharp blue. Like an organism living on its musical silks, the long 50-minute title-track rolls its lines into fine cannons that end up creating an immense veil of sound haloed by the heat lost in its upward cycle. Into the Majestic is well in saddle with a vaporous melody which is born from our imagination and which digs its nest in a brief ambient tumult, announcing a distant sequence which takes shape in a fragment of ambient rhythm. Getting closer and closer, this minimalist charge sculpts a delicate morphic melody that can easily be associated with Reflections in Suspension from the flagship album Structures from Silence. We reach the 8th minute's phase and the great act of Into the Majestic unfolds and the tonal scent picking up by our ears brings us back to something more contemporary. Meanwhile, the synth weaves arches of lamentations which have this fascinating tone of cosmic mammals. The sound decoration is in 2D and the synth laments are going backstage, leaving us the leisure to hear more clearly the magnetizing effect of the 9 keys gravitating the impossible. Indelible morphic melody, this peaceful sequenced ode climbs tirelessly in this play of shadows, of percussive effects and of synthesized filaments. Minimalist and solid, the rhythm weighs on its confidence by receiving sound effects that my ears embrace for the first time as well as synth lines manhandled by a scenery that has become more sibylline than anything else, while the bass line is quietly skipping with organic rantings under the veils of heavenly voices. The movement subtly accentuates the cadence, establishing at this level, around the 22nd minute, this contemporary link with the music of Tomorrow. The sequencer melody turns faster here and the movement has become more in spiritual trance mode with lamentations of interstellar whales, series of tinkles which get lost in the percussions to reach a long zenith which seems inexhaustible a little after the 26th minute. Thus, played with a slightly more nuanced flow than that of Tomorrow and in an even more spectacular tonal fauna, Into the Majestic is an incredible 50 minutes' monument of repetitive music wrapped in new organic and tribal effects. We go down to a point of serenity and we go back a few minutes later in a figure of Berlin School to excite our emotions. Some great Steve Roach, but everyone knows that! The Spiral Heart is neither more nor less than an extension of HeartBreath, a track we also find on the album Tomorrow. Taking advantage of more time, Steve Roach explores even more the textures of Dreamtime Return as well as of Desert Solitaire to knit a finale where the Cosmos and the earth's horizon line cross.
A must!? It seems to me that I am repeating myself. INTO THE MAJESTIC is a great live album by Steve Roach. And no matter where, only Steve can create an electronic symphony from a whisper of the desert…
Sylvain Lupari (February 16th, 2021) ****½*
Available at Timeroom Editions Music