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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

Steve Roach Mercurius (2018)

Updated: Sep 20, 2022

“Steve Roach manages to seduce again with a new sonic chapter in Mercurius whose music flirts with a darker mood”

1 Liminal 7:27 (At the Threshold of the In-Between) 2 Immanent 27:58 (Innate, Intrinsic, Inborn) 3 Aeon 24:09 (Forever... And a Day) 4 Mercurius 14:23 (Alchemical Creation from the Realm of Opposites) Projekt ‎| PROJEKT 354

(CD/DDL 73:57) (V.F.) (Dark Ambient)

Liminal opens the portal of the sepulchral ambiences of MERCURIUS with dark shadows that drift slowly, like a concerto for souls frozen in stalagmites of the caves. The movement is slow, arrhythmic and buzzing. These sound particles, like the effects of rain on the burning rocks in the deserts, disintegrate in layers of dust and try to turn to an organic life. Steve Roach hasn't composed ambient music in 2018! After monumental albums inspired by the Berlin School style, our friend Steve returns to his sonic home with a work entirely covered by these long and slow veils of serenity. The music is a little dark, I would even say rather melancholic, with a tone where the two sound extremes compete in a fight whose only winner is the listener. And no, Steve Roach, despite his impressive discography, doesn't copy and paste some earlier works here. The nuances are imposing in this MERCURIUS which combines musicality and ambience on a long plateau of enveloping movements.

Slow and mysteriously mesmerizing, Immanent fills our senses with these choristers trapped in the caves of Steve Roach's desert. Their breezes reach levels of incantations, sometimes dark and austere, while unfolding these musical wings that intermingle in an ocean of tonal caresses. The buzzing gets refined by the smooth appearance of the sinuous corridors of the caves, bringing a more musical, even oneiric, side to the drifting chants of these natural walls. The slowness of the movement soon brings us to the doors of reflection with this ocean of sonic waves whose oblong impulses animate Immanent rhythmic reflux as much graceful as these flights of eagles scanning the basement of a crust emaciated by the burning sun and by the bipolar winds of the deserts. Built on 27 minutes, the music is ideal for relaxation and meditation such as suggested by the Zen masters. Me, the Zen vision isn't really my cup of tea. I like the ambient music of Steve Roach because it allows me to disconnect, to read or to guide me to the realm of Morpheus. And these 27 minutes passes like a good communion with serenity. Following this precept of long sound waves as floating as those waves gently caressing in an oceanic tumult, Aeon proposes on the other hand a more sibylline approach with spectral wave currents which float with sand in their incantations. Modeled following the Immersion series, the music floats with a renewed dynamism in its tunes, giving it a spectacular vision of tragedy that is as mysterious as abstruse. The title-track plays with the present nuances of MERCURIUS sonic panoramas. Its first part gets into us with its smoother, more lyrical movement. Subsequently, muffled implosions lead us to the more intense portion of Steve Roach's latest ambient opus. These silent impulses accelerate the momentary races without rhythms of Mercurius which always surround us with these dark and enveloping wings that bring us, at least for me, towards these doors where the peace re-energizes my silent and oh so necessary moments.

Sylvain Lupari (November 27th, 2018) ***¾**

Available at Projekt's Bandcamp

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