STEVE ROACH & RADIANT MIND: Heliosphere (2019)
Updated: Mar 5, 2021
“Another jewel of meditative music from Steve Roach, along with Radiant Mind, and frankly I'm wondering how the man does to be as good year after year”
1 Sphere 1 11:42 2 Sphere 2 6:32 3 Sphere 3 11:28 4 Sphere 4 5:35 5 Sphere 5 7:03 6 Sphere 6 11:00 7 Sphere 7 6:34 8 Sphere 8 6:20
(CD/DDL 66:16) (V.F.)
Composed in collaboration with Radiant Mind, HELIOSPHERE is another magical work by Steve Roach. Presented in 8 acts for a total of 66 minutes, the music seems destined for another meditation exercise so much that it follows the bends of abandonment, absorption and awakening phases. The masses of wind, drones and synth lines with tonal variations prioritize an envelope where lyricism prevails over the mutism or the apathy of a knot of static lines. The result is a really nice relaxing music worthy of the best opuses from the American musician. And I always ask myself this question; how can Steve Roach be so good year after year? A distant wind joins our ears in the opening Sphere 1. Following some phantom inclination, this rush of warm winds gently boils in a fiery sky where our ears are victims of an auditory mirage with these threads of missing voices humming an extinguished chant. Hollow winds complete this symphony for Aeolus, while waving synth lines and sound stars sing some seraphic verses. These elements form a fascinating melody of just two seconds that recurs tirelessly between those multilayers and their slow mass movements that take a darker tangent with the arrival of the drones in Sphere 2. These drones are the equivalent of chants that the natural channels of ventilation carve between the stalagmites of a cave. A slight mutation in the tones gives a duller sonic image, a more austere one to Sphere 3, while that Sphere 4 seems to gets out of the dark caverns with an appearance that flirts with the seraphic side of aerial waves from Steve Roach's universe to reach a greater musicality with Sphere 5 which casts an aura of even more palpable emotionality in HELIOSPHERE. The dark breezes resound again in Sphere 6 which activates the first line of rhythm in this collaboration of Steve Roach & Radiant Mind. A circular movement intrigues our hearing a little after the 8th minute. The sequenced ritornello gets lost in the abyss before returning to charm the rattling that amplifies their presence with continual felted beats in Sphere 7. This phase of rhythm articulated in creativity is like a lunar trance that hops like a stubborn one-legged who is frantic and with a good line of powder in the nostrils. Each knock reflects an echo that draws a long line of static rhythm that lives over 6 minutes before cavernous breaths mute down the excitement of HELIOSPHERE in a veil of serene ambiences and awakenings of Sphere 8. Yes! Still I'm wondering how can Steve Roach be so good year after year?
Sylvain Lupari (March 29th, 2019) ****½*
Available at Timeroom's Bandcamp