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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

STEVE ROACH & ROBERT LOGAN: Second Nature (2016)

Updated: Mar 5, 2021

“Second Nature answers the turbulences of Biosonic with an intimist and meditative work which once again transcends Steve Roach's wonderful universe”

1 Moment's Notice 9:56  2 Second Nature 31:51  3 Shadowspeak 6:54  4 Mystic Drift 22:34 Projekt Records | PRO00327 (CD/DDL 70:20) (V.F.) (Minimalist, meditative ambient) A delicate woosh coming from nowhere welcomes the first notes of Robert Logan's electric grand piano. These notes fall in the hollow of our ears as drops of pearl and disperse subtle effects of reverberations, extending every harmonious breath which get melt in this mass of synth layers that Steve Roach frees with the imprint of his best moments of meditative inspiration. In fact one would believe to hear a relic of Ambient 2: The Plateaux of Mirror by Harold Budd and Brian Eno on SECOND NATURE, an unforeseen album arisen from the sessions which aimed to finalize the Biosonic project.

Here, there is not a rhythm. Only thoughts put in music by an elegant and very dreamy piano that Logan frees from its dumbness with fingers marked by melancholy. And every note finds echo in these synth layers with colors as impenetrable as the density around which they are embroidered. Moment's Notice is an ambitious monument of placidity where the romance dresses of its darkest assets while the very much longer title-track plays on the atmospheres by injecting a more harmonious dose in these immersive layers that Roach drew in the ambio-morphic depths of his Immersion series. From the height of its 32 minutes, Second Nature is a small jewel of contemplativity with a darker piano which nibbles marvellously these slow orgiastic layers which stroll lazily between the borders of darkness and luminosity. One can't be more sibylline than here. Shadowspeak is literally inspired by the model Budd/Eno with a little more melodious approach which highlights more Robert Logan's capacities as pianist being inspired by still-life. His more august envelope brings us to the borders of  nostalgia. If Shadowspeak gives all the place to Robert Logan, it's the opposite with Mystic Drift where Steve Roach dominates the atmospheres with his structures of silence which moo as hollow winds all over its 22 minutes. Here the piano is as absent as spectral, misleading its shadows in the opalescent layers of a Steve Roach who is second to none to plunge those who feed on his art in the numerous labyrinths of his plenitude.

Like the Ying and the Yang, SECOND NATURE answers the turbulences of Biosonic with an intimist and meditative work, plunging the listener into a state of contemplativity which once again transcends Steve Roach's wonderful universe. The latter so much accustomed us to collaborations where his style illuminated the one of his collaborators that an artist, one day, replies in kind to him. And it's exactly the case with Biosonic and this SECOND NATURE where Robert Logan gives a breath of fresh air, a second run-up, to Steve Roach. But did he really need it? Sylvain Lupari (June 4th, 2016) ***½**

Available at Projekt Records Bandcamp

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