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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

STEVE ROACH: Spiral Revelation (2016)

Updated: Mar 5, 2021

Spiral Revelation is a truly masterpiece which guides us among the many paths of EM; ambient, tribal ambient, Trance and Berlin School

1 We Continue 11:07 2 Unseen Hand 6:05 3 Finger on the Pulse 9:42 4 A Righteous Thing 6:33 5 Primary Phase 9:41 6 Spiral Revelation 19:49 Projekt ‎– PRO336

(CD/DDL 63:01) (V.F.) (Ambient beats, Berlin School)

Ah that the music of Steve Roach is unique! The Master of introspective music ends the year in strength with 3 albums that will caress the senses of his legion of fans, besides attracting to it numerous new followers. If Fade to Grey and Painting in the Dark are purely works of drones and of dark ambiences, this SPIRAL REVELATION overwhelms our emotions with a work which makes the just partition between mesmerizing structures of rhythms and of ambient textures which draw their charms in Steve Roach's old tones.

And the charm operates from these first loops of rhythm which emerge from the slow winged caresses of a synth in mode Structures from Silence. The rhythm is delicate with sequences which scamper towards heavens. Roach adds percussive tones which breathe like an old rattler which has difficulty in making its tinkles shinning. This mixture of electronic and organic tones is more than seducing and diverts us from this ascent of a structure as delicious as Reflections in Suspension with sequences which skip now between the fascinating embraces of the dying rattler. The decoration and the rather ill-assorted tones, both at the level of the color as at the level of the entanglement of the loops of rhythm, are simply hallucinating. Our friend Steve uses brightly the analog modular system by weaving many lines of rhythms which criss-cross in some delicious and magnetizing chassé-croisé. Unseen Hand infiltrates the finale of We Continue with a brook of shinning arpeggios which spreads a fascinating structure in suspension. The motionless movement of the multiple ticklings of sequences is invaded by the numerous bites of metallic elytron and by the caresses of a synth in mode Quiet Music. Finger on the Pulses proposes a figure of spasmodic rhythm. Lines of panting and nervous sequences skip and embrace themselves in a surprising movement of trance spiritual of which the liveliness is restrained by another line of a more nuanced and in a harmonic mode rhythm.

A Righteous Thing walks us in the Now and Traveller era with a crawling structure of rhythm which is shaped in the shade of We Continue. It’s a semi quiet phase which precedes the very good Primary Phase and its hypnotic loops which glitter on a rather lively structure of rhythm. We roll of the neck, we tap our thighs and we swing our feet on a rhythmic a little bit Groovy. A structure very near of an ethereal electronic rock (is it possible?) which is livened up by repetitive loops in tones full of contrasts and of others with an organic tint. And always these winged and seraphic momentums of a synth full of perfumes of sleep which wrap up the whole music. The title-track is simply phenomenal! In a long minimalist structure where floats no hole, the rhythm of Spiral Revelation goes up and down in an envelope of tones which reminds the good moments of Robert Schroeder in the years 80-85. The slow and hypnotic progression of the 20 minutes of Spiral Revelation accentuates intensity and passion as the minutes pass, making of this title one of the best movements of retro Berlin School to have fired my ears since moons. This is a wonderful title which concludes another masterpiece of the illusionist of sounds and ambiences that is Steve Roach. SPIRAL REVELATION is a must have album which build these bridges between ambient beats and Berlin School style.

Sylvain Lupari (January 17th, 2017) *****

Available at Timeroom Direct Bandcamp

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