STEVE ROACH: The Delicate Forever (2014)
“The Delicate Forever is among one of the best ambient works released so far and this since some years”
1 The Delicate Forever 24:42 2 Well Spring 13:35 3 Where the Mysteries Sleep 12:35 4 Perfect Sky 13:45 5 HearAfter 9:10 Projekt | PRO305
(CD/DDL 73:49) (V.F.)
Behind each ambient work, to say the least for the greater part and made exclusion of the Immersion series, of Steve Roach wander some ghost melodies. Kind of ear-worm which sneak up until our subconscious and which leaves an indelible track in the corridors of our harmonic dreams. And this THE DELICATE FOREVER is no exception! Weaved in a long soundtrack of 74 minutes which are knotted by tiny modulations in ambiences embroidered of delicate melodic subtleties, this last collection of Steve Roach's ethereal sonic poetry is inspired by the very soporific moods of the majestic Structures from Silence. In fact, it is when Steve Roach has revisited this album in the frame of its 30th special birthday edition that the inspirations came to him. Inspirations which, as you will hear, float easily and haunt a very long structure that will become your most invaluable companion during your next excursions in your phases of meditation, contemplation and pre-sleep.
And from the first synth waves, we are feeling wrapped by the magic of Roach. These layers float like waves with sweet sibylline perfumes in an amphibian sound environment. Fine drops of water are oozing from sonic walls and their movements of random falls draw fascinating fragments of melodies which remain suspended throughout the 25 minutes of the title-track. Plainly and without new developments, The Delicate Forever auscultates the emptiness by the means of our ears. This oblong introductory movement in this last reflection of Steve Roach about the silence is a magnetising ambient mosaic where the passivity finds its allies in the movement of its shadows which float like threatening modulations and draw spectral panoramas illuminated by these liquefied pearls of which the distant harmonies lead us towards the very beautiful Well Spring. By far the most beautiful track of this album, Well Spring offers an attractive melody, with delicately shaded harmonies, of which the spirals turn and turn in a huge labyrinth filled of soporific aromas. This is the wall of the modulations with slow and dark loops which go up, go down and suck up the thick cloud of veiled shadows of which the cloudiness has structured the passivity of the title-track. Except that the harmonies, and its iridescent minimalist tune, are flooding the amphibological ambiences of this piece of music which appears among one of the most beautiful in Steve Roach's contemporary period. Where the Mysteries Sleep is not outdone! And as its naming indicates it, we are floating through the mysteries which inspire the phases of the sleep with others rangy layers of synth of which the slow embraces and pleasant body loves draw some threatening vampiric shadows. Some slow and sinuous ochred striations which decorate and haunt those soporific corridors, caressing in passing the singing of the parasitic cracklings, scratch the hypnagogic passivity of THE DELICATE FOREVER with subdued and delicate spectral chants. Less nightmarish, even a bit idyllic and angelic, Perfect Sky eradicates a little the threatening shadows which overfly the taciturn moods of the album.
Melodic silvery filets assure the serenity. A little like fireflies which smell a relative freedom in a maze of dark walls, they court in a strange ballet where the wind blows through many passages to modulate in counterweight a darker melody. And quietly we navigate until the finale in HearAfter which glitters like a dawn crowned of white lines on dark blue background and where the shadows dissipate little by little while leaving the uncertainty to persist, a mystery as if to knowing what will follow after THE DELICATE FOREVER.
Sylvain Lupari (July 28th, 2014) *****
Available at Projekt Records Bandcamp