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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

Steve Roach The Dream Circle (2020 Remastered Edition)

Updated: Sep 20, 2022

It's sleepy but not stripped of interest, since around these anesthetic layers lives a captivating organic flora

1 The Dream Circle 73:57

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

(Ambient, tribal ambient)

The 90's are the ones that took me the furthest away from Steve Roach's albums. As I have some catching up to do, I jumped at the chance to discover this THE DREAM CIRCLE, which I had heard a couple of times before without ever having clicked on the meditative moods. It must be said that at the time, Berlin School and Heavy Metal were my priorities with the British emergence of the Big Beat genre. In a version remastered by none other than Howard Givens, THE DREAM CIRCLE 2020 Remastered Edition offers a new sonic perspective with a better balance between organic fauna, wet cave noises and slow modulations of synth pads unfolding like immense wings captured in slow motion. I can tell you that I had to row hard to finally appreciate the almost 74 minutes of this symphony on the silence of shadows and waves. And this new remaster is largely responsible for it.

A musical shadow, captured by my left ear, rises at the same time as a lapping of streaming water stifles its freedom. Already, the multiplication of waves and breezes are leading this long movement to make radiate its universe. First observation; who says remaster also says amplification! Everything is better cut here. With this remaster, this fauna and the flow become 3D. It's therefore in a new amplified sound envelope that these small details appear to us which significantly enhance my interest in discovering this album that once I have already snubbed. Throughout this first listening, my ears are amazed to hear long synth moans and barely understandable vocal articulations. There is a strange, spooky presence lurking around The Dream Circle. Seraphic voices burst forth from modulations of woosshh and wiishh, bringing stillness to a seraphic level. It becomes immensely quiet. Visualizing listening to this immense work, which is one of the favorites of the Steve Roach heritage, is like watching a river on an eagle's back where our ears pick up the sounds of an organic fauna on the alert and our eyes perceive the same movement of water which is floating on a bed of sand without obstacles or snags to modify or amplify its flow. Only long objects in water whose movements put life to nature by blowing breezes that extend with the butterfly effect. The tonal flora is clearly better defined with a good variety of plant and animal tones where the feeling of living at night persists with these spirits of old warriors haunting the place.

In the course of its minutes and of its growing tranquility, I understood that THE DREAM CIRCLE 2020 Remastered Edition is an absolute title, (another?) to play at a night when the sleep is torn with our ideas. It's calm, but not boring! It's sleepy but not stripped of interest, since around these anesthetic layers lives a captivating organic flora which brings us back to the genesis of a circle of dreams which turns and turns goes THE DREAM CIRCLE.

Sylvain Lupari (March 23rd, 2021) ****½*

Available at Timeroom Editions Bandcamp

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