|Artist: Steve Roach|
Album: Live Transmission
Released: 13 August 2013
Steve Roach's sonic constructions rely on forms that pull the listener into a zone beyond three-dimensional space. This is especially so of his concert performances. Live Transmission is a double CD set that features works from such an event. By eschewing the excesses of big-declaration ethno-beats for work that is intelligent, nuanced and often unashamedly beautiful Roach has produced a quiet triumph. A super-star confidence has a lot to do with this album's track by track success. The feel of Live Transmission is that of a darker, moodier intimacy. In engaging the mentalizing facility of the mind Roach is direct - communicating very clearly he takes the listener very far. Across both discs he creates a dreamy tonal interplay, but also a structure of pulsing notes and grooves that give rhythm to the surface of the sound. Soft percussive chiffs and purple synthesizer bleeps echo out across vividly imagined distances while deeply breathing chords stack up and sustain. In a moment of climax and relief disc one decisively concludes. Amidst cavernous reverberation disc two begins, bringing more gifts - especially a live version of "Looking for Safety" (which made its premiere live on STAR'S END on 30 May 1986). This music is used to go inward, to understand one's self - then return outward where everything is different but nothing has changed. Expressing another world in compositions that are well thought out yet spontaneous Steve Roach evokes the mystery without which the world would not exist. While we may hold the physical CD in our hands, we hold its content in our minds.
- Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END 7 November 2013
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