Artist: 'ramp
Album: Steel and Steam

Released: 1 July 2011
Label: Doombient

Steel and Steam Stephen Parsick
Those of us expecting our Spacemusic to provide some sort of a ride or deep journey will find a very intense experience with Steel and Steam (75'40"). This CD is a direct delivery from the subconscious of Electronic Musician Stephen Parsick and his ever advancing musical effort called 'ramp. As this project asks to be filed under the heading "Doombient" it may be gathered that 'ramp is Parsick's imagination responding to the world. 'ramp, now credited with several interesting albums, amps it up exponentially on Steel and Steam - and knocks the wind out of us. Peering into darkness this work's atmospheric grit and industrial undertones move the music to darker levels. The first five tracks seem to foreshadow the epic final five - where Parsick enlists the talents of Mark Shreeve. Although the two collaborate on the latter half of Steel and Steam, Shreeve's influential work with both Arc and Redshift seem to be present throughout the entire disc. At the center of this music are the muscular mechanized sequencer patterns that pump and roll in a constantly changing interplay between each part. Seemingly from the nether regions these notes rumble and distort as if enormous forces are being deployed. Above the quaking may be heard the ethereal strains of synthesized strings and celestial choirs along with a spattering of reverberant electric piano embellishments. The pieces unwind, stall and pick up again on their strange and menacing course. Using an unprecedented amount of the audible range this music is impressive; mighty enough to lead us into battle, powerful enough to raise the dead. On Steel and Steam 'ramp realizes a unique, rare realm - within a deep toned aura of doom. This bleak vision is a legitimate reaction to the world - describing our condition using sound. There may be those who will accuse Parsick of holding onto the past, that this music is dated - and it may be true that he has become stuck in time... having happily discovered that, once inside you, there is no cure for this music.

- Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END   28 July 2011


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