Streams & Currents
by David J Opdyke, AmbiEntrance
February 10, 2002
From Steve Roach's STREAMS & CURRENTS expect both the fluidity and electricity evoked by its title. As in 2000's MIDNIGHT MOON, the airwaves thrum with radiant guitar-sourced drones, rendered in Roach's own improvisational mode of spontaneous play.
The skywardly ranging tracks were created "in the deep hours of night", without overdubs or post-processing, as evidenced by the live loops of present moment which swirl at various heights, shimmery skeins sparkling against deeper rumblings. Muffled drumbeats shuffle-step beneath the metallic gauze which opens spirit moves (28:18); the rhythm soon vanishes leaving the air filled with tonal puffs and gusts while warm rivulets ooze below.
Similarly abstract evolutions occur in following 15- and 14-minute-long pieces, slow rising and almost touching, the latter seeming especially ephemeral though more overcast. The disc closes on a pair of shorter tracks, the quietly roiling fogbank of ebb and its partner in vague beauty, flow (4:00).
Steve Roach releases something remarkably akin to (yet different from) his renowned audiovisions of wide-open western spaces, reaching those sprawled-out vistas via another mode of transportation. You can float for miles and miles on streams and currents of guitarsound with nary a riff or power chord to be heard... only the deceptively simple billowings of six-string-borne gaseousness. I'm moved...