Streams & Currents
by Jim Brenholts, Ambient Visions
Steve Roach sets his own musical limits. Then he exceeds them. MIDNIGHT MOON was a landmark release for Steve. It opened his doorway to his processed guitar soundworlds.
Steve recorded STREAMS & CURRENTS late at night during the final CORE sessions. He went back to the uniqueness of the guitar. This album, on Projekt, features guitars, Ebow and looping and processing equipment. Track two, "Spirit Moves", also features a "mantra beat".
The CD was "created for low volume continuous playback". It is wonderful in that mode. The subtleties and nuances have their greatest effect with focused listening. Low volume and continuous play yield the most intense listening.
Focused listening has multiple rewards. Deep listeners will feel the biorhythmic pull of the vast atmospheres that Steve has designed. And too little has been written about the accuracy of Steve's titles and their relationship to the responses to the music. He has titled this disc and its components perfectly!
The opening title, "Present Moment", sets the focus on the here and now. Track two, "Spirit Moves", begins the journey. The first leg of the journey, "Slow Rising", unfolds languidly and dreamily. Wanderers nearly achieve the goal on "Almost Touching", track four. Track five, "Ebb", reminds listeners that change and the unexpected are inevitable. The finale, "Flow", completes the circle as the journey ends and continues.
So the ceiling of Steve's perpendicular universe has been lifted once again. And there are more soundworlds and musical universes for him to master. He just has to define them!