Dust to Dust
by Phyllis Pollack, CounterPunch
December 24, 2005


Steve Roach is among a breed of innovative, iconoclast and unrestrained experimental musicians who create untrodden depths within exquisitely constructed musical horizons. Among Roach's collaborations, he has recorded with Tibetan monk Thupten Pema Lama, intertwining solo chants and ambient music. The disc he produced for the African group Takadja received a Juno Award, Canada's equivalent of the States' Grammys. His music has been used in the soundtracks of numerous feature films. This CD's standout track, "Gone West," is what the Roach and King describe as "the soundtrack to lingering ghosts, to the lost and not-so-forgotten dreams of restless souls who were driven to "Go West, by God." On DUST TO DUST, the white lines on this musical highway are punctuated by Roach's harmonicas, electronic instruments and processing, bass, and alcohol bottles. King, riding shotgun, paves the road with guitar, bass, washboard, percussion and an occasional vocal. "Gone West" is the beckoning road trip you went on that ended too soon, the souvenir you picked up that always makes you long to return. DUST TO DUST is incandescent and alluring, as trance becomes transfixing, with its multi-layered cactus and granite-filled layers of sound. The track "A Bigger Sky" is a tricked-out brooding work that becomes a sonic seduction. With haunting and beautiful tracks like "Ghost Train," it is no wonder that the dearly departed would venture to come back for just one more listen. These two musicians from Tuscon, Arizona have recorded a transcendent musical masterpiece, an alluring, provocative soundtrack to the story of how the West was won.


Dust to Dust

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CD  $15.00 
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Dust to Dust
Steve Roach, Roger King
1998 Projekt PRO79 (CD)
Reviewed by AmbiEntrance, Brett Neely, John Pemble, Alternative Press, CounterPunch, Illinois Entertainer, Muze

Western Music in the truest sense. It is a bold step in a new direction: Where sounds paint pictures with a range of colors drawn from the land, where stories are told with the instruments of old and new pioneers. Guitars, harmonicas and washboard rhythms find their place next to a wagon full of electronics. This is the music, and even more the soundtrack, to the lingering ghosts and the lost and not-so-forgotten dreams of the restless souls driven to "Go West by God!" The story shifts between the present and the recent past when a dust trail was the only road west. The rails were freshly laid, still wet with sweat and blood. For better or worse, hopes and dreams turned real in the vast southwestern deserts, becoming a metaphor for a clean slate and a better life.

"DUST TO DUST has the mystery and allure of 150 year old photographs of strangers whose eyes and stoic faces suggest a thousand untold stories." -- (Mark Burby, AP magazine)
 
1. Gone WestRealAudioMP37:27 
2. A Daze WageRealAudioMP36:13 
3. A Bigger SkyMP33:19 
4. The Ribbon Rails of PromiseMP315:05 
5. First SunriseMP34:27 
6. Lost and ForgottenMP310:44 
7. Snake EyesMP35:35 
8. Rain and CreosoteRealAudioMP35:02 
9. Ghost TrainRealAudioMP37:21 



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