by Sylvain Lupari, Guts of Darkness
January 2007

Guitar chords resound on deep synth pads. With an intimate atmosphere, where the notes wind echoing in exiguous rotation, "Way of Now" is a soft spiral striation of synthetic gliding waves. It's also the opening track of CORE, one of the albums initiated into the tribal culture of the very cosmopolitan universe of Steve Roach.

CORE is a fabulous opus where Steve Roach shows his control of rhythms with varied tempos, percussion and sound effects with misleading appearances. In this universe, Roach handles sound like a surgeon handles a scalpel. "Way of Now" was only one soft intro, without provocation, an introduction for better seizing you and charming you. With "Wings of Icarus", Steve Roach extends his synthetic waves on a nervous rhythm with unsteady percussion. Minimalist movements, with discrete undulations, he is melting into dark rhythms with spectral breaths on "Train of Thought". A dark crescendo accentuates the tempo with sound effects and percussion which are paired easily with the vision that we can have of a train in motion. This is an awesome mind teaser.

"Resonation Revelation" slips gently into our auditory memory, with beautiful hypnotic and minimalism pulsations which increase on gutturals sound effects, as if we could inhale the air close to a swamp which is used as a toxic dump. Quietly, the American synthesist is introducing the charm, because this hypnotic lasciviousness continues on "Core Meditation".

Ambient and intriguing, this wind procession is morphing into a flood of percussion which whirls on varied impulses. Very tribal, we can certainly associate it with underground people communicating through dance, like possessed beings, with synthetic lines that whip the air.

A strong title which modulates its rhythm on intensity, not movement, giving the effect of a sound wave which slows down any metabolism. The impact in a restricted listening surface listening is phenomenal. "Hyperportal", which we'll hear towards the end of CORE, is built on the same tribal structures. Completely astounding. "So it Goes..." continues the minimal approaches of suction pulses, right before "Endorphin Dreamtime", a jewel of Berlin School sequential movement with superb minimal loops which stings us straight in the soul. Crossed by beautiful synthetic and melodious pads, the line is splitting to form another which is coiling and twisting with newcomer innocence. Obviously, this is my favorite track on CORE. It dies out in the abyssal breaths of "Indigo Yearning".

CORE is an incursion into the tribal universe of Steve Roach. Although there is rhythm, there is little in common with Berlin School sequences or rhythms. In fact, there are very few sequencer movements, like "Endorphin Dreamtime". The rhythms result from Steve Roach's magic in handling sonorities, percussion and tribal sound effects. CORE is an album which perfectly shows the capacities and the sound diversity from the creator of DREAMTIME RETURN. A must have.


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Poster out of stock
CD out of stock
Steve Roach
2001 Timeroom Editions 6 (Poster, CD)
Reviewed by Hannah M.G. Shapero, Alternate Music Press, Ambient Visions, AmbiEntrance, Backroads Music, Guts of Darkness, Jungle Voodoo, MusicTAP, Sonic Curiosity, Wind and Wire

Steve's new 2001 solo release CORE has evolved into a dynamic convergence of his most essential organic, electronic, rhythmic and atmospheric elements and what could be his most elegant and powerful dynamic solo release in years. This summer has been a time of renewal as Roach turned away from all concerts, collaborations and other offers, directing the focus deep into the heart of this powerful journey, back to the core. 100% pure Steve Roach music.

An 8"x8" mini-poster of the cover artwork is also available.
1. Way of NowMP33:50 
2. Wings of IcarusMP37:40 
3. Train of ThoughtMP35:52 
4. Resonation RevelationMP36:55 
5. Core MeditationMP34:24 
6. So it Goes...MP310:06 
7. Endorphin DreamtimeMP38:09 
8. HyperportalMP311:57 
9. Indigo YearningMP34:25 

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