by Sylvain Lupari, Guts of Darkness
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.