by Roger Batty, Musique Machine
This third volume in Steve Roach's series of long-form ambient compositions doesn't just offer up one 70 minute piece; instead it offers up three, with all three pieces following on from the rest of the series, painting vast and atmospheric soundworlds that often barely move. All three discs are packaged in an arty and impressive large DVD-size fold-out Digipak.
Disc one's piece is called "First Light", and revolves around a sweet harmonic sound patten that could well have been created by a guitar with which Roach gently pulls and massages out peaceful clouds of settling ambience. It feels like you're slowly falling over and over through calming space, not fearful of ever hitting the ground, feeling you'll soothingly tumble forever more, the sunlight of the guitar loop touching your skin every so often.
Disc two's piece is entitled "Sleep Chamber" and takes you to a darker slightly more ominous place, like you're swimming through a vast silky darkness, which although still comforting, has a slight foreboding edge. It hovers with the feeling of investigating a vast underground cathedral: the air is cool as you scan your surroundings with wonder and awe. At the back of your mind you're unsure if you're being watched from either high above or down below from the dripping subterranean pools and waterways.
Lastly we have disc three's piece entitled "Still", which once more follows on from the darker tone of the second disc, but this time with breath-like ambient ripples of sound which bring to mind being slowly sucked inside a vast, almost translucent fish as it breathes in and out, while it makes its way along deep ocean canyons, cave networks and forgotten stone citadels. The track becomes very deeply hypnotic and captivating, almost putting you into a trance-like state where you're completely at one with the ambient ebb and flow.
IMMERSION: THREE is another rewarding chapter in this growing series and another fine collection of ambient soundworlds by one of the true masters of ambient form. It's music to get lost in, thoroughly immersed in its rich slowly evolving, often darkly-hued worlds.