Arc of Passion
by Matt Howarth, Sonic Curiosity
January 2008


This release from 2007 offers 101 minutes of truly inspired electronic music.

Four compositions (technically three since the title track starts on disc 1 and continues on disc 2) are found on this release.

Celestial tones establish a cloudy foundation that sedates the audience, wiping clean all traces of tension or material concerns from the mind. Gradually, these drones swell with puissance, and alternate layers emerge to season the soundscape with a rising sense of authority. Density evolves from these sparse expressions, achieving a heavenly intensity that becomes peppered with instances of stratospheric brilliance. Chillier resonance enters the mix, forcing the harmonies back to earth, where the grandeur adopts a livelier disposition. Keyboard patterns appear, injecting pep with a dreamy lining. Additional threads surface, increasing the flow's depth. Hyperactivity creeps in as these patterns begin to amalgamate into a luscious convergence of passionate substance. These bundled notes surge with such velocity that they adopt a rhythmic presence, propelling the music to even more emphatic levels of cerebral stimulation. The mix becomes a crowded realm of urgency.

The second disc picks up where the prior track left off, amid a swirl of penultimate excitement. This time, the electronic riffs are bolstered by a percussive undercurrent that remains subliminal yet thoroughly infectious. Lofty tones attribute a Germanic flair that serves to start the mix on an angelic elevation. The pace becomes relentless, establishing a sedate frenzy that spurs each synapse into acute activity.

Gradually, this impulsive hyperactivity ebbs, dwindling into a cosmic pause of breathy cybernetic sighs. Abstract electronics soon fill this void, evoking an interstellar medium of portentous character. Growling tones rise into dominance, establishing a harsh epiphany that flows into a glimmering passage designed for insights to flourish. A hint of didgeridoo lends a numinous edge to the tranquil finale.

The majesty of this music is incarnate, from the delicate soundscapes to the compelling intensity inherent in the title track(s). Roach creates tuneage here that blends ambience with passages of impressive vitality. There is no escape from being drawn in; whether the seduction is gentle or vibrant, his compositions bewitch as they revitalize.


Arc of Passion


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Arc of Passion
Steve Roach
2007 Projekt PRO202 (CD)
Reviewed by Electroambient Space, Musique Machine, Signal to Noise, Sonic Curiosity, Sonic Immersion, Star's End, Tokafi

Three striking new pieces born from the moment. Steve Roach's new 2-CD set seamlessly fuses three long unfolding soundworlds into a vibrant sonic odyssey. The result can only be described as a living, breathing ARC OF PASSION. As one of the pioneers of electronic music, Steve's career has many musical highpoints; ARC OF PASSION proves to be another definitive statement along the path. Advanced response from listeners places this album at the top of the list of must-have releases from Steve's body of work. Steve reaches into his sonic palette to weave elements drawn from his three definitive styles into a continuous, evolving flow. Rich harmonic chords, spiraling sequences and deep sky soundworlds move fluidly within this 2-hour set.

A vibrant immediacy is alive on ARC OF PASSION; recorded in a studio-like environment at Analogue Haven with an audience of 80 people, the sonic textures and evolving nature of the pieces reach into the core of the present moment bringing it into form with elegance and energy.

The opening 19-minute track billows outwards with rich and shadowed harmonic movement; deep chords ebb and flow like the thunder clouds of a summer storm, entering the realm of the hauntingly serene MYSTIC CHORDS & SACRED SPACES or THE MAGNIFICENT VOID albums. The set flows into the 60-minute title track built from layers of percussive and melodic patterns interwoven and evolving while holding a steady pulse and direction. Waves of emotion from intertwining sequencers provide the foundation for the evolving trance patterns that develop into full mesmerizing, passionate form. The closing 20-minute piece is deep primal ambience mixed with processed didgeridoo hovering within an expansive soundscape. Long, arching tendril-like forms breathe within this infinite soundfield.

Steve comments: "This arc represents a trajectory of emotion infused with energy from a radiant, serene core that comes from within the creative moment." ARC OF PASSION is a deep and vibrant expression of life lived passionately.

(Source: Projekt press release)

"Steve Roach reaches back into his sonic palette and pulls forth quite possibly the definitive album of his career. Beyond essential." -- Michael Ostrich, ProgScape.com
 
Disc 1
1. Moment of GraceMP319:05 
2. Arc of PassionMP331:36 
Disc 2
1. Arc of Passion (continued)MP328:44 
2. Views BeyondMP321:29 
 
-  Disc 1 MP3 ExcerptsMP3 
-  Disc 2 MP3 ExcerptsMP3 



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