by Richard Gürtler
After a more quiet atmospheric period, Steve Roach returns with more upbeat textures on the collaborative trance-groovey DREAM TRACKER
and most recently on NIGHTBLOOM
, on which this sonic architect teamed with shamanic performer Mark Seelig from Germany and two guests, Beate Maria (tambura) and Dwight Loop (groove elements). Steve and Mark have already worked together on three previous albums (also featuring shamanic percussionist Byron Metcalf), but NIGHTBLOOM
explores new and deeper terrain. Steve's innovative sonic palette of drones, zones and "terra" grooves is fully activated and strongly supported by Mark's throat singing and vocal overtone magic.
Divided into five overflowing parts, NIGHTBLOOM
's powerful atmospheres immediately submerge the listener into a deep sea of spaciousness where deeper droning passages are shifted by numerous uplifting grooves. The power of the human voice is absolutely enormous on NIGHTBLOOM
, and when skillfully united with Steve's sophisticated textures, both droning or heartbeat, we are confronted with a pure transcendental experience. Each part is very lively and richly painted by evocative and expansive soundworlds, holding the listener's attention until the very last seconds. This album is not only another important chapter in Steve's vast body of work, but also a proof of the grandiose and unlimited power of Mark's voice. NIGHTBLOOM
is as much a ground-breaking work as BLOOD MACHINE
by Steve Roach and Vir Unis, and undoubtedly one of the most perfectly polished pearls of the ambient genre. Add to this a nicely designed six-panel eco-friendly cardboard CD wallet. Bravo to both of these sonic shamans and geniuses!!!
Steve Roach, Mark Seelig
2010 Projekt PRO248 (CD)
Reviewed by Richard Gürtler, Richard Gürtler, Hypnagogue
Prolific ambient innovator Steve Roach teams with Ph.D. shamanic practitioner / musician Mark Seelig to create a long-form piece of space-opening sound magic. Like the many fragrant and beautiful night-blooming plants which are host to mind-altering qualities, this 70-minute experience slowly blooms outwards with Mark's vocal harmonic and Tuva-style overtoning intertwining within Steve's zones and "terra" grooves. A slow motion magical blend is created in this nocturnal mist-filled realm. The power of the human voice is drawn forth in a primordial understanding and finds a perfect fusion with subterranean heartbeats, drones and zones swelling from the harmonic soil, gently urging the Nightblooming to increase its potency and allure.
Steve and Mark are intrepid travlers in the realms of expanded musical states; they have collaborated with shamanic percussionist Byron Metcalf on MANTRAM, NADA TERMA, DISCIPLE and WACHUMA'S WAVE. This release settles into the sustained oceanic qualities of these powerful releases. Slow down, breathe deep, hear and feel the Nightbloom blooming inside.
Reviews of Steve and Mark's past collaborations:
"Lush and mysterious yet built with heady eastern-tinged synth expanses and drones. The sound slips out of your speakers like heady incense smoke that soothes and loosens one's body and mind." -- Musique Machine
"It opens with slow undulating synth waves and a shot of overtone harmonics that could be coming from Seelig, Roach, or both. The mood here is one of losing the familiar and venturing into the unknown. The result is a slow, arrhythmic cascade of rising choir-sounding material, emanating from Seelig and Roach that piques the listener's curiosity and pulls him or her in deeper. The drones are gradually stripped of recognizable pitch and harmonic content and become more otherworldly sounding. This furthers the sense of transition to a different state, and the entire piece is very effective." -- Wind and Wire
"Someone who is not familiar with overtone singing may not be aware that the particular drone they are hearing is partly or entirely a creation of one singer. Overtone singing has existed in many cultures but the primary awareness of it in the west stems from field recordings of then-isolated Tibetan Buddhist monks chanting and the subsequent use of these techniques by David Hykes. By emphasizing the overtones inherent in a sung tone, the singer creates the impression that he or she is singing several notes simultaneously. The singer can also produce 'filtersweep' like effects by varying the shape of his or her mouth and vocal cavity. If multitracking is used, entire orchestral or otherworldly timbres can be built from one person's voice. But this is merely technique and what makes Seelig stand out is what he does with the technique." -- Wind and Wire
In five parts; MP3 clip is a medley of all five parts. Released in an eco-friendly 6-panel CD wallet.