Dust to Dust
by Darren Bergstein, Muze
Having emasculated the desert and heavens in search of lost chords, what better place for Roach to turn to then the historic old west, those legends steeped in the tradition of nomadic coyotes and forbidding terrain. He’s apparently found a kindred spirit in the guise of lapsteel guitarist Roger King, who not only couches these fertile electro-blues in swathes of haunting atmospheres, but adds his own Morricone-like flourishes and nylon twang. The results suggest an oasis where Ry Cooder meets some wayward loners who may or may not be space oddities, as evident on the prickly electronics, metallic synth chords and nimble, subdued basslines of “The Ribbon Rails of Promise.” An unusual collaboration, to be sure, but every bit as rewarding as Roach’s other joint ventures, and, in many ways, one of the most original of the bunch.
|Dust to Dust|
Steve Roach, Roger King
1998 Projekt PRO79 (CD)
Reviewed by John Pemble, AmbiEntrance, Brett Neely, Alternative Press, CounterPunch, Illinois Entertainer, Muze
Western Music in the truest sense. It is a bold step in a new direction: Where sounds paint pictures with a range of colors drawn from the land, where stories are told with the instruments of old and new pioneers. Guitars, harmonicas and washboard rhythms find their place next to a wagon full of electronics. This is the music, and even more the soundtrack, to the lingering ghosts and the lost and not-so-forgotten dreams of the restless souls driven to "Go West by God!" The story shifts between the present and the recent past when a dust trail was the only road west. The rails were freshly laid, still wet with sweat and blood. For better or worse, hopes and dreams turned real in the vast southwestern deserts, becoming a metaphor for a clean slate and a better life.
"DUST TO DUST has the mystery and allure of 150 year old photographs of strangers whose eyes and stoic faces suggest a thousand untold stories." -- (Mark Burby, AP magazine)