Early Man
by Ned Raggett, All Music Guide

Initially surfacing as a limited-edition one-disc release in late 2000, each copy strikingly packaged between two slabs of slate, EARLY MAN became Roach's first major release of 2001 in an expanded two-disc format. The second disc consists of a "decomposed" version of the first, revisiting that material with an ear to more evanescent, mysterious ends, while the full release as a whole deserves note for its artwork, fusing prehistory with technology. As a whole, EARLY MAN is Roach's sonic portrait of a distant ancestor to quote his own words, "one lone wandering early man" and the titles of the songs, as well as their respective energies, capture elements of this figure's life. Roach's abilities to create deep, moving electronic/acoustic compositions light years from the bathos of new age banality have long been clear, but EARLY MAN not merely reconfirms this, it makes it paramount.

The sheer depth of detail on both discs is both an audiophilic delight and an artistic triumph. The constantly evolving collage of sounds introducing new rhythms and sonic flow, suddenly stopping and starting when least expected, the use of echo as an instrument makes for fascinating listening. The title track, at nearly 30 minutes the longest individual piece on both discs, is a slow, entrancing number initially revolving around a gentle, skittering rhythm and central guitar/keyboard melody before simultaneously stripping back part of that while introducing new instruments and themes. The decomposed second disc pitches itself toward dark ambience more than once, with electronic distortion and near-empty arrangements setting the low, murky tone at many points. A unique, gripping style of grace and mood in a genre too many easily dismiss.


Early Man


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CD  $20.00 
ON SALE, $16.00 
iTunes 
Bandcamp 
Early Man
Steve Roach
2001 Projekt PRO111 (CD)
Reviewed by Jim Brenholts, All Music Guide, Alternative Press, AmbiEntrance, CD Services (UK), Incursion, Ink 19, Ink 19, Muze, Outburn, Sonic Curiosity, Star's End, StarVox, The Raging Consciousness Desk, Tower Pulse!

Best described as primeval innerspace deep ambient. EARLY MAN brings into form an ancient landscape of bubbling pools and steamy marshlands, verdant arroyos and monolithic rock formations. Cave paintings and ancient memories come to life in a slow soul-dance of evolutionary magic. The accolades from press and listeners alike tell that EARLY MAN belongs to Roach's classic body of work which includes DREAMTIME RETURN, ORIGINS, THE MAGNIFICENT VOID and last year's quietly successful MIDNIGHT MOON.
 
Disc 1: Early Man
1. Early DawnMP311:58 
2. Early ManMP325:28 
3. Begins Looking SkywardMP36:20 
4. Walking UprightMP36:49 
5. Hunting & GatheringMP312:33 
6. Flow StoneMP35:42 
Disc 2: Early Man Decomposed
1. Slow DissolveMP36:33 
2. Walking Upright IIMP38:49 
3. Fossil and FernMP39:49 
4. MastodonMP34:58 
5. ElementalMP311:33 
6. Late DawnMP310:39 
7. TimelineMP35:38 
8. CarbondateMP37:56 
9. Below AlwaysMP34:30 


Early Man


feature  feature

Ltd. Edition CD $100.00
iTunes 
Early Man
Steve Roach
2000 Manifold (CD)
 
1. Early DawnMP311:58 
2. Early ManMP325:28 
3. Begins Looking SkywardMP36:20 
4. Walking UprightMP36:49 
5. Hunting & GatheringMP312:33 
6. Flow StoneMP35:42 

limited edition, packaged between two slabs of real slate


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