by Darren Bergstein, Muze
There's movement up ahead, a lone figure on the edge of the abyss, teetering on the brink of darkness. He is the First Soul, the Lonely Wanderer, the EARLY MAN, and digital aural guru Roach has provided his evolutionary soundtrack, sounds that upon observation are situated in time like millennia-old fossils waiting for the unearthing. Roach has travelled down these primordial roads before, but never like this. Forget the sonic pinnacles reached via ARTIFACTS or ORIGINS: this is his archetypal release, a staggering sonic snapshot that time forgot. Originally released as a special limited edition pressed between slate on Roach's own Timeroom label, EARLY MAN is now a two-disc mammoth, as the musician wrestles out of his now machines the sounds of then and transmogrifies them into the future. Disc One is an hour+ plus journey into quantum pulse and barren tones, as myriad noises chigger about and nestle within the speaker fabric, as scuttling rhythms assume life and eke out footprints in the prehistoric sediment, as immersive electro-tectonic shifts map out the topography newly emerging underfoot. Disc Two morphs the drones into whispering, quiescent, near-subtle beat patterns and random incidences, as Roach's daunting electronic palette yields a colorful bounty of ancestral dawns, preening skies, vivid earthen architecture. EARLY MAN is, simply put, a stunner. Wish you were there.