Live Archive
by Phil Derby, Synth Music Direct

Dramatic and ominous, "Verucchio Invocation" starts LIVE ARCHIVE in stirring fashion. Silent, save for the occasional pulse and shaker in the far-off distance, the music rumbles to life amidst didgeridoo, rainsticks, drones, and thunder. The ingredients swirl together into a rich whirlpool of sound. Throughout, the music is blended seamlessly from various concert recordings. It is impossible to tell, for example, that this opening track is actually from venues in three different countries. One must listen carefully, or watch the track index, to know when "Common Ground" begins. A bright metallic synth loop floats over very hypnotic tribal drumming to great effect. The intensity builds, chants are introduced, and then it all falls off into dreamy atmospherics.

"Two Reptiles" is a signature Steve Roach piece, quite reminiscent of his DREAMTIME RETURN CD. Layered organic sounds and slow bleats join together in a relaxed but very primal mode. "Dreampipe Dialogue" is an effective, brief bridging piece to the appropriately named "Soundworld Collage". The entire disc is filled with sound effects that seem to echo into eternity, but that feeling is particularly pronounced here. A startlingly intense burst of rapid, unusual percussion asserts itself about two-thirds through. Certain sounds seem to mimic animals deep in a rain forest. LIVE ARCHIVE is rich with world-music elements, but the disc pauses to breathe through "Ascension", a very calm, tranquil selection.

There is a feeling of familiarity to many of the pieces, no doubt derived or inspired at least partially from Roach and Obmana's previous works, yet the arrangements seem fresh and vibrant. Another successful entry in the growing Roach / Obmana catalog of textural sonic tapestries.



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Live Archive
Steve Roach, Vidna Obmana
2000 Groove Unlimited GR038 (CD)
Reviewed by Jim Brenholts, Jason Bratcher, Incursion, Synth Music Direct, The Raging Consciousness Desk

A blending of selected live high points from concerts in 1997 in the US and Europe. It contains almost all new and unreleased material created for the tour, as well as improvisations that captured the atmosphere of the performance space in Italy: an outdoor Roman-era amphitheater set within a mountain-top village. Take the spirit of their previous studio releases, and unleash this in the live setting of duel didgeridoos, deep soundworlds, trance grooves, shamanic percussion, flutes, ocarinas and otherworldly spirit voices. The result unfolds like one perfect uninterrupted concert in your own space.
 
1. Verucchio InvocationMP37:21 
2. Common GroundRealAudioMP37:38 
3. Two ReptilesMP312:20 
4. Dreampipe DialogueMP33:54 
5. Soundworld CollageMP39:19 
6. AscensionRealAudioMP36:57 
7. Tribal PerspectiveRealAudioMP37:38 
8. Divine InnermissionMP312:15 



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