by Mark Burbey, Alternative Press
Music and atmospherics from the infinite beyond
Previous Steve Roach releases have embraced spiritual ambience, tribal rituals and deep space explorations. MIDNIGHT MOON, however, comes wafting from behind the final curtain like a ghostly mist. Whereas THE MAGNIFICENT VOID placed the listener on an asteroid making its way around the solar system, MIDNIGHT MOON offers no such ground upon which to plant one's feet. The effect is closer to a vertical drift, floating down the mythical tunnel towards the white light of forever. Tales of the tunnel have yet to speak of the darkness beyond the beckoning luminescence, but the soundworld that is MIDNIGHT MOON makes the prospect of heaven seem woefully unlikely. This is a place of mournful melancholy and loss, of separation and longing.
Roach's first-time use of processed guitar integrates well with his usual blend of electronic and acoustic instruments. The guitar gives the album a singular voice, while the overall tone and mood remains faithful to his larger body of work. By album's end, a degree of hope and acceptance emerges, but return passage is not an option. Seldom has a work of art come so close to capturing the essence of something so enigmatic, or does it with such intuitive form.