by Darren Bergstein, Muze
Just when you thought Roach couldn't re-define the parameters of ambient music, there he goes again standing traditional mores on their head. Forsaking his trusty synthesizers and samplers, Roach turns his prodigious talents to the guitar on MIDNIGHT MOON, and you'll never look at six-strings the same again. The maven of myriad sonic monasteries deeply processes electric guitar, E-bow and fretless bass to such an extent their physiognomies are virtually indistinguishable from the constructions of synths, but the girth of pitch and tone only obtainable from things string-driven remains. This is a recording of voluminous lunar atmospheres and fetching supernatural motes arising out of curling arcs of sinuous sonic fog and swampy stereo gas. "Midnight Loom" conjures up all sorts of nocturnal beasts and the lands they inhabit, its shifting tones barometrically altering the stereofield with sounds that flicker, pierce the stillness, rise and fall again. "Moon and Star" is as elegaic as anything Eno might have realized while On Land, but Roach is the master of suggestive dreamstates and somnambulent territories. Changing his weapons of choice hasn't diminished his power one iota, but rather, builds on his already secure status as a pre-eminent electronic architect.