by Gary Andrews
Never before has an album title been so apt. Once again Steve has released on his own Timeroom Editions an album of pure quality atmospheric music much akin to his precursor albums such as SLOW HEAT and THE DREAM CIRCLE. Where as those two albums shared one long continuous sound enviroment with suble key changes, ATMOSPHERIC CONDITIONS is made up of three quite distinct sections. The overall effect is still meant to be heard as one flowing piece, but one can hear more variation from the sound palette used.
This new music can be played as a continuous playback background atmosphere if one wishes, or for a more intense experience by turning the volume up it can be used as a powerful soundworld to explore the music's hidden depths, as with a conventional release.
"Underground Clouds Over A Secret Grotto" starts the album in suitably scene-setting fashion, the music gradually shifting around creating sound shapes and musical textures as if mimicking the constant changing of a cloud formation. The second stage of the album, "In The Heart Of Distant Horizons", finds the album in an equilibrium of floating and ebbing washes of pure electronic sound. Before long a faint rhythmic element is added to the mix, adding a moving vital undercurrent that moves the track along its journey, before the last part of the album "Two Rivers Dreaming" takes the helm. This track comes from a live performance in Italy during the Spring of 1999, and its inclusion makes a worthy addition to the album, the live feeling of spontaneous performance coming across very well from what must have been an intense and magical night of music.