by Darren Bergstein, Muze
Master synthesists Roach and Rich excavate the evolutionary layers of sound out of their machines on this, their first collaboration. Kindred spirits in both substance and style, their probing, questing sonic architecture seeks to unearth the tangible from the unknown, but to alight the unknown with a spectral quality. Roach and Rich, instead of seismometers and pick-axes, use their battery of analog and digital synthesizers to seize the geologic moment, embedding it in the amber of the studio. Like the translucent layers of the mineral bearing its name, "Mica" reveals a quartz-like refraction of images and movements, constructed with Rich's interlocking vibe grooves, percussive gemstones, and Roach's dense synthesizer shadings. "The Grotto of Time Lost" pushes one back even further into the pre-dawn era, Roach and Rich's electronics and sundry noisemakers (called 'glurp') peeling back the undergrowth to reveal tectonic plates convulsing with the breath of newly hatched organisms and moist jungle growth. One of the best stylistic collaborations of the 80's, the formidable team of Roach and Rich proved so fertile it yielded the equally synergistic SOMA.