by Matt Howarth, Sonic Curiosity
This 2001 release offers 74 minutes of ambience with considerable substance.
Here, Roach produces music that strains at the boundaries of "ambience" with sedentary liveliness and sparkling electronics. Cascades of eerie sounds swim in a pool of sweeping textures and sighing windstorms.
There is often a rhythmic quality going on that is achieved with a palate of strange, gurgling electronics instead of the softly-distant tribal percussion that normally features so prominently in Roach's stylings. The tempos are quirky, intertwining with each other to create even stranger tempos. This use of alien rhythms adds a softly energetic quality to the music, one that pushes the weirdness far beyond the realm of beatless soundscapes, entering a genre more comparable to the Berlin School style of electronics (a mode that Roach has rarely employed). The result is an outstanding achievement, fusing beats into ambience without any loss of the music's hypnotic nature.
Fear not, die-hard Roach followers, for you will not be disappointed by any absence of Roach's other signature elements. There are passages of ethnic percussives, insectoid rattlings, and the integral use of kilometer-long notes. His talent for evolving riffs behind the audience's back is just as prevalent, and equally rewarding.
Although each track is much shorter than usual, the music flows without disruption into vaster, more substantial duration, leaving the listener dazed by the engaging progression.
This release was a modern classic a nanosecond after the CDs were shipped from the pressing factory.