by Bert Strolenberg
December 7, 2003
TEXTURE MAPS presents us with Vol. 3 in the Lost Pieces series. This time (as the title suggests) we take a dive into vast textural landscapes which -- for whatever reason -- unfortunately stayed on the shelves of Steve's Timeroom studio. These 8 tracks give further insight on how his music has developed through the past years, and how he was able to end up producing great albums like THE MAGNIFICENT VOID and MYSTIC CHORDS & SACRED SPACES.
The 21-minute album opener "Grey and Purple" is a stand-out piece of art. In a marvelous way it takes us back to the year 1987 with soft but rich layers of melancholic synth washes flowing and this intriguing analogue synth taking core position from time to time while transparent soundscapes circle around it.
"Artifact Ghost" is next, a morphing piece with darker and lighter undercurrents, edited from a 90-minute track used as a "walk-in" atmosphere for concerts around 1993. In the three-fold "Spiral Triptych" you encounter many ingredients and ideas which would later show up in twisted form in the Mystic Chords box, while "Bottomless 2" is an alternate version of the same track contributed to the Hypnos sampler WEIGHTLESS, EFFORTLESS. The album finishes with "Quiet Sun" and "Soul Night", both made this year. Both contain the same compelling and sometimes even surreal content as found on the Mystic Chords work, but will ride the edge as soon as you put on headphones. This said, TEXTURE MAPS is a worthy addition to the already extensive Roach collection. It showcases the various sonic sources found, assembled and reworked during the past period, but also leads the way for much more still to come.