Synth Music Direct
Before I even get into the music, a special mention must be given to the superb presentation. The graphics are certainly colourful; almost like multi-coloured ripples of water, but these ripples then go to make up strange alien type figures and faces. Instead of a standard booklet what you get are four double-sided colour glossy pieces of card each with a stunning image on it based on the front cover or on body printing. OK, now for the music.
After the very shortest of introductions we get straight into the rhythm. These sound to me as if they could be very processed real drums, but they are soon added to by yet more drums that could be also be "real" in origin, but it hardly matters as the overall effect sounds very synthesized. The rhythms themselves could be thought of as very vaguely tribal, but you could just as well imagine it being the sort of music for androids or robots to dance to. After all, the title of the album is BODY ELECTRIC. A solo flute-type sound (the Ney mentioned in the accompanying blurb?) provides a very pleasing lead line. The overall effect is certainly 90's in feel and rhythmic content. There is still much here however that is Steve Roach in his more traditional ambient mode, even if there are usually faint drums pulsating over the top. The production is also superb, the whole sound being in a sort of swirl, and yet all the individual elements of this heady brew being easily identifiable.
As is becoming quite common nowadays each of the ten tracks run into each other and aren't really individual entities, rather different movements in one whole. The intensity of the rhythm varies greatly but it isn't long before things become rather trance like. The third movement "Mind Link" starts with typical Roach atmospherics, giving time for another fascinating rhythm to develop. The fourth part "Gene Pool" does sound rather watery, the rhythms being restrained and it stays that way for most of the short following movements which are much more atmospheric than the first two sections. The pace quickens slightly for "Bloodstreaming" and rhythmically goes through many a twist and turn during "Solar Tribe" and "The New Dream", this being quite an energetic number. The drums become really grungy on the final section before fading away into gentle washes of synth.
So yet another new direction for Steve, though certainly sprouting from an existing branch of an increasingly complicated tree.