by John Diliberto,
September 2004

Steve Roach has spent the last two decades charting a pathway into the primordial. With every album, you have the feeling of stumbling upon some ancient and secret ceremonial ritual. On MANTRAM he forges a fellowship with two other musicians. Mark Seelig's reverb-drenched bansuri flute is a nice addition to Roach's sound, almost bringing him back to melody. The Indian flute and a tamboura strummed ominously in the background give Roach an Eastern feel for the first time, but Byron Metcalf's frame drums turn MANTRAM toward a Persian groove that dances in cycling rhythmic figures. Painted on a broad canvas, Steve Roach's world is writ large with earth-shuddering textures, Metcalf's thundering frame drum, and Seelig's flute gliding like an avenging angel seeking a target. The constantly interweaving synthesizer, didgeridoo, harmonic singing, and tamboura churn in a surreal, slow motion dervish, spiraling down a labyrinthian ziggurat.


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CD  $15.00 
ON SALE, $13.99 
Steve Roach, Byron Metcalf, Mark Seelig
2004 Projekt PRO160 (CD)
Reviewed by, e|i magazine, Hypnagogue, Morpheus Music

Like the living, breathing, meditative movement of the Sufi trance dance, MANTRAM is grounded in a reverence for the slowing of time which allows the natural reflective process to emerge. Slow heartbeat-like acoustic frame drum, overtone voice, Didgeridoo, Bansuri flute, and Tamboura drones mix with a majestic tapestry of organic electronic textures, offering the sonic equivalent of the power found when gazing into timeless Mandala images found in classic sacred art. The entire CD holds a consistent interconnected feeling that seems to spiral outwards when experienced in repeat playback.
1. OneMP314:54 
2. TwoMP38:24 
3. ThreeMP33:54 
4. FourMP33:38 
5. FiveMP314:12 
6. SixMP311:34 
7. SevenMP310:35 
8. EightMP36:21 

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