Minimal long-form zonal ambience. There is no melody of any sort here, no beat, no progression, no percussion -- simply uninterrupted scintillating sound. A lustrous sonic sheet, a warm current in an ocean of music, a slowly revolving stream of light. Just as the sky doesn't need to be dramatically animated to be beautiful -- IMMERSION: ONE is delightful in its simple individuality. A gently whistling tone repeatedly catches the attention as it rises and falls, as if played by the wind. Smoother layers flow around this fluctuating thread, slowly, comfortably, imperceptibly morphing. I'm reluctant to pull this woven thread too far apart in order to examine it -- the appeal of IMMERSION: ONE lies in its twisting undisturbed whole.
Restful and completely immersive. There is a deeply fluid momentum here that suggests floatation on a drifting river of tone. The artwork aptly pictures this impression -- showing an effervescent stream of green light, luminous against a black background. This visual accompaniment strongly affects one's mental imagery -- a flow, a cord of music -- however, this 'steady state' sound zone eventually absorbs the attentive listener, leaving one afloat on an endless expanse of oceanic drift.
A beautiful Digipak carries this CD -- deepest glossy black shot through with a jet of light. Multilayered, aglow and bearing multitudinous motes of brightness -- this emerald band runs centrally across every panel. Text is minimal -- only titles and brief credits -- nothing superfluous -- focus on the stream. On the reverse, the stream is magnified, each detail sparkling before the eye, carried along on currents unseen. A very pleasing package -- a nice object to own.
IMMERSION: ONE is one of Steve Roach's most intentionally minimal recordings, as promotional material explains this album is "Gently immersive and especially effective at low volume, the non-dynamic nature of this space can support sleeping as well as creative states, reading and other functions where 'music' is considered invasive." Truly beautiful and potentially absorbing -- the sound subtly attracts the ear, recedes into the background, resurfaces and holds the attention once more -- all with effortless fluidity. Released on Projekt, IMMERSION: TWO will appear later in 2006.
Who Will Like ThIs Album
If you want something to see how far ambient music can go and still be elegant, something to reduce harmony to its most basic elements -- this is the album for you.