Proof Positive
by Matt Howarth, Sonic Curiosity

This release from 2006 offers 74 minutes of very lively electronic music.

Here, Roach explores the realm of analog electronics. The music exudes a lively mien as tones pulse and collide with buzzing counterparts. Utilizing a surging structure, Roach achieves a melodic flow that glistens with engaging luster as the aspects slide along an uphill incline, accreting additional elements in the process. Pierced by shriller augmentation, the ascending stream possesses a synthetic charm with its chirping notes and swiftly looped cycles.

The first track delivers a relentless dose of these surging electronics for 22 minutes, varying and evolving the central theme with a relaxed urgency. There are points where the lead elements seems to give in to fatigue, allowing background aspects to momentarily dominate the tune, but eventually, revitalized by their dormancy, these buzzing elements return, resurging in slightly mutated form.

Then there are a pair of short pieces which display a playful disposition as they pound and pulse. In the first, the electronics present a cheerier character that pursues a quasi-rhythmic structure devoid of any actual impacts. In the second, the general tone is deeper, denser, but not darker. A sense of jubilation is still keynote.

Then comes an 11 minute track that explores a distinctly relentless velocity. The pulsations and fuzzy notes come rapidly, streaming along with cheery fashion. The pace is almost exhausting. An undercurrent of desperation is designed to flavor this adrenaline rush.

Finally, there is an epic track (33 minutes long) that applies this frantic onrushing delivery to a heavenly emulsion of chittering and dervish rotations. Notes are compressed, then ejected into a fluid solvent that propels everything in a steady current of bewitching properties. The piece refuses to give in to debilitation, maintaining a deliberate momentum that actually exudes energy rather than expending it. And (believe it or not) the piece actually achieves a greater enthusiasm for its climax.

This release is remarkably unlike anything Roach has ever done. The style and choice of sounds are uncharacteristic for him, but his mastery of this fresh direction is stunningly rewarding.

Proof Positive

CD  $15.00 
ON SALE, $12.00 
Combo Pack $35.00
Combo Pack $42.00
Combo Pack $20.00
Proof Positive
Steve Roach
2006 Timeroom Editions 17 (CD)
Reviewed by Sylvain Lupari, Electroambient Space, e|i magazine, Ping Things, Sonic Curiosity, Tokafi

"Shimmering", "life-affirming" and "moving only forward" best describes this new release drawn from the pulsing side of the lifeblood found in Steve's work. PROOF POSITIVE was created over the past year, from '05 to '06. These all-new pieces, sequential with textural undercurrents, have a kind floating sensation; the sum total is purely hypnotic with a contained and sustained energy that is consistent through the entire CD. This one lights up the brain and excites the ears in a way that only a hands-on spontaneous approach to carving pure analog sound can offer. A touchstone release for Steve, this is a perfect set for long drives on the open road or for traveling the inner landscapes while cruising in your favorite listening chair. Proof Positive indeed!
1. WestwindMP321:46 
2. Living the PulseMP34:13 
3. Essential OccurrenceMP33:32 
4. Adreno StreamMP311:25 
5. Proof PositiveMP332:56 

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