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.