by Sylvain Lupari, Guts of Darkness
Steve Roach's music is ideal for viewing the American and Australian arid desert territories. It is with these first images that KAIROS begins. In spite of the impression of "deja vu" on TIME OF THE EARTH, the music of Roach is wrapping and fits superbly well to earthly native structures, where a camera angle overhangs with ease. As soon as "Soul's Time" blends with "Core Regeneration", everything changes.
The feeling of "deja vu" starts promptly and the magic of computer animation is molding intensely to Steve Roach music. Abstract lines in a multicolor fresco, where molecular forms are contorting and subdividing to take sub forms or sub genres, over conceptual music with tribal influence that rivets our eyes straight into the content of their orbits. Beyond the images, there is music: "Core Regeneration" is an agitated title with tribal percussion on a synth movement which whips the wind, as the native indigenous instruments we whirl above our heads to simulate wind sonorities. There's more good Steve Roach music in "Resonation Portal" which plunges us in his atonic universe along faded jellyfishes, a waterworld which turns into a tubular karma with long-lived colors.
"Etheric Planet" is a superb floating movement, with disparate sound effects which insufflate hardly perceptible modulations on images of dark beauty. There is not a better way to describe the ambient movements. Like subtle undulations, the abstract drawings fit the forms suggested by the sound effects and the modulations which revolve around a spectral wave. "Lifeforming" brings a more alert rhythm with encircling percussion and bass, a movement closer to the world of prog music than ambient. Forms modulate to this strange intro which is transforming into a lascivious and sensual sequential movement, in a festival of color to reinvented geometrical forms which are adjusting to the rhythmic drive of the piece – a sequential swirl of a rare intensity which circles on a structure of fluid bass and scouring sound effects, under the protective wing of a heavy and enveloping synth pads. It's an excellent title, one of the best from Steve Roach – who like wine, is still better with age.
As of the first breaths of the shade of the chords of "Biogenesis", my skin was transformed into a small pluck chicken. On structures as remote as STRUCTURES FROM SILENCE, "Biogenesis" runs a deliciously spasmodic line of sharp colors with seizing forms. It's an intense space wave fusing analog scratches, like reinvented psychedelic.
"Womb of Light" returns on "Lifeforming"'s traces, whereas "The Great Return" concludes this great colored voyage on ambiences and nuances from the heavy atmospheres that melting drawings, like organic substances, transpose on screen.
This superb DVD contains a short film of ten minutes, showing us Steve Roach in concert. After all these years, Steve Roach still succeeds in surprising and filling us with wonder. KAIROS is 75 seizing minutes where the magic of Roach is transposed in the graphic hands of computer graphic designers who understood the spirit and magnetism surrounding this character and his works.