Arc of Passion
by Phil Derby, Electroambient Space
Steve continues to amaze with the quantity and quality of his musical output. ARC OF PASSION is over 100 minutes of all-new music, and it is excellent in every way, from the pristine sound quality to the beautiful ice-blue layout put together by Projekt label head Sam Rosenthal, to the dreamy music contained within. Created live in the moment in Pomona, California on 07-07-07, it exemplifies the heights Steve has reached with his craft. The music, particularly on the soothing opener "Moment of Grace", flows effortlessly along. It sounds familiar and yet fresh, radiating extremely pleasant warmth even as it resonates deeply. The music segues right into the title track, which interestingly enough is split in two, about a half hour each at the end of disc one and the start of disc two. It has been compared to STORMWARNING, and while the relatively brisk sequencing bears some resemblance, this seems calmer to me. Ethereal pads float in the same sonic space as the energetic sounds, neither one relegated to the background. In lesser hands the melding of such disparate styles might not have worked, but with Steve the result is highly effective. A long slow downward spiral of energy leads into the final track "Views Beyond", which seems to echo into forever, much like THE MAGNIFICENT VOID although the timbre is different. The didgeridoo seems processed somehow for a cool otherworldly effect that combines future and past, modern and primitive, in the inimitable Steve Roach style. ARC OF PASSION sets the bar very high for future 2008 ambient releases.