Arc of Passion
by Chuck Van Zyl, Star's End
February 2008

On ARC OF PASSION, Steve Roach re-imagines two earlier CDs, STORMWARNING and THE MAGNIFICENT VOID, for the 21st century. Roach's music has the ability to both calm and animate the listener. ARC OF PASSION visits these two states on its lengthy journey across two discs and 100 minutes. This 2-CD set contains four indexed tracks, but three musical movements. Embracing the enormity of the cosmos, Roach begins with "Moment of Grace". An ethereal slow dance of tones, this piece simply and eloquently rises and recedes in long lines of diverging synthesizer pads. Pauses are intuitively gauged to amplify the drama of this section, and as tension builds the work moves into the title track. Layers of synchronized tone patterns emerge out of the dense atmosphere. Cycling in lock step against a trail of echoes, machine-like sequencer runs gain momentum. Variations in timing change the pulse throughout this extended movement and cause the ever-evolving kaliedescopic effect Roach achieves in his sequencer music. Concluding with "Views Beyond", Roach draws down the level of heat. We are left in a cool dark zone to ponder the mysteries of space within and without. In a career-long exploration of pulse and breath, Roach grows more engaging and mesmerizing with each new realization.

Arc of Passion

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CD  $20.00 
ON SALE, $15.00 
Arc of Passion
Steve Roach
2007 Projekt PRO202 (CD)
Reviewed by Electroambient Space, Musique Machine, Signal to Noise, Sonic Curiosity, Sonic Immersion, Star's End, Tokafi

Three striking new pieces born from the moment. Steve Roach's new 2-CD set seamlessly fuses three long unfolding soundworlds into a vibrant sonic odyssey. The result can only be described as a living, breathing ARC OF PASSION. As one of the pioneers of electronic music, Steve's career has many musical highpoints; ARC OF PASSION proves to be another definitive statement along the path. Advanced response from listeners places this album at the top of the list of must-have releases from Steve's body of work. Steve reaches into his sonic palette to weave elements drawn from his three definitive styles into a continuous, evolving flow. Rich harmonic chords, spiraling sequences and deep sky soundworlds move fluidly within this 2-hour set.

A vibrant immediacy is alive on ARC OF PASSION; recorded in a studio-like environment at Analogue Haven with an audience of 80 people, the sonic textures and evolving nature of the pieces reach into the core of the present moment bringing it into form with elegance and energy.

The opening 19-minute track billows outwards with rich and shadowed harmonic movement; deep chords ebb and flow like the thunder clouds of a summer storm, entering the realm of the hauntingly serene MYSTIC CHORDS & SACRED SPACES or THE MAGNIFICENT VOID albums. The set flows into the 60-minute title track built from layers of percussive and melodic patterns interwoven and evolving while holding a steady pulse and direction. Waves of emotion from intertwining sequencers provide the foundation for the evolving trance patterns that develop into full mesmerizing, passionate form. The closing 20-minute piece is deep primal ambience mixed with processed didgeridoo hovering within an expansive soundscape. Long, arching tendril-like forms breathe within this infinite soundfield.

Steve comments: "This arc represents a trajectory of emotion infused with energy from a radiant, serene core that comes from within the creative moment." ARC OF PASSION is a deep and vibrant expression of life lived passionately.

(Source: Projekt press release)

"Steve Roach reaches back into his sonic palette and pulls forth quite possibly the definitive album of his career. Beyond essential." -- Michael Ostrich,
Disc 1
1. Moment of GraceMP319:05 
2. Arc of PassionMP331:36 
Disc 2
1. Arc of Passion (continued)MP328:44 
2. Views BeyondMP321:29 
-  Disc 1 MP3 ExcerptsMP3 
-  Disc 2 MP3 ExcerptsMP3 

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