by Phil Derby, Electroambient Space
July 2008

Steve Roach excels at continually evolving and reinventing himself. Steve has seemingly explored every nook and cranny of spacemusic, and yet new releases like LANDMASS continue to show how much undiscovered country remains. Of course there are reference points, familiar sounds, and the usual Steve Roach je ne sais quoi, but the boundaries continue to be stretched and redefined. There is a gently chugging rhythm to "Transmigration" with deep pulsing bass and expansive synth textures washing over the top of it all. Though the pace is active the mood is calm, gentle. After cool drifting for 15 minutes, it flows into "Cerulean Blue Sky..." for another 15 minutes, with spacey electronics and a restrained tribal beat. Each of these tracks locks into a thoroughly cool groove and rides it for all its worth, making the first half hour of the disc pass dreamily by in nothing flat. Going deeper is "Monuments of Memory", which seems to breathe slowly in and out. Continuing into the depths is "Alluvial Plain" as we descend into echoing dark ambient caverns. "Trancemigration" is my personal favorite, as gentle sequencing is expertly weaved into atmospheric synths in a condensed sequel of sorts to Arc of Passion. The dreamy and cleverly titled "Stars Begin" -- LANDMASS was recorded live on Star's End -- brings the disc to a soft close.


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CD  $15.00 
ON SALE, $12.00 
Combo Pack $20.00
Steve Roach
2008 Timeroom Editions 20 (CD)
Reviewed by e/i magazine, Electroambient Space, Musique Machine, Sonic Curiosity, Tokafi

LANDMASS is a surreal shape shifting grand adventure in sound, morphing through a constantly altering perspective giving witness to the creation of iconic landscape formations, stone monuments and massive alluvial desert plains, and the occasional pyroclastic flow. Recorded live on the Star's End radio show in the WXPN studios in Philadelphia with a small audience in attendenace. This adventure in sound reaches into the primal forces of nature and channels them into a work of nearly uncontained energy, momentum and deeply nunanced texture. Even the most massive non-rhythmic soundforms seem to be shifting and moving from the inside out, eventually giving birth to undulating rhythmic ecstasy. A stand-out release in a style defined by Roach.

This is the 20th release on Steve Roach's Timeroom Editions, which marks its 10th anniversary this year. LANDMASS was selected especially for this occasion, and is presented in a beautiful six-panel Digipak.

"LANDMASS is a quintessential compendium of [Steve's] recent activities, spanning a bridge from his 'infinite and minimal' zones to his grand-scale projects in between rhythmic trance and immersive Ambient drift. In many ways, it appears to be a continuation of a confident new style, making use of a diverse palette of timbres, tools and techniques. Percussive particles keep turning up even in the outstretched beatless passages, lending a constant additional tension and propulsion to the already viral visions. Tracks could explode at any minute. Roach is no longer building landscapes from sound, he is recording 'sounding' landscapes built on the most essential building blocks: rhythm and harmony. In this sense, LANDMASS continues the only tradition an honest artist can and should really be true to: his own." — Tobias Fischer, Tokafi

1. TransmigrationMP315:31 
2. Cerulean Blue Sky Over a Seared Desert WastelandMP315:36 
3. Monuments of MemoryMP311:22 
4. Alluvial PlainMP39:46 
5. TrancemigrationMP37:52 
6. Stars BeginMP36:51 

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