by Phil Derby, Electroambient Space
I thoroughly enjoyed Roach & Metcalf on their collaborations THE SERPENT'S LAIR
, so I was really looking forward to their latest, NADA TERMA
, and it does not disappoint. Low drones and something like eerie sitar music lend an otherworldly feel to the first of seven parts that play as one continuous piece of music. World and ambient music are fused together harmoniously as wood flutes, clay pots, overtone vocals, and of course Steve's various treatments combine into a unified whole. The album is similar to MANTRAM
in that it goes very deep, practically demanding the listener reach a different plane of consciousness. Each track is called an excerpt rather than a part, further emphasizing the intended continuous listening experience. Until tribal drums arrive in the fourth passage, the music evolves incredibly slowly, but once change comes it comes boldly, the drums bleating insistently and continuing into part five, which becomes more intense and dramatic. Things calm a bit in the sixth excerpt as flutes return, and further still on the 17-minute closing section which makes for a soothing relaxing finish.
Steve Roach, Byron Metcalf, Mark Seelig
2008 Projekt PRO222 (CD)
Reviewed by e/i magazine, Electroambient Space, Guts Of Darkness, Musique Machine, Sonic Curiosity
NADA TERMA merges the boundaries of ambient, world music and sacred-meditative styles. On NADA TERMA (translated as "discovering spiritual treasures through the world of sound") East Indian tonalities blend with Sufi-like trance percussion immersed in atmospheres, drifts and drones, arriving at a state of relaxed, focused awareness. The continuously-woven 73-minute piece is sequenced into seven discrete segments, perfect for any listener looking for extended states of awareness, creative enhancement, yoga, bodywork, and deep listening.
Following upon the groundbreaking work of 2006's MANTRAM, NADA TERMA is the second Projekt collaboration between Arizona's Steve Roach and Byron Metcalf with Germany's Mark Seelig. On NADA TERMA they reach deeper into the mystical / spiritual realm, presenting a blend of diverse worlds skillfully combined in an organic fashion. Deep-trance frame drums, clay pots and percussion meet with harmonic overtone vocals (akin to Tuvan throat singers) and the yearning sounds of the stringed Indian Dilruba, and East Indian bansuri flute, bringing a melodic and spiritual-contemplative highlight to the release. All of this exists within an enigmatic world of shadow and shifting light developed by way of artful enhancements and processing of the acoustic instruments. These complements are part of a constant, slowly breathing subtext of drones and atmospheres in which the entire experience lives.
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