by Richard di Santo, Incursion
Released in early 2000 on Groove Unlimited, LIVE ARCHIVE presents a series of live recordings made with Steve Roach throughout 1997. These two frequent collaborators rely on their "mutual passion and instinct for travelling in the soundcurrent", and describe the process of live collaboration as "communicating with each other blindfolded, focusing entirely on the sound appearing in the moment and being exchanged back and forth". For me, one of the most telltale pieces here is "Two Reptiles", recorded during the open-air Verucchio festival in Italy. The percussions pound like a great thunder; deep echoes, harmonics and a shifting didgeridoo move through this piece with great momentum. Like a couple of conspiring snakes in a deep chasm (the "two reptiles" of the title?), Roach and Obmana fold their sounds around each other as their elements twist, turn and writhe in perfect balance. These eight tracks are generous in length and succeed in creating captivating and organic soundworlds. This is first class ethnoambient music with a slightly experimental edge and a unique sound dynamic.