Steve Roach - Arc of Passion [Projekt - 2007]Arc of passion is another long form ambient exploration from one of the most respected names in ambient circles Steve Roach. Split over 2 disks taking in over a 100 minutes of music dipping into all sides of Roachs sound from;deep lush ambience, to electronica beat driven ambient, to didgeridooand tribal percussive laced elements all to make an enjoyable if a touched flawed sonic adventure.
It all starts out in fine lush fashion with the track Moment of grace thats built around beautiful harmonic synth patterns that ebb and ripple around you. Gving a feeling akin to a soothing sea slipping in an out of a golden beach, You really sink deep into its relaxing sound waters, slowly bobbing off on harmonic bliss. Next up we have the first part of the title track thats rhythmic electronica based ambient track for the most part brought to mind an updated take on Tangerine Dreams rythmic 1970's work , with ambient techno and tribal twists. It all starts off rewarding enough for the first ten minutes or so, Roach nicely moving around the rhythmic textures & sounds to keep ones attention nicely to summon up an effective atmosphere. The problem comes at around mid-way point through the half an hour track, he just seems to simply run out of stream and loops out the same repetitive rhythmic texture over and over again for about ten minutes becoming very tiresome indeed.
By the second part of the title track that opens up disk two hes found his creative feet once more. The tracks still beat bound but its just so much more focused, hypnotic and rich with sonic progression over the heady & slowly shift rhythmic matter. He moves a wonderful emotional touched synth patterns over the beat, having almost an smouldering cinematic string quality about them. Lastly we have Views beyond which returns to beat-less synth territory to create a rather mystical sounding end track that hums and shudders with didgeridoo textures. The track has quite a haunted and sombre vibe to it giving the feeling of moving through dusk embraced desert mountain scapes.
On the whole another rewarding and for the most past consistent ambient journey from Mr Roach primed for drifting off into ones imagination with its rich, lush & emotional charged sound textures. Roger Batty