Steve Roach - Fade To Grey [Timeroom Editions - 2016]Fade To Grey is a recent long form slice of deep ambience from US Ambient legend Steve Roach. The release comes in the form of a CD on his own label Timeroom editions, and offers up a single seventy three minute track that blends together deeper/ darker tones, with more space-bound & harmonic tones.
The CD comes in four panel digtipak, and features fairly abstract & murky art- taking in grey textural drifts, a selection of oil painted like lines, and blocks of shadows. All told simply yet effectively illustrating the deep & slowly swirling ambience with-in.
The track here is a very layered, slowly shifting, and mysterious in it’s feel. With Roach blending together a selection of circling, revolving, ebbing drones. We have lower, deeper, and more brooding tones. Sitting along side more swooping & gliding mid-to-higher harmonic tones. Then these are ebbed & edged by thinner & space-bound sweeps & slow-mo sparkles. For me the track feels like either a unhurried journey through cascading, glowing, to eerier intergalactic seas of stars. Or the slow descent onto some vast & alien world, as your space craft slowly drifts thorough first one laminating & colour shifting layer of cloud after the other. And thorough it all you keep capturing flashers of the dark, strange, and seemingly primordial surface of the planet it’s self.
Structure wise the whole thing is very ouroboros in it’s feel, with the ambient elements drifting, merging, and gliding thorough each other. There are moments, when ones mind picks out a more prominent shape, tone, or shift with-in the ebbing & drifting mass- but I wouldn’t say there was anything too firm or distinctive to gage where you are in the tracks length. So you could easily leave this on repeat for hours on end, letting it either slowly edge your sonic space at low volume, or turn-up it up to create a more ebbing & surreally shifting block of sound. Though all that said it does feel at times like the whole thing is very slightly & subtly turning more brooding & mysterious as it progresses, which I guess fits in nicely to the releases title.
In conclusion Fade To Grey is another worthy & rewarding long form journey into deep ambience from Mr Roach. The album is ideally primed for either a sonic backdrop to reading a sci-fi novel, or space imagery filled mediation. Roger Batty