Steve Roach - This Place To Be [Timeroom - 2017]This Place To Be is another slice of long-form, ebbing ‘n’ flowing deep ambience from one of the master of the from. The release is available in both CD & digital download, and I’m reviewing the CD version of the release.
Package wise the CD comes in a four-panel digipak- this features a decidedly blue color scheme, and takes in a selection of blur & hazed shapes or possible skylines. It’s a fairly stripped & simple bit of packaging, but it does retain well a feeling of both mystery & unfixed themes for the release- which is always nice, so one can totally go into the release uninfluenced, and you can have you own distinct take on the track.
Moving onto to the music within, and we have a single track of just shy of seventy-four minutes runtime. The whole thing opens in quiet a nebulous, multi-layered, and shifting form- with Roach masterfully blending together wishful-yet-mysterious mid ranged harmonic twinkles & sweeps, with slower rolling drones, and glittering higher pitched darts. For the first few minutes, it feels like the elements are fairly rapidly trying to find their place, shape & focus, as each layer is seemingly moving at its own pace- as if like one is trying to home in on particular details in a landscape, which is constantly shifting & fragmenting. As the minutes tick by slowly but surely we feel the pace of all the tones slowly lessen & drop in their speed- until at around the 18th minute mark we are left with slowly floating & ebbing drifts of different toned ambience- these feel very much like strange islands or structures that slowly appearing from out of a deep fog. Roach stretchers & sculpts the deep ambience into this dense-yet- slurred mass of amorphous sound. And as the structure of the track slows, your own body starts to seemingly follow suit- putting one into a relaxed, yet fully awake state.
As we near the forty-fifth minute the pace feels like it’s starting to speed-up once again, as the layers begin to rapidly slide & shift over each other. And so from the murky & mysterious drifting, we move into brighter & lighter waters, or skies- which seem to sway & twinkle with warming harmonics & spirit rising power. As we carry on our sonic journey the higher & harmonic tones, are replaced by slides of more mysterious & mid ranged swirls, and along with these, you get deeper drifts appearing. And as we move towards the last few minutes the whole thing seems to become once more nebulous & shifting in its feel, though it's a lot more knowing & wisdom filled, as if we've been on a journey of inner discovery.
This Place To Be is yet another highly accomplished piece of long form & deep ambience from Mr. Roach. Throughout it’s runtime he masterfully blends and ebbs the ambient layers to create a wholly engrossing listening experience- that pulls you, and keeps you held through-out it’s entire length.