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Steve Roach - Structures From Silence (30th Anniversary Remastered Edition) CD (album) cover

STRUCTURES FROM SILENCE (30TH ANNIVERSARY REMASTERED EDITION)

Steve Roach

 

Progressive Electronic

4.71 | 5 ratings

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Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
5 stars Originally released back in 1984, `Structures From Silence' by electronic/new age/ambient composer Steve Roach has proven to be an influential and landmark work in the ambient and progressive electronic genres. Completely devoid of any percussive elements or light beats, this immersive, contemplative synth work has a unique identity and atmosphere all its own, a truly timeless work that is just as moving and meditative thirty years on as it was upon its initial release. It carefully avoids the outright coldness that is found in many electronic releases, especially those from the same decade, instead being gentle, undemanding and even softly romantic without ever becoming inane muzak or ever being too light and airy.

It's hard to describe the subtle and slowly unwinding 17 minute opener `Reflections in Suspension'. After a slow and careful fade in, synth loops chirp, twinkle and dazzle as if stars in the sky appearing for the first time as the evening glow vanishes. Softly victorious and gently comforting, the slightest layers of different keyboards wash around the listener, seamlessly weaving around each-other to create an intoxicating and gently hypnotic atmosphere. Sometimes it's protective, maybe even playful with little moments of briefly dramatic build, but it's always full of love and a joy for life.

`Quiet Friend' couldn't be more appropriately named, as that is what the piece may become to you. The synths take on a quivering quality as if hovering in the air around you, rising and falling washes bringing a drifting fragility. It's reflective, thoughtful, yet confident, and tiny synth ripples that emerge in the second half bring the slightest traces of a lightly confronting melancholy and beautiful sadness.

The 28 minute title track is a long unhurried and subtle drone, and probably the heaviest of the three works here. Often utilizing deeper tones than the previous pieces with only slight variations to the main themes throughout, lilting synth tones lift right and left around the speakers, intertwining in the middle in serene unity, growing in strength as the piece progress, endlessly flowing and cascading over you.

`Structures From Silence' has recently celebrated its 30th anniversary, and the album can now be purchased again in this deluxe remastered 3 CD set that adds an additional two discs of lengthy droning compositions from Mr Roach in the same manner that serve as fine albums in their own right. Newcomers to the progressive electronic/ambient genres may find this one a little uneventful and monotonous, but patient listeners or established fans of this type of music will likely find it completely enveloping. Unhurried and ever-unfolding, this defining work creates an intoxicating, serene atmosphere and is a benchmark in ambient music.

Five stars.

Note - Listeners who enjoy this work should be sure to look into a recently released tribute album `Quiet Friends: A 30th Anniversary Tribute to Steve Roach's `Structures From Silence' from the Free Floating netlabel. With 15 instrumental tracks by superb ambient artists such as Altus, Phillip Wilkerson, Jack Hertz, Scott Lawlor and many others in the same style, it's a free download and well-worth looking into on the label Bandcamp page.

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 5/5 |

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