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Steve Roach - Painting In The Dark CD (album) cover


Steve Roach


Progressive Electronic

4.00 | 2 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars In addition to the sublime `Shadow of Time', a pair of very different collaborations with upcoming electronic musician Robert Logan and a stunning archival live release `Pinnacle Moments', progressive electronic/ambient icon Steve Roach closed out 2016 with no less than three complete brand-new studio works, all offering glimpses of very different aspects of the artist's personality, genre bending and constantly exploring musical mind. Of the three, `Spiral Revelation' is rhythmic and lively and `Fade to Gray' a long-form moody drone, but this one, `Painting in the Dark' is a lightly psychedelic pure ambient work that carefully moves between dark and light. Frequently full of caressing movements and a lulling dream-like state, it also shifts into stark clouds of unease, but every time, the dark is ultimately consumed by embracing and hopeful light.

Opener `Threshold' undulates with serene lulls slowly pattered with a rain of magical rejuvenating glistenings, `I See Now' is a drowsy cavernous drawl with maddening ringing slivers and `Painting at the Edge' sweeps with a lightly cinematic dramatic elegance. The shorter `Orbit of Memory' offers emerging hope and sighing contentment, `Rapt in Moonlight' is teeming with life from rushing fluid soothing embraces, and `Phosphene View' is a shimmering, hallucinogenic closer that fizzes with a crystalline ethereal dreaminess.

`Painting in the Dark' perhaps presents Mr Roach at a good half way point. It lacks the more extreme unceasing free-form drones of his darker challenging works that can be difficult or unengaging for some ambient listeners, but it still holds plenty of long-form subtle unhurried drifts without employing any rhythmic elements or anything in the way of obvious themes (if you'd prefer those, look into the above mentioned `Spiral Revelation', which would be ideal for newcomers). This one likely won't win over too many new fans or change the minds of those who think Roach releases too many works in very similar styles, but established Roach followers will find plenty to appreciate here, and this intelligent, colourful and thoughtful work will prove a great reward for patient listeners.

Four stars.

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 4/5 |


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