Artist: Steve Roach
Album: Core

Label: Timeroom

All artists in electronic sound create music for very personal reasons. For some it's to be in close proximity to technology, for others it is a means of self expression or even as therapy, a meditation into their own subconscious lives. On Core, Steve Roach presents a work that is the result of these and other more mysterious motivations.

The arc of the album can be graphed out in a series of energy levels represented by the twists and turns Roach takes on his way up from the core. The music seems born out of stone and bubbles up like magma through smoky fissures in brittle crust. Roach's low-intensity trance rhythms may lead the listener to a false reference to the tribal movement in modern dance music. With closer listening we discover the trend to be more cerebral in origin. The ever-evolving motion of complex loop patterns slipping in and out of phase reveals the artist's master manipulation over the pulse of the music and the subtleties of mood. Becoming lost in Roach's circuits of beats is easy and desirable.

The essence of this music, carried up through the many contrasting layers of the underneath, eventually finds its way out into the coolness and light of the open air. Dancing arpeggiated notes, resonant analogue tones and interlocking percussion accents surge out of breathing synth swells. With this emergence, the music sweeps off into the infinite regions above terra firma - a good place from which to look back on a convoluted sonic journey, one which ends in a place that is quite different from where it began.

- Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END   7 November 2001

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