In 2008, Steve Roach saw the release of another typically ambitious multi-disc effort, Arc of Passion, which he described in the liner notes as representative of both a three-month period of composition and performance as well as a depiction of a state of mind looking back on his life and work. Given Roach's high-speed work and release ethic, as well as the state of consistency that marks the majority of his albums, singling out Arc of Passion for particular attention might seem a touch quixotic, but it's a fine effort that demonstrates his ability to create singularly peaceful, contemplative electronic compositions that gently engulf the listener. The title track, an hourlong piece split amid the two discs (itself an intriguing aesthetic decision, given that they could have fit together as one song on a sole disc), starts off calmly but transforms into one of the most propulsive pieces that Roach has ever released, a series of synth loops ranging from the soft to the bass-heavy, providing an understated but clear punch that fades away in the final minutes to provide a soft conclusion. It's an interesting adaptation of the aesthetics of mid-'70s Ash Ra Tempel (minus the guitar) to Roach's approach that works very nicely. The tracks on either side are equally enjoyable -- "Moment of Grace" begins the album with a feeling of just that, albeit stretched out to almost 20 minutes, a simultaneously dark and serene layering of tones that is pure outer-reaches-of-inner-space float. "Views Beyond" provides a more solemn conclusion, moody low howls of noise appropriately arcing through a more isolated, chilled arrangement of calm tones that makes for a full contrast with the calmer start of the whole set.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Arc of Passion based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
It seems like Steve never fails to satisfy his listeners with his sonic food. Sometimes it's the appetizer, sometimes it's the main coarse, sometimes it's the after dinner morsel that brings you back to his table again and again. Regardless, it's always a superbly prepaired full course meal. I love this CD. And as great as the title track is, I think "Moment of Grace" and "Views Beyond" are actually my favorite tracks. Exactly what I was hoping for. BUY THIS ONE! Really masterful work Steve, and thanks!