Steve Roach

Dreamtime Return

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As the concept of "fourth world" music was inaugurated by Jon Hassell and indigenous music was embraced by the record industry, Steve Roach was visiting Australia, gathering the sonic food he needed to cook up this incomparable recording. With this double-disc set containing over two hours of music, Roach reached a plateau both in his musical evolution and within the genre that has yet to be eclipsed. Reveling in a near-seamless blend of organic and electronic sound worlds, Roach constructs a number of mini-epics that sonically reflect the Aborigine mystique, filtered through a collage of didgeridoos, incongruous samples from the deep outback, and other manners of unidentifiable electronic textures. Cloaked in the infinite tempest of ancient ritual, tracks such as "A Circular Ceremony" and "The Other Side" suggest not just primordial riddles or sacred ceremonial rites, but rather they touch on emotions that resonate across all cultural and ethnographic boundaries. Atmospheres suggest unknown flora and fauna developing their own febrile environments. Grooves percolate from hand-struck drums that are in turn programmed into multi-sequenced events, while samples of mysterious origin sparkle and flare out of vast, twilight regions. Undoubtedly Roach's first true masterpiece.

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