There are not many musicians creative, bold, imaginative, and talented enough to release a four-CD set of new material. Steve Roach is all of that and the proverbial glazed doughnut. Mystic Chords & Sacred Spaces is close to five hours of deep and dark -- even dank -- ambience from this living legend. Each disc has its own thematic and sonic integrity. Each disc interacts with the other discs as well. Roach has sequenced this set and designed the sound to display complements and contrasts in imagery, sensory perception, and spiritual proclivity. The first disc -- Mystic Chords & Sacred Spaces -- takes listeners to the edges of reality immediately and gently. The deep atmospheres surround listeners and leave them with no escape routes. Of course, deep listeners will neither need nor want to escape. They will surrender to the moment. The moment is now. The moment is later. The moment is gone. The moment is eternal. The experience is existential and spiritual. Labyrinth -- disc two -- is suitable for losing oneself. Roach's shamanic rituals take listeners deeper into the zone. The psyche is lost in the realms of this bottomless pit, this cavern of the surreal. There are no impossible worlds on this journey. In the realms of nothingness, deep listeners see everything. In seeing everything, listeners gather knowledge. The ritual continues to begin and begins to continue.
Disc three -- Recent Future -- might be some of the best e-music ever. It continues the continuation of the continuous continuity. It relates to everything and reveals nothing. These atmospheres and soundscapes are intoxicating. Roach's free-flowing sound world has no structure within its tight structure. The simplicity of this intricate sound design is an absolute truth. In truth, there is beauty. In beauty, there is truth. Piece of Infinity is classic Roach. It is a long form (74-minute) journey through the realms of incongruities. The music continues to start and it begins to end. Roach is bringing listeners up from the depths and down from the heights. There are no limits and no edges. The languid pace is the perfect end, the perfect transition, and the perfect beginning. The surrender is gradual. The goal is to achieve the goal. These four discs are interchangeable in the progression of Roach's shamanic ritual. Taken in its totality, the set defines itself and Roach's career. He will go to any length, depth, or height to find knowledge, truth, beauty, character, and spirituality. This is a truly unique experience. The only logical comparisons are from Roach's discography. [Mystic Chords & Sacred Spaces can be purchased as a single four-CD box set or in two separate packages that each contain two CDs, one pairing the Mystic Chords & Sacred Spaces and Labyrinth discs, and the other pairing the Recent Future and Piece of Infinity discs.]