mardi 23 août 2011

ROACH/PARNHAM: The Desert Inbetween (2011)

The Desert Inbetween is Parnham/Roach 2nd collaboration. After Mantle, released in 2007, the two American artists continued their quests for spiritual and tribal works until they meet again to produce a surprising mystic album where their inspirations float as eagle’s eye view above a tribal world, spectral as arid. The music of The Desert Inbetween wriggles on outstanding rhythms, led by superb Amerindian tribal percussions and a stunning organic sound fauna as sidewinders, swarming of centipedes’ metallic legs as well as shouts of Aeolus to thousand dimensions, coming from a Didgeridoo sometimes sober, sometimes furious. A rhythmic world which is next to more ambient and atmospheric tangents, shaping a perfect dosage of both genres in a tribal musical envelope that is only in Steve Roach states of mind and his music community.
A heavy and sinuous reverberation opens "Opening Sky". Slow morphic layers join this twisted and floating line where guttural winds cross a movement which borrows an ascending and poignant tangent, both in feelings and rhythms, with Amerindian percussions styles which pierce hardly a heavy thick cloud of synth winds to shape this mystic musical incantation. The movement reaches its emotional peak with a curt movement, and layers of ethereal guitars become detached from it to float above a rhythm which pulses strangely. An increasing tempo, at once sensual and bewitching, fed by tribal percussions, rattlers tones and breezes of an enchanting Didgeridoo which accompany the dreamy floating waves of Steve Roach’s six-strings in a clannish universe which goes in fading away. "Ancestral Passage" follows a little in the line traced by "Opening Sky" with fine percussions, raucous reverberations and spectral murmurs which accompany ethereal layers of a solitary guitar. In half-way, this delicate rhythm stops to embrace an atonic phase where thunders, hollow breaths and a multitude of rattlesnake tones entwine in a morphic peace, perturbed by elements of a hybrid nature. "Serpent Gulch" begins with elongated dark winds which wind around an imaginary line whereas frenzied percussions re-introduce a semi-trance rhythm constantly flew over by sinuous reverberations of a stunning Didgeridoo whose breathes are soaked with stunning tones of sirens. The strange musical universe of Roach spreads out and invades the waves and rhythms of "Serpent Gulch" which gradually rushes into raucous winds of an arid land, pierced of mystic caves.
Winds that also find refuge in the introduction of "Somewhere Between" which takes on a rather particular character with its bells and rattlers resounding from everywhere, while percussions shape a lifeless rhythm imprinted by a spiritual tribal approach. That’s a bewitching track, both by its slow tempo and by the strange tones which ensue from it, quite as "Spirit Passage" and its spectral voices murmuring beneath layers of a guitar which abandons its lamentations in the furrows of a desert filled by ancestral souvenirs. "Return to the Underground" is a long ambient track with atmospheres that are between the Immersion series, Quiet Music and Structure from Silence. Morphic synth layers embrace the heavy reverberations of Didgeridoo, creating a strange fusion of an abstract rhythm but living of its slow impulsions which evolve in a sepulchral and profoundly dark ambiance. "When the Raven Flies" concludes The Desert Inbetween with the same soft caresses of suave electronic winds. Slow, the movement floats of its guitars’ layers which become entangled to those synth and Didgeridoo winds, while fine percussions continue to lull to sleep the rhythm in order to leave the spectres of desert in peace.
Filled by a splendid sound fauna where the spirits of desert roam in a stunning musicality, The Desert Inbetween is at the dimension of Steve Roach's works. It’s an album tortured between rhythms and ambiances, quite as the emotions living in us and which are also the prerogative of the Californian synthesist’s spiritualities who is very well supported by Brian Parnham, more mature and confident since his very first work, Between Here and There in 2005.This is a major work of art from which the musical cornerstones and spiritual progress will lead us to the wonderful feelings and musicality that we shall find on the excellent The Road Eternal
 and Live at Soundquest Fest.


Sylvain Lupari (2011)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream

Here's Steve Roach website:
You can also view a static video of Ancestral Passage on YouTube:

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