lundi 23 juillet 2012

STEVE ROACH: Day out of Time (2012)

"Day out of Time is a superb compilation of titles scattered in the meanders of time that we can see, but especially hear, with the incredible depth of a film which offers us the Dolby Digital"
1 Underground Clouds 5:04
2 Begins Looking Skyward 6:20
3 Walking Upright 6:49
4 This Life 4:35
5 The Dreamer Descends 11:40
6 True West 3:05
7 The Holy Dirt 7:29
8 Merciful Eyes 4:54
9 Two Rivers Dreaming 4:48
10 The Eternal Expanse 10:10
11 The Return 8:22
DVD Time of the Earth The Movie 77:00
1 Underground Clouds 0:49
2 Begins Looking Skyward 4:16
3 Walking Upright 6:30
4 Sound Of Stone 5:20
5 This Life 1:08
6 The Dreamer Descends and True West 4:46
7 The Holy Dir 14:42
8 Merciful Eyes 7:38
9 The Eternal Expanse 9:41
10 The Return 9:53
11 The Return 7:37
12 The Dream Circle 4:35

Audio Track 2
Time of the Earth avec The Dream Circle 73:57
PROJEKT: PRO 272 (CD/DVD 149:27) ****

The adventure of “Day out of Time” and “Time of the Earth” began at the end of the 90's. The film maker and documentary maker Steve Lazur patrolled the immense American western deserts to satisfy his16mm camera of films radiating of striking images. This filmographic route through time lasted over a period of 3 years. Afterward the American cineaste proposed his images to the music of Steve Roach, a pioneer of soundscapes who depicts with a profound poetic glance these immense areas of solitude which cover the Western United States. This unexpected union was going to give “Time of the Earth” (the movie released on September 21st, 2001) and “Day out of Time”, a Steve Roach compilation album (released November, 2002) among which the titles selected from epic albums such as “Early Man”, “Atmospheric Conditions” and “Dreamtime Return”, as well as varied compilations with hard to find material), would dance with Lazur's images of clay. These separate works got scattered in time until they ended out of print and untraceable. Ten years later Sam Rosenthal gathers both works, restored and remasterised them to offer the whole conceptual work in a nice eco-cardboard artwork with a wonderful picture took by Steve Roach as the main theme, where the beauty of Lazur’s images can be now transported wherever we are; in thoughts or in journeys through the ages of the deserts of the mythical American West.
The desert is an arid land whipped by dry winds and it’s in this way that "Underground Clouds" begins this odyssey through the American ergs. Winds as much hot as this cooked ground criss-cross the plains that get lost in the horizon. They blow with variable speeds, penetrating into the big stigmas of the huge rocks which change the hearing current into some subtle wind flutes, while Roach whitewashes his worship for zephyrs with fine organic elements which marinade slowly under the slow guttural drones and the scattered percussions/pulsations which breathe an invisible life to Californian deserts. Less dark "Begins Looking Skyward" and "Walking Upright" (both out of “Early Man”) are floating with a satisfied glance on an earth of which we can only seize the beauty as the crow flies. The synth layers which are floating there free a celestial strength are on a par with the sublimity of the landscapes of clays. The first rhythms of “Day out of Time” make themselves heard at halfway of "Walking Upright". It’s a rhythm usual to those of Steve Roach with fine Amerindian percussions which draw a slow spiritual trance through rangy synth lines which slam like a stroboscopic whip. And the more we move forward in this compilation, as well as in the DVD, the more we feel the affection of the video director and the musician for these lands of desolation. The music of Roach is equal to what the American synthesist wrote at that time; that is long and sinuous of synth line from which the breezes to the colors of rainbow are intertwined in an ultimate magma with rich opaline tones on fine and delicate rhythms which embrace the lunar trances of the peoples of the first nations. These musical landscapes, like in "This Life" throw mixed glances on lands which withdraw towards their earthly sacrifices. These ambient phases are shaken by rhythms sometimes weighed down by deep pulsations while the clanic percussions are sometimes seasoned by more electronic elements, as in "This Life" and the powerful "True West", a rare title that we could found on a mini LP “The Dreamer Descends” among whom the title-track and its paranoiac whispers, its enchanted flutes and its heavy tribal percussions, is also restored on this surprising compilation. "The Holy Dirt" proposes a more fluid rhythm where the trance aboriginal incantations glide on percussions and bass line as round as heavy. "Merciful Eyes" (another rare title from a compilation called “A Storm of Drones”) is a splendid contemplative ode propelled by some quiet and serene winds that some transitory sonic elements disrupt with the aridity of carillons from the deserts. Afterward, "Two Rivers Dreaming", "The Eternal Expanse" (other rarity which nests on an out of print compilation) and "The Return" (from the mythical “Dreamtime Return”) conclude “Day out of Time” with a surprising angelic serenity for an album which depicts the arid lands of the western America.
In spite that the images of the DVD suffer from the wear of time and from the possible points of comparison with the filmic technologies of today, “Time of the Earth” draws its beauty and its power through the rhythms and ambiances of Steve Roach music which, mixed in Dolby Digital Stereo, takes an incredible ambiophonic depth. It’s like listening to another version of “Day out of Time” so much the musical reliefs are incredibly defined. The restoration of the images is precise, so much and so well that we have the vague impression to view the plans of a scale-model of an extraterrestrial world. The colors are of fire and the filming is breathtaking, testifying of the film-maker’s audacity to make us travel through these immense rocks hand-crafted which give a striking lunar approach to these lands of aridity. The music adopts well enough the plans of view and the scrolling of the images which flow like aerial currents, except for those trances moments which are too often move on static shooting. But the contrasting effect is always within the reach of a strange poetry which scatters its stanzas in the winds. And, like on most of the works remixed on the Projekt label contain surprises, this DVD edition offers another audio track which parades on the same images; “The Dream Circle”. It’s another opus from Steve Roach's catalog (Soundquest Recordings - LTD 1, 1994) which is out of print and fits stunningly very well to the images of “Time of the Earth”.
Day out of Time” is a superb combo CD/DVD which is a real incursion in Steve Roach's ancestral musical territories. If the images of Lazur suffer from time and its technologies, the music of Roach stays of a contemporary depth. Navigating between 1995 and 2000, this music by-passes the ages as it criss-crosses the landscapes of clay of which the shooting draws much more pride of the music than the opposite. But no matter, the result is a superb compilation of titles scattered in the meanders of time that we can see, but especially hear with the incredible film depth that offers us the Dolby Digital. A delight, so much for eyes and especially ears!

Sylvain Lupari (July 23rd, 2012)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

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