lundi 25 novembre 2013

STEVE ROACH: Structures from Silence (1984/2001)

“Structures from Silence is a truly masterpiece of serenity. Brilliant!”

1 Reflections in Suspension 16:39
2 Quiet Friend 13:15
3 Structures from Silence 28:33

Fortuna Records | 17024-2 (1984)
Projekt | PRO00119 (2001)
(58:42) *****

(Deep immersive ambient music)

Oh that this music has lulled, consoled and calmed my nights of thinking over and over and of torments to eat away at my bitterness. In that time I wasn't what we could call a lover of ambient music. Brian Eno? No thanks set apart some things, too rare, melodious. When I heard “Structures from Silence” for the first time, EM of the Berlin School style had tidied up its rhythms and analog harmonies for a more digital era and the ambient music had flooded the loudspeakers of the followers of the Zen movement. The shock for my ears was rather disturbing. I had already heard, and I was already seduced, Now & Traveller; two albums by which the sequenced rhythms were exactly inspired of Berlin School. Pacific School (I owe this term to my friend Fabrice) began to replace Berlin School with emergent artists such as Michael Stearns, Robert Rich, Craig Huxley, Ray Lynch and Fresh Aire. The music was softer. It was New Age. Of the purely electronic side there was well Synergy but EM, to say the least here, had already changed orientation. And landed “Structures from Silence” on my Linn turntable. I had never heard a music so lyrical, not even that of Klaus Schulze.
I remember this sweet loopy melody which emerged between the frictions of my needle and the grooves from the vinyl album. As a non-listed bird who cooed in a sibylline mist, the melody of "
Reflections in Suspension" entered my ears to brand them. It's on this autumn day of 1984, I had the pimpernel, that my love story with Steve Roach took root for good. Even in his quietest phase. But can it be quieter than “Structures from Silence”? We cannot describe the silence. But the elements which lead to it, yes. And it is all the beauty of “Structures from Silence” everything leads us to silence, to peace of mind. The obsessing melody of "Reflections in Suspension" rolls of his minimalist loops on synth pads of which, from minute to minute, offers a subtle crescendo of which the soft implosion hypnotizes us. We hear the prism sing, as well as an invisible choir murmuring the sighs of the pondering. It's like letting ourselves be rock in a hammock, under stars, by the winds of crystal and the elvish breezes. Definitively, Steve Roach had just given the first real harmonious textures to atmospheric EM. This track is a masterpiece! "Quiet Friend" is also beautiful. Enjoying a splendid ambiospherical intro, where the synth pads float in space such as these small amounts of waters trapped in a long cylinder which rocks itself over time, the melody pops out at around the 8 minutes point. Roach mixes skillfully his astral voices and his waves of serenity which form a rangy arrhythmic movement. And when the serenity and the sleep invade our senses, a delicate melody, hardly formed, makes sing its arpeggios which parade awkwardly. The melody blows the airs of "Reflections in Suspension" but in a more fragile pattern. And these arpeggios waltz casually on the bed of a crystal clear water where the silent lapping reflect their fragile crystal symphonies. But we are already sleeping. The title-track is of a simplicity to unstitch the parameters of any stress. Steve Roach makes sing the slow lamentations of some oblong and silent waves from a calm sea in our ears throughout the 28 minutes that lasts this abstracted symphony on the structures of the silence. But we are already sleeping! Hush...Wonderful is the silence, wonderful are its structures.

Sylvain Lupari (November 25th, 2013)
gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
Cette chronique est également disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream: http://www.gutsofdarkness.com/god/objet.php?objet=16543

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