The Serpent's Lair
by Darren Bergstein, Muze
Certainly the year 2000 hasn't seen the elder statesman of electronic music slow down in the slightest. On the contrary, Roach ushered in the new millennium with some of the most personal, evocative and finest recordings of his long career, this collaboration with Byron Metcalf being just one of them. THE SERPENT'S LAIR finds Roach revisiting the primordial caverns and aeon-blasted landscapes of his seminal mid-90s adventures, only this time, the sonic alchemist has embroidered these rhythmic trance-dances with not only Metcalf's percussive expertise, but a further evolved sense of soundsculpting richer and more intense than even his previous excursions into the sonic wild. This beautifully-packaged two-disc set also utilizes the stellar talents of Vir Unis, Jorge Reyes, Jeff Fayman and Vidna Obmana as our intrepid duo excavate pure sensory nirvana out of their auralchemical devices. Roach's concept of 'groove alchemy', the extreme way in which sounds are ultimately condensed, interwoven and reintegrated during the studio-mixing process, fairly dissolves the speaker fabric during the omnipotent electro-opus "Cave Dwellers" and the mysterious, mind-burst miasma cooked up on "Egg Chamber Dreaming." Turn out the lights, tune in, close your eyes and prepare for altered states.