Dynamic Stillness
by Sylvain Lupari, Guts Of Darkness
July 2009

The dynamic stillness. It's all a tour de force to create such a sound illusion which flows as weighty reverie. This album matured during the last three years, during which time he also realized other more powerful albums. It is also a collection of silence that is passed on by atonal sound waves, slight in movement, personifying the quiet strength by the wandering of a remorseful spirit. We are in the soils of STRUCTURES FROM SILENCE and A DEEPER SILENCE, but with more substance, more sorrow and more nostalgia.

A loud musical shower increases during a dark movement at the opening of "Birth of Still Places". A world of sound reverberations coos slowly but with a sonorous strength, like a cerebral hypnosis. Powerful, but languishingly slow, the musical structure spreads as a big charmer snake, ready to lull you asleep on a rangy musical piece of around 61 minutes, divided into two soporific but slowly ethereal acts: "Birth of Still Places" and "Long Tide". From powerful beginnings, the movement eases slowly, as if the sleep seized us. "A Darker Light" opens on a less stormy structure, as a soft warm wind which caresses our hearing. A soft temperate wind which continues on "Opening Sky".

Disc two opens with the same "chloromorphomity" that ends disc one. "Nature of Things" is a long passage of finely oscillating waves revolving in a dark cosmos, letting wandering choirs filter through. A cosmic journey, as if we were there. Always in the cozy comfort of stasis, "Further Inside" flows slowly, as enchantress loops try to form an invisible cadence. A long piece where the rhythm tries to gush out is held by an internal strength which Roach controls with the aid of his synths. It's a melodramatic quest which encourages more the nostalgic reverie than meditation, and is connected to "Slowly Revealed", a softer and more romantic title with its delicious steams of tranquility which navigate on a harmonious sea with its fine and charming undulations. We do not grow tired of it; the movement pours with a strange melody blown by an obscure romanticism, where subtle flute essences leak out in a spectral atmosphere.

"Canyon Stillness" depicts the creative strength of Steve Roach. Here, as throughout DYNAMIC STILLNESS, Roach forges his music with an incredible dexterity for its nominative structures. Throughout this 23-minute piece, we feel winds whistled towards the imperfect furrows of the Roachian desert canyons, a desert with a thousand utopian facets which lull Steve Roach's creative illusions.

DYNAMIC STILLNESS is a powerful floating album, filled with feelings and sensibilities of an artist in constant pursuit of his spiritual ideal. Very beautiful and especially very sincere. Sound floating at Roach's best.

Guts Of Darkness
The French Magazine of Dark & Experimental Music

Dynamic Stillness

CD  $18.99 
ON SALE, $15.00 
Dynamic Stillness
Steve Roach
2009 Projekt PRO228 (CD) – 2-CD
Reviewed by Echoes Radio, Guts Of Darkness, MusicTAP, Sonic Curiosity

DYNAMIC STILLNESS is a vast new work that has progressed over the past three years, evolving in its own time alongside the many other releases that were created and released during this period. The opening for these pieces was accessed through long periods of solitude at Steve's high desert studio and beyond. This environment was essential for informing the inner breath of this work and revealing a mastery within the art of original sound creation, bold harmonic structures, silence and sonic space. DYNAMIC STILLNESS reaches into a realm of amorphous soundworlds filled with a sense of unresolved expansion and mystery, blooming into cloudlike form.

"A moving meditation on the quiet power inherent in vast spaces. Roach has come back around to the slow-motion terraforming of soundworlds that seem to go on forever, pulling skeins of light through layers of cloud to describe gorgeous imaginary landscapes. Reminiscent of the sighing, beatless drifts of THE DREAM CIRCLE and THE MAGNIFICENT VOID in its blend of soul-surrounding calm edged with dramatic tension, DYNAMIC STILLNESS is Roach at his contemplative best, a sure and silent guide coaxing us to follow him into the endless realms inside ourselves." -- John Shanahan, Hypnagogue

"Mysteriously beautiful, ambient electronic waveforms bridging panorama and parsec. The singularities guiding Roach's hand are now unquestionable -- this is breathtaking stuff." -- Darren Bergstein

"DYNAMIC STILLNESS presents ambient-electronic pioneer Steve Roach in the deep end of the pure atmospheric, rhythmless soundscape genre. Across the 2-CD release, amorphous shifting sonics glide in a phenomenal flow, highly cohesive and yet ever-changing. Dynamic stillness indeed! These eight long-form tracks (140 minutes in all) undulate softly and slowly, radiating light even as darkness hovers along the edges. It's an album of subtle pieces, more often than not with emphasis on the stillness as opposed to the dynamics. Disc two's closing 'Canyon Stillness' plays like a dark inversion of STRUCTURES FROM SILENCE. A cold breeze blows through it all like a black mist. After so much softness it makes for a surprisingly chilling, engaging finish." -- Phil Derby, Electroambient Space

Disc 1
1. Birth of Still PlacesMP340:28 
2. Long TideMP319:41 
3. A Darker LightMP37:34 
4. Opening SkyMP35:06 
Disc 2
1. Nature of ThingsMP38:50 
2. Further InsideMP316:58 
3. Slowly RevealedMP323:55 
4. Canyon StillnessMP323:17 

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