172

Steve Roach: Early Man/Early Man, Decomposed

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
Last fall Steve Roach released the first edition of Early Man as a collectors' item, a single CD encased in two slabs of slate rock. There were only 1000 copies made of this, and since there was demand for a more accessible format for this music, Roach arranged to re-release the album in a conventional CD case from the Projekt label. Not only has he done this, he has added another CD, called Early Man, Decomposed in which he takes the first album and re-works it into another set of ambient pieces. (My review of Early Man part one, is available on this site.)

You can definitely hear echoes of the original album on Decomposed , but Roach has scrambled the sounds, changing the sequence in which they appear, the sound-mix that modifies them, and even their pitch and rhythm, all this through the wonders of digital sound-manipulation. Although Decomposed is presented as a list of tracks, it really forms one complete entity, rather like Roach's long "pure" ambient albums such as Slow Heat (1998) or Atmospheric Conditions (1999). Like these previous pieces, Decomposed is more a "sound environment" than a piece of conventional structured music. It is a classic example of the "abstract" Roach, featuring, as I have described in earlier reviews, long, often quiet passages of atonal noises and tones, wrapped in cavernous reverberation. Synthesizer notes, percussion, "found sounds" and singing stones, industrial clanks, soft rhythms, whispers, loops and echoes, all blend together into a rather chilly, drifting atmosphere, more reminiscent (as in Atmospheric Conditions ) of a cave or a mine than of the sun-baked desert of Roach's usual landscape.

Decomposed is not easy listening. It has a different mood from its more accessible, even bouncy predecessor on the first disc of the album. This second disc is ambient made out of ambient, at a double distance from the predictable soundworld of electronic music. As a result, Decomposed will probably attract fewer listeners than its companion disc. Those who do listen will hear a dark, mysterious soundscape that seems to emanate from the remote depths of the earth.

| Record Label: Projekt | Style: Ambient


Shop

More Articles

Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read This Is Nate Najar CD/LP/Track Review This Is Nate Najar
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Joy Comes Back CD/LP/Track Review Joy Comes Back
by James Nadal
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Apocalypse CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "Trajectoire" CD/LP/Track Review Trajectoire
by Barry O'Sullivan
Published: March 16, 2016
Read "Swiss Radio Days, Vol. 40 - Zurich 1959" CD/LP/Track Review Swiss Radio Days, Vol. 40 - Zurich 1959
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 9, 2017
Read "Desire & Freedom" CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "Parachute" CD/LP/Track Review Parachute
by Mike Jacobs
Published: September 13, 2016
Read "New World" CD/LP/Track Review New World
by Roger Farbey
Published: March 9, 2016
Read "All The Dreams" CD/LP/Track Review All The Dreams
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 12, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!