These two releases are each going to be special but very different statements. Full details coming soon. Biosonic and Second Nature on Projekt are collaborations with Robert Logan, a highly talented electronic artist based in London. We have been interfacing on this music for four years, and completed the projects together at The Timeroom in December. The story of this collaboration is rich, and the results are pushing high and deep into new dimensions; mind, body and soul-expanding music. Biosonic and Second Nature are coming in April. Stay tuned!|
- Moment's Notice [9:56]
- Second Nature [31:51]
- Shadowspeak [6:54]
- Mystic Drift [22:34]
I still keep in mind the moment during February 2015, when I was visiting Steve and his studio spaces in Baja Arizona and he revealed his upcoming collaborative project with talented UK's artist Robert Logan. At that time this name was a brand new to me, so my curiosity was quite big and even after exploring some of Robert's recordings, I didn't have any idea what to expect. Firstly unfolding as a long distance collaboration thanks to Robert Logan's father, who contacted Steve during the second half of 2000s (there is a nice story behind that on Steve's website), then shaping real contours towards the end of 2015, when Robert Logan visited and merged his gifted artistry with the Master at his Timehouse studio. Then the end of April 2016 has brought to us via Projekt two creatively fruitful efforts entitled "Second Nature" and "Biosonic". Blending two visionaries beyond the limits, the listeners are immediately confronted with two distinctively extraordinary recordings. Let's dive deeply into the introspective minimalism of "Second Nature". The album comes in an attractive, matte 4-panel digipak, featuring cover images by Steve Roach with additional graphic work by Sam Rosenthal. As usual, the mastering is handled at Spotted Peccary Studios in Portland by Howard Givens.
A 10-minute "Moment's Notice" straightly shifts the listener into utterly soothing paradise, where Robert Logan's balmily reflective electric grand piano meticulously amalgamates with Steve Roach's warmly meandering atmospheric mirages. Yeah, precisely minimal and delicately nuanced, yet powerfully embracing soundscape redefining the forefront of nebulously gorgeous ambient poignancy. The intimate magic is fully unveiled, bravo, gentlemen!!! Connect yourself, enjoy and feel the genius loci of the Timehouse!!! A Hall of Fame opus!!! "Second Nature", a 32 minutes long title composition emerges and shifts into euphoric magnitudes, masterfully bridgi ng evocative panoptic drama with evanescent, profoundly enveloping tides of stillness. Always expressive piano patterns, no matter if intangible or perceived, continuously coalesce with droning, sinuating, culminating, titillating, mindscaping and evaporating carvings. The ultimate essence of shared virtuosities keeps on blossoming!!! "Shadowspeak", clocking to 7 minutes, incorporates more authentic piano paintings, ranging from richly poetic to sparser subtleties, persistently counterpointed with consistently enveloping glimpses of deeply contemplative silence. "Mystic Drift", 22 and a half minutes long composition closes this journey with gracefully sweeping cinematic washes, warmly rising and ebbing tenacious stratums insistently intermingle with ephemeral murmurs, crescendoing meridians and clandestinely cascading solitary piano vistas. Monumentally expansive and heartwarmingly engrossing currents coexist in absolute equilibrium with exquisitely yearning quietudes. Overall, I feel it in my headphones as a rather one-dimensional texture, but still a quintessentially immersing sonic ambrosia for my body and soul!!!
"Second Nature" is a truly sophisticated sonic document bringing together an iconic sound architect with a glorious 4-decade recording career and a much younger emerging, but already distinguishably crafted talent. Artistic visions of both protagonists have been gratifyingly intermingled on "Second Nature", for Steve Roach this is another triumphant addition to his already extensive list of stellar collaborations and for Robert Logan an exciting experience and introduction to more atmospheric-driven ambient community, although his recordings already ventured into these realms before. It's quite obvious that "Second Nature" CD gets my highest recommendation!!! And don't forget, there is still a futuristic adventure entitled "Biosonic"!!! When focusing on the most recent releases of both creators, certainly don't miss two newest sonic medit ations by Steve Roach, "Shadow Of Time" and "This Place To Be" CDs, released only two weeks ago on Projekt and Timeroom Editions, which, by the way, nicely fit amorphous haziness of "Second Nature". And when focusing on Robert Logan, since May 2016 he has available his "Flesh Decomposed" album, I believe this one is available in digital format only. For CD aficionados, definitely check out his albums "Flesh" (2015), "Inscape" (2009) and "Cognessence" (2007) on UK's Slowfoot Records, plus a double CDr album "The Sublime" from 2008 released on Hypnos Secret Sounds under his Sense Project moniker.
2016. Richard Gürtler / Bratislava, Slovakia
A delicate woosh coming from nowhere welcomes the first notes of Robert Logan's electric grand piano. These notes fall in the hollow of our ears as drops of pearl and disperse subtle effects of reverberations, extending every harmonious breath which get melt in this mass of synth layers that Steve Roach frees with the imprint of his best moments of meditative inspiration. In fact one would believe to hear a relic of Ambient 2: The Plateaux of Mirror by Harold Budd and Brian Eno on “Second Nature”, an unforeseen album arisen from the sessions which aimed to finalize the Biosonic project.
Here, there is not a rhythm. Only thoughts put in music by an elegant and very dreamy piano that Logan frees from its dumbness with fingers marked by melancholy. And every note finds echo in these synth layers with colors as impenetrable as the density around which they are embroidered. "Moment's Notice" is an ambitious monument of placidity where the rom ance dresses of its darkest assets while the very much longer title-track plays on the atmospheres by injecting a more harmonious dose in these immersive layers that Roach drew in the ambio-morphic depths of his Immersion series. From the height of its 32 minutes, "Second Nature" is a small jewel of contemplativity with a darker piano which nibbles marvellously these slow orgiastic layers which stroll lazily between the borders of darkness and luminosity. One can't be more sibylline than here. "Shadowspeak" is literally inspired by the model Budd/Eno with a little more melodious approach which highlights more Robert Logan's capacities as pianist being inspired by still-life. His more august envelope brings us to the borders of nostalgia. If "Shadowspeak" gives all the place to Robert Logan, it's the opposite with "Mystic Drift" where Steve Roach dominates the atmospheres with his structures of silence which moo as hollow winds all over its 22 minutes. Here the piano is as absent as spectral, misleading its shadows in the opalescent layers of a Steve Roach who is second to none to plunge those who feed on his art in the numerous labyrinths of his plenitude.
Like the Ying and the Yang, “Second Nature” answers the turbulences of Biosonic with an intimist and meditative work, plunging the listener into a state of contemplativity which once again transcends Steve Roach's wonderful universe. The latter so much accustomed us to collaborations where his style illuminated the one of his collaborators that an artist, one day, replies in kind to him. And it's exactly the case with Biosonic and this “Second Nature” where Robert Logan gives a breath of fresh air, a second run-up, to Steve Roach. But did he really need it?
2016. Sylvain Lupari / gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca