In my book, Steve Roach is nothing short of a legend. From my first encounter with him during the late nineties up until now Roach has enriched my musical experience in life and in many ways shaped my interest in the ambient and atmospheric styles of sound. One gloomy autumnal evening I was spending some time at my cousin’s and stumbled upon Halcyon Days in a box by the stereo. The impression it left in me was quite breath-taking and when I got the opportunity to review an entire collection of recordings done during that very decade I was hooked instantly. Journey of One is truly a spiritual journey through time itself. Although it consists of live recordings it does not truly feel like it at all.
The music itself is a magical mixture of dark rhythm’s, solemn ambient landscapes, didgeridoos and ethereal voices in the air. The curious mixture of instruments, both digital and acoustic, used in the works of Roach (US) is quite staggering yet always blends seamlessly together forming a perfect landscape for dreams to take root. Steve Roach is a magician in his field and nothing short of the endless skies seems to be the limit to his imaginative use of electronically conjured sounds. When I first listened through this album I instantly knew that this album is a must have for lovers of tribal ambient. It is in a way the legacy of an individual with the power to weave music into magic so potent that it physically affects you. Close your eyes while listening to this and you to will experience an inner journey of one.
For me Journey of One is a gateway to the past. It reminded me of all the things dear to me from the time when I first started explore the realms of dark atmospheric music. There is so many things that I outright love with this album, the exotic rhythms, the lingering beauty of the didgeridoo and the ocarina, the ethereal electronics that covers the whole album with its magical mist. The whole album has a dreamlike sensation to it like something snatched right out of Unknown Kadath. This is the soundtrack that should accompany eldritch visions of dark and cyclopean monuments lost in time where tribes worshiping strange gods dance and chants through the night. When the last chimes drifts of into nothingness and the haze of the drones finally diminishes into nothingness you open your eyes to a new world, another world. Steve Roach is a mastermind and this album is a testament to his mastery over the tribal aspects of ambient. This album is a must have for anyone even slightly into dark ambient and for a follower of Mr. Roach it is a must have. The only downer I can think of is the fact that I was not there to experience this soaring performance live. It must surly have been like leaving the world behind..
01. Journey of One, Pt. 1
02. Journey of One, Pt. 2