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Darkest Before Dawn

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Album Review

Darkest Before Dawn is a long-form composition that is meant for continuous play. It is from Steve Roach, a master of that technique. His activity that preceded this CD had been electro-tribal and experimental, with forays into some forms of rhythmic ambience and classic space music. The title of this disc says it all. This is dark, sinister minimalism as — and this is a reminder — only Roach can do it. This is serious space music with no grooves, no fractals, and no percussion. The atmosphere does have its own rhythm and its own pace. The continuous form is the soundscape; there are no breaks or interruptions. This is a marvelous work and is destined to become a classic of the genre. For now, it rates as excellent, but time will earn it a "best of genre" rating. While this piece is unique, Roach has performed dark ambience before — The Magnificent Void and Structures From Silence are classics of the style. He has also created several continuous-play pieces that work well on multi-disc units in shuffle and continuous modes. That would make for a fairly adventurous day — a dozen Steve Roach CDs on continuous shuffle play.


Born: 1955 in California

Genre: New Age

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

A longstanding leader in contemporary electronic music, composer and multi-instrumentalist Steve Roach drew on the beauty and power of the Earth's landscapes to create lush, meditative soundscapes influential on the emergence of ambient and trance. Born in California in 1955, Roach — inspired by the music of Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, and Vangelis — taught himself to play synthesizer at the age of 20; debuting in 1982 with the album Now, his early work was quite reminiscent of his...
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Darkest Before Dawn, Steve Roach
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