Regular Price: $16.98
Online Sale Price! $13.98
1 Groove Immersion (in four parts) 73:00 | MP3 excerpt
Silent Currents (Live at Star's End) 2-CD
Journey of One 2-CD
Back to Life (2-CD)
(featuring Steve Roach): The Shaman's Heart II
Artwork: Groove Immersion arrives in a pleasingly tactile matte finish digipack of three sections. The outer three panels open out into a vivid panorama of swirling yellow-orange curves and dark holes haloed with fiery rings. There is minimal text throughout the whole package: on the rear cover the expanded title Groove Immersion in Four Parts - 73:59; within, brief credits and the observation that the music was "created with hardware instruments only." The artwork on the inner panels zooms in on the outer imagery brightening from deep orange on the left to warm lemon yellows on the right.
Overall: Groove Immersion is released as either a stand alone recording or as part of the Steve Roach 2012 box set - the latter pairs Groove Immersion with the recently released Back To Life within an "elegant German-made black box with faceplate. Each box is signed and numbered, limited to 500 copies. Includes cover art micro posters exclusive to the box." The four-part Groove Immersion itself might be considered as part six of Steve's Unfolding Immersion series. The set opens with one of the more pacey tracks - the music shadowy and introspective yet bathed with silken beams of sonic light. Section two is ponderous - a lazy rolling pattern that has a heady tribal mood. The final piece begins with a similar groove to the opening part and then deftly morphs into something more akin to the more languid measure of section two. Drifting away at the end - slowly - slowly ...
The Immersion series started back in 2006, and the first four releases focused in on deeply hypotonic ambient synth textures that weaved a repetitive, but entrancing sonic pattern around the listener. Immersion Five - Circadian Rhythms from 2011 started to weave groove & rhythmic elements into the deep ambient textures, and “Groove Immersion” really takes this process to the next stage with a slow and constant tribal almost lulling waltzing electro groove been locked over the top of the ambient textures.
Like all the other releases in the series this offers up a single 70 minute track, which is broken up into four index points. The track consists of a slowed & fixed tribal semi ethnic/ semi waltz beat pattern & groove that is looped over & over. Mixed through this is a repetitive harmonic waltz like texture that repeats it self every 13 or so seconds; this is joined by a snaking to spiralling like electronic texture which sounds like either a electronic creature stretching it’s neck out or slow snake like hissings out of the techno reeds- this second element appears in a more random & less frequent manner than the other tone, and it subtle morphs too. Underneath these elements is the lush yet darkly mysterious ebb, drift & melts of this shadowy yet harmonic ambient patterns- these seem to shimmer, haze & melt in a most effective manner.
The first few times I played this through I found the groove & rhythmic elements really took away from the wonderfully shadowy yet enticing ambient textures, but I persevered and after a few more plays the groove/ rhythmic elements seem to make more sense. Also these element were not as I first thought - looped patterns, because I could clearly hear that Roach was subtle altering & merging the groove/rhythmic elements from time to time.
But even now many play down the line I still find my mind either drifting towards the groove/ rhythmic or the ambient textures, and never them both together- the two elements somehow seem apart from each other, & even over a long form track like this they never seem to fully meddled and bound together.
Kudos must going for Roach trying to do something a little different with the Immersion series, but I rather miss just the deep & lengthy submersion in pure ambience- in a way there’s just too much going on here for one to be become fully immersed in the track, & it often feels like the two elements have been artificially joined together creating this odd swinging counter balance meaning ones mind is either locked into one or another elements, but never them both together. -Roger Batty
Electronics conspire with rhythmic elements in a melodic mode. That last bit is important--"melodic"--for this is not one of Roach's minimal soundscape outings. (i)This(/i) music has melody and body and visceral impact.
The electronics are a blend of dreamy backdrops and gutsier lead layers. Peripheral inclusions serve to liven things even more, such as a cluster of insectoid chitters sliding into play in tandem with the basic serpentine flow. The sounds sigh with lazy abandon, streaming into seemingly infinite loops with changes are often too subtle to detect until the riff has fully metamorphosed.
Roiling clouds of sound whisper at each other, generating moods of seductive calm which are then teased into a mildly energetic mode by auxiliary electronics and the luxuriant percussives.
The rhythms are all artificial and mainly consist of tempos crafted from electronic sounds instead of sampled drum beats. These percussive threads lend the tuneage locomotion in a sedate manner; never mustering an intrusive presence but taking a noticeable stance in the overall sonic gestalt.
The composition is a long one (one track on the CD), but the music undergoes several distinct evolutions along the way, allowing the cycles to mutate into engaging variations, which in turn lead to even more diverse passages. The result is hypnotic and affluent with tangible charm. -Matt Howarth
Groove Immersion is a musical experience as fascinating as puzzling. It’s a confusion of captive rhythms which pound under a sky laminated of synth layers and waves floating in a post apocalyptic chaos. It's like going down a long river troubled by thousands of lapping that we cease to sense so much we are bewitched by the breaths, winds and hoots of the synths. Groove Immersion took root in the earthly and clanic rhythms of Immersion Five-Circadian Rhythms. In fact, it’s a continuation of the Immersion series, except that instead of captivating the listener with lot of morphic and mind-numbing synth layers and waves, Steve Roach weaves an impressive rhythmic pattern where sequences, pulsations and percussions intertwine into an intense immersive movement.
Stratas and waves of synth darken a sky sieved by resonant breaths while the rhythm finely drummed of "Part One" begins its long throbbing odyssey. Meticulous, Steve Roach lays the foundations of a stunning rhythmic fauna where the Mandala percussions resound and vibrate thanks to an ingenious system of microphones placed inside their skins. Although shaken, the rhythm remains peaceful like a long linear movement with multiple soft vibrations. True to form, the Californian synthesist embroiders quite a whole universe of parallelism in its percussions by adding tones of an insectivorous fauna, like these gigantic centipedes with rubbery castanets which roam throughout this rhythmic immersion. Layers of synth to tones of ethereal mists float with a soporific slowness on this movement filled with related electronic tones, weaving a morphic envelope as disparate as intriguing. Snippets of harmonies pierce this envelope, dropping mislaid chords which roam throughout the movement and entering in our ears such as silky earworms which wind between oniric layers and threatening strata. And these synth layers accumulate in a crescendo which espouses the stillness rhythm of "Part One" to slide into the more smooth rhythms of "Part Two" which, in spite of a slowdown in the tempo, respect the rhythmic and harmonious premices of "Part One". And so goes Groove Immersion. The more we move within and the more we go deep into a somber heaviness where the latent rhythm is immersed by layers and streaks which mould unreal and sinister ambiences. "Part Three" is dark and encircled by ghostly hoots, hiding a rhythmic as active as in "Part One". And if we pay an attention on this entire sound fauna, we perceive this fine piece of melody which always tries to pierce this heavy veil of rhythm and darkness. A little as sunbeams lost in the depths of Roach’s caves. This segment is the most intense of Groove Immersion which ends in indecision with "Part Four" and its divided rhythm which collapses under the enormous weight of the somber silvered and iridescent strata.
While we believed that the Immersion series fainted, Steve Roach gives to it a second breath with an album as much mesmerizing as Immersion Five-Circadian Rhythms. Groove Immersion is an album of concentration of rhythms and retention of emotions which can charm as much as it can disconcerted. The ambiences are rich, creative and unique to the quirky signatures of the synthesist from the deserts to thousand cerebral forms. There is a lot of intensity in this work where everything seems disproportionate so much Steve Roach enjoys amplifying all his sound experiences. And the experience is even more striking with earphones. It’s Roach! And we cannot deny the bewitchment which gets free of this long river bubbling of implosives rhythms. Rhythms that we lose all senses so much the sky is sieved by copper-colored tones. Sylvain Lupari (2012)