Steve Roach/Robert Logan: Biosonic + Second Nature (Projekt, 2016)May 15, 2016 at 10:24 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment
Steve Roach’s all-modular Skeleton Keys album from last year won me over in a big way, and he’s never far from releasing a new album, so I’m excited to hear what’s coming next. He just simultaneously released two with younger UK musician Robert Logan. Biosonic is a blend of many different styles and approaches, with catalog’s worth of digital and analog synthesizers, sequencers, drum machines, you name it. It has its tribal trancey moments, some harder industrial ones, lots of glitching and intricate rhythmic patterns, lots of spacey drifting over everything. It’s really dense, really involved, and absolutely incredible. It feels like being in a giant warehouse full of machines, and every one of them is doing something different, and it’s easy to get lost trying to follow everything and figure out what they’re all doing. “Biosense” in particular is really rapid and complex, if I heard this blindly I would assume it was something on a post-Schematic netlabel. Pretty bonkers, and not the Steve Roach you might be expecting. The final track, “Amniotic Universe”, is 20 minutes long and gets pretty deep and droney after a while. This is the space inhabited by Second Nature, a more “traditional” Roach ambient album. Four tracks, one of which is a half hour long. Slo-mo pianos, silvery shafts of light, a bit of darkness, but it’s all the name of reflection and solitude. Definitely not the ecstatic thrill ride that Biosonic is, but it’s certainly haunting and gorgeous, and worth sleeping to.