Steve Roach and Robert Logan "Second Nature" CD
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 bridging 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 meditations 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.
Richard Gürtler (Aug 28, 2016, Bratislava, Slovakia)