Designed as “Tone meditations for the living space” ‘Immersion : One’ is the first of a series of long form releases from ambient musician Steve Roach.
‘Immersion : One’ is a single track with a total running time of 73:20. Released on Projekt Records in 2006 and described as “Gently immersive and especially effective at low volume”.
Roach has composed an entire world for you to escape to. An impossibly large expanse of unforgiving beauty that hangs and glistens somewhere in the farthest corners of the universe. Playing this record induces feelings of calm, clarity and wonder. To be truly appreciated it should be played through good quality headphones in a distraction free environment. When I’m listening to this record nothing else matters, it can make the most menial tasks enjoyable, therapeutic even. I feel as if I’ve been suspended in time and space, gazing into galaxies that are slowly merging with others. It allows me to gather my thoughts just as easily as it lets me forget absolutely everything.
The track has no real sense of melody and no beat to it. Instead it boasts a wealth of sonic textures. A deep and organic resonance that swirls effortlessly through the brain. It will lull you into surreal, hypnagogic states of sleep if played late at night, and creates the perfect score to an outer body experience.
Half an hour into the track and it’s hard to tell if anything has really changed, nothing sounds looped per se, but the structure stays the same, you are still exploring the same area of space, just in greater detail.
Roach creates low, humming synths that stretch deep into the distance, rumbling ever so slightly under their immense weight like a freighter crawling slowly through volatile waters. He adds higher, whispering pads that seep through the darkness, leaving twinkling vapour trails and adding an angelic atmosphere to the track. Every now and again, if you listen really carefully you can hear small metallic sounding tones that beep and dissolve into the lower frequencies of the composition.
It is hard to describe ‘Immersion : One’ to somebody that hasn’t experienced it for themselves. It doesn’t really have a beginning, middle or end. There are no standout moments or details. It just exists, allowing willing people to retreat into its sanctuary of atmospheric bliss.
This is not an album for people new to ambient music, but is an outstanding example of the forms the genre can take. It is incredible.
Written By – Andrew Everington 22/03/2017