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With Strata, Steve Roach asked Robert Rich embark on an exploration of "the subconscious, the surreal..Sounds which evoke a reverie... personal, collective, and universal," a music "half forgotten, buried within the strata of the primordial mind." Whether the final product achieves its virtually shamanistic goals will have to be decided by each listener, but it's clear that Strata pushes resolutely deeper into the new territories opened up for contemporary psychonauts by electronic sound production.
From its early polyrhythmic movement pieces, through the darkly compelling interior landscapes at its center, to the healing sonorities that enshroud the concluding "La Luna," Strata conveys the listener to soundworlds below the surface of ordinary music.
Experienced listeners will hear evidence of influences from artists like Brian Eno and Jon Hassell, North African and other world music traditions, but the mixture and ultimately the meaning of the musical sound experiences which Strata unlocks is unique. Remarkably, it advances on a sonic frontier without resorting to an alien musical language.