Apr 9, 2017

RhoDeo 1715 Sundaze

Hello,


Today's Artist is a longstanding leader in contemporary electronic music, composer and multi-instrumentalist,a onetime professional motorbike racer born 1955 in La Mesa, California,  drew on the beauty and power of the earth's landscapes to create lush, meditative soundscapes influential on the emergence of ambient and trance. ....N'Joy

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A longstanding leader in contemporary electronic music, composer and multi-instrumentalist Steve Roach drew on the beauty and power of the Earth's landscapes to create lush, meditative soundscapes influential on the emergence of ambient and trance. Born in California in 1955, Roach -- inspired by the music of Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, and Vangelis -- taught himself to play synthesizer at the age of 20. Debuting in 1982 with the album Now, his early work was quite reminiscent of his inspirations, but with 1984's Structures from Silence, his music began taking enormous strides. The album's expansive and mysterious atmosphere was partly inspired by the natural beauty of the southwestern U.S. Subsequent works, including 1986's three-volume Quiet Music series honed Roach's approach, his dense, swirling textures and hypnotic rhythms akin to environmental sound sculptures.

In 1988, inspired by the Peter Weir film The Last Wave, Roach journeyed to the Australian outback, with field recordings of aboriginal life inspiring his acknowledged masterpiece, the double-album Dreamtime Return. A year later, he teamed with percussionist Michael Shrieve and guitarist David Torn for The Leaving Time, an experiment in ambient jazz. After relocating to the desert outskirts of Tucson, Arizona, Roach established his own recording studio, Timeroom. In the years to follow, he grew increasingly prolific, creating both as a solo artist and in tandem with acts including Robert Rich, Michael Stearns, Jorge Reyes, and Kevin Braheny -- in all, he recorded close to two-dozen major works in the '90s alone, all of them located at different points on the space-time continuum separating modern technology and primitive music.

His album roster from that decade includes Strata (1991), Artifacts (1994), Well of Souls (1995), Amplexus (1997), and Dust to Dust (1998). Early Man was released on Projekt in early 2001, followed by one of his many collaborations with Vidna Obmana, Innerzone. Throughout the remainder of the 2000s, Roach remained extremely prolific. His release schedule included the Projekt titles Trance Spirits (with Jeffrey Fayman) and the quadruple-disc Mystic Chords & Sacred Spaces, Spirit Dome and Somewhere Else (with Obmana), Fever Dreams, Mantram, and Nada Terma (with Byron Metcalf and Mark Seelig), and the ongoing Immersion series, Arc of Passion, and Stream of Thought (with Erik Wøllo). He also self-released several titles on his own through Timeroom Editions. Over the next decade, Roach would show no signs of slowing as he continued with a non-stop slew of new material under his own name, as well as collaborations and soundtrack work. Though new volumes of work appeared at a clip of more than three albums per year, standouts included more collaborations with Byron Metcalf, 2013's Future Flows, 2014's disparate releases of arid road trip music on The Desert Collection and ambient explorations of mortality and humanity on The Delicate Forever. Roach began constructing an extensive analog modular synthesizer system in 2014, and in 2015, the album Skeleton Keys was composed entirely using this setup. In 2016, Roach released two full-lengths with Robert Logan (the more rhythmic Biosonic and the serene drone album Second Nature), as well as solo efforts This Place to Be and Shadow of Time.


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This 1986 Steve Roach release finds him visiting the very familiar territory of his early years. Empetus is a profoundly rhythmic recording, with dashes of ambient atmospheric textures here and there adding a luminous aura of color to each of the tracks. Empetus, like many of his early recorded works, has a bit of a Berlin School feel, a lá Klaus Schulze, Tangerine Dream, and Ashra, but there's something about even Steve Roach's earliest work that is distinctly American in flavor and composition. As noted, this is a rhythmic recording, consisting of beautiful and cool analog and synthesizer sounds, which truly date the music as being from the mid-'80s, but Empetus is a refreshing, almost vintage recording rather than a schlocky, almost insubstantial synth/new age excursion that, unfortunately, the '80s yielded many of. There's also a bit of a minimalist feel, similar to some of Steve Reich's work, but more organic and less cold. One track that really sticks out is "Conquest," with Weslie Brown's fervent vocals passionately resonating throughout the track, set against the backdrop of Steve Roach's organic, and isolated, synthesized minimalism. This is a great recording and one that is truly a wonderful place to start exploring the massive catalog of Steve Roach.

"Empetus emerged from the dynamic times of my early years in Los Angeles, circa the beginning of the 80's. This was an exciting time and place with the confluence of electronic artists, concert events, and instrument builders (like Oberheim). We were all in full stride and dreaming big. This created a sense of an emerging electronic sound and culture growing from the collective of these creative energies in motion. Empetus - a word I modified from the original impetus - is about infusing high emotion into the pieces, which were moving from longer forms into concise, interconnected meditations on energy, movement and dynamic flow. "



Steve Roach - Empetus  (flac 262mb)

01 Arrival 4:20
02 Seeking 5:25
03 Conquest 6:09
04 Empowerment 3:52
05 Twilight Heat 3:15
06 Merge 6:23
07 Urge 6:23
08 Distance Is Near 2:40
09 The Memory 5:57

Steve Roach - Empetus   (ogg 113mb)

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The Early Years:
"Harmonia Mundi": This is completely analog and pre-midi. All the sequencers were synchronized by a master analog clock. We set up on a Saturday morning and created a variety of sequences and patterns for a few hours. After a triple espresso, our mutual passion for this form of music drove the session towards the heart of the sequencer universe.

"Release": This was from the time after my first album, Now, still steeped in the influence of european electronic music and Klaus Schulze. By the time Empetus was released, the longer sequencer forms and qualities of this style would be fading and absorbed into the body of my development towards new places and spaces. These lost pieces reveal the limitations of the recording technology used at the time. Mastered by Steve Roach in The Timeroom, Sonoita, Arizona.



Steve Roach - Empetus (Early Years) (flac  405mb)

01 Harmonia Mundi 46:44
02 Release 26:32

Steve Roach - Empetus (Early Years)  (ogg 180mb)

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An Ambient Masterpiece for the American Southwest,in 1987 Steve Roach conceptualized an album of ambient music based on the deserts of the American Southwest. He and project producer Chuck Oken recruited two more of California's top synthesists, Kevin Braheny and Richard Burmer. Together they created Western Spaces. This is where desert ambience began. Over the years, Roach has perfected the style and has become its leading progenitor. And this album has influenced a decade of synthesists. This trio, working individually and collectively, created the prototype. Even after some alterations, this is still the album that defines the roots of the style. This album was reissued later in 1987 on Fortuna with Thom Brennan and new tracks replacing Burmer and his tracks.



Steve Roach - Western Spaces (with Thom Brennan, Kevin Braheny)   (flac 328mb)

1 The Breathing Stone 6:46
2 Desert Walkabout (Braheny) 7:03
3 New Moon At Forbidden Mesa (Roach+Brennan) 5:40
4 Desert Prayer (Roach+Braheny) 12:33
5 In The Heat Of Venus (Roach+Brennan) 22:33
6 The Slow Turning 7:40
7 Western Spaces (Roach+Braheny+Burmer) 6:08

Steve Roach - Western Spaces (with Thom Brennan, Kevin Braheny)  (ogg 144mb)

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In 1987, Steve Roach conceptualized an album of ambient music based on the deserts of the American Southwest. He and project producer Chuck Oken recruited two more of California's top synthesists, Kevin Braheny and Richard Burmer. Together they created Western Spaces. This is where desert ambience began. Over the years, Roach has perfected the style and has become its leading progenitor. And this album has influenced a decade of synthesists. This trio, working individually and collectively, created the prototype. Even after some alterations, this is still the album that defines the roots of the style. This album was reissued later in 1987 on Fortuna with Thom Brennan and new tracks replacing Burmer and his tracks.



Steve Roach - Desert Solitaire (with Kevin Braheny and Michael Stearns) (flac 248mb)

1 Flatlands 4:49
2 Labyrinth (Michael Stearns) 6:56
3 Specter 9:34
4 The Canyon's Embrace (with Michael Stearns) 3:35
5 Cloud Of Promise (with Michael Stearns) 6:38
6 Knowledge & Dust (Kevin Braheny) 3:23
7 Shiprock (Michael Stearns) 4:00
8 Highnoon (with Michael Stearns) 10:30
9 Empty Time (Kevin Braheny) 5:51
10 From The Heart Of Darkness (Michael Stearns) 3:50
11 Desert Solitaire (with Kevin Braheny) 6:06
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Steve Roach - Australia, Sound of the Earth (with David Hudson and Sarah Hopkins) (flac 223mb)

01 Red Dust And Sweat 10:45
02 Call To Kuranda (David Hudson) 3:15
03 The Ancient Voice (David Hudson) 3:10
04 Atmosphere For Dreaming (Steve Roach, Sarah Hopkins ) 7:52
05 Darktime / The Initiation (Steve Roach, Sarah Hopkins ) 7:12
06 Origin 4:48
07 Spirits (David Hudson) 3:19
08 The Hunter (David Hudson) 3:02
09 Awakening The Earth ( Sarah Hopkins) 14:10
10 Land Sound/The Dreaming Place (David Hudson/Steve Roach) 5:14

Steve Roach - Australia, Sound of the Earth (with David Hudson and Sarah Hopkins)  (ogg 148mb)

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2 comments:

Cass said...

What a wonderful collection! Very many thanks, Rho - most especially for the first and last titles.

Anonymous said...

Very kind, Rho. All new to me and gratefully downloaded. Thanks indeed.