Apr 16, 2017

Sundaze 1716


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. Drawing from a vast, unique, deeply personal authenticity, his releases cover a wide range of dynamic styles all of which bear his signature voice. For 35 years the boundaries are constantly challenged in his work, ranging in style from pure floating spaces, analog sequencer music, primordial tribal, rhythmic ambient, dark ambient, long-form 'drift ambient,' and avant garde atonal ambient.....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.

In concert, Steve creates transcendent electronic music emerging from an elemental instinctual mode. These events bring together an audience from around the country and as far away as Europe, all looking to experience the on-the-edge experience that erupts in the live setting. This makes Steve's concerts an entirely different experience from the recorded medium. With months of preparation absorbed into his system, evocative soundscapes blend with ecstatic rhythmic sections born from hands-on analog sound creation and sonic shapeshifting. The result is a direct transference of creative energy from the artist through his instruments out to the listener. Live performances are the place where Steve's music thrives, created at the leading edge of now.

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Strata -- the title just has a nice sound to it. Like strength or structure, it connotes power. (It is probably the "s-t-r.") Steve Roach and Robert Rich are two of the strongest e-musicians ever -- musically, spiritually, and emotionally. But their greatest strengths are their abilities to express themselves musically and to interact cohesively. Rich and Roach approach music from almost completely divergent angles. Roach is always right in the middle of things, searching for answers to his questions. Rich, on the other hand, spends a great deal of time in the setup before diving into the middle. Once there, he begins searching for questions to his answers. Together, these approaches complement each other and they get right down to it. This album consists of four very personal statements. It is personal to the composers, individually and as a duo, and to deep listeners. It evokes remote feelings and close recollections. Roach and Rich explore the unknown to learn and to ask more about the real and the surreal. This is a great disc, covering many styles and much ground.

Steve Roach n Robert Rich - Strata  (flac 229mb)

01 Fearless 4:32
02 Mica 5:00
03 Forever 4:50
04 The Grotto Of Time Lost 9:03
05 Iguana 7:23
06 Magma 3:37
07 Persistence Of Memory (For Dali) 5:09
08 Remembrance 2:22
09 Ceremony Of Shadows 6:12
10 La Luna 10:39

Steve Roach n Robert Rich - Strata   (ogg 122mb)

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Steve Roach has always been interested in musicians and music from other cultures. Here we find him teamed up with the enigmatic Mexican multi-instrumentalist Jorge Reyes, and from Spain, composer/electric guitarist Suso Saiz. The trio is recording together as Suspended Memories.Roach is featured on analog and digital synthesizers, rhythm programming, sampled percussion, voice, didgeridoo, distant percussion, and Lakota Plains Flute. Reyes plays clay water pots, prehispanic clay flutes, ocarina, bamboo flute, whistles, voice, and various percussion and drums. Saiz plays processed electric guitars, shortwave radio, and distant percussion. This trio has developed in an atmosphere in which improvisation, melody, and originality of conception are strongly encouraged. The album sounds really great when the volume is turned up. That way you can really feel the ominous power and all the nuances in the music. This spatially intriguing collection begins with "Different Deserts," which is actually four pieces in one. Perhaps they are four separate, imaginary, musical deserts. Primal drums echo as if they're emanating from distant canyons, while expansive ethereal swirls of sound glide across the horizon. It's a subconscious musical ritual suspended in our imagination, full of textural diversity, compelling contrasts, and insights. Saiz's guitar blends with Roach's synth work so well that they become one voice, melding into an ethereal blend of unusual sonorities. The various drums, flutes, and whistles add a timeless quality to the music. "Snake Song" shifts and moves from side to side like a cobra following a snake charmer's Ney flute. It's a trance dance with chanting, primal drums, and percussion creating a modern day shamanic ritual. This piece is reminiscent of Madrid, Spain's guitarist Luis Del Gado, and his album La Flor De Piedra. Saiz creates some really tasteful textures in the mix with some amazing controlled feedback on his guitar. "Night Devotion" showcases Roach's slowly breathing synths, with a great interplay between his expansive chordal washes and Saiz's ethereal guitar excursions. The next cut, "Saguaro," is named after the towering cactus of the Arizona desert. With its sparse, expansive ambience, it brings to mind one of Roach's earlier collaborations, Western Spaces. Saiz again adds some wonderful textures with looped guitars and various other treatments. "Mutual Tribes" and the title cut continue with this musical ritual that intrigues and captivates the listener. Here the three musicians are locked into a communal mind-sync, utilizing primal blends of percussion and voice, and the aboriginal didgeridoo to enhance the ambience of the compositions. The standout cut is "Distance Look." It comes at you with walls of sustained guitar, expansive colossal waves of Roach's ethereal shifting chords, and the perfectly subdued percussive talents of Reyes. This piece really showcases how well these three musical visionaries communicate their musical ideas in real time.

Suspended Memories - Forgotten Gods (Steve Roach with Jorge Reyes and Suso Saiz) (flac  279mb)

01 Different Deserts 12:20
02 Night Devotion 6:44
03 Snake Song 3:51
04 Saguaro 5:23
05 Mutual Tribes 7:06
06 Suspended Memories, Forgotten Gods 6:01
07 Ritual Noise 3:48
08 Distant Look 7:49
09 Shaman's Dream 6:07

Suspended Memories - Forgotten Gods (Steve Roach with Jorge Reyes and Suso Saiz)  (ogg 140mb)

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Steve Roach and Robert Rich are the most important electronic ambient musicians in the U.S. SoMa is their highly acclaimed follow-up to their first collaboration, Strata. Soma, according to Vedic writings, is "a drink made from plants which could help one commune with the gods." It is also the Greek word for body. So they designed this work to be a vehicle to traverse between the physical and spiritual worlds. It is deep stuff. The soundscape offers listeners the opportunity to pursue and achieve states of ecstasy. The only extracurricular involvement is from the souls of the music and the listeners. The psychoactive atmospheres penetrate the defenses of the spirit and use Earth's resonant rhythms to tap into the biorhythms. From that point forward, Rich and Roach are in control. Listeners will go to the far reaches of the netherworld and stay within the limits set by this duo. This album is in a league of its own. Comparisons would do the other discs an injustice. It is an essential album for all fans of good music.

Steve Roach n Robert Rich - Soma (flac 241mb)

01 Love Magick 7:40
02 Nightshade 9:07
03 Going Inland 4:05
04 Silk Ridge 6:05
05 Blood Music 8:10
06 Soma 12:07
07 Seduction Of The Minotaur 5:21
08 Touch 4:36

Steve Roach n Robert Rich - Strata  (ogg 121mb)

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Steve Roach's World's Edge is a wonderfully executed blending of all those things that worked so well in Structures from Silence and Dreamtime Return. Disc one incorporates a healthy dose of the Aboriginal percussives into Roach's trademark swelling drone-breathing synths. A perfect balance of tension-release, anticiptation-relaxation, and trancezone/world-stopping is woven into a fine tapestry of ethereal soundworlds. Ten tracks ranging from three to ten-and-a-half minutes offer some of Roach's best works for the blank-stare, alpha-waved, drool-inducing moments. Disc two offers essentially another hour of one nonstop Roach-scape, transporting you even further through massive gong calls, synth-voiced wordless chants, Tibetan ruins among Cydonian foothills, crumbling on the dust storm-eroded face of Mars, now welcome your naked soul. You can hear Roach's The Magnificent Void here, too. This is Roach at his best. Highly recommend for ambient-heads and electronic tune devotees; make sure this is in your collection.

Steve Roach - World's Edge (flac 438mb)

01 World's Edge 9:49
02 The Call 3:33
03 Steel and Bone 2:40
04 Undershadow 8:29
05 When Souls Roam 6:53
06 Beat of Desire 7:38
07 Glimpse 3:08
08 Thunderground 10:30
09 Falling, Flying, Dreaming 6:18
10 Drift 7:38

11 To the Threshold of Silence feat Robert Rich 58:23

Steve Roach - World's Edge  (ogg 250mb)

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Cass said...

Such great albums - thanks Rho. I hope you won't mind if I drop a link here for you: Jorge Reye's 'Ek-Tunkul': http://www15.zippyshare.com/v/xYdypN6c/file.html You may well have heard it already, but if not I hope you'll en~joy...

Anonymous said...

Thanks Rho. Any Steve Roach you kindly offer is always warmly appreciated by me.

Rho said...

Thanks for the link Cass, however in the future there will be postings of Jorge Reyes work and Ek-Tunkul will be one of these... Big Hug