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The entire recording was created using only analog modular instruments from Analogue Systems, Doepfer, Blacet Research and Peter Grenader - Plan B
No keyboard synths, Midi, or soft synths were used in the creation of Possible Planet
This pivotal new long-form soundworld work pulls back the layers and increases the magnification to reveal a truly organic, analog-based core sound at a level not heard before in Steve's music. The metaphor of emerging lifeforms on a possible planet sets the mood for the three movements presented as a continuous immersive zone. "Wet", "shimmering", "cellular" and "diaphanous" are some words that could describe this living-breathing soundscape.
"While this long from zoneworld was created between December 2004 and May 2005, it developed into a pivotal new release for me. It's also included in The Dreamtime Box because it represents a parallel in some ways to "Looking For Safety" from Dreamtime Return. As an artist if you live long enough to draw a line back in time, the recurring themes can link up to create an interesting graph of stylistic confluence. These two pieces, "Possible Planet" and "Looking For Safety" (recorded in 1986) are at similar points on that graph, with many years in-between them and created in very different circumstances, but still sharing the same air. "During my 'analog rebirth' (see below) this desire started emerging to create a kind of soundscape environment which portrayed an undefined life form as it's just starting to emerge from the primordial soup on some distant planet. The sounds were forming in my imagination and were brought to life as you hear them across three movements. This set the mood for the idea of expressing the emerging, evolving sense of consciousness coming into form."
The Process... "I have always had a visceral connection to the instruments which I choose to channel my energies. Sonically Possible Planet is the result of an analog rebirth that started for me last Fall. A series of events created a craving obsession in my imagination and within my ears to hear and create from pure means, not digital to analog converted or virtual analog, frozen waveforms or soft-synths. I wanted to feel the current coming right out of the wall, and shape it from that point forward. Possible Planet was created completely on a modular analog system which I assembled over a five-month period. As the sonic life form was evolving, the system that was creating it was evolving as well, in order for the changes to occur. This was also a great metaphor for the themes of the emerging cellular life forms I was dreaming into. "In order to remove the reliable and familiar modes of working, I eliminated a few basics: no MIDI, keyboards of any kind, or computers for composition and editing. It was all about twisting knobs, feeling it in my fingertips and coaxing the current into the desired direction. Possible Planet was recorded during three live sessions. Each session would start after several days of creating and learning the nuances of a 'living' patch I had created, from which the soundforms were drawn."
As if utilizing a global atmosphere as a sound chamber, Roach conjures ethereal minimalism that swells with psychological girth. Tenuous effects drift through the thin mix, mimicking insect rattlings amid a gentle surf of fragile zephyrs. Sounds that are reminiscent of breathing woodwinds emerge, gradually deepening into remote bass bellows that evoke echoing hillsides.
Hints of environmental sounds can be discerned laced into a passage of twinkling chords, approximating the advent of organic cells into the synthetic biosphere. As those chords dominate the flow, swirling in lazy cycles like atmospheric vortices, a feeling of complacent evolution is produced. The music finally reaches a stage in which the audience can consider themselves as participants, casting off their observational vantage and immersing with the steadfast accretion of complex life.
This entire recording was produced using only analog modular equipment; no keyboards were employed.