Archive for the ‘Steve Roach’ Category

Jan 27

Steve Roach Empetus back in print with a free download

The 30th anniversary edition of this electronic classic is back in print, reissued on CD in digipak with original artwork. To celebrate, the CD is on sale for just $10 through midnight on Monday January 30th! At Projekt’s Bandcamp page, you can grab the deluxe digital download for name-your-price, through midnight on Monday January 30th. It includes The Early Years rarities tracks.

Dec 31

Three from Steve Roach. for 2017.

Steve Roach : January 2017

Steve has three new albums for January 2017, available in a number of configurations: |   Spiral Revelation   |    Spiral 2-Pack   |   Painting in the Dark    |   Fade To Gray   |    Painting & Fade 2-Pack    |

Orders placed at the Projekt webstore this month include a download card for a copy of Forrest Fang’s Letters To The Farthest Star

Feb 11

Two new Steve Roach & a new Erik Wollo

New Releases for February

Steve Roach: Emotions Revealed CD or download A delayed transmission from the early 80s. These lost tracks created just prior to the Structures from Silence era represent two then-emerging sides of Steve’s artistic muse. Erik Wøllo: Visions CD or download This remastered $7 budget-priced collection brings together 8 standout tracks from the 12 Projekt releases by this renowned Norwegian electronic artist. Visionsinvites you into an hour of the impressive and kinetic music of Erik Wollo. Steve Roach: Live In Tucson – Pinnacle Moments CD or download Limited edition of 300. Recorded February 14th, 2015 at Tucson’s Solar Culture Galactic Center. The flow of energy this music holds offers an empowering way to ride an emotional soundwave into the present moment.

Nov 05

Steve Roach answers questions from Facebook

We collected questions from followers on the Steve Roach Facebook page. Here are Steve’s answers:

David DeWolf: Steve, what inspires you the most in creating sounds? Thank you for the endless beauty within your music!

Steve: Creating sounds from a blank slate is like mixing your own colors to paint with; there is a kind of blending of many senses during this process. The sensual nature of hearing and feeling sound is vital in this, and it’s what defines an artist’s “voice.” The pathways into one’s perception as these sounds are developed over time is an experience I crave on a daily basis. The inspirations come from living life itself with a curious mind, from the subtle points of awareness that can’t be described with words. The same feeling I receive when discovering a new place out in nature for example. The sound carving impulses are also certainly drawn from the larger more dynamic episodes of the day to day as well. In most cases the creation of the sounds comes first, then the music emerges.

Louie Bourland: Steve, it was your music that introduced me to the sounds of the didgeridoo. Can you please share how you first came in contact with the didgeridoo? Also, what advice or tips do you have for musicians that are just learning how to play the didgeridoo?

Steve: I first heard the didgeridoo in the movie the Last Wave in the late 70′s. Immediately the sound spoke to to me the same way certain organic synth drones did in those days.

Eventually I started on the early ideas that would become Dreamtime Return. As fate would have it, I was reading more on aboriginal culture and working on the music when a filmmaker heard my music and contacted me to score a documentary on the Aboriginal Rock painting art of the Australian Aborigines of Cape York. The very book I was reading was part of what the film was drawing from.

Soon I was traveling to Australia to experience all this firsthand with a expedition into the deep of the outback and the sacred sites that few westerners had ever seen. During the adventure I met Aboriginal Didg player David Hudson as part of the music/dance group he led in Cairns. This meeting was pivotal for me and the didgeridoo infusion. In the late 80s, I recorded David’s Wollunda. At that time there were no CDs of solo didgerdoo music anywhere on the planet that we could find, Wollunda was the first. I had to convince the owner of the record company there there was audience for this.

Eventually I learned to play from him. As for new players and ways to learn, there has to be a lot of youtube demos. Back then, I was giving day-long workshops on how to play.

Also for learning, playing along with didg albums is a great way to entrain the brain to circular breath. I continue to use the didg in various modes morphed and blended with the electronics and play it for fun and health benefits – deep breathing!

David Leavitt: Steve, what similarities do you see or feel between mountain biking and the process of making music? : )

Steve: David! Yes we have had some great rides in the outback of Tucson. The movement of the rotating mass is highly psychoactive for me, and it’s been fueling the music for years. I have been riding mountain bikes since the mid 80′s; this is great way to get out there and – at the same time – deeper in there. With the kind of mountain bike rides I do, the power breathing, cardio and brain functions are all working towards a sweet spot of what I like to call the endorphin dreamtime, otherwise known as the zone. I access a lot of insights and just pure raw emotion, unassigned joy, and body ecstasy from this state. It feeds the creative fire immensely and might help me to live a bit longer too.

Jamie Blackman: What was Jorge Reyes like, not so much as a collaborator, but as a person? He received practically no English-language media coverage, so I’ve never even read an interview with him. Anything you could say would be awesome.

Steve: Jorge was a man of the world. He spoke 5 languages and was quite well versed in many areas from an intellectual dimension and into the shamanic realm he lived so fully within.

There was a certain wild feeling in him as well. I could feel this when he was staying at my house; wild like maybe a kind of animal – a wolf-like feeling.

He was also gentle and had a warm open heart; and then we would go to these places together in the music that were just off the chart – dark and confronting.

His concert with me in Tucson was his first real U.S. appearance. We were planning more, and I know if he was still here he would be much more known in the states now.

He was very well-known in Mexico; he was on TV and played large concerts for thousands on a regular basis. We did some of those together in the 90′s, and these remain the largest audiences I have played for.

Also his presence in Europe was strong. Lots of interviews occurred in Germany, Netherlands, and Spain. He played constantly over there. That’s were we met.

Philippe Jeudi: Almost no musician today has interest for multichannel engineering, although technology for both recording and music playing are more available than ever. Even the companies who promote these technologies have no interest in native multichannel music. Pioneers like Edgar Varèse in the 1950′s would probably have enjoyed it. Is it something you would like to experience for your music?

Steve: While I feel my music is suited for this kind of application I don’t feel the demand is there to support the overall investment this would involve. Or maybe there’s a multichannel world out there I am not aware of. I am just not able to go out on a plank to find out.

Tim Preston: I want to know if Steve would consider coming to the UK or Europe in the near future.

Steve: I played in Europe over the course of 12 years up through 2003. These days I am keeping the travel here in the US. That can change if the right situation appeared with the proper support to make it happen. It’s a complex matter to air travel my gear these days, after 9/11. We will see.

For the time being, my US concerts will continue to be the destination if people want to see me live.

Robert Millsop: Steve, what might you have to say about your experience(s) working with the late Jorge Reyes? I’ve been specifically fascinated with the Forgotten Gods album and how that came about.

Steve: I will add to the part about Jorge above. We met at a festival on the Canary Islands in the early 90′s. Guitarist Suso Saiz was also at this event. The concert was in a volcanic lava cave made into a theater. I would say this set the tone for our entire run as a group and our duo collaborations, playing in locations that feed our process.

We were asked of do a set together and afterwards the connection grew. Some more concerts in Mexico occurred, and we made plans to create an album together at my house in Tucson.

At that time Linda and I had just moved to Tucson so the Timeroom was in the master bedroom of the house. This is where the entire Forgotten Gods album was recorded and mixed over a week’s time.

The album was built in a live mode; we would play and compose through improvisation, and then record live to capture the feeling, adding the final brush strokes in the end. We completed Forgotten Gods in a few days; as soon as it was finished John Diliberto flew in to record a living room concert in our house for the Echoes radio show. We just moved the gear from the studio to the living room, set up and with about 15 friends around – and John recording the music – we performed what we had just created the week before.

We went on to do a tour in Europe and recorded Earth Island in Madrid, Spain, and Osnabruck, Germany.

Philip Thompson: What was the last CD you played in your car?

Steve: Alive In the Vortex – my new release coming in December. I was listening to a test master on the way to the airport for the Philly concert.

Before that the Jimmy Page remastered Led Zeppelin 3.

Parrish S. Knight: How is something like “See Things” scored? It’s hard to see how you could create sheet music for it.

Steve: All of my music is created the way a painter works: starting with blank canvas of silence or no sound and then letting the first impulse be revealed…

From there the interactive process unfolds in the way which I think any creative act evolves as you focus on your intentions, or just going with the flow of no exceptions.

George Martindell: Hi Steve. Being someone who prefers composing and creating music at night, my question to you is this: do you find yourself recording and composing your extraodionary music more so during the night, or in the day hours? Thank you.

Steve: Indeed the more womb-like pieces are often created in the deeper hours, but many are often made at high noon. If it’s an ongoing piece that involves lots of tracks and arrangements, I might work on these throughout day into night. But I would say the initial birthing is more nocturnal for the pieces that have night feeling. I also really love to work on sounds and explore first thing in the early AM. Wake up, cup of coffee and meditate to the carving up of sounds or playing and working on music before the day gets started.

It’s a great way to merge into the day and sometimes before you know it something lights up a small spark from a sound and this could become a larger piece that keeps drawing me to it.

Tweedel Dee: How many licks does it take to get the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop out of your kid’s hair the night before school picture day?

Steve: This seems obvious. The best workaround is to use scissors.

Amay Progrez: A lot of your albums have the spiral shape. What is the significance of the spiral shape, or is there something about the shape that appeals to you?

Steve: The spiral is a visual metaphor for my work on many levels and the unbroken connection of this creative life I live. I always sense a through-line of life when I see this shappe. From the center outwards, or into the center, it’s a visual form I receive energy and grounding from. Also with its presence in the different cultures and ancient rock and cave art and throughout the world, there is the powerful universal imprint contained in this form.

Witek Borkowski: How much of an influence did Jean Michel Jarre have on your music?

Steve: In the early days I listened to his classics always looking to learn and see how people were creating music with the emerging technology.

I can’t say there was big influence but a strong appreciation.

That live performance DVD from a few years ago of him with the group playing Oxygene was pretty amazing.

Rod Smith: What was the set list for your recent show at St. Mary’s Church in Philly? It was one of the best shows I have ever seen?

Steve: Thank you. The set you experienced had, along with some of the familiar themes, a lot of material that was being created on the spot never to happen again.

In this list “new” means it was created in the moment as you were hearing it.

Opening the Space – the piece out front on the solo synth. – new A Majestic Void – new Endorphin Dreamtime Flow State – new Primal Portal – new Looking for Safety Kairos Portal Vortex Immersion Zone Going Gone Melting Gone – new Spiral live part 1 – new Spiral live part 2 – new The Way-back Machine – new Its All Connected This Delicate Life – new Today Structures From Silence – Epilogue version

Jonathan Graham: A two-part question. A: What piece of equipment or instrument (digital, analogue, acoustic or otherwise) have you had the longest and still use? B: the most recent one?

Steve: The Oberheim Xpander-Matrix 12 and the the Oberheim OB8 are the elder analogs. The DSI Prophet 8 and 12 are the recent current synths to join the studio.

The DSI has the deep matrix patching and feels connected to the Oberheim Matrix 12 and Xpander in terms of the intuitive flow, sound exploring options and build quality.

New synths always pass an initial test of my personal needs to get installed in the studio. From there it can still be a few months of working with them to see if they are in for the long run.

Emil Karlsson: Hi Steve, I’m pretty sure I’m one of your fewer younger listeners here, but an avid one all the same. I was just really curious about when you have an idea for a new project, do you do any kind of planning beforehand like many artists/composers? Do you draw out a “map” when you set out, in a figurative sense, or do you simply allow the music and soundworlds to evolve, thus taking on a form of their own in a “spur of the moment” fashion as you work on them in the Timeroom? I hope this isn’t too broad of a question, since it’s really for any of your projects, though if there’s one you’d like to talk about in particular. I’m all ears, and it would be very insightful indeed.

Steve: Great to know you’re listening and curious. Some projects can take months or years to take seed and start to grow, they can live either in the realm of thought before action. Some pieces are created over time that start to reveal a the bigger picture. With Skeleton Keys the desire to create these pure analog-based mandala-like pieces came before the music. As it started to build, it felt like pulling a cord off of a spool, unrolling a connected and highly electrified current. Once you start this kind of connected feeling, the pieces build an energy with a pull that won’t let go.

In this case it was created all live in the studio. Other pieces like Bloodmoon Rising are created in layers and offer the opportunity to listen and work on over time, like a painting on an easel.

This is where the times of day, the magic hour at the end of the day and the light changes in the studio and in the view I have, the deep hours of the night, all inform the process of working on the piece.

Kim Lynn Blackhurst: what is the most favorite piece or composition that you have done and how does it differentiate from your other compositions?

Steve: It’s nearly impossible to choose any one piece. Something like Dreamtime Return has some very deep memories infused into it. Going to Australia as part of the creation of the music, and that time frame over all. There was so much opening up within myself and in the world around this music at that time. Each recording has this kind of imprint of the life I am living at the time infused into the music; even if it’s not something a listener will ever be aware of, it’s there and I can hear it and feel it years later. It might be a subtle awareness that is recalled when I hear the piece or a reconnection to one of those Ah-ha moments.

Johnathan Woodson: Would you ever consider reissuing Structures From Silence on vinyl?

Steve: There is talk of it now with a few people maybe for next year.

Next up on vinyl is NOW, my first release. This will include a unreleased 23 minute-piece from that era. I should have this in November.

Robert Logan: Hi Steve! How did you get such a great sound in the live acoustic percussion recordings on your ‘tribal’ releases – particularly on something like Trance Spirits? (Sorry for such an engineery question . . . But it’s all part of the depths of feeling in the music!)

Steve: The acoustic percussion was recorded in a studio with a collection of great microphones by Jeff Fayman. It was recorded with a few percussionists all locked in together, and that energy is captured in the tracks and processed and enhanced the final tracks and built the pieces on these foundations.

Patrick Van de Ven: Steve, while listening to your more sequencer-approached music, I’ve often wondered if you’ve ever played with/considered odd time-measures like 7/8 or 9/8. A good example of a 9/8 sequence part is in Kit Watkins’ “The Impulse of Flow”.

Steve: I always go with a feeling that sits in the body and mind when carving out these sequencer pieces. I often use different length sequences set against each other. That’s a big part of the beauty of this style of music: the way the patterns interlock and then cycle around and back into phase. I tend to go for a feeling in sequence music that hits a kind of sweet spot, where it grooves and hits you at that body pulse place, so really the groove element is essential in this music for me. There is an infinite calculation of options to what you’re talking about, and we all have a different take on it. Speaking of Kt Watkins, one of my favorite pieces in the style you mention is from his group Happy The Man and the song “Service With A Smile,” great track!

Maarten van Valen: Are there any artists who you would like to collaborate with which would draw you out of your comfort zone?

Steve: I would like to combine my comfort zone with Jon Hassell’s to tell you the truth. I know Jon a bit and was in contact with him back in the late 80′s when he first moved to LA.

Right now I have so many ideas in my own universe I am consumed with, I am mostly focused on my solo work.

I do have a wicked collaboration coming with a young electronic artist based in London. His name is Robert Logan, you can find his music online. We have been working on tracks for a few years along side all the other work. It’s very kinetic and the generational difference is creating a nice melting pot. He is in his 20′s and brings a different perspective on things. At the same the time, he was drawn to a lot of my music both in the deep ambient and pieces like Body Electric, listened to a lot of this in his formative years. He has a brilliant feeling for creating the full range of this music, talented and musically wise beyond his years. 2016 will see the release of our album BioMass.

Thomas Lowther: Not sure if anyone asked this yet. How do you come up with your track titles?

Steve: Sometimes the titles emerge first, and I will live with them for long time before any music is made for that set of words or title. They gather an atmosphere and energy and work like keys to a place that help visualize the music. Other times when the piece comes first, the hours of living with the music will reveal the title or set phrases or words that are born from the essence of the piece. It’s a ongoing mysterious process.

Andy Barbara Dent: Does the desert remain a mainspring of inspiration?

Steve: The desert remains my soul tone zone from which I can return to for recalibration and renewal. At least 3 days a week I venture out into my local outback areas and never take it for granted.

Blair Harrington: Hi, you were the only person I’ve ever listened to that has the ability to to create three dimensional music. I would like to know how you created this. How can you make it sound like you’re playing in a canyon or landscape? Your subtle, very quiet and distant echoes of some of the sounds actually create the landscape around you as you shut your eyes and listen to it.

Steve: Thank you Blair, there is no easy answer as to how this happens. I think the complexities of being human are what defines the soul of an artist. It’s the way of an artist to apply this understanding to the process of creating and pushing the boundaries of one’s self. Indeed I use a lot of modern tools to make this music now; but even 30 years ago — when the tools I used were considered modern and are now vintage — the feeling and desire to make these spaces transcends the technology at hand. In this way I see something that plugs into the wall for power the same as elemental instruments made of wood, clay, stone, or metal; they are all working together to create the expansive, transcendent picture. I am driven to keep reaching for the inexplicable and bring it into form.

Aug 10

Steve Roach Bio (September 2015)

this page is the 2015 bio. click for the January 2018 bio

Steve Roach: music created at the leading edge of now STEVE ROACH BIO

Steve Roach is a leading pioneer in the evolution of ambient/electronic music, shaping it into what it is today. An extremely prolific composer with a discography of over 100 albums since his 1982 debut, his landmark recordings include Structures from Silence and Dreamtime Return. Tireless in his creative focus, Steve has released seven albums in 2015 (so far) including the analog sequencer tour-de-force Skeleton Keys and the ultra reflective Etheric Imprints.

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 Roach’s 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.

Steve’s artistic path is filled with new discoveries, both nuanced and dramatic. He brings to the table years of dedication and experience exploring sound via hands-on synthesis. With the sense of an artist working in three dimensional space, Steve’s skill set creates albums that breathe power, passion and vital life energy.

The most recent release – Etheric Imprints – contains mesmerizing soundworlds from the sensual realms of electronic/ambient sonic creation; it’s a plunge into the deep end of introspective music. On analog synth masterwork Skeleton Keys, Steve connects to the European EM masters at the roots of his electronic heritage while simultaneously mapping the soundworld of today’s contemporary technology-based music. The result is warm and engaging retro-futurism, a continuing evolution upon the musical structures Steve has unlocked in the restless pursuit of his soundquest.

“To fully enjoy Steve’s music the listener must be curious – not just with how it was made, or by whom, but with what happens when we allow ourselves to momentarily disappear into it.” – Chuck Van Zyl, The Gatherings

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 make 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.

A video profile created by Chuck Van Zyl of the Gatherings:

Steve Roach’s first East Coast performance in 8 years – Sept 12, 2015

Live-related text removed from the Bio

Steve Roach live in concert with opener Jeffrey Koepper on Saturday, September 12, 2015 at 8:00PM (doors open at 7:30PM). In the church sanctuary of St. Mary’s Hamilton Village at 3916 Locust Walk (just east of 40th & Locust) on the Penn campus in West Philadelphia. Limited admission! $30 cash at the door night of show. $10 for full-time students with proper ID (limited availability at the door). Advance tickets through Ticketweb. The Gatherings website.

Steve Roach live is presented by The Gatherings Concert Series, an all-volunteer, non-profit organization producing innovative music performances in Philadelphia since 1992. Learn more at The Gatherings website.

This Philadelphia show coincides with the release of Steve’s limited 4-CD set, Bloodmoon Rising. An atmospheric release with four ‘nights’ created for the Bloodmoon Tetrad that concludes September 28.

Small earlier bio:

Steve Roach is a pioneer in the evolution of ambient/electronic music, shaping it into what it is today. The extremely prolific American artist has a discography of over 125 albums. Following his 1982 debut, landmark recordings include Structures from Silence, Dreamtime Return and 2017’s Grammy-nominated Spiral Revelation. Tireless in his creative focus, Roach constantly challenges boundaries in work ranging in style from rhythmic analog sequencer music, pure floating spaces, primordial tribal-ambient and long-form drift ambient. He brings to the table years of dedication and experience exploring sound via hands-on synthesis. With the sense of an artist working in three dimensional space, Steve creates albums that breathe power, passion and vital life energy.

Jul 16

SomaFM streaming radio premiere of Steve Roach’s Etheric Imprints

Friday July 17 @ Noon Pacific / 3pm East Coast

SomaFM streaming radio premiere of Steve’s Etheric Imprints — http://somafm.com/dronezone/

Etheric will not be up for streaming at Spotify, etc, but you’ll be able to hear this mesmerizing introspective electronic / ambient music on THE DRONE ZONE. There’s a chat window that Sam will be participating in, typing in answers from Steve.

See you there!

May 04

Steve Roach: Skeleton Keys (100% analog electronics!)

from Sam Rosenthal…

Steve Roach: Skeleton Keys

Experience the beauty of 100% pure analog modular sequencer-based music.

There’s a worldwide analog modular synthesizer-based music resurgence in full swing. Pioneering electronic musician Steve Roach taps into the zeitgeist on Skeleton Keys, a 74-minute album recorded using Synthesizers.com’s large format analog modular synthesizer/sequencer-based system. These are eight emotional and mind-expanding spiraling mandalas-of-sound made from interwoven tapestries of melody, rhythm, tone and musical space. The result is warm and engaging retro-futurism, a continuing evolution upon the musical structures Steve has unlocked in the restless pursuit of his soundquest. Read the full bio here.

Available Tuesday May 4 at iTunes, Amazon MP3, etc. CD in record stores and at Amazon: Tuesday May 26

other purchase options: 3-pack Skeleton Key CD with the Vinyl edition & Skeleton Collection companion CD 2-pack Skeleton Key CD with the Skeleton Collectioncompanion CD

Skeleton Keys is Echoes Radio’s May album of the Month! “A lot of artists are going in (the analog electronic) direction these days, but few have the mastery and control that Steve Roach reveals.” – John Dilberto / Echoes Radio review

Recent electronic albums from Projekt Records:

As Lonely As Dave Bowman: Monolith CD at Kickstarter. Preorder. Limited edition of 300, including the extremely limited plexibox edition. Free download for everyone.

Erik Wøllo: Blue Radiance CD at Projekt Download at Bandcamp 24/96k at Spotted Peccary

Dirk Serries:Disorientation Flow CD at Projekt Download at Bandcamp Limited edition of 300

Stratosphere: Aftermath CD at Projekt Download at Bandcamp Limited edition of 300