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Steve Roach: Empetus (CD)

$16.00 $14.00

SKU: PRO00218. Category: , , .

Tracks

    Disc One:
  1. Arrival (4:20)
  2. Seeking (5:25)
  3. Conquest (6:09)
  4. Empowerment (3:52)
  5. Twilight Heat (3:15)
  6. Merge (6:23)
  7. Urge (6:23)
  8. Distance is Near (2:40)
  9. The Memory (5:57)
    Disc 2:
  1. Harmonia Mundi (45:00)
  2. Release (24:00)

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The 30th anniversary edition. This electronic classic is back in print, reissued in digipak with original artwork.

This is the 1986 9-track album, on one CD:
1. Arrival 04:25
2. Seeking 05:36
3. Conquest 06:08
4. Empowerment 04:01
5. Twilight Heat 03:15
6. Merge 06:24
7. Urge 06:25
8. Distance is Near 02:42
9. The Memory 05:51

Get the digital only bonus tracks, The Early Years for free at Steve Roach’s Bandcamp page. Or get it as part of the deluxe digital download at Projekt’s Bandcamp page


Roach’s 5th solo album features sophisticated, energetic sequencer music, similar to his earlier Now and Traveler, ending with a haunting, melodic piece, “The Memory,” more akin to his floating ambient work of the period. Empetus‘ full blown sequencer-based music illustrating a further evolution in the visceral side of Roach’s music. Nine precise pieces that still sound fresh today. A favorite of sequencer music lovers.


Empetus | This may be the most concise Steve Roach album and came at the end of his sequencer phase, his last flame-out on Berlin school electronics. But he was already taking it somewhere new. Unlike Roach’s usual CD long expanses, these are bite-size compositions that do their job, quickly, efficiently and with every moment counting. Roach leaves you breathless in a maze of synchronized spinning patterns only to pick you up and send you whirling again.”
– John Diliberto (((
echoes )))

Empetus is full blown sequencer-based music illustrating a further evolution in the visceral side of Roach’s music. Nine precise pieces that still sound fresh today. A favorite of sequencer music lovers. Released in 1986, this recording of intricately-woven sequencer lines and buzzing synthesizers established Roach as the American answer to the pioneering European electronic masters of the ’70s (Klaus Schulze, Tangerine Dream). Alternately thrilling and serene (sometimes within the space of the same track), Empetus‘ waves of energy rest upon labyrinthine patterns of interlocking notes and wildly cascading tonal clusters. Roach varies the moods from piece to piece as well: the bright, piercing electronics of ”Seeking” contrast vividly with the starker, sweeping veils of sequenced notes and arcing waves of ”Empowerment” or the turbo-charged synths that rev through ”Conquest”. It’s all riveting, exciting stuff, and although Roach largely abandoned the style as he moved forward, Empetus remains an important, if largely unsung, statement documenting the course of modern American electronic music.” — Darren Bergstein, Muze

“On Empetus, Roach has created a masterpiece, done purely on synths and sequencers… a rhythmic / melodic tour-de-force of solid, totally compulsive synth music.” — Andy Garibaldi, Lotus, England

From The Liner Notes:

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 (2008)

Steve Roach: analog and digital synthesizers, sequencers, digital drums
Weslie Brown: voice on “Conquest” and “Merge”
Michael Stearns: The Beam on “Arrival,” “Conquest” and “Empowerment”

The Early Years – a digital bonus:

The digital only bonus, entitled The Early Years, features two amazing long-form sequencer pieces circa 1982. The first piece, “Harmonia Mundi,” was recorded live in the L.A.-based Timeroom with Swiss-born electronic musician Thomas Ronkin. At 45 minutes, this is one of the more possessed and intense analog sequencer trance pieces you’re likely to hear. “Release” is a 24-minute solo statement of emotion and energy connected to the early years of Steve’s evolution in sound, harkening to Now and Traveler.

Get the digital only bonus tracks, The Early Years for free at Steve Roach’s Bandcamp page. Or get it as part of the deluxe digital download at Projekt’s Bandcamp page


First Projekt CD reissue: 2008
30th anniversary 1-CD digipak edition: January 2017

Weight .4 lbs
Label

Projekt

Release Year

1986, this reissue: 2017

Format

CD in 4-panel Digipak

Reviews

  1. John Diliberto ((( echoes )))

    Review  –:

    “Empetus | This may be the most concise Steve Roach album and came at the end of his sequencer phase, his last flame-out on Berlin school electronics. But he was already taking it somewhere new. Unlike Roach’s usual CD long expanses, these are bite-size compositions that do their job, quickly, efficiently and with every moment counting. Roach leaves you breathless in a maze of synchronized spinning patterns only to pick you up and send you whirling again.”
    – John Diliberto ((( echoes )))

  2. AllMusic.com // Matt Borghi

    Review  –:

    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. – Matt Borghi

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