Steve Roach: Mystic Chords & Sacred Spaces (4-CD complete edition – No hard Box)

$46.00 $25.00

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This is The Complete Edition | The full four disc set

Two, 2-CD digipaks. Part 1 and Part 2 at a special combination price.

Because of the size and weight of this item, it cannot be shipped First Class. If ordering in the U.S., please chose Priority mail during Checkout.

Mystic Chords & Sacred Spaces
by John Diliberto, Echoes
June 2003
After dark descents into the abyss on The Magnificent Void and Midnight Moon, Steve Roach lightens up the textures a bit on Mystic Chords & Sacred Spaces . The mood harkens back to his influential 1984 release, Structures From Silence, but the atmospheres are more textured and layered while melody is virtually non-existent. And while Structures had a slow motion pulse, Mystic Chords hangs rhythm free. It floats in a space of richly detailed, but minutely shifting sound constructs that owe more to Gyorgy Ligeti and Mark Rothko than early Roach touchstones like Klaus Schulze and Salvador Dali. Roach is creating a free fall through space, less rooted in the pulsing techno-tribal sound of his 1990s music, and more ecstatic in its evocations of something beyond. He carries you to groaning turgid depths, then lifts you as electric guitar glides and synthesizers gurgle, shudder, and swell in an Aurora Borealis of sound.

“Abandoning all conventional notions of music as melody, harmony and rhythm, Mystic Chords & Sacred Spaces allows the listener blissful hours on the high frontier between deep listening music and the spirituality of pure sound.” – Stephen Hill, Hearts of Space Radio

Moving into the majestic realm of pure, non-rhythmic electro-acoustic soundworlds, Mystic Chords & Sacred Spaces is a stunning 4-CD release marking a new milestone in Roach’s history as a true artist of sound. His landmark statements – including Dreamtime Return, Magnificent Void and Structures from Silence – are all parts of the uninterrupted flow building to this release. After a recent run of rhythmically fused CDs, Roach moves into awe-inspiring sonic immersion, delving into a spiritual dimension of sound. Nearly 5 years in the making, this release offers a listening experience beyond entertainment and pop culture appeals, creating a new sense of ‘ambient orchestration’ through a constantly shifting flow of sounds and textures that enters a sacred realm of music.

Disc 1: Mystic Chords & Sacred Spaces   … The sacred and divine aspects of sound are the heart and soul of these five innerconnected pieces.
Disc 2: Labyrinth … The path through the labyrinth is one of choices and consequences. These nine soundworlds were drawn from the metaphor of the labyrinth and the passing from one ring to the next, reaching the center.
Disc 3: Recent Future … Time, memory, reflection, future dreamings and the places in between are the broth of life from which these pieces are poured.
Disc 4: Piece of Infinity … It’s always there, this piece of infinity. A single longform space.

Additional information

Weight .6 lbs
Label

Projekt

Release Year

2003

Format

4-CD

Reviews

  1. reviews editor

    Mystic Chords & Sacred Spaces
    by Jim Brenholts
    June 2003

    Steve Roach has never been one to rest on his laurels. After releasing a stunning trilogy (totaling four CD’s) to commemorate the tenth release on his own Timeroom Editions label, he has stunned the e-music community again. He has released a four disc set, MYSTIC CHORDS & SACRED SPACES. Each disc has its own sonic and thematic integrity and each takes steps to — with apologies to Aldous Huxley — A Brave New World.
    Disc one is “Mystic Chords & Sacred Spaces”. Steve does not fool around, as this disc goes straight to the heart of the matter. The obvious juxtapositions actually make sense. The dark strokes of the “ambient paintbrush” create bold and vivid sonic Technicolor. The music, while subtle in its ambient and minimalist natures, is anything but subtle. It transports casual listeners to cavernous bio-sonic catacombs. Deep listeners will venture with Steve as he goes to plateaus at the highest realms and the deepest miasmas. The travelers gather knowledge. Knowledge is good. Goodness is truth. Truth answers all questions.

    Disc two, “Labyrinth”, is — as the name implies — suitable for losing the listener. Steve has gathered a series of dark organic atmospheres to intensify the mysteries surrounding this shamanic ritual. The mystic chords have strong overtones and psychoactive properties. There will be no casual listening; it is, quite simply, not an option! Deep listeners will follow the progression of the trance as Steve delves deeper and higher — further — into his own psyche. These atmospheres and soundworlds are so unique that they are reminiscent of everything. The journey continues to begin. Each note is a fresh start. Every atmosphere is a new experience. The journey begins again… and it is half over.

    “Recent Future”, disc three, will not buy into the pessimistic concept of “half over”. Rather, listeners are half fulfilled. This disc continues the continuation and the continuity. This is interrelated to everything. The absolute appeal of this magnificent and elegant soundscape is numbing. Listeners must become part of the fold. The soundscape is an intoxicant. Meditators will question nothing and succumb to the will of the spirit. The brilliance of this sound design is that it seems to have no design. The simplicity is intricate. The intricacy is simple. Is it a chicken or an egg? It is both. It is neither.

    “Piece of Infinity” is a classic Steve Roach-ian long-form composition. This is 74 minutes of electronic minimalism as only he can do it. There are the beginnings of some ends and the ends of some beginnings as he starts to come down from the mountain. The languid structure takes listeners on a gentle and gradual surrender. The surrender is to the inner workings of their own inner psyches. It is in the surrender to the self that one finds the true self. Truth answers all questions.

    This set is absolute classic Steve Roach. The emotional and spiritual experiences continue to cascade as each atmosphere unfolds into a new soundworld. The entire set — almost five hours of brilliance — takes on existential and Zen personae. It questions everything and validates nothing. It questions nothing and validates everything.

  2. reviews editor

    Mystic Chords & Sacred Spaces
    by Matt Howarth, Sonic Curiosity
    August 2003

    CD 1: Mystic Chords & Sacred Spaces

    Tenuous textures swim into view, approaching with stately grace from a distant horizon to hang overhead like an imaginary fog. This sonic mist undulates with utmost eloquence, unhurried yet shrewdly resolute. Atmospheric substance amasses with sneaky growth, densifying the cloud and seasoning the air with reverent passion. A sense of paranormal energy permeates these soundscapes, hinting that shamen are at work in their ancient caverns, weaving spells that will touch all humanity while remaining consciously undetectable by the Earth’s population. Placid and serene, the minimal harmonies become a ghostly sonic influence that fuses with any environment, pacifying the surroundings and all who dwell within reach. Luscious electronic tones amalgamate with themselves, roiling with tranquil stamina to produce passages of elongated stability. The soundscapes are tantalizingly intangible, comparable to the state of being that exists between drowsiness and deep slumber.

    There seems no end or beginning to this music, as if infinity has wrapped itself around the audience, immersing the world in a protective formula of amity.

    CD 2: Labyrinth

    Roach’s electronic ambience is assisted on one track on this disc by the guitar effects of Filtered Sun.

    The music on this disc approximates a subterranean voyage that ends up delving into the human psyche. At the onset, the audience is conveyed by remote “wrens and ravens” through a pleasant ballet of intermingling electronic tones to reach the underground portal. A passage of mounting anticipation ushers the listener from this tenuous “other world” into the languid awe of a “wonderworld” where the electronic textures adopt an air of fruitful potentials. Crossing a brief “threshold” of wispy consistency, the sonic voyagers are attributed a digital “dream body” that converts all stress and worries into a placid stretch of sighing clouds devoted to sedation. Properly prepared for the rest of the cerebral descent, the audience “slowly dissolves”, becoming one with a harmonic tableau of infinite reach. Passing through a celestial “womb of night”, you find yourself riding the ambient majesty of a transmogrifying “soulwave” of glistening viscosity that cleanses the mind of all earthly concerns, rendering the audience “wordless” with a soundscape of whirling tonal filigrees. At the cumlination of this sonic labyrinth, the listener emerges saturated with a “nameless” quality that imbues serenity and total awareness (inward and external) that is embellished by the aforementioned astral guitar, which acts like a dose of filtered sunlight waking the dreamer.

    CD 3: Recent Future

    Here, Roach is aided by “organic sample food” provided by Vidna Obmana on the opening track.

    Roach’s even-tempered soundscape receives a rustling enhancement sourced from environmental samples, before sliding into yet deeper terrain consisting of nebulous cloudbanks of tranquil sonority. This dignified resonance transmutes the overall mood into ambient light, affording glimpses of prescience according to the depth of mesmerization achieved by the listener during this music. While the individual tracks flow seamlessly into each other, each composition delivers its own imaginary vision, as the thematic atmospherics are flavored by sublte treatments that infuse the drones with different characteristics. These variations are extremely faint but nonetheless suggestive, evoking fugitive memories buried deep in the audience’s cognition and releasing such tenuous recollections for fresh scrutiny.

    CD 4: Piece of Infinity

    All the sounds on this disc are generated and manipulated by Roach alone.

    This disc features a single track, during which Roach explores the basic theme with greater minimalism and exacting subtlty. The soundscape emerges softly, rising gradually from silence to quasi-silence. The gentle electronic texture enters like a mellow breeze, wafting from near inaudibility to a hint of a whisper. This steady pulsation takes considerable time to accrete some substance, and even then the intonation remains stable and seemingly untouched by enhancement. Resolutely loyal to the track’s title, the ambience stretches its sparse harmonics into infinity, as if simulating the background hum of the universe itself. Upon close examination, the variations become faintly evident: the hum adopts a soothing gurgle, wavering slightly to generate the illusion of a gentle wave rippling across the fabric of time. By the time the composition nears its conclusion, the sonic rendition has actually altered greatly, but those changes were accomplished so gradually as to be humanly undetectable.

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