the Tribal Ambient Era (Live 1996)
Journey of One is a pinnacle live performance captured during the zenith of Steve Roach’s rich tribal-ambient origins of the mid-1990’s. The music rises from the darkness, an ancient voice chants in serpentine ecstasy only to subside and hover next to silence, soon broken by raging hybrid trance grooves, didgeridoo and mind-altering soundscapes that mesh to form a soundtrack for a future-primal culture. Journey of One is an ascent into the mystical and primordial places Roach first developed on Dreamtime Return, Artifacts, Origins, World’s Edge and his Suspended Memories collaborations. This 2-CD set unfolds like the genesis of this influential sound.
Roach meticulously, passionately utilizes the electro-acoustic nature that is the heart of this sound: earthy ferocity and multi-timbral frequencies drawn out to their fullest. This music shapeshifts between moods, always rushing forward engaging a range of electronic and acoustic tools: analog and digital synths, clay water pots percussion, butterfly cocoons and seed pod shakers, & ocarinas. The didgeridoos’s hoary human-vocal sonic quality and a tumbling avalanche of hand-struck percussion further illustrate the tribalistic canvas.
“Roach conjures up stirring, metaphysical sounds and deeply inventive events from his electro-acoustic arsenal. It’s an exploration of worlds simultaneously ancient, mystic and subconscious: the fourth, fifth, and infinite worlds beyond. These must surely have been the sounds ancient cultures rehearsed while the continental plates shifted below them.” -Muze (about Steve’s mid-90’s releases)
The world of Journey of One is immersed in striking, expansive landscapes and deeply entrenched rhythms permeated throughout by a darker, impending resonance, an exhibition of emerging primordial life teeming below an underbelly of gelatinous rhythms and tumultuous waves of electronics, up through the massive ambience and vast subterranean realms. All of these disparate elements are brought together on the ritual ground that is Journey of One.
Roach has performed and recorded hundreds of live concerts worldwide over the years. The performance preserved as Journey of One proves to be an essential timeless moment. Held in an intimate setting in Sacramento, California in 1996, yet sounding like it was recorded today, this concert is presented exactly as it arose, without edits or treatments in the studio.
“All of my music is audiobiographical in many ways,” Roach reflects. “It comes from life, from higher arcing desires and dreams joined by the events and moments found in the day-to-day experience of being alive. Through it all, Journey of One is a living record of my time on the creative path that started many years ago. These releases are sign posts at points along the way, the journey of one man rapt in sound.”
This release is a stunning testament to the amazing live experience that Roach has developed over the years and a first-hand look at one of the original proponents of the tribal-ambient sound in action.