Steve Roach: Future Flows (CD)

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Tracks

1 An Omnipresent Sense Prevails | MP3 Clip
2 Spectrum Of Change
3 Air Meditation
4 The Texture of Remembering
5 Rapt In Night
6 Heart of Light
7 The Future Flows From Here | MP3 Clip
8 Regeneration Revelation

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The evolving, inexplicable nature of Steve Roach’s musical soundworld is fully realized on his textural electronic/ambient release, Future Flows. Within the eight tracks on this seventy-minute album, a renewing, contemplative mood emerges by way of the shifting interconnected sonic forms that emerge from a constant source somewhere in the near future.

Artists and athletes arrive in ‘flow states’ via immersion in the present moment. It is an immediate occurrence where preparation meets a willful surrender to everything in the now. The combination of a singular focus and a relaxed, centered presence is a merging of action and awareness nourished through years of immersion in the creative zone.

“He’s completely defined the genre of ‘drone zone’ electronic music.” — John Diliberto, Echoes Radio

Working in Arizona in his Timeroom Studio, Roach approaches the creative impulse by connecting to the flow within the studio environment and recording these moments as they occur. Future Flows is created from a palette of hand-crafted timbres and techniques that are unique within his world of shapeshifting auralscapes. Enveloping the listener in his signature sound cocoon, these tracks stimulate a sense of complex emotional resonance with a radiant, organic quality. On each listen, there’s a renewed sense of immediacy, as if something living and generative exists within the music.

“For over three decades and with nearly 100 releases to his name, composer Steve Roach has been an influential voice in the world of ambient electronic music. Whether you listen to his solo projects or his numerous collaborations, it’s easy to recognize Roach’s signature sound.” — Gino Robair, Mix Magazine

As with related works Mystic Chords and Sacred Spaces, Magnificent Void and Back to Life, there is an evolving – almost symphonic – quality to Future Flows. Engaging, capativating and calming, thought-provoking and serene, the sheets of sound breathe and recede with meditative silence placed on equal ground with the music. Future Flows creates an expansive yet elegant balance point, placing the listener immediately and definitively within the flow.

Release date: 4-23-2013

Weight .3 lbs
Label

PROJEKT

Release Year

2013

Format

CD in digipak

Reviews

  1. Reviews Editor

    From Synth & Sequences

    “The beauty of Future Flows lies in this fusion of the taciturn ambient works and those more dreamlike, more melodious from Steve Roach”

    It has been a long time since I that had my rendezvous with Steve Roach. Even if the shaman synthesist from Arizona multiplies the works which have all some similar structures, it remains in each of them a unique musical soul which differentiates Steve Roach from the other makers of ambient structures. The second opus of a trilogy to be ended which began by Soul Tones in the winter of 2012; Future Flows drags us into an experimental sound universe where Steve Roach manipulates the sounds by sculpturing them as a cabinet maker works the wood. The purpose aimed by Roach is to insufflate his music a spectral aura which will float in our ears as the ghosts of the desert nomads are enriching its legends.

    And his breaths of synth are always so warm. So welcoming, like friendly breezes which call us back to our inner feelings. On “An Omnipresent Sense Prevails”, they caress our ears with spectral harmonies that we perceive in the translucent whispers which float with a shaded lightness. There are linear movements and others more swaying in some synth layers which float of their long musical wings, swirling lazily above our perceptions. Making it, two sound entities are in confrontation; a calm one which blows like blinkered winds on a horizon darkened by its spectres and the other one more musical which floats such as seraphic rustles. But the one as in the other one, we are in the den of the Immersion series but with more incandescence. In fact, forget this and let’s rather talk about Structures from Silence, because “Spectrum of Changes” is a harbor of serenity with its pile of synth strata, as soft as musical, which float between two ears which cannot refrain from making a link with this monument of chloroformed atmospheres that is Structures from Silence. Surfing on the harmonious vestiges of “Spectrum of Change”, “Air Meditation” lands in our ears in a symphony of tight weaved spectral breaths which hum some air and float on breaths which became iridescent. The first crackling of an appearance of rhythm breaks out with an astral sweetness on the introduction of “The Texture of Remembering”. The shape is of electronic chirpings which sparkle in loops on the waves of a synth always very introspective. This marriage of harmonies and atmospheres to the paradoxes of the serenity brings some fine eruptions in the background which thunder dully throughout this concerto for snuffly locusts. And winds take back a little more vigour, concealing the singings of love from the electronic tiny creatures and concluding the 1st part of Future Flows.

    As much soothing as “Spectrum of Changes”, “Rapt in Night” stays the up at our sleep with the correctness of the god Morpheus while that, more aggressive, “Heart of Light” tears up the silence of its luminous oblong strata which float with so much acuteness as heaviness. “The Future Flows from Here” demonstrates all of Steve Roach’s magnificence to sculpture melodious shadows from the nothingness. There is a strange organic life which sparkles and pounds behind these morphic synth layers which waltz with space, embracing our dreams and making them float in vapors of ether. Some will recognize The Magnificent Void‘s airs while I hear the ghosts of Back to Life to roam in this wonderful anesthetic duel which quietly derives towards the serenity of souls regretted, to sacrifice itself in the hearth of very morphic and quiet “Regeneration Revelation”.

    The beauty of Future Flows lies in this fusion of the taciturn ambient works and those more dreamlike, more melodious from Steve Roach. And the result is exhilarating. We may photograph spaces, deserts and nature massively that a photo always emerges to enthral. And this is true year after year, travel after journey. It’s the way of seeing music of Steve Roach. Alone in his vast studio and surrounded by the atmospheres of an immense territory rich in legends and in astral possibilities, the magician of Timeroom shows the relics of a life rich in spiritual treasures. And to avoid the traps of the dead structures that he has put himself so many times into music, the synth man from Arizona disregards of the time, embroider new tones and plays on both reflections of his introspective mirror. An intense monument of ambiences… but it seems to me that I repeat myself! -Sylvain Lupari

  2. Reviews Editor

    From Sonic Immersion

    Future Flows is the second part in a triptych that kicked-off with Soul Tones at the end of 2012. If you´re looking for any significant change in sound or direction, Roach´s Future Flows won’t bring any of that.
    Still, the surge into deep and immersive sound worlds continues and seems what this recording is all about. From the first track on, the long form soundscapes (according Steve’s site they were all created from a palette of hand-crafted timbres and techniques) spread a nice tension through the ebbs and flows going on in the various layered, non-rhythmic textures.

    The outcome offers various symphonic/ethereal flavors, revisiting sonic territory investigated on e.g. Back to Life and the massive Mystic Chords and Sacred Spaces, but also the extensive journey undertaken on the older album Ascension of Shadows with kindred spirit vidnaObmana. This slow-flow mood and at times even meditative music has a nice touch and soft glow, creating an overall contemplative sonic aura for 70 minutes.

    As a side-note, I imagine Future Flows – and other of his recent albums – clearly illustrate Mr. Roach’s full awareness the clock of life is ticking and hitting him (and us) faster and faster as we grow older. -Bert Strolenberg

  3. Reviews Editor

    From Sonic Curiosity

    This CD from 2013 features 71 minutes of soothing electronic ambience. While designated as a series of shorter pieces, the music here flows into one grandiose flow.
    Harmonic streams dominate this tuneage. Vaporous airs are established, softly roiling through the sky, and they continue, seemingly forever. In truth, the texturals gradually undergo changes, altering their resonance with extra-patient velocity. The tones ooze into each other, sneakily manifesting differences that are often too subtle to overtly notice. Secondary flows tend to help obfuscate this evolution, blurring the edges of each harmonic drone and fusing everything together into a shimmering sonic environment.

    Once immersed in this zone, the listener becomes more attuned to the subtle fluctuations going on in the music. A sonic sensitivity is fostered in which one merges with the auralscape, finally becoming acutely aware of each successive change undergone by the flow. One notices how a steady drone blossoms into a twinkling of soft diodes, while auxiliary tones slide into position to embellish the pacific structure. Each changes, previously occurring beyond your concentration, is revealed in all their gentle glories.

    No percussion is present. Indeed, rhythms of any kind are totally absent from this music…unless you count the elongated ebb of sighing electronic textures as some kind of drastically slowed-down beat.

    While the obvious goal of this music is sedation of the audience, inducing a state of extreme relaxation, one suspects that Roach has more in mind here. Could these soundscapes be designed to also coax the listener in particular directions within their heads? With such subliminal guidance, one’s focus might drift ahead in time and find itself contemplating potential futures instead of withdrawing into an eternal now. Or maybe this music has simply induced an overactive imagination in the reviewer; how will it affect you? -Matt Howarth

  4. Reviews Editor

    From Ettore Garzia

    In his iconoclastic thought Stravinsky did not allow to use music for to achieve devious extra-sensory boundaries that should not belong to it….for him, it would have been the worst of evils for the future!!. The statement, now dating a century old, has long been exorcised instead into its opposite, and indeed many musicians today are focused on the healing powers of music and everything seems to tend to a surrealism based on the theory of good balance of the human psyche; the musical experience is incorporated into a unique musical journey, that takes us back in the free fluctuations of the synths that try to heal the holes in our souls. The latest Roach’s Future Flows is a consolidation towards this research as described in the notes “… These tracks to stimulate sense of complex emotional resonance with a radiant, organic quality. On each listen, there’s a renewed sense of immediacy as if something exists within the living and generative music ……. “; Roach follows the deep ambient vein just revived with Soul Tones and Future Flows is a long meditative drone into eight parts of which we admire the usual beauty in the approach of the sound material (if we take into consideration the programmatic title of the cd, we could think to accept a wellness aimed at improving the flow of relational), which still has the power to fascinate us in the changes of perspective between “Air Meditation” and “Texture of remembering” (in which we realized the transformation of the impotence into the protagonism) and we must surrender in front of the refinement of the bucolic images of “The future flows from here.” -Ettore Garzia

    Italian: Nel suo iconoclasta pensiero, Stravinsky non permetteva a nessuno di servirsi della musica come mezzo subdolo, utile per cercare confini extra sensoriali che non dovevano appartenere ad essa, sarebbe stato il peggiore dei mali per il suo futuro. Quella constatazione, ormai risalente ad un secolo di vita, è da tempo invece stata esorcizzata nel suo contrario; anzi, oggi se ne intravedono addirittura i suoi poteri “curativi” sull’uomo, tutto sembra tendere ad un surrealismo fondati sulla teoria del buon assetto della psiche umana, con esperienza musicale inglobata in un viaggio musicale unico, che si ripropone in fluttuazioni libere di synths composite di cui cerchiamo le sfumature per sanare i buchi dell’anima. Per Roach il suo ultimo Future Flows è un consolidamento verso questa ricerca così come descritto nelle note “…these tracks stimulate a sense of complex emotional resonance with a radiant, organic quality. On each listen, there’s a renewed sense of immediacy, as if something living and generative exists within the music…….”; seguendo le orme del filone deep ambient appena rinverdito con Soul Tones, Future Flows è un lungo drone meditativo in otto parti di cui ammiriamo la solita bellezza nell’accostamento del materiale sonoro (che se dovessimo tener conto del titolo programmatico del cd ci proietta in un benessere teso al miglioramento dei flussi relazionali), che ha ancora il potere di affascinarci nei cambi di prospettiva tra “Air Meditation” e “Texture of remembering”, in cui si passa dall’impotenza al protagonismo e nella resa a cui dobbiamo sottoporci di fronte al bucolico “The future flows from here”. -Ettore Garzia

  5. Reviews Editor

    From Onda Rock

    L’instancabile maestro dell’ambient music Steve Roach torna con cadenza annuale a rifornire della propria musica il catalogo Projekt. Fissatosi ormai da un paio d’anni a questa parte sulla cifra dei due album solisti all’anno – generalmente uno per l’etichetta di Sam Rosenthal e uno per la sua Timeroom – collaborazioni e live esclusi, il musicista californiano pare aver fatto coincidere una netta riduzione di prolificità a un aumento deciso della qualità media dei suoi lavori, tanto che i più recenti possono annoverarsi quasi tutti tra i più riusciti della sua carriera.
    Dopo i due gioielli con cui aveva segnato l’inizio di questo 2013 – l’ipnotica collaborazione con il fido Byron Metcalf per Tales From The Ultra Tribe e l’ermetico e notturno “Soul Tones” – Roach sigla in questo nuovo Future Flows una sorta di collage di gran parte delle sue esperienze più incontaminate, in un’operazione che ricorda molto da vicino quanto fatto nel 2007 con “Arc Of Passion”. Ci sono l’ormai immancabile purezza cosmica di The Magnificent Void, il melodismo camaleontico, i droni scorrevoli, le sequenze analogiche di “Sigh Of Ages” e i climi plumbei di dello stesso Soul Tones.

    Il risultato è un album che finisce per autocitarsi più del solito, senza per questo far mancare l’ormai usuale, elevatissima qualità. Il sogno cosmico dell’iniziale “An Omnipresent Sense Prevails” e l’oscuro affresco spaziale di “Rapt In Night” non fanno dunque mancare più d’un inchino ai conterranei Michael Stearns e Michael Amerlan, segnando l’ennesima intersezione fra loro fondamentali linguaggi sonori. L’atarassia sovrana in “Spectrum Of Change” e il candore livido di “Heart Of Light” toccano invece territori di stampo più squisitamente drone, pronti ad assumere connotati più colorati fra i richiami sussurrati di “Air Meditation” e le sentinelle in coro della conclusiva “Regeneration Revelation”. A completare il quadro i due lunghi tappeti di saliscendi analogici di “The Texture Of Remembering” e, soprattutto, “The Future Flows From Here”, che cercano con nostalgia i tempi del mai abbastanza considerato World’s Edge.

    Future Flows è probabilmente il disco più interlocutorio e variegato dello Steve Roach degli ultimi anni, ma non per questo un lavoro che smentisca lo stato di forma smagliante che sembra averlo pervaso negli ultimi cinque anni. Inanellando l’ennesimo episodio positivo – anche se questa volta non così vicino all’eccellenza – il californiano aggiunge l’ennesimo tassello alla sua immagine di dominatore incontrastato dell’ambient music. Un trono che si fa ogni disco più alto e più difficile, per chiunque, anche solo da avvicinare. -Matteo Meda

  6. richard.gurtler@hotmail.com

    Long time on the waiting list in my reviewing schedule, now finally the right time has come. Released one year ago on Projekt, at the end of April, 2013, just few days before the legendary Ambicon 2013 gathering. The cover images feature breathtaking stone balance art by Michael Grab, known as Gravity Glue. Exciting visual beginning, so let’s initiate the auralscaping part…

    The journey reveals very silently with “An Omnipresent Sense Prevails”, an 11-minute composition, but it takes only about minute and the free-floating drift spirals toweringly into grandiosely expansive panoramas, gracefully gliding and undulating with magmatic immenseness. These amorphously embracing and essentially contemplative soundwalls are holding an undeniable signature of the master. “Spectrum Of Change” safely dwells in the terrains of sheer atmospheric beauty, slightly less denser and more minimal on the first exploration, although multi-dimensional billows continuously emanate and then fade out into vaporously permeating stillness. “Air Meditation” paints infectiously mesmerizing circles guarded above by voice-like drone blankets. Rather shorter piece, but hauntingly mindscaping and precisely interacting with its title. “The Texture Of Remembering”, which gets over 11 minutes, enters straightly into more aerial realms, warmly meandering through profoundly stimulating elevations and meticulously coalesced with assortment of cybernetic sparkles. What a journey!!! Make sure you have your headphones with you, immersion extraordinaire awaits here!!! “Rapt In Night” immediately dives into abyssal drone heaven, quite short, but utterly monolithic and expansive. This track masterfully captures all the essence of the nocturnal serenity!!! “Heart Of Light”, another brief piece, keeps on the path of warmly traversing and deeply evocative sceneries, which are this time merged with piercing swirls. Magnificently immense!!! 17-minute epic “The Future Flows From Here” briskly spreads with floating, ebbing and twisting massive and intense layers of washes, while gently shimmering sequences excel on distant back. The transition in the middle of the track is absolutely embracing and shifts the whole composition into pure atmospheric splendor. A truly jaw-dropping!!! Certainly a creme de la creme of the whole album and another magnum opus since Hall of Fame compositions such as “Where Rasa Lives” or “Today”. Bravo, Maestro!!! “Regeneration Revelation” closes this wonderful, 71 minutes long ride with ultra colossal dronescape, enriched with various, well-concealed rewards and cruising with intensely absorbing amorphousness and eternal grace that can only be Steve Roach. Wow, absolutely thrilling!!!

    Sure, “Future Flows” album won’t hit you sharply in your face, on the contrary, this is one of the recordings that will grow on the listener with each new listening session. It requires your deeply focused intention to every detail, but then amazing soundsculptings with constantly increasing potency unfold in front of you. No wonder Steve’s visionary sonic meditations are impeccably displayed by Michael’s stone balance artistry. Are you ready for this highly sophisticated and powerfully emotional journey? The future flows to you…

    Richard Gürtler (Apr 20, 2014, Bratislava, Slovakia)

  7. Reviews Editor

    From Spirituality & Health

    Time seems to slow down when you’re listening to Steve Roach’s new album, Future Flows. These 70 minutes of expansive, cascading soundscapes were created by Roach, known for one-of-a-kind multilayered synthesized timbres and textures, at the Timeroom, his personal recording studio in southern Arizona.

    The opening track, “An Omnipresent Sense Prevails,” evokes the sensation of floating in space, or dreamily drifting in the warm salty water of an isolation tank. “Air Meditation” continues the dreamscape with suspended sounds, reminiscent of Tibetan bells, that ripple to the horizon. “The Future Flows from Here” is the final track, a celebration of the eternal present moment.

    Roach taught himself to play synthesizers, and his first album, Now was released in 1982. Since then, he’s produced an extensive body of work with recordings that range from ambient and atmospheric to meditative and tribal. Many of his recordings incorporate drumming, but Future Flows is suspended in time partly because the beat is undefined.

    Roach has collaborated with many innovative musicians over the years, including Mexico’s Jorge Reyes as well as the guitarist Robert Fripp and the drummer Jeffrey Fayman. Roach is also known for his evocative live shows that fill spaces like San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral with waves of timeless sound. -John Malkin

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