Steve Roach: Molecules of Motion (CD) (Grammy Nominated!)


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12-7-2018 | Molecules of Motion receives a Grammy Nomination for “Best New Age Album.”

1. Molecules Of Motion 24:21
2. Grace Meditation 23:39
3. Phase Reverie 10:11
4. Empath Current 15:02
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Information in English here. Click to order CD.

Molecules of Motion is a sonic marvel: shimmering, pulsing, moving, emotional and engaging. A tapestry of sequencer-spun patterns floats upon an atmosphere of lush emotive textures alive with a vibrant, life-affirming glow. These four pieces can best be described as meditations upon elegant motion and electro-sensual space.

On his second Grammy-nominated album, Roach calls upon an expansive 35-year legacy at the forefront of electronic music creation. Molecules of Motion is a masterful album with roots in the Berlin School and a foot in the transcendent unknown of the future flowing into now. Roach’s sonic universe merges into a realm that induces a weightless, three-dimensional sensation: a feeling of floating while simultaneously energized and informed from a serene calm center.

His music itself has long transcended the tools with which it is made, while his choice of hardware-only, and mostly analog, instruments is fundamental to the signature sound of Molecules of Motion. It is proof positive of the artist bringing the high and deep together in this touchstone release.

As his creative approach evolves, the categories of classification dissolve. The rich palette of synth textures and intricate layers of lattice-work embraces the senses activating a heightened awareness while evoking an emotional resonance and reverie, a quality unique within all of Roach’s soundworlds.

There’s a Steve Roach article in Psychology Today: 2019 Grammy Nominee Is A Synesthete.

Steve talks about his career and second consecutive Grammy Nomination in Tucson Weekly! and Projekt blog here

Download a free 11×17 poster at . Print it on your color printer, or at a local printshop. And please email a photo of the poster at work, at home, etc, and we’ll post your photos on Steve’s Facebook Page.

Other Steve Roach downloadable posters at this page

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Additional information

Weight .3 lbs



Release Year


CD, 2-Pack (Molecules + Slow Heat)


  1. padmin

    From Musique Machine

    Molecules of Motion, one of Steve Roach’s many recent works, strikes a balance between his more composed, directly melodic Berlin School derived works (such as Skeleton Keys or Emotions Revealed) and the undirected vaporous chordal ether of his space ambient pieces. In this way, it is similar to such albums as Arc of Passion from 2008 and Spiral Meditations from 2013.

    Arpeggios and pads are the central components of the music, a glimmering three dimensional framework of rhythmic, dripping delays and aquatic chorus. Meditative circular melodic patterns modulate in and out of clarity and audibility, the notes typically remaining fixed while the texture undergoes translucent shifting.

    Comprised of four songs ranging from ten to twenty five minutes, this is a slow paced recording. While there is a gentle momentum to the spiralling arpeggiated percolation, it is like drifting lazily down a river, with no expectation of reaching any destination in particular. Just when one is thoroughly lulled into the tonal space, Roach will at times introduce a chord change, but these are often many minutes apart.

    This album is tonally and texturally beautiful (the synth tone is second to none), comfortable and inviting when used for sleeping and intimate moments. While dense enough with sonic layering and detail to warrant active listening, the energy of the music seems to pull the listener gradually into a somnient, unconscious world, each subtle shift tugging the spirit gently further out of body. It has been intuitively calculated to quiet the internal monologue, to awaken an awareness of the dreaming body. It has a sense of unhurried exploration, of smoothly proceeding into a benevolent unknown. The four tracks are not particularly distinguished from one another, in fact seeming to contain the same melodies at many points. As such, this really could have been one of Roach’s many albums to contain a single seventy four minute song.

    The deep azure hue of the packaging, the measured simplicity of the imagery (bubbles and threads of light) are a perfect fit with the music. I am pleased to possess the physical object of this album, which emanates the same understated, balanced beauty as the music.

    As with many of Roach’s albums, I initially found Molecules In Motion pleasant but not particularly memorable within his massive catalogue. Repeated listenings revealed the work’s deeper emotion and sophisticated melodic interrelations. Surely, this is a worthy album from Steve Roach, and some of the most beautiful sounds you could be entranced by, or slowly lulled into sleep by. If one is looking for dramatic crescendos or faster paced movements, they should look to other albums, but this is a spectacular example of his vast somnient cloudform.
    Rating: 5 out of 5 -Josh Landry

  2. padmin

    From Journeyscapes

    On Molecules of Motion, ambient/electronic music veteran Steve Roach once again revisits the electrically dynamic, sequencer-based sound structures of prior albums such as Spiral Revelation and Life Sequence. Comprised of four tracks spanning approximately 74 minutes, Molecules of Motion is a compositionally rhythmic yet entirely drumless aural excursion crafted around seemingly ionic and illuminating currents. The opening title track, “Molecules of Motion”, fades in with fast-spinning sequencers in constant motion that seemingly pierce through a smoky veil like lightening flashing in a cloud. Metamorphosing continuously throughout, the piece effectively induces a trance-like state with its tenebrous timbres and subtly-shifting chord figures.

    Buzzing sequencer patterns ripple outwards on “Grace Meditation” of which seemingly create an electrically-charged environment, while the spaciously liquid-like “Phase Reverie” injects comparatively more sparseness between sequenced notes. The first two-thirds of the final piece, “Empath Current”, is sequencer-driven, while the remaining one-third of the track dissolves these elements into the composition’s serenely beautiful backdrop of spacey tonal fluctuations. Adding another impressive layer to Roach’s extensive and ever-evolving body of work, Molecules of Motion is another fine album in the field of both ambient-space and Berlin School mode of electronic music! ~ Candice Michelle

  3. padmin

    From Sonic Immersion

    “Molecules of Motion” sees Steve Roach venture into thoughtful, rather complex and minimal aural territory through a myriad of Berlin School-infused, carefully unfolding and evolving analogue lengthy pieces which the composer refers to as “meditations upon elegant motion and electro-sensual space”.

    Created on analog modular -big and small- all elements are on the move constantly and change color all the way through vintage sequencing and lush-emotive synth washes. The gentle pulsating, soft cascading outcome comes as four lengthy, dreamy and cosmic pieces (the 10-minute “Phase Reverie” being to most active) spreading a hypnotizing sonic perfume on and off.

    Emotions fly high on the final track “Empath Current”, where lush ambient textures are dressed aptly around the sequencer patterns while heading toward the horizon. This fine recording is even more captivating when cherished through a good pair of headphones. -Bert Strolenberg

  4. padmin

    From The Stranger

    Right now outside my window at The Stranger, jackhammers destroy pavement with brutal insistence. I can hear the mechanical blastbeats even with my headphones on and the volume on my computer turned way up. This situation calls for some motherf*cking ambient music, y’all. And few are better at manifesting sonic calm than Tucson, Arizona’s Steve Roach. The veteran keyboardist/composer’s track record of spacey minimalism is impeccable, and he continues to deliver quality Klaus Schulze-ian mind food with the new Molecules of Motion. “Phase Reverie” is a relatively concise (for Roach) 10-minute piece of tranquil, gaseous tone float and meditative ripples in the cosmic pond of analog-synth circuitry. Creating sublime chillout music seems easy, but in actuality it’s difficult to avoid toppling into anodyne dullness or innocuous cheesiness. Roach has never not kept his sound elegant and elevated. Take that, construction workers. -Dave Segal

  5. padmin

    From Synth & Sequences

    “Year after year it’s the same thing. I keep asking myself if Steve Roach has still something to say outside the ambient music. Molecules of Motion says to me YES!”

    That wizard of sounds! Inexhaustible and simply delicious for the ears, whether in ambient music or animated by sequencers, Steve Roach returns with another album of original music in Molecules of Motion. We read the title and we look at the cover, and already we have a vague idea of its content. But I never thought that the color and the design of the tones would fit to the spirit of its front cover.

    The title-track gradually and slowly breaks the silence with a movement coming from beneath the ground. An immense sonic vertebra emerges and its fluid movement begins to produce a series of magnetizing sinusoidal loops. These loops undulate in a choreography for multi-colored oscillating lines with a panoply of sequences of which some possess organic tones as well as deformed shadows which play constantly on the nuances of this horizontal spiral-shaped rhythm. Unlikely, a kind of melody, ingenious weaver of earworm, gets fixed between our ears, like the effect of a kaleidoscope and its labile loops which come and go tirelessly. The rhythm is nervous in its helix structure. It’s wriggled even at times like a spasmodic dance of scissors whose brief blows hatch the long sequenced vertebra which tirelessly takes back its shape, going so far as to flirt with more floating passages. Synth layers house at the top of this decor slightly influenced by a psybient kind, but a little more edible for timorous ears. These layers are much more present and their forms are more accentuated in “Grace Meditation” which takes the structure of “Molecules of Motion”, but in a slightly more ambient form, even closer to the meditation. The tones of the sequences still shiver with resonant colors and the slowness of the movement allows us to hear the vast sample of sonic distortions which eventually hatches into a fascinating chaotic melody. The echo forges gyratory forms which come and go, suggesting a meditative pause.

    “Phase Reverie” releases an anesthetic phase with a panoply of synth veils which intertwine with different tones, including a totally buzzing, to form the basis of a morphic ballet. The signature of the ambient works of Steve Roach is more apparent here. The sizzling tones live like reclusive sounds, like sonorous hermits who go from home to home in order to find this tonal brotherhood sparkling with brightness in the first two titles of Molecules of Motion. A quiet and very effective title that puts us in the spirit of Structures from Silence. Despite its more hectic pace, we cannot exclude “Empath Current” of the same equation. The sequences sparkle with more vitality, cutting out the moods of continuous leaps and bounces, while the synth pads spread sleepy textures and veils of suave and floating voices. A very beautiful title which concludes an album up to the expectations that we can have with respect to Steve Roach.

    After Skeleton Keys‘s work, I wondered what would be Steve Roach’s next step? Would he still be able, after all these years of creativity, to surprise an audience that simply asked to be reassured by his presence and his works? We must believe that yes since Molecules of Motion is a splendid album from first to last note. This album is teeming with these ambient and semi-ambient rhythms which are the signature of Steve Roach. Except that here the movements of quarrel between this fascinating variety of tones in the arpeggios which sculpt these oscillating discords are simply enjoyable for the ears. As in the tones of Skeleton Keys. So, Steve Roach still has this gift to surprise again. And I still have this feeling of repeating myself when I talk about a new album from the Arizona’s wizard of sounds. Brilliant! Rating: 5 out of 5 -Sylvain Lupari

  6. padmin

    From Exposé

    With such a perfect and descriptive title for the music at hand, Roach’s Molecules of Motion features four long tracks of flowing emotional energy, at once sharing both his Berlin school sequenced roots and his more evolutionary floating ambient style, each occupying several different levels in each of the pieces. Motion is the key, everything is moving at varying speeds and in alternating orbits, shifting and evolving slowly as it goes. The atmospheres behind it all are lush, powerful and lucid, growing and changing at a slower pace than the busy shimmering sequences, but all work together to create a seamless fabric of meditative currents that one can easily get lost within. The colorful and pulsing sequences appear out in front of the slower motions, then conversely hide behind them, occasionally doing a deep dive, changing keys and hues, all making for a magical show of lights, colors, points and fragments all flowing together effortlessly.

    The title track opens, running for almost 25 minutes, though at around the 20 minute mark the busy pulses that led the piece up to that point begin to diminish while a more floating sensibility takes over and paves the way for the seamless transition into “Grace Meditation,” nearly as long as the first but more focused on the slower moving atmospherics that still host a vast universe of complex pulsations but in a differently focused way than the opener, sending the flows of imagination moving in a different direction. As the listener wanders deeper into the bubbling cavernous labyrinth, the depth become more pronounced and the feeling more gently serene, all the parts of the mystical lattice are flowing inward, with a slow and subtle fade to black lasting over several minutes. “Phase Reverie” emerges out of the total darkness in the wake of the previous track, yet another interesting blend of multi-dimensional bubbling sequences cast in a vast ever-changing multi-layered textural fabric of energized warmth and elastic coolness. The closer “Empath Current” is preceeded by another fade-to-black moment, followed perhaps the busiest and most energized sequence patterns of the entire program, though the warm sheets of glowing and colorful warmth are never far away. Overall, Molecules of Motion makes brilliant use of inherent contrasts between fast and slow moving sonic energy that a listener can become completely lost within. -Peter Thelen

  7. Michael Hodgson

    From Prog Archives

    There’s no shortage of recent albums from American modern electronic/ambient icon Steve Roach that offer drifting drones of impossibly subtle touches, but here the atmospheric master offers up one of his spaciest and most urgent works in some time, 2018’s Molecules of Motion. Roach infuses his lulling, meditative synth washes with unceasing yet elegantly implemented rhythmic touches, making it not only one of his most colourful, exciting and actually quite accessible performances of the last couple of years, but one teeming with life and full of all the movement at its core that the album title promises.

    The opening title track `Molecules of Motion’ and `Grace Meditation’ (both running around twenty-four minutes each) set much of a template for the entire disc. Carefully unfolding synth veils float and weave around jangling sequenced patterns, gurgling electronic distortions and seductive enveloping ambient shrouds, with the latter piece being the lightly more coolly soothing of the two. Full of mystery, expansive aural presence and the slightest hints of recurring little melodic touches rising and retreating back and forth, they even surge into brief ringing darker edges and mind-expanding contemplations. `Phase Reverie’ holds graceful and gently lethargic synth caresses to lull the listener into a drowsy dream state, and closer `Empath Current’ dances with ringing sequencer programming over placid ambient pools, achieving a perfect unison of carefully frantic and sparsely laid- back before a ruminative come-down in the final minutes.

    Despite a vast back-catalogue of studio albums, collaborations, live performances and archival releases, it can be extremely daunting for both newcomers and more restrained collectors of Roach to know which works to approach, but Molecules of Motion makes for ideal next choice to look into for many reasons. It’s far removed from his more challenging droning works, the constant rhythmic elements mean it’s full of liveliness and movement, and it even delicately reminds of German Berlin School originator Klaus Schulze’s deep-space atmospheres anchored by driving programming in many spots.

    Molecules of Motion is truly one of the most thrilling and defining works from Roach that can rank among his best releases, from an artist that always puts out intelligent and thoughtful works that have never unashamedly attempted to ever be commercial, and prog-electronic fans are going to find endless things to love about this one. Four and a half stars.

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