Steve Roach: AS IT IS (CD)

$14.00

Product Description

1. What Falls Away 11:16
2. Threshold Meditation 13:07
3. Unreachable 17:24
4. Equanimity 11:56
5. Tears for Time 06:15
6. Emerging 13:25
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Information in English here. Click to order CD.


AS IT IS is a revelatory experience of mystical, captivating electronic music. It travels the soul’s pathway of renewal following the dramatic year we’ve just emerged from. Filled with texture and subtle nuance, this is a spacious album of organic analog electronic music with a breath and heartbeat — a simmering, churning, moving appointment with reality.


The album maps a hero’s journey, taking the immersed, active listener out of consensus reality through deeply secluded personal spaces, suspended soundworlds, through tears to eventually emerge revitalized.


“It’s an emotional, psychological, spiritual triad,” Steve describes, “a deep engagement exploring the psychology of sound: expanded consciousness creating meaning out of sonic abstraction.”


The album’s theme begins with the desire to look at life AS IT IS. The world is rugged and beautiful; no matter what has fallen away over the last year, something true and powerful underneath has been revealed. Stripping away overlays of perception, intention and old patterns allows us to possess reality in its purest form.


Continuing deeper, the album’s thematic flow looks at what becomes of us after we’ve stripped away the familiar. Where does your psyche go? How do you work with what remains after much that you relied on as reality falls away?


Steve comments, “I embraced that place and space over the last year. It’s where this music grew from: sitting comfortably and uncomfortably in the realm of what has fallen away.”

What Falls Away • Threshold Meditation • Unreachable • Equanimity • Tears for Time • Emerging

The song titles tell of a journey, a journey for this time we’re all currently living through.


It asks what falls away when habits are forced to change, when we lose routines and the security we’ve taken for granted. This leads to a threshold meditation; at the beginning of something new we are asked if we can remain at the threshold of the unformed? Can we be present with this place that’s unreachable at the border of what was the old and what is to be the new? In this unreachable, unformed place we imagine we ourselves might be unreachable, or perhaps the next vision is unreachable. Getting through that brings us to a place of equanimity where we become present to life at any given moment AS IT IS. Present with all the different feelings that come up and all the different psychological and spiritual states one goes into. And when it’s possible to be present with that sense of equanimity, there’s a feeling that underlying all of the things we took for granted is a supportive nourishing place accessible via that state of equanimity. It’s a hero’s journey to even get there; and after we’re there part of the equanimity experience is realizing what was lost, as we shed tears for time. Tears of sadness for what has changed that will never be the same again. From that comes the emerging into something greater than what we could have known or encountered without having gone through this challenging transformation.


“That unreachable place,” Steve reflects, “is something you hear within my music. I’m reaching towards something I’m never fully grasping, and in that state of not-fully-grasping-it there’s a recognition of knowing it AS IT IS. Perhaps it doesn’t need to be grasped, it can be unreachable, it can remain suspended. It can remain in mystery, it can remain shrouded just on the other side. That’s what pulls me forward as an artist and keeps me driving towards wanting to feel that wholeness even in its fleeting moments. It’s something one has to nourish and stay connected to because of its changing and evolving nature every day. It’s a daily meditation at that threshold, asking ‘How is today unique? What is unique in this moment? How can I respond to this? What is the thing that’s going to make today unique and empowered through this language of sound and music?’”


“From the years of feedback from my audience, it’s clear they immerse themselves in this psychological spiritual state within my music. A feeling supports one into deeper places within. These soundworlds offer nourishment and renewal along with a greater, more expansive state; at the same time I continue to discover a deeply cultivated connection to a core awareness. Over time the music helps to build energy and relationship through the self with a confluence of sound and melody and harmony and dissonance and consonance and texture — creating the space to fully embrace all that life is at this point. That is what I’m striving to deliver on this album: the AS IT IS state of awareness.”


AS IT IS places the listener in the center of life’s mystery, awe, excitement, pathos, sadness, longing, and power. It delves into joy, ecstasy, solace, peace, and triumph. True art offers honest transformational emotional engagement. AS IT IS takes a bold step deeper into the time — and space — altering realms Steve has pioneered over all these many decades.

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Reviews

  1. padmin

    From Synth & Sequences

    Steve Roach has just got back from his SoundQuest Fest 2021 that he drops in my mailbox a brand-new album that takes a big leap in time, backwards. AS IT IS breathes the scented ambiences of light tribal rhythms of the years when he was nomadic in Australia like in the American deserts. Very beautiful albums came out of this period. Although almost 40 years separate these eras, music still lives as a tonal flower in these territories. These are the flowers that Steve has chosen as a potion for music that has frozen in time. Borrowing spells heard in A Soul Ascends, AS IT IS is neither more nor less a reflection of us discovering the new musical lands of Steve Roach around 88 and 89…

    An oblong line of reverberations meander elements as much celestial as cosmic and even oceanographic in the intriguing opening of What Falls Away. Sweeping an arid land with these reverberations from which wind waves have escaped, this introduction to this new Steve Roach album resembles of his travels in Australia or his deep connections with the land of his ancestors in the Dreamtime Return to Desert Solitaire period. The winds range from singing to resonant with organic breezes, much like the last breaths trapped in a didgeridoo. It’s calm and still mysterious. Like the introduction of Threshold Meditation and its mixture of winds, breaths imprisoned here in abandoned vuvuzelas, astral waves and synth lines with prismatic scents. A nice texture of organic ambiences with percussions drummed slowly, so as to graft poetry in a title where surrealist external elements, like those breaths of a boat a time ago on the Mississippi blew, share its slow passage whose percussions flow would suit to a collective spiritual trance. The form is blurred with a spectral vision which withers at the same time as the rhythm. We stay in the realm of pensive, floating shadows with Unreachable. The synth pads soaring like an eagle without body or legs drift in an ocher-colored night. Pensive piano notes drained of melodies, as well as other undefined chords, are scattered in a zone of ambiences without vitality. Synth lines move like long sleepy snakes that pound themselves on them or curl up in a cave where the rays come from the echoes of ringing lost in an unapproachable area of ​​Unreachable.

    Even in a deep lethargic state, the first 4 minutes of Equanimity hides beautiful synth lines filled with an emotion felt on edge. The title then reaches a phase of soft ambient rhythm provided with good drummed tribal percussions; a bit like in What Falls Away. The synth and the shadow of its waves are like these wings describing large arabesques with touching points of emotionality which have turned the hairs of my shivers upside down. We can see the roots of them now. What a sublime title where there is no lost second! Tears for Time is designed around synth layers accumulating excess numbers in order to weave an opaque ambient texture which gives the impression of constantly drifting. Between these layers hide threads which stand out with a more accentuated moaning hue. But that’s about all. It’s a long, sleepy track. With Equanimity, Emerging form the pair of musical pearls in AS IT IS. Its movement is blown from below to create a perfect papal ambience in a cathedral illuminated by the thousand fires of angels who have become stars. The ears, like my listening room, invaded by these masses which merge, creating eddies from which emerge string instrument notes, to recreate themselves from a simple derivation. Piano or harp, these sometimes faded and sometimes radiant notes dance through the dunes of fog which form balls of dreams only waiting for my closed eyes to inject themselves into them. But there are more intense moments that bring me back to musical memories of other nights when my eyes refused to sleep. These moments which left with a final all of breezes hanging in the void lead me to this eternal reflection; how many lives does Steve Roach have?

    After a great year in 2020 and the frenzy surrounding his virtual shows, my friend Steve is embracing 2021 with as much creativity as he did last year. AS IT IS is the mirror of A Soul Ascends, with a nice touch of ambient tribal, which is little exploited among the 81 minutes of AS IT IS. In fact, the album is more focused on his divinatory style in order to fix our soul in the realm of our emotions through his. It’s beautiful meditative music, as Steve has accustomed us so well over the ages. But really, how much life does he have? Rating: 4/5 -Sylvain Lupari (April 5th, 2021)

  2. padmin

    From Exposé

    Following last year’s Tomorrow and the powerful Into the Majestic from earlier in 2021, Roach’s latest release As It Is returns the listener to familiar territory with its dreamy mysticism and floating spacious magnificence. With their immersive cosmic beauty and profound subtlety, the six pieces here — most of which merge together seamlessly into a continuum, provide an epic quality that will imbue the listener’s senses with the fundamental life forces that will bring warmth, depth, and an enhanced sense of perception. Most of what’s here bears the motive sensations of subtle, yet constant stirring energies that will gently guide the listener down a path into a magical underworld, where the sounds routinely interact with the mechanisms of life, opening new portals along the way.

    Most of the album’s six pieces are expansive, between eleven and seventeen minutes, with one exception in “Tears for Time” which serves as a shorter interlude between two of the longer pieces, and borne of gentle drifting electronic sounds, not the busy sequences, but the stuff of dreams that float on a pillow of clouds and vapor, with occasional muted percussives, chords overlaying other chords as they drift ambiently along, occasionally punctuated by the color of distant piano sprites and the sound of faint random wood crackles mixing together effortlessly in some swirling cauldron of mystery as in “Unreachable.” One would have to suspect that all of Roach’s sounds here are produced via one of more layers of modular synth as the listener is propelled through the macrocosm. “Equanimity” opens the portal leading the listener back into a more colorful universe where shadows and light mix freely with all the colors from far beyond. Like a spiritual passage through a living dreamworld, the organic sounds of As It Is will cast its spell and soothe the soul as it guides the listener into the endless void. -Peter Thelen

  3. padmin

    From Avant Music News

    On As It Is, Roach employs his usual layered and shifting synth chords across six tracks, most in the 10-15 minute range. These pieces include a hint of the cosmic, perhaps a soundtrack for looking up at the night sky. Where things really get going, at least to these ears, is on the fourth track, Equanimity. Roach uses tribal percussion, though in a more subdued fashion than his early-to-mid-90’s works, to evoke a more earthbound and organic presence. Other pieces feature gentle, echoing piano coupled with synths and slow cracking noises. This is a very cinematic album and is well worth a listen for any fan, long-time or otherwise. As It Is hits the shelves on April 2. -Mike

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