Steve Roach: Sanctuary of Desire (2CD/ Digital)

Original price was: $21.99.Current price is: $18.00.

SKU: pro00412. Categories: , , ,

Product Description

Disc 1
1. Lucent
2. Departing Raven
3. Night Flower
4. Before I Leave
Disc 2
5. Sanctuary of Desire
6. The Elegance of Motion
7. Integration Being
8. Currents of Desire
9. Before . . . After

Purchase in Europe for fast, inexpensive shipping:

Information in English here. Click to order CD.

Purchase in England for fast, inexpensive shipping:

Click to order CD.

Exposé: "…spins an intense web of subtle shimmering beauty that captures two sides of his immersive craft."

Star’s End: "All Roach is asking of us is to think for ourselves, and take with us his feelings of wonderment out into the world. Through our everyday actions every one of us is making tomorrow. While Sanctuary of Desire is enlivening our listening space, we must imagine what lies ahead – and then forge a future we all can recognize." -Chuck van Zyl

Dave Aftandilian writes at Bandcamp: "Carries the listener on warm, caressing, gently embracing wave-layers of sound to that still place within that represents our higher self, where our creativity and connection to the boundless horizons of existence are nurtured. Beautiful soundtrack for inner contemplation."

Masterfully joining the two worlds that define Steve Roach’s signature styles, the 153-minute 2CD Sanctuary of Desire combines deep ambience and mesmerizing, spiral-like electronic forms in a majestic flow of stately elegance and breathtaking aural drift. Disc one explores a realm of suspended tranquility, sustained reflection and emotional resonance. Disc two soars into the mythic imagination by way of multi-dimensional mandala-like tapestries woven from Steve’s mastery of analog-based synths textures, sequencer, and hovering atmospherics.

Across the nine tracks, Roach manifests a sonic sanctuary that inspires an unfoldment of one’s own desires, perceptions and intentions.

“The album,” Roach muses, “is a cathedral of the future built to hold and nourish the deep spirit of the creative life. It has transcendent yearning, aspiration and integration at its foundation.”

“Disc one is a suspended space of deeper reflection. It’s a place of many layers of meaning and interconnectivity, an environment that welcomes your highest intentions. My sanctuary of desire, on one level, is the studio space that I really love to dwell in and be in. It’s the container from which this music emerges; and too, the sanctuary of desire can be wherever you’re at. Simultaneously, it’s also the consciousness of the heart — of the soul — of the imagination — that you weave and draw from for inspiration. It’s a place that contains your own individual passion to connect with something larger than yourself. Something more timeless than daily concerns; providing protection from the outside world in order to find one’s own source of renewal.”

Steve continues, “There’s this moment of repose that Joan Halifax calls ‘the fertile darkness.’ From this richness, all things can grow from your trust and surrender. Out of that comes the music on the second disc. The internal becomes action, a visionary aspect of dimensional music. As if building structures and tangible incredible forms, massive beautiful cathedrals with dynamic symmetry and balance, all held together with a stirring power. A sense of strength. It’s the desire to mould something from nothing as we go deeper into life. I find it palatable, a living energy form, a living atmosphere that one can tap into. It’s the sanctuary of your deepest desires, incredibly vital and powerful.”

Artist Bio:

As a pioneering cornerstone of ambient-atmospheric-electronic music, internationally-renowned artist Steve Roach has dedicated his life to exploring myriad soundworlds that express a timeless source of inspiration. Capturing peak moments as they occur in his Timeroom studio, he creates a sonic experience that breathes emotion and vital life energy connecting an ever-expanding global audience. Drawing from his 44 years of dedication to the evolution of electronic music, concerts worldwide and a lifelong passion for the hardware instrument-based way of working, Roach places the listener in the center of his sanctuary of desire. He brings us to a summit drawn from his life in the soundcurrent: a timeless ephemeral and empowered space that soothes, inspires and enlightens.

Projekt release: October 20 2023

love it, share it

pinterest google

Additional information

Weight .3 lbs



Release Year


  1. Reviews Editor

    From Prog Censor

    One fact is certain: my little dog Benji loves this double album. The emperor of ambient space music (or vice versa) offers us once again (too many?) long beaches on which to daydream while letting ourselves be caressed by the ebb and flow of sonic waves which die on the shores of our synapses. A first score displays more than 30 minutes as an appetizer. Steve has accustomed us for decades to these enveloping compositions with pulsating spatial sounds of which he has the secret. Lately, however, he had embellished his creations with sequential rhythms worthy of the Berliner Schule even if they were miles away from Schulzian or Froesian compositions. Here we will have to wait for the eponymous title to benefit from it after four minutes. “The Elegance of Motion” continues in the same vein with reminiscences of his wonderful “Emotions revealed”, a great Roachian album if ever there was one. Sparkling arpeggiator in cascades, light echo which gives volume and texture to a vaporous melodic psiturism. The magic works quickly to lead the listener by the hand into a palace of multidimensional mirrors. The sounds quickly become hypnotic. New journey of almost half an hour. Splendor of an Emerald Cathedral. But shortening the trip by around ten minutes would undoubtedly have been beneficial. Alas, Steve, once you start, you can’t stop it. “Integration Being” which follows has the exact consistency of a well-tempered piece. In less than ten minutes, the trip is perfect with its mixed textures that are both ethereal and gently rhythmic. “Currents of Desire” returns to the stars and the album concludes with a stellar soundscape where piano notes play out on synthetic drapes from beyond space (“Before… After”). In the end, this double album would have benefited by pruning the too long tracks and undoubtedly by reducing it to a single disc, even if nothing is bad. It’s just too long. But you can’t dictate your behavior to an artist, you just give an opinion. I can’t better allegorically compare Steve Roach’s constructions to the surf of the sea. And if the ambient puts you off, this is definitely not for you. -Clavius ​​Reticulus

  2. Reviews Editor

    From Synth & Sequences

    “A trip back in time with the presence of mind to change the color of the sounds, to update the effect of the sequences”
    It seems ages since I reviewed a Steve Roach album. And it’s not because the Arizona sound modulator is taking it easy. No, he’s still as prolific as Stephen King can be behind his keyboard. Since the excellent What Remains, our friend Steve has released 2 live albums, Church of the Heavenly Rest – New York City and Alive in the City of Angels 2023. He also produces a monthly studio and/or live album for his Steve Roach Exclusive subscribers. And there are some nice little nuggets in the albums offered on this site. And on the subject of new studio releases, Roach made a purely ambient album at the beginning of the year, Rest of Life. And in between all these releases, the Arizonan musician-synthesist has found the time to make another gem that strikes the right balance between his meditative music territories and those a little more focused on the Pacific School model. Sanctuary of Desire plunges us between the meditative depths of his Immersion series, Structures from Silence and even Quiet Music, and the rhythms of Skeleton Key and earlier sequenced beats albums. A must for fans of the genre! For Steve Roach fans!

    The first CD is one of serenity. And it starts with the very long Lucent, which juxtaposes the colors of its slow, enveloping movements right from the start. The texture is sewn into drones that are both heavy and light. The contrast in tonalities creates a delicious balance between Dark Ambient and the meditative esoteric genre of the first part of Sanctuary of Desire. Steve Roach’s musical waves coalesce into a slow maelstrom where distant misty jets, like discreet threads of absent voices, melt into the mass of slow, humming winged movements of a giant Accipitriformes whose prey is the heaviness of our eyelids. This long, meditative 32-minute river is built on the repetition of layers whose subtle misty sprays are hummed with hues that sometimes whistle delicately in this ocean of suspended waves of sound. At times, I feel certain that the caress of sound that grazes my ears is the equivalent of that of an absent friend living in my memories. Redundant? Hmm…you have to listen carefully before judging, since there’s a slight shift in the color of the timbres, in the range of the layers and in their emotional dimension. As far as I’m concerned, it’s very conducive to relaxation, Roach’s goal, and to sleep. Since the only times I’ve listened to this Lucent without falling asleep were for the purposes of this review. So, how do you describe 69 minutes of meditative and/or anesthetizing music on this first CD without rephrasing the same statements as its music? A difficult task! And it’ll be the same for the minimalist rhythms on CD2. But if it can be, Departing Raven is even slower. The movement spreads its buzzing wings with the majesty of a stork’s flight in hyper-slow motion. The anaesthetizing layers overlap over a distance of 16 minutes, blending the extremes of its anaesthetizing whirrings with synth layers of diaphanous mists. Night Flower is more linear. Its waves undulate with more distance between each, letting that spectral hum texture dragging in a more tenebrous ambient vision. Here again, our friend Steve plays on the nuances in these hummings, which at times whisper like a sibylline incantation. It was here that the nature of the sounds caught my ears, with this blend of human voices melting into the mass of drones. There’s something very esoteric – I’d even say occult – about this fascinating silent prayer. Before I Leave invites us to slowly slide into the rhythmic phases of the second CD, with an ambience woven into the darker. At least, that’s the impression given by the bright echo of the arpeggios. Steve drops them into a harmonic vision that stretches its spell. And they tinkle, they resonate with an incandescent glow in the resonances of those muffled explosions and shadows that float with ululations hummed faintly by a choir of absent voices. Before I Leave is a musical spell whispered by a piano that appears from nowhere, timidly replacing the keyboard, even dancing limply with the latter’s tunes in these drones and misty winds that give a more musical texture to a dark ambient music haunted by a more industrial vision.

    Remember Currents of Compassion that opens What Remains? Well, Steve has drawn on this inexhaustible rhythmic structure to give it more velocity, and tied these loops, which flutter vividly more than they roll endlessly here, to the first 4 structures on CD 2 of Sanctuary of Desire. And we remain fascinated, magnetized for the next 75 minutes, Before …. After is an ambient meditative ode. The title-track opens with guttural breaths, translucent filaments and drones that swirl into a slow mass of sound that waltzes over a distance of 3 minutes. Sounds sounding like breathlessness and/or quavering make up the rhythmic barrier that rises to counter this tenebrous introduction. This backbone will be the cornerstone of the rhythms on the second CD. The rhythm is already as agitated as a swarm of big butterflies fluttering in a slowly swaying vertical tube! Like if in a shamanic trance, gesticulating on the spot. The synth blades swoop down like winds of prey to trap the rhythm in its stationary motion. Steve Roach then deploys a whole arsenal of sounds and rhythmic elements in this long Sanctuary of Desire that could conjure up memories as far back as the Traveler and Empetus albums. One line of bass sequences dominates the rhythm with contracted pulses that mark time, while another line harmonizes its flow with a swarm of stationary sequences that flicker as nervously as the overlapping breaths born of the rhythmic barrier. These 2 rhythmic structures are juxtaposed in a spasmodic choreography that misty synth jets caress like the wings of a single-seater skimming the dance of a tribe in trance. The second part offers a kind of lull as Roach nuances the velocity and plays on the modulations of the rhythm, which unfolds with a jerky sequencer texture. This phase is more spasmodic, highlighting the floating synth harmonies that are like the rays of a sunset covering a tumultuous day. Bass chords add a dramatic dimension to this rhythmic approach, which is now cut into jerks and quietly submits its last beats to this envelope still dominated by this swarm of sequences that flicker as fast as a tiny tornado about to give up the ghost. The Elegance of Motion offers a superb rhythm of which the analog tone transports us to the frontiers of the excellent Skeleton Key. The bass shadows add a deliciously dark texture to this wonderful track. The rhythm is built on a structure of limpid sequences that roll in loops with inflections in its minimalist vision. Pulsating basslines frame this delicately hopping backbone, along with discreet metallic elytra rattling and organic, rattlesnake-like percussive effects. Simply hypnotic and spellbinding! The more musical, orchestral layers counterbalance this dark textural aspect with slow movements from which translucent filaments emerge, a little like azure blades in a panorama of contrasts. Contrasts that are also to be found in the rhythm and tonality of the sequences, as well as in the fluctuation of their flow. A great track where its rhythm is as magnetizing as Steve Roach’s finest moments of ambient melody. Like Sanctuary of Desire, Integration Being highlights this frenetic membrane with a spherical flight of a core of sequences that tread water in a drifting circular tube. This texture of stationary rhythm rises and falls in a vision as melodic as rhythmic. A succession of bass sequences relativizes this nervous movement, a little like in The Elegance of Motion, with beats that diminish force and impact, as much as the layers of voices that encircle and hem in its rhythmic activity. This bass, beating as slowly as a living body in hibernation, activates the movement of Currents of Desire. Twisted synth effects contort themselves into the Aeolian chants that abound on this Steve Roach double album. The rhythm, as frenetic and stationary as ever, gets under way as early as the second minute. It always draws these narrow, short circles that roll along tirelessly, weaving this bewitching spasmodic texture that always rests tenderly on a slower movement of the sequencer. Like in Before I Leave, arpeggios fall sparingly on this rhythmic framework derived from the concept of the long title-track, while Linda Kohanov crumbles the roars and rustles of her violin and viola. Before . . . After takes us back to the ambient dimensions of Sanctuary of Desire, with floating drones that give us the sensation of drifting into an immensity of sound delicately adorned by luminous arpeggios. Their glassy tinkling fractures a vague melody scattered between these layers of anaesthetizing mist and the discreet vocal layers that envelop the secrets of this beautiful meditative track.

    So ends Sanctuary of Desire, another musical and sonic magic trick from Steve Roach, who year after year finds a way to seduce with recurring themes that he remodulates and updates with as much passion and emotion as he did at the dawn of the 80’s. A return to the past? Yes, it is! But with the presence of mind to change the color of the sounds, update the effect of the sequences and harmonize these new contrasts into an electronic symphony of unparalleled richness. Rating: 5/5 -Sylvain Lupari

  3. Reviews Editor

    From Star’s End

    The incremental awakening of Steve Roach as a musician, an artist, and a human being continues on Sanctuary of Desire (152’49”). His decades of drones, tones and zones have become welcome adornments to the fabric of our lives. Always heading toward the horizon, yet also asking us to re-examine our present coordinates, we delight in the graceful subtlety of his music along its gradual arc of discovery. A few tracks do show uncertain beginnings, as if in some subzone of evening mist. But further along on our cerebral voyage we may more easily find the spirit of creativity fluttering and glowing safely within the more concordant passages. These most engaging and poetic movements of harmony and atmosphere offer everything from a wispy, muted melancholy to gleeful celestial verve – with we listeners left to imbue the crossing with whatever meaning it may achieve. Being that the first part of this album is set to inward drift mode, we will be wishing for some focused energy to help us traverse the second.

    So for our outward journey Roach conjures new, more energetic works – which rise up from the preceding low-key masterworks to levels of sustained force. For those who can hear it, the power in his multiple lines of gradually expanding and contracting sequencer patterns will combine and align perfectly with the plural neural processes of the brain. The echoing notes, bright then dark, emerging then fading, display a joyful, sensorial connection to sound. The resonance between these fragments and textures implies a twilight totality, which hopes to coalesce the nine parts into a deeply moving whole. Being there is no one grand moment where our perspectives shift, the effects of Sanctuary of Desire will be felt afterwards – when our thoughts and dreams have been lifted into higher realms. This is a music with many possible conclusions. All Roach is asking of us is to think for ourselves, and take with us his feelings of wonderment out into the world. Through our everyday actions every one of us is making tomorrow. While Sanctuary of Desire is enlivening our listening space, we must imagine what lies ahead – and then forge a future we all can recognize. -Chuck van Zyl/STAR’S END – 9 November 2023

  4. Reviews Editor

    From Rockerilla
    Among the numerous musical styles of the electronic universe into which Steve Roach himself divides his music (Atmospheric Space, Elemental Organic, Desert Ambient, Tribal Ambient, Elegant Futurism, etc) there are two adjectives that often recur to describe the atmospheres of his songs: profound (deep) and mesmerizing (mesmerizing). The American musician’s latest work – a mammoth double CD with a total duration of over one hundred and fifty minutes – emphasizes precisely these two aspects: the first CD is made up of four long ambient, nocturnal and enveloping tracks; the second from five synthetic dances that transport you to an ancestral future. UNIQUE. -Roberto Mandolini

    Original Italian:
    Tra i numerosi stili musicali dell’universo elettronico in cui Steve Roach stesso divide la sua musica (Atmospheric Space, Elemental Organic, Desert Ambient, Tribal Ambient, Elegant Futurism, etc) ci sono due aggettivi che ricorrono spesso per descrivere le atmosfere dei suoi brani: profonde (deep) e ipnotizzanti (mesmerizing). L’ultimo lavoro del musicista americano – un mastodontico doppio cd di oltre centocinquanta minuti di durata complessiva – ne enfatizza proprio questi due aspetti: il primo cd è formato da quattro lunghe tracce ambient, notturne e avvolgenti; il secondo da cinque danze sintetiche che trasportano in un futuro ancestrale. UNICO. -Roberto Mandolini

  5. Reviews Editor

    From Exposé
    Depending on who you ask, Steve Roach has released somewhere between 142 (Exposé artist page) and 203 (Discogs site) full-length releases since he started out back in 1982, not counting compilations. That’s a pretty impressive 41 year run, and he’s showing no signs of letting up. His works vary between gentle floating ambient styles, powerful world / tribal sounds, shimmering sequenced electronics, all points in between, and more, all seemingly informed by one another.

    Sanctuary of Desire is a two-disc set that seems to be split between the floating ambient world (on disc one) and the more structured electronic forms (on disc two), thus with this one set a listener can find themselves lost in either of Roach’s two most iconic soundworlds, and although it doesn’t include his more tribal side, it certainly spins an intense web of subtle shimmering beauty that captures two sides of his immersive craft. For the sonic explorer who hasn’t yet taken the deep dive, this set manages to offer two introductory openings for a newcomer, yet it’s far more than a rehash of ideas explored in previous outings, the dreamlike structures that inhabit disc one include things I have never heard before in Roach’s canon — the shimmering and colorful drifts of “Before I Leave” offer scintillations of starlight that pique the imagination, while the deeper dronefields of “Night Flower” swell with warmth and timelessness.

    Disc one’s opener “Lucent” carries onward for over half an hour, bathing the listener in endless meditative cycles. The five cuts on disc two begin with the 25-minute title track, where deep droning sound forms rise up from below until they are joined by gentle sequenced patterns that glide through the inner reaches of space.”Before… After” seems to originate near where “Before I Leave” on the first disc left off, blossoming into a dreamlike panorama. With an almost deliberate intent, “The Elegance of Motion” moves forward through numerous soft sequenced patterns as it follows its warm and curious path. The two discs are quite different, yet complimentary in every way, showcasing two distinct sides of Roach’s art. -Peter Thelen

Only logged in customers who have purchased this product may leave a review.