Steve Roach: Structures from Silence (40th Anniversary Remaster) (1CD)

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Product Description


This is the 1CD edition. There is also a 3CD Edition. And color vinyl

Disc 1
1 Reflections in Suspension 16:34
2 Quiet Friend 13:11
3 Structures From Silence 28:37

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Projekt celebrates the 40th anniversary of this ambient classic with a beautiful remastered limited edition LP, 1CD, & 3CD.


Structures from Silence‘s breathing, suspended embrace of atmospheres and serene melodies instantly struck a chord with listeners in 1984; the album continues to reiterate its timeless resonations with new listeners today.


On this landmark recording of gentle proportions, the three long-form tracks were the birth of something new: an original and pure statement striking a balance between diaphanous and understated, deep and reflective. The listening experience evokes a sense of silence within the music as well as the space between the chords. It expresses the breath of life and offers a meditation on delicate strands of subtle awareness.


Forty years later, Structures from Silence remains an iconic American release in the ambient and electronic genres. It's a well-respected soundtrack for contemplation, relaxation, meditation, and creativity. Emotional, powerful, and enriching, it is a living example of the true healing quality that music can hold.


Steve reflects, “Structures from Silence remains a still point in suspended time for me when looking back over the span of my life immersed within the creative currents of sound and silence. Over 40 years ago the pieces on this album were created from my sole (soul’s) desire to live within a sonic space that would provide a sense of safety, soul nurturing comfort and time suspension. There was no original intention to make an album around these pieces. They were created purely as a sanctuary for my emerging personal journey as an artist. Once the three tracks were recorded it eventually became clear they belonged together in what would become the Structures from Silence album we have today and presented in this beautifully remastered 2024 edition. The response this music has reflected back to me over all these years is a humble reminder filled with gratitude, of the essential, pure need to listen deep into the moment, respond and create from this place without question.”


Projekt gives listeners the chance to discover and rediscover this timeless classic. With a beautiful new mastering that reveals the stillness within, this release sets the tone for the next 40 years of silence.



Pitchfork: Top-40 Best Ambient Albums of All Time. Contemplative bliss, full of purring drones and high notes that shimmer and fade. Like a desert mirage, these structures hover forever at the horizon, an oasis from the din surrounding it.


FACT Magazine: #10 best album of the 80s! Steve Roach’s Structures from Silence remains one of the most important ambient albums ever crafted… its enduring influence has been unmistakably visible in the three decades since its release. It has never been more relevant.


John Diliberto, Echoes Radio: Structures from Silence is like riding the perfect wave in slow motion… as if sculpting liquid, Roach carefully shapes his sounds into a stately crescendo for an eternal dawn.


Yoga Journal Magazine: Top ten all time releases for Yoga.


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.



John Diliberto, Echoes Radio: Forty years after Structures' release, the intervening decades have only proved that it’s as serenely timeless as we thought it was the first time around, still sounding like slow motion surfing on the perfect wave to infinity.




Original release: 1984
Projekt re-release: February 16 2024

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Reviews

  1. Reviews Editor

    From Resident Advisor

    A keystone in the history of ambient music still sounds unique 40 years later.

    ​There’s a certain quirkiness to the first generation of ambient music. Some classics are inseparable from this quality, like Mort Garson’s Plantasia, a daffy curio of ’70s wellness culture. Others, like Suzanne Ciani’s Seven Waves, bear a whiff of the era but ultimately transcend it. What’s striking about Steve Roach’s 1984 album Structures From Silence is how stone-faced it is. The twinkling astral landscape on the cover might suggest otherwise—and the vintage Oberheim textures make it fairly easy to place in the post-Eno, pre-Orb interzone—but Structures From Silence feels unstuck from time, somehow unscathed by the residual goofiness of its era.

    Structures From Silence was a breakthrough for Roach, then 29, whose first two albums took heavy influence from Tangerine Dream’s sequencer-forward sound. By excising drums entirely and emphasizing what he called “breathing chords,” the Southern California composer was able to land on a sound as expansive and impassive as the deserts he loved. His 1980s run continued with three albums of Quiet Music and the towering double-CD release Dreamtime Return, which kicked off a longstanding fascination with Australia that occasionally steers his music towards worldbeat cliché. But Structures From Silence stands alone in his discography—and in ambient music history—as one of the greatest albums of pure synth music.

    It’s hard to think of any real-world analogue to the synth sounds Roach uses on Structures From Silence. They sound vaguely like a choir and vaguely like a string section, completely featureless except for a slight metallic tinge, and they fade out so slowly, as if being played loudly from far away. The goal is to create an impression of monolithic hugeness, of geological processes occurring on glacial timetables; listening to this music is like staring into a vertical rock face. Roach says he heard this music in his head before playing it, which just adds to the mystery of an album that sounds less like it was played than like it emanated from the earth.

    “Reflections in Suspension” and “Quiet Friend,” the first two tracks on Structures From Silence, allow sparkling sequencers to rise above the chords. There’s a sense of awe, placing the listener in the perspective of an outsider struck by the vastness of their surroundings. The 30-minute title track, meanwhile, plays like a response from nature itself. The bass notes on Roach’s Oberheim open up chasms every few seconds, and the chord progression never resolves. It hangs in the air, holding you outside, making you an observer.

    In his notes for this 40th anniversary edition, Roach claims his “desire to live within a sonic space that would provide a sense of safety, soul-nurturing comfort and time suspension” drove him to create the music. The idea of time suspension is crucial to Roach, who took the advent of the CD as an opportunity to release sprawling double albums like Dreamtime Return and 1992’s World’s Edge—and who used a 30th anniversary reissue of Structures From Silence in 2014 as an opportunity to triple the album’s runtime with new material.

    All three hours of material from the 2014 reissue—the original album, plus four new tracks averaging about half an hour apiece—is present on this new reissue and remaster from Projekt. “Suspension” and “Reflection” are about the same length as “Structures From Silence” but feel a lot rosier, with less of the elemental dread of the original album. “Beyond” and “Below” are darker, brooding in the low end and leaning into more metallic textures. These pieces extend the album’s mood pleasantly, but they struggle to distinguish themselves individually—especially in contrast to “Structures From Silence,” which towers above this landscape like a peak in a vast plain.

    It’s a treat to spend more time in the album’s world, but Structures From Silence actually feels bigger in its original version, where the title track is allowed to sit astride the album rather than blending in as one behemoth among many. It’s easier to suspend time while marinating in a three-hour album, but an even more impressive feat is to create an hour-long album that feels immeasurably vast. -Daniel Bromfield

  2. Reviews Editor

    From Exposé

    A long time ago in the early 80s Steve Roach was just getting started, with one cassette release Now from 1982 and his first LP Traveler (1983) behind him, 1984 would offer up Roach’s third release, Structures from Silence, a powerful ambient classic offering breathing waves of atmospheric color, quite unlike anything before it. At around 29 minutes per side, it was one of the longest running LPs at that time, with two lengthy tracks spread across the first side, and the title track occupying all of side two. Released on the Fortuna records label, it also received cassette releases both on Fortuna and Steve Roach‘s own Soundquest label.

    An official CD release of the album came via Projekt records in 2001, sporting different cover art; 2014 brought the 30th anniversary remaster (also on Projekt), an expanded collection featuring four additional tracks spread across two additional discs, the additional material recorded between 2013 and 2014, but in the same spirit as the original album, so much so that it’s difficult to recognize the difference between the two sessions. Finally, it’s 2024 and the 40th anniversary remaster is upon us, the entire three discs remastered by Howard Givens at Spotted Peccary Studios, also being made available in a single CD and single LP format remasters of the original three tracks from 1984. The immersive qualities of Structures from Silence (and that surely includes the two additional discs) in its remastered form are truly astonishing — it’s an epic meditative soundworld that a listener can find themselves completely lost within, and that’s lost in a wonderful way; one could let this music play around the clock for days on end, just as Roach did in his original process of creating it, absorbing the feeling and emotion as the sound envelops your being. -Peter Thelen

  3. Reviews Editor

    From CD Hot List

    In 1984, when Structures from Silence was first released, the line separating ambient from New Age music was a bit fuzzier than it is today, after 40 intervening years of genre fragmentation, proliferation, and redefinition. The sequentially swelling chords of the album’s three extended tracks — soft, billowing, and comforting — could easily have been taken at the time for hippie Muzak, purely functional music for blissing out. But if you listen carefully, there’s a lot more going on than that. Some of these chords are indeed simple and straightforward — and then others are complex, chromatic, and even spiky beneath the soft surface. Long stretches of contemplative gentleness are suddenly (if subtly) interrupted by rumblings of foreboding, a mood that is subsequently relieved. For this 40th-anniversary reissue, the package is augmented by two bonus discs that were originally released with an earlier reissue in 2013; these have been newly remastered for this version. -Rick Anderson

  4. Reviews Editor

    From Music Tap

    When you think ambient music, it’s easy to recognize a name like Steve Roach. Steve Roach has been involved in so many variations of the art of ambient, and with so many artists of note, that it could be said that he may be the single most practiced ambient master in the genre. Certainly he is the genre’s most prolific with more than 45 solo efforts since 1982, and a massive array of collaborative works amounting to more than 40 albums.
    One of his first albums, the 1984 ambient classic, Structures From Silence, has risen in the ranks of all-time bests that now make it one of the most influential albums ever created in the ambient genre, fourth only to Brian Eno’s legendary Music For Airports, his own classic, Dreamtime Return (2003), and Sonic Seasonings, the 1972 celebration of the seasons by Wendy Carlos.
    Celebrating its 30th Anniversary, Steve Roach has gone back to the master tapes and have remastered the set for a 24-bit/96k audio enhancement. The original album was released by Fortuna Records, an early ambient label. Since, Projekt Records, who has provided Steve Roach with a label home for several decades, re-released the classic in 2001, also with a new remaster. But what sets this one apart is its higher resolution, opening up the original to perhaps newer heights in sound than ever thought possible.
    For this release, Steve Roach has included two bonus CDs of music from 2013 that contain tracks with hints of the music of Structures From Silence. Good music never dies; it just keeps evolving. And you’ll hear those evolutionary paths on the bonus CDs.
    Structures From Silence is scheduled for April 15 from Projekt Records. It will present in both the anticipated 3CD set, as well as a single CD with just the original three tracks. Both albums will provide the original artwork from the Fortuna Records set. -MARowe

  5. Reviews Editor

    A review of the original 1-CD edition
    From Q Magazine

    Roach, like Giles Reaves, is part of a new generation of young composers who have grown up in a world where making music through computers has been the norm, rather than the bewildering new development it seemed to many older musicians. With this, his third release, Roach has taken pains to create three lengthy pieces which unfold so slowly that a casual listener might think nothing much is going on. Paying closer attention reveals the subtlest of interwoven rhythms and melodic fragments mingling with gradually evolving sweeps of orchestral colour which become surprisingly powerful and evocative before the music resolves back to the simple structures from which it started. A box of continuous delights. -Johnny Black

  6. Reviews Editor

    A review of the original 1-CD edition
    From Ink 19

    Last year, Yoga Journal listed Structures From Silence as one of their Top 10 all-time CDs for yoga – not bad for an album that had first been released 16 years earlier! Many more folks than yoga practitioners love this album; in fact, it’s one of Steve Roach’s top three best-selling albums from his entire career (over the course of which he has released literally dozens of albums). Recently it went out of print, and Projekt remastered and re-released it.

    After listening to Structures, I can see why it’s one of the most popular of Roach’s albums. Composed entirely of synth textures, it doesn’t have the tribal rhythms so crucial to much of his work. But it also isn’t as harsh or jarring as some of his material; it’s peaceful, relaxing, and spiritually rejuvenating, so that by the end of its three long tracks you feel rested, cleansed, and refreshed.

    The album opens with “Reflections In Suspension,” composed mainly of rhythmic electronic watery blips, high sparkling synth touches, and an underlying low drone. Listening to it feels like being rocked gently in a canoe or rowboat by low swells on a wide lake, as the sun strikes diamond sparkles from the tips of the wavelets. There is perhaps just a hint of menace at the far edges of your awareness, with darker organ-like synth tones evoking a distant sense of the vast depths of dark water beneath you. But mostly the shimmering waves of synth loops just wash over you, warm, radiant, and relaxing. “Quiet Friend” is more subdued, and more spiritual in tone, with gentle synth washes enveloping you and pulsing with higher tones like star-beacons in the darkness. Sitting alone in peaceful reflection you feel another presence, kind and giving, that buoys and guides your thoughts and spirit with understanding and affection.

    Structures From Silence ends with the almost thirty minute long title track. Beautiful, rhythmic watery synth lines billow around you and cushion you on all sides, like ripples or clouds, while high drone-voices shimmer like flickering fireflies in the purple twilight joining heaven and earth. As you immerse yourself deeper and deeper in the track, you experience a slight sense of falling, only to be buoyed up again by the warm, drifting synths, which all too soon return you to the silence of which you and they are made. -Dave Aftandilian

  7. Reviews Editor

    A review of the original 1-CD edition
    From Sputnik Music

    Amazing is the concept of unlimited space, the idea that there is no physical boundary within the reach of anything at any given point that marks the edge of our universe. Brilliant is a being that can capture and understand such a marvelous concept on so many levels and express it by means of sound, specifically in musical form. Ambient and electronic musician Steve Roach is one of the rare few who have successfully been able to achieve this goal, proving his understanding of the notion in a number of ways. Metaphorically speaking, Steve Roach truly captures the true meaning of space with his music because over the years it has become obvious that his musical capacity knows no bounds. The musician has released one and a half solo albums on average per year since his 1982 debut Now, each one ranging somewhere between generally solid and utterly flawless. In a more literal sense, Roach’s music perfectly captures the essence of space and all of its wondrous aspects, portraying them through peaceful melodies and mysterious ambiance. When it comes to fulfilling such a task, however, nothing that Steve Roach or any other musician has ever done or very likely ever will do will come close to competing with his magnificent third record, Structures from Silence.

    Structures from Silence is a monumental landmark in the area of ambient music. It didn’t take long after its release to become a widespread ambient favorite and be considered one of the greatest albums in the genre of all time. Up until the release of Structures from Silence, Roach’s music has been composed of far more energized pieces, being both fast-paced and occasionally calm and relaxing while including a wide variety of electronic beats and tribal rhythms. With his third album, Roach pushed aside the majority of his previous musical qualities and left behind the most simple and beautiful quality of his sound. This worked all for the best, as the final product is certainly one of the most special pieces of electronic music one can experience. The album itself is a journey waiting to happen that, once started, you will never want to end. “Reflections in Suspension” will see you taking off from Earth and traveling farther than anyone has ever dreamed possible, getting closer than ever to destinations barely visible through a telescope back home; with “Quiet Friend” you will continue your journey through space while becoming overwhelmed with all that you have experienced: the sights, the distances, the sizes, the endlessness; finally, the title track will find you coming closer to a true understanding of space and its lack of limits, countless undiscovered regions, and infinite questions that have yet to be asked and may never receive answers.

    Structures from Silenceis truly the soundtrack to a dream that has yet to take place. It is an album everybody should keep accessible at all times in case of a desperate need of relaxation, the impulsive desire to stargaze, or even just for pleasurable listening purposes. This is not the type of ambient record that will require time and patience to allow the music to sink in. Once the music kicks in, the last thing you will want is for it to end. Structures from Silence is just one of Steve Roach’s ambient masterpieces, though this is the one that will leave a mark on you and will stick with you for ages to come. Summary: Dream On. Rating: 5 out of 5 -Tim Bartolini

  8. Reviews Editor

    A review of the original 1-CD edition
    From New Age Voice

    Oct 2002. Voted #4 on The 25 Most Influential Ambient Albums Of All Time. One of the pioneers of the American spacemusic scene, initially inspired by German synthesists such as Klaus Schulze and Tangerine Dream, Roach has explored styles from quiet contemplation to raging sequencer storms, from organic tribal grooves to twitchy electronic rhythms, frequently pointing the way for others to follow. One of his most influential works is the 1984 release Structures from Silence. This recording is a soothing, enveloping soundscape, ideal for quieting the mind and calming the body. The gentle ebb and flow of warm synthesizer textures are based on the rhythm of breathing, and entrains the listeners’ own respiration to its serene pace. It’s useful: for setting a tone in a room, for aiding in meditation, for easing the transition to sleep, but it’s also sensually pleasing.

  9. Reviews Editor

    A review of the original 1-CD edition
    From Alternative Press

    Nov 2001. Reissue of ambient classic that set the standard for everything that followed. Back when ambient and deep-space music were called New Age, and amid so many now-forgotten releases from anyone with a synthesizer and an index finger, there appeared an instant classic by a rising star. Steve Roach had just begun to make a name for himself with a series of sequencer-oriented albums when he released Structures From Silence in 1984. Over three deceptively simple tracks, “Reflections in Suspension,” “Quiet Friend” and the still unequaled title piece, Roach forged innovative sounds. Over the years, many listeners have praised the album’s therapeutic and meditative qualitites, but Structures From Silence remains foremost a work of the heart, with tracks like “Quiet Friend” forever evoking an aura of melancholic solitude. Whatever Brian Eno may have set in motion with his landmark Ambient series, Roach took a step further by creating something with a resounding sense of humanity and emotion. Rating: 9 out of 10 -Mark Burbey

  10. Reviews Editor

    A review of the original 1-CD edition
    From All Music

    Heralded by many as one of the finest Ambient works of all time Steve Roach’s Structures from Silence is right up there with Brian Eno’s Music for Airports and deservedly so. Originally released 1984, Structures from Silence was deemed a classic almost immediately, but the contrast grew greater as Roach’s output did, and the sheer beauty and clarity of this recording became more clear with time; then Structures from Silence became a bit of a legend after it went out of print. Projekt has done Ambient and music enthusiasts in general a great service by putting this excellent and classic recording back into print. With this re-release at last Roach’s early work can be listened to, enjoyed and made available to the buying public at large. Structures 2001 has also been remastered for better sound quality, thus creating an even more evocative atmospheric experience. This is an exciting recording from a wonderful era in electronic Ambient / Spacemusic. The 1980s saw the advent of so much electronic and synthesized music, but finally one of the finest recordings of the decade has become available again for a new generation and a new time. Rating: 5 out of 5

  11. Reviews Editor

    From Synth & Sequences

    There are albums that one says are remastered. And there are other albums which are really, completely and absolutely remastered. This is the case with the last musical jewel from Projekt Records. It’s in mid-1984 that this magnificent album of Steve Roach’s meditative EM first appeared. It was a real upheaval: a tour de force when the genre started to be out of breath. Structures From Silence brought a new dimension to ambient music by proposing long ambient tracks a bit livelier where the music followed an upward curve with fine harmonies which cooed like an enchanted music.
    Steve Roach also invented a new genre with a very meditative EM which poured its neurasthenic ambiences on tribal rhythms or fine sequenced momentums. You know all the good that I wrote on this grand work of Steve Roach. Thirty years later, Structures From Silence made new sound. And the result exceeds expectations. It’s a real remastering work made from the analog tapes which were remixed in digital with the high definition 24-bit/96k technology. And the impact is simply staggering. We hear small details there, which ran out of space in the original work, and the musicality is more in depth. The sound spreads more reliefs, more colors. I have the impression that the stars tickle even more the edges of silence, I have the impression that the prisms of serenity are sparkling even more, I also have the impression that the synth pads throw more lights on the shadows of the silence while the translucent singings lines are a little more musical. Presented in its original artwork, Structures From Silence; The 30th Anniversary Deluxe 3-CD Remastered Edition proposes also two long complementary chapters on the structures of silence, both composed between 2013 and 2014.
    “Suspension” and “Reflection” are making a long musical odyssey of which the aromas are very near the immersive amplitudes of the title-track. We let ourselves fast absorbed by the enveloping synth layers which float and encircle us such as invisible caresses. We have the very silky feeling to navigate in a glass sarcophagus before being swallowed by translucent synth waves which glitter like anfractuous reflections. These oceanic throats lull us within some lengthened and sinuous submarines countercurrents, creating so a strange morphic ballet whose subtle passive crescendo evokes the silent drama of “Reflections in Suspension”. Steve Roach uses his minutes advisedly, adding throughout the 60 minutes of the CD 2 some fine sonic textures which sing smoothly, in order of not to wake the silence. “Beyond” and “Below” make also a long ambient work of 72 minutes this time. The approach is more cosmic, but the impact of serenity is present just as much. We have the feeling to be in the absolute emptiness with a powerful choir of winds which murmur some passive singings among which the vibrations and the waves of solitude are like shadows which caress the fragility of our most secret dreams.
    Structures From Silence; The 30th Anniversary Deluxe 3-CD Remastered Edition is a major work as much beautiful as the original, but with a better sonic envelope. The remastering work is simply magnificent and throws a veil of freshness on an album that the time will never have a hold on it. An immortal work in which Steve Roach floods our ears of 120 minutes of additional music of which the crossings with his Immersion series are as well perceptible as justified. It’s a go get that! -Sylvain Lupari

  12. Reviews Editor

    From Sounds Behind the Corner

    Trent’anni per un disco non sono poca cosa: a questo livello di eternità Sonora viene quasi da chiedersi se certa musica non possa essere annoverata tra la neo-classica, una possibilità per rendere evergreen (come la modernità del lavoro su triplice supporto di Steve Roach) un sound che esula da rock, pop, qualunque stile si voglia considerare.

    Così l’ambient inteso come sinfonia moderna ed eventuali post a pieno diritto meriterebbe di essere considerata.

    Trent’anni come tre decadi sono l’attività di Projekt, auguri ad entrambi per un lungo cammino fatto di perfezioni e scoperte…

    Una quiete quasi innaturale: già nel 1984 l’album che uscì per Fortuna Records aveva già tutta la struttura che nel tempo, nelle tante collaborazioni, Steve Roach avrebbe espresso determinando profondi soundscape d’immoto splendore, sul filo della new-age senza sincretismi musicali, senza influssi chillout, solamente ambient in grado di descrivere scenari elegiaci e fantasie pittoriche.

    Nei tre dischetti delle re-release di Projekt torna dal baule quel vinile che oggi, ridigitalizzato, mantiene intatta tutta la pionieristica impressione del suono immutato, costante, litanie silenti per paradisi globali, assoluti.

    Nei nomi delle tracks ricorre spesso il titolo “Reflection”, riflessioni ed inflessioni, chiusure ed aperture di un’anima sensibile che si scioglie nelle molecole della materia, ne capta la minuta potenza energetica, la trasmette sotto forma di micro-partiture ‘in sospensione’, come declama il primo movimento del primo disco.

    Suite lunghe e statiche per dare il tempo di entrare nei solchi al respiro, alle vibrazioni inconsce, dalla title-track ad ognuna delle sette tracce ripartite, frazionate nella tripla opera, nessuna presenza umana, se non quella del compositore, ha il potere di sporcare un landscape sonoro intatto, come fosse superficie d’acqua in assenza di vento, manto di neve dopo la tormenta nel momento in cui un raggio di sole la illumina, prato fiorito immobile come su tela, con i suoi colori minuscoli tra il monocromo azzurro, bianco o verde, come il sogno quando non cede alla tentazione della realtà.
    Per tanti aspetti la musicalità di Roach si ritrova poi via via nel tempo, nelle evoluzioni della musica moderna, nei primi Sigur Ròs ancora legati alle sonate ambientali della loro Terra, crescendo assieme a tutti coloro che l’ambient l’hanno voluto come didascalia del tempo, dello spazio, della vita che nasce lenta ed universale, “Suspension”, nel secondo dischetto, è cosmica e terrena allo stesso tempo, “Below”, alla fine del terzo, è cupa come la notte che incombe senza mutare la sostanza, solo le cromie, la materia giace davanti a noi, muta solo la cangianza che collassa nell’oscurità, nel Cosmo padre di vita e di speranza, d’amore in divenire, di leggi mai capite, metabolizzate.

    Musica per angeli che non esistono, musica ce giunge da lontano e va lontano, il tempo non la muterà mai, il potere di Structures From Silence. -Nicola Tenani

  13. Reviews Editor

    From Textura

    Originally issued in 1984, Steve Roach’s third album, Structures From Silence, now re-emerges in a re-mastered form as one-third of a triple-CD set. Indicative of the esteem with which the recording is held, New Age Voice magazine in 2002 listed Structures from Silence as the fourth most influential ambient album of all time (preceded by Eno’s Ambient 1: Music for Airports in the number one slot, Roach’s Dreamtime Return at number two, and Wendy Carlos’s Sonic Seasonings at three). It’s important to note that the content on the bonus discs doesn’t originate from the 1984 sessions but is material Roach recorded in 2013 and 2014. Despite that difference, the new content plays very much like a natural complement to the earlier recording, and one comes away from the 190-minute recording marveling at how enrapturing long-form settings of thirty- to forty-minute duration can be. For a certain crowd of hard-core ambient devotees, the release must be like nirvana rendered into physical form.

    Exuding a soft, crystalline glow, “Reflections in Suspension,” the opening setting on Structures from Silence, sets the tone for the hour-long release in its unhurried flow of synthetic washes and lustrous patterns. Here and elsewhere, Roach’s music breathes with such a serene and natural grace, it sounds like it could just as easily have been created yesterday as thirty years ago. Interestingly, the meditative title track, with its entrancing rising synth figures, plays like nothing less than a companion piece to Eno’s 1975 Discreet Music, specifically the side-long, synthesizer-generated title track. If anything, Roach’s piece so vividly recalls Eno’s, one could be excused for hearing the former as an homage to the latter.

    That the recent material plays like an extension of the earlier was no accident. In Roach’s own words, “Over the years since the creation of Structures From Silence, certain pieces would emerge in the studio that instantly had the resonance of a direct relationship to the place that birthed this work back in 1984 … Like the three original tracks, these were created in moments spent simply being present in the studio, tapping the flow state and guiding this sense into these recorded moments.” Four settings appear on discs two and three (titled Suspension and Reflection and Below and Beyond, respectively), the shortest twenty-eight minutes and the longest forty (for the record, each disc plays like a single work, given that the first track flows into the second without interruption). Imagine the slightest, most fragile wisp of smoke rising elegantly in ultra-slow-motion and you’ll have an idea as to what these discs sounds like. If anything, their glassy swirling vistas of synthetic sound are as anxiety-eradicating as the music on the original release.

    Roach achieves something rather remarkable in this music in managing to create the illusion of stillness despite the irreducibility of temporal flow. In other words, the music maintains the paradoxical impression of stasis even when it stretches itself out across the set’s longest piece, the forty-minute “Below” (how fitting that the recording facility where all three discs were recorded is called the Timeroom). That Structures from Silence was voted by Yoga Journal in late 2000 as one of the top ten all-time releases for yoga might not be a compliment by everyone’s standards, but the point is nevertheless well-taken. Certainly if ever there was an antidote, maybe even a panacea, for the ultra-accelerated pace of life today with all of its attendant, soul-crushing overload, Roach’s recording could very well be it. As far as psychic healing is concerned, this collection is a tough one to beat.

  14. Reviews Editor

    From Clair & Obscur

    Voilà une nouvelle qui va ravir les amateurs de musique ambient et ceux de Steve Roach en particulier. Au début des années 80, l’artiste californien réinvente et réoriente le genre conceptualisé en Europe par Brian Eno, allant jusqu’à imposer une nouvelle école avec son complice et contemporain Robert Rich, non moins génial défricheur et créateur de mondes sonores. Il en résulte pour Steve Roach des albums aussi novateurs et historiques que Quiet Music, Dreamtime Return (à la fois disque initiatique et chef d’œuvre absolu des racines du tribal-ambient!) et Structures From Silence, dont il est question ici.

    A une époque ou l’électronique et les nouvelles technologies musicales se banalisent, envahissent la pop (avec plus ou moins de bon goût d’ailleurs) et les dancefloors, Steve Roach travaille et modèle les sons comme personne, étire et combine les textures à l’infini, génère avec ses machines de longues plages atmosphériques totalement immersives, qu’il complètera par la suite avec un arsenal d’instruments ethniques, tout cela fort d’un sens esthétique situé à des années lumières de la new-wave alors en vogue. Certains parlerons plutôt de “new-age” mais se fourreront le doigt dans l’œil, tant il n’est point question ici de musique niaise et facile produite à la chaîne pour la relaxation de cadres stressés ou de néo-babas.

    A l’occasion du 30ème anniversaire de Structures From Silence, Steve Roach nous propose aujourd’hui une version complètement remixée de cet ouvrage référentiel, avec l’amélioration du son en remaster 24-bit/96k. Autant dire que l’album, publié aujourd’hui sur le label Projekt, prend ici une nouvelle jeunesse, pour le plus grand bonheur de tous les accrocs aux expériences musicales intimes et introspectives ! Et, cerise sur le gâteau, Steve Roach a inclus pour cette luxueuse édition deux disques bonus contenant plus de 2 heures de musique inédite, créées en 2013 dans un esprit très fidèle à l’œuvre originale.

    L’objet, qui reprend l’illustration de la vieille édition Fortuna Records (à conserver précieusement comme un collector !) sortira officiellement le 15 avril prochain. Il est néanmoins déjà disponible à l’achat et prêt à l’envoi sur le site officiel de Steve Roach. Dans tous les cas, voilà un disque à ne manquer sous aucun prétexte, car de la musique comme celle-là aujourd’hui, avec cette patte inimitable, ces nappes si lumineuses, ce son si particulier empli de sérénité et de poésie pure, plus personne n’en fait! -Philippe Vallin

  15. Reviews Editor

    From Onda Rock

    Prosegue il lavoro di recupero da parte della Projekt, in collaborazione con la Timeroom Editions, di alcuni tra i dischi più importanti dell’insigne compositore elettronico Steve Roach. Nel 2005 fu la volta della ristampa rimasterizzata di Dreamtime Return (Fortuna 1988), nel 2008 quella “expanded” in doppio cd di Empetus (Fortuna 1986) e nel 2011 quella completa di Quiet Music (Fortuna 1986). Ultimo ad uscire, nel 2012, è stato il discreto live Stormwarning, pubblicato in poche copie nel 1989 per la Soundquest.

    Il 15 aprile 2014 è uscita ufficialmente l’edizione, in triplo cd, di Structures From Silence (Fortuna 1984), che era già stato ristampato dalla Projekt nel 2001, ma in versione singola (esattamente come l’originale), ma con una copertina differente, a causa di problemi di copyright. Questa nuova versione risulta particolarmente ghiotta agli audiofili (il remastering a 24-bit/96k del disco originale è stato affidato a Howard Givens e acquista qui delle profondità di suono mai udite prima, neanche nell’edizione del 2001, rimasterizzata da Roger King) e ai completisti, in quanto negli altri due cd prendono posto ben due sinfonie elettroniche, suddivise in due chilometrici movimenti ciascuna, che idealmente si riallacciano ai temi del capolavoro del 1984.

    L’album originale di Structures From Silence fu il primo fondamentale tassello di Steve Roach verso la musica puramente ambientale (i precedenti e discreti Now e Traveller del 1982 e 1983 ricalcavano fedelmente i modelli dei corrieri cosmici tedeschi). I pattern melodici di “Reflection In Suspension”, che salgono in maniera celestiale, la stasi cosmica di “Quiet Friend” e la sublime “discreet music” della title track (mezz’ora di durata in cui apparentemente non accade nulla, ma si tratta solo di una nostra illusione) rimarranno non solo un punto fermo nella carriera dell’illustre compositore californiano, ma anche un punto di riferimento per molta musica elettronica a venire. Parte del merito va anche a Michael Stearns e a Kevin Braheny, che contribuirono alle atmosfere spaziali del disco. “Suspension And Reflection”, contenuta nel secondo cd e “Below And Beyond” (inserita nel terzo cd) sono lunghissime composizioni recenti (incise rispettivamente nel 2013 e nel 2014), che idealmente proseguono il discorso intrapreso trent’anni fa e vanno intese come appendici di Structures From Silence.

    Per fortuna non si tratta di “filler”, come spesso accade in operazioni di puro marketing come queste. Diciamo che potrebbero appartenere al periodo più cupo e austero di Roach, quello, per intenderci, di The Magnificent Void (Hearts Of Space 1996). “Suspension And Reflection” (un’ora di durata) è un’avvolgente e statica sinfonia elettronica, internamente cangiante attraverso i suoi due movimenti, mentre l’interminabile “Below And Beyond” (72′ di durata!) è più ligia ai canoni ambientali di Brian Eno.

    La registrazione perfetta (realizzata dallo stesso autore) ci fa apprezzare ogni singolo dettaglio sonoro. La nota un po’ dolente viene proprio dalla Projekt, che ormai realizza queste edizioni d’archivio in una confezione meno che spartana. Non vi sono quasi note e il libretto è un perenne assente (ancor più economica di questa è stata la ristampa in doppio cd di “Migration/The Wolf At The Ruins” di Forrest Fang, lo scorso anno). Si vede che Sam Rosenthal punta più che altro al download di file Flac (che, va detto, è un ottimo formato audio) dal proprio sito e lascia ai nostalgici del formato fisico queste miserelle edizioni in digipack.

    Dal sito di Steve Roach è disponibile anche la versione singola di Structures From Silence, edizione 2014, che pare non essere stata messa ancora ufficialmente in commercio. Rating: 8 (Very Good) -Leonardo Di Maio

  16. Reviews Editor

    From Sonic Curiosity

    This is a 2014 reissue of the release from 1984 and features 59 minutes of remastered flowing electronic music. When this album saw its original release in the mid-Eighties, it quickly became a classic recording, a vanguard document for what would grow into the ambient music genre. While considered by many to be an ambient release (and granted, the tuneage is quite gentle), this music actually possesses a definite degree of melodic definition.

    The electronics are soft and the riffs waft on easygoing breezes. Delicate tones sigh, while smooth keyboard sustains pulsate to form vaporous backdrops. A percentage of the chords exhibit twinkling properties, nicely counterbalancing the airy character of the majority of the electronics. The riffs are carefully layered in such a manner that each texture eloquently slides into play, influencing the extent thread with its entrance, endurance and passing.

    Subliminal pools of water churn deep within the minimal mix, creating an interesting aquatic tinge to the airy structures. While empowered with gentle melodic aspects, these compositions instill a placid calm on the listeners, evoking skyscapes filled with majestic clouds crossing the heavens at pensive velocities.

    This release is also available in a deluxe edition which includes two bonus discs featuring 131 minutes of newly recorded electronic ambience by Roach.

    The music on these bonus discs is more representative of conventional ambient music, comprised of elongated textures that rise and wane like space breathing. The tracks are exceptionally long, allowing the tones ample opportunity to establish seemingly unvarying stretches while actually mutating at a subtle pace.

    Roach has a particular talent for coaxing seamless passages into sneaky evolution, as harmonic flows stream from one character to another, with shrill pitches giving way to dreamy atmospherics and eventually sliding into moody vistas – and all without obvious transitions. Each passage evokes a sedating effect that actually contains a subtle edge that mounts peaceful drama. Another novel trait to his ambient compositions is their tendency to lull without inducing any tiring effects, keeping the listener attuned to the gentle passage from one dreamstate to the next, inspiring introspection of an alert type.

    Fans of the original release will delight in this remastered version, and really dig the additional material. -Matt Howarth

  17. Reviews Editor

    Excerpt of feature article from Tucson Weekly
    Follow-up interview at Tucson Weekly

    Structures from Silence was the result of nearly a year’s worth of recording in Roach’s Culver City flat, which served as “pretty much a 24/7 laboratory.” Roach would spend his days working odd jobs—including a stint alongside Simpsons creator Matt Groening at Licorice Pizza, a Southern California record and video shop—and then head back to the Timeroom, picking up where he left off. “I’d get off work and be right back into the studio, step right back into this space,” Roach says.

    His recordings weren’t conceived as an album, but soon began to make sense that way. Roach gathered the three tracks and pressed a run of cassettes on his own. Word spread quickly. Stephen Hill of the long-running, nationally distributed Hearts of Space radio program took note of Roach, and was one of the artists he championed, along with musicians such as Constance Demby, Laraaji and Iasos.

  18. Reviews Editor

    A review of the 30th Anniversary 3-CD edition
    From Wondering Sound

    In the past year, New Age music has begun to escape the lamentable late-’80s stereotypes — Harmonic Convergence, crystals, Kenny G — that have long plagued it. Last fall, Light in the Attic released a stellar compilation called I Am the Center that catalogued small-press New Age releases from the ’50s to the ’70s; Warp records reissued Laaraji; All Saints reissued Harold Budd. Articles popped up in Pitchfork and even in the New York Times.

    One name conspicuously missing from this mini-renaissance is the California-born/Arizona-based Steve Roach. Much of the creative churn of artists like Daniel Lopatin and Mark McGuire has been Roach’s raison d’etre for decades: working with many different fellow musicians over a seemingly endless stream of releases, evincing a desire to experiment with electronics and beyond.

    The album that fully established Roach as a force was his third overall, Structures from Silence, originally released in 1984 by early new age label/distribution service Fortuna Records. After various represses and remasterings over the years, it’s now back in a three-CD edition for its 30th anniversary by longtime Roach supporters Projekt Records. The two bonus discs that complement the reissue consist of four later, previously unreleased pieces Roach indicates in the liner notes came from the same sources of inspiration, specifically a “place of stillness and deep inner quiet,” as Structures.

    From the start, one can easily hear the deep sense of serenity initially explored by acts such as Popul Vuh, Tangerine Dream, Vangelis and others. What makes Structures from Silence so special, still, is how Roach had both come to match his inspirations and suggest a new way forward. The opening “Reflections in Suspension” lives up to both its name and that of the album’s, slowly emerging from deep quiet only to again fade away, a pattern repeated on the other two original tracks. While this itself is a common enough pattern in the field, it’s the arrangement’s focus that calls attention here, pared down and extremely deliberate.

    It’s almost shocking to hear something so deceptively simple take shape, a soft, very slow lead melody of sorts in a steady loop while deeper layers of sound sometimes wash up like a just-on-the-horizon slow wave waiting to come in. Structure over silence indeed, but also suspension as tension, a surface beauty that suggests potentially dark as well as vast depths. “Quiet Friend” is even more understated, the gentlest of tones softly overlaying another and never quite disappearing, taking a calmly playful turn towards its end. It suggests the lovely moment when Arthur Conan Doyle has Sherlock tell Watson “You have the grand gift of silence.” Like a trustworthy friend, the music is just there, a reassurance.

    As for the half-hour long title track, two notes in initial sequence almost resemble a fanfare, or a call to a ceremony, repeated at points as other melodies — almost but not quite missable as melodies, so intentionally, carefully drawn out are they — emerge in sequence, evolving and sounding warmer as the piece progresses and hints of distant murmurings play out. The whole idea of making a structure out of silence is an intentional paradox; making that idea tangible, while simultaneously suggesting closeness in a vast space, was Roach’s self-imposed challenge. There are no random washes of what Matt Groening once called “Spacey Tinkles” in a Life in Hell gag, no “beautiful” sounds or tones or glissandos, just a composition that demands focus as much as any explosive noise might. -Ned Raggett

  19. Reviews Editor

    Excerpt of article from Ambient Music Guide

    The new synth could play up to eight notes at once, making it the the gold standard for polyphonic analog synthesisers in the 1980’s. By his own admission Roach became utterly obsessed with owning one, which he eventually did after securing a very high interest loan.

    “The sense I had with this sound was no less than that a lustful guitar player yearning for a Classic Strat, Gibson SG or Telecaster,” he says. “And then to just finally sit with it and start to connect and carve with the sound at such a pure level of desire…it was beyond pure bliss. This feeling mixed with the epiphanies of all that was unfolding in my life at the time was essential to the creation of Structures.” He still plays one today. “You you can buy a soft synth version of this instrument now but it’s really like comparing formica-countertop laminate and wood. You can’t match the original in terms of organic texture and, above all, the warmth of pure analog sound.”

  20. Reviews Editor

    Excerpt of article from Echoes

    This opportunity came to play at Terminal Island Prison for the inmates the prison. So I setup in what was like a high school gymnasium or a high school auditorium in the Terminal Island Prison, and I had to go through all these layers of security check and with all the gear and inspecting everything. And finally you get in and setup, then in comes a whole completely full auditorium of inmates. I’m playing sequencer kind of material and doing my thing at that time with all the pure analog gear. I had a trajectory to go with and then it was going to end in a more quiet reflective place, which was where I was heading to with Structures and with that first track on Structures, “Reflections in Suspension,” so eventually that piece emerges. And it’s absolutely gentle and very quiet and really not a piece that you think you would play for inmates in a prison, you know.

    And the guy that played before me, Bob Ramey was his name, at the time he had all these drum machines mounted into a big rack and he used to do these drum machine grooves for Eddie Harris, the jazz player. So when Bob was playing the guys out there were wadding up pieces of paper and throwing them at him and all that sort of thing. So I thought I’m in for it here, you know, I don’t know what’s gonna happen here, but I’m just gonna go for it.

  21. Reviews Editor

    From Yoga Journal

    When Steve Roach first released his ambient electronic album Structures From Silence in 1984, the genre was hardly new. Artists like Brian Eno and Tangerine Dream had been at it for a decade or so. But Roach brought a new edge to the style. This new digital remastering of Roach’s landmark album captures all the aural depths, spaciousness, and old-school analog warmth of the original but with enhanced sound quality for a richer listening experience. The 30th anniversary set includes bonus discs of all-new Roach recordings that come from the same timeless, tranquil mood.

    Each track arises from silence, coming to full volume like a film slowly coming into focus. From there, listeners waft along a gentle current of majestic bass swells, chimes, and soft-focus clouds of billowing sound. Roach listened to no other music and spent long periods in meditative silence while creating the original album. The Zen-like purity of this compositional process is beautifully reflected in the end result. Like all true ambient music, these discs offer a calm, centered soundtrack for everyday living, not to mention an ideal support for mediation, restorative yoga, energy healing sessions, and other integrative modalities. -Alan Di Perna

  22. Reviews Editor

    From Other Music

    On this 30th anniversary 3-CD edition, ambient guru Steve Roach gives his indispensable masterpiece Structures from Silence the lush, luxurious treatment it fully deserves. The record is a bit of an odd creature in the experimental music canon, as it has been included in both Yoga Journal’s Top Ten of All Time Releases for Yoga and hipster outlet Fact Magazine’s Top Ten of 100 Best Albums of the 1980s. This rare quality to simultaneously appeal to a spiritual, meditative audience and electronic music aficionados is what makes Roach’s achievement stand out amongst his peers.

    Structures from Silence graciously circumvents the usual aesthetic pitfalls of its era, even though its delicate, vintage synth tones clearly refer to the times in which it was made. Most importantly, the intricately built structure of its three long, meandering tracks make the record truly unforgettable: each of them start off from silence, followed by repeated motifs and suggestive, cyclic melodies, after which they subdue in silence again. There is a natural flair emanating from its warm, drifting sounds, whose melancholic nature feels utterly genuine. As Roach states in the original liner notes, they emanate from “that expansive place where you breathe out and then you breathe back in.”

    The first disc presents a remastered version of the original record, which has never sounded as deep and luscious as it does here, its impressive textural details aiming for full emotional effect. The other two discs contain new material recorded in 2013 following the same compositional principals as the original and are every bit as sophisticated and majestic as the former one. This basically is as essential as it gets — lovers of subtle, slowly moving electronic music: You know what to do! -Niels Van Tomme

  23. Reviews Editor

    From hypnagogue.net

    To my mind, Structures from Silence ranks highly in the list of ambient works that could be considered canonical. A defining work both in Roach’s career and in the genre itself, this timeless 1984 release has inspired countless electronic musicians — including, in retrospect, Steve Roach. That, aside from the improvements in sound quality the remastering offers, may be reason enough to get ahold of this 30th Anniversary re-release: to hear how the music continues to inspire the artist. Along with the three original long-form pieces, which are as beautiful and meditative as ever, there are two new releases inspired by their “soul tone,” and which emerge as very worth successors. “Suspension” and “Reflection” maintain the hallmark lightness of the original. The first eases its way slowly through on warm clouds of sound, so familiar that if you’re listening from one disc to the next, the flow is perfectly unbroken. The second glimmers appropriately, like sun on water, and passes through various moments of light and shadow without losing that sense. Roach plays with high tones here that sometimes border on sharp without going too far. “Beyond” and “Below” explore the flip-side of the Structures… sound-set, tending more toward Roach’s slightly darker musings. While still as soft and immersive as the rest of the release, these pieces eschew the higher tones and let low drones take the forefront. “Below,” particularly, brings the volume and brightness way down, almost to the point of just barely breathing in your ears. As much as I have always loved the feel of Structures, this is more the way I like my Roach — a little moody, decidedly pensive, and wrapped in the right amount of shadow. As for Structures itself, the piece has aged beautifully. I will always find the three-note phrase that makes up the title track a little breathtaking in its simplicity. The rise-and-fall cadence of the pads, with the slightest of pauses between, is as calming as ever. Since its initial release, this album’s resonance has been felt over and over in Roach’s work; it’s inspiring him still on releases like The Delicate Forever. And with good reason. In 1984, Structures from Silence arrived to change things, to point in new directions, and it’s clear that it has never quite left.

  24. Reviews Editor

    From Dazed Digital

    I’m not sure exactly when I first came upon Steve Roach, whether it was listening to Echoes on NPR as a teenager or surfing the Wikipedia article for “space music”, but his sounds have been in heavy rotation on my personal playlist for years. Because a lot of his later work is so awash in new-age vibes Steve Roach sometimes gets brushed aside by more ‘serious’ synth-heads, but his pioneering use of digital synthesizers, long form compositional style and production wizardry make him worthy of highbrow consideration. He sculpted a genre of ambient music all his own after early experiments with more arpeggiated, Klaus Shultze-esque kosmische, shifting to a more contemplative, ethereal sound. It’s hard to choose just one Steve Roach track to represent here (there are so many, and they are all so long), but I’ll link to the recently reissued / re-mastered ambient classic Structures from Silence (get it for the title track), the work that first established Roach’s signature style. -John Also Bennett

  25. Reviews Editor

    From Fact

    #4 on the Best Reissues of 2014 chart!

    Done deal, really: our 10th favourite album of the 1980s gets an impressive, careful, ambitious reissue. Recorded in a baking California back in 1983, Structures From Silence is a genuine ambient landmark – a collection of billowing synth figures, rolling like dry ice, with trembling overtones and shimmering harmonics. Aside from being one the best authentically New Age records ever made, it’s proven seriously influential – Aphex Twin’s Selected Ambient Works Vol. II wouldn’t, and couldn’t, have happened without it.

    Projekt reissued the record 10 years ago, but this version is definitely the complete article: newly remastered, and expanded twice over with new compositions from Roach, recorded over the last few years in the same style. Given how much ink has been sloshed about the 2014 ambient revival, it’s a perfect time to return to this classic album – still spellbinding, three decades on.

  26. Reviews Editor

    From Musique Machine

    Originally released in 1984, Structures From Silence was the third album from US ambient legend Steve Roach. The album is often considered one of Roach’s most influential, respected and celebrated albums; it consists of three lengthy tracks that are built around simplistic interlocking textural synth patterns, which are both soothing, melodic & atmospheric.

    This reissue from early on this year is the 30th anniversary reissue which finds the original album getting 4-bit/96k remix from the original analog mixes. Along with two discs of new material that tries to recreate the vibe/feel of the original albums tracks. The release comes in either: a fold out three CD digipak sleeve (similar to the reissue of Roach’s Quiet Music), or as a digital download.

    So first off let’s talk about the original album, and then we’ll move onto the new material. The album opens with “Reflections in Suspension”, which comes in at just shy of the seventeen minute mark. The track is built around a mixture of simmering ‘n’ moody synth bass line, and a higher pitched melodic synth line. Both elements remain fairly fixed in their repetitive pattern for the first ten or so minutes, with Roach skillfully building atmosphere & mood with sub-tone sweeps & rises. In the last seven or so mintues Roach subtle slows the patterns down, until by the end of the track we’re left with a just a slowed golden wash of melody. The whole thing sounds bright, airy & pleasing, yet there is a slight hint of more mysterious/emotional edges too. The thing that hits you most about this track is how timeless it sounds; sure you can tell Roach is using 80’s technology, but it doesn’t sound dated or tacky. But instead feels as fresh & enriching as the gentle spring winds, yet never new agey or bland.

    Next up we have the just over thirteen mintues of ”Quiet Friend”. This track follows on from the slowed pace of the end of the first track, and is built around a warming yet slightly troubled mix of hovering ‘n’ wavering mid-to-high pitched synth tones. These tones sort of settle around you in a pleasing & soothing manner, like a relaxing sonic haze, yet once again it’s never contrived or new agey. At around the ninth minute more defined synth key patterns appear playing out the track central melody. These new textures have an almost oriental like gentleness to them. Throughout there’s a real feel of emotional & slow melodic grace to the proceedings. This track I guess is a bit more dreamy & relaxing than the first track, but once again it’s a very captivating listening, which seems to pull you in deeper & deeper into its pleasing warmth.

    Lastly on the original album we have the title track, and this is longest track of the original album at 28.33 mark. This track is built a mixture of slowly hovering low-end ambient synth texturing, with a higher pitched bright & airy melody line on top. This is the most repetitive & unmoving of all the tracks on this first/original disc, as both elements repeat the same patterns over & over again through the tracks full length. I’ll have to admit on my first few plays through, I wasn’t a fan of the track – it just felt too bright, sweet & buoyant for its own good, lacking the more mysterious/ moody subtleties of the other tracks. But over time I’ve grown to enjoy the track more & more, and really it makes perfect senses after the other tracks…Like you’ve found perfect enlightenment & glowing joy at the end of your sonic journey.

    Really it’s easy to see why this original album is so celebrated & praised, as it takes you on such a compelling, warming, and melodic journey…yet it never feels contrived, dated, or bland…it’s just a work of simple ambient beauty.

    So let’s move onto the extra/new material for this 30th anniversary reissue, and you get an extremely generous two full length CDs worth of new work. Each of the discs features two tracks a piece, and each of these runs between just under thirty to near on forty mintues a piece. So on disc two firstly we have “Suspension”, and this track comes in at just shy of the twenty nine mintue mark. This track rather brought to mind ”Quiet Friend” from the original album, with its hovering ‘n’ hazed dense flow of ambience. The flowing ‘n’ circling tones mixes lighter/higher harmonic textures, with more moody lows. Structural wise the track remains fairly undefined in its flow, though it does follow a fairly similar ebb ‘n’ flow of tones through-out with the whole thing washing over you in a soothing yet slightly mysterious manner.

    Second on disc two we have “Reflection”, and this comes in at just over the thirty minute mark. And this once again this track follows the sort of slow ebbing ‘n’ drift of ambient tones, but this time they seem slight less mysterious & moody, than the first track, having this slow swirling harmonic twinkle to them. As the track progresses the tones seem to slow more & more around you to create this mellow/lush flow of ambience..I’m not sure if the track is in reality slowing, or it’s just a trick of my mind, but which ever it’s another most satisfying track.

    On disc three we have another two lengthy tracks, and these come in the form of “Beyond” (running at 32.11), and “Below” (running at 39.47). The first track has a more darker & eerier focus, compared to the other tracks here. It’s built around these two or three nocturnal focused ambient synth textures, which are playing out these similar sounding repetitive darkly harmonic patterns at slightly different speeds. This structure gives the impression of three dimensions, all most as if you could reach into the speakers & feel the slow gloomy patterns unfolding for seemingly ever & ever. To me the track seems to be creating this feeling of something that’s continually climb up & up, in search of light but all there ever seems to be is another layer of eerier nocturnal-ness.

    The second track sequences in directly from the first, and to start with it carries on the flowing gloomy ambient patterns of the first track. But fairly soon the nocturnal climbing shifts into slow moving drifts & sweeps of ambient tone. To me this track feels like you’re hearing an hazed & distant recording of lush string work swirling & ebbing on a soothing summer breeze. The textures are nicely blurred yet you can just make out this rich & majestic melody. The darkness of the first track has departed, but there’s still quite a feeling of mystery & moodiness to this track.

    All in all this is a most welcome reissue of one of Mr Roach’s most respected, celebrated, and timeless ambient works. Both discs of the new material are worthy & rewarding too. Sure they are not quite up to the caliber of the original album tracks, but each of the four tracks are well conceived & entrancing in their own right. Rating: 4 out of 5 -Roger Batty

  27. Reviews Editor

    From Comarcas Na Rede

    La entrega de los premios Oscar en Los Ángeles ya han pasado y en esta ocasión, dentro del apartado de las bandas sonoras, con un ganador que a la sexta consiguió llevarse el gato al agua, con la banda sonora de la película “Los Odiosos Ocho”, un hombre que ya lo merecía por la banda sonora de la película “La Misión” pero que hasta el momento, sólo contaba con una estatuilla honorífica.

    Pero eso ha sido en la meca del cine, ya que en nuestro país, todavía seguimos con la mezcla de colores, que hasta el momento, ha resultado como ganador el blanco, porque seguimos sin presidente, o mejor tenemos que decir el negro, que es el color que a estas alturas del año, alguno estará viendo, pero cómo nosotros este fin de semana, parece que veremos el del sol resplandecer en el cielo, pues vamos con un par de recomendaciones.

    Comenzamos con la pianista española Paz del Castillo, un nombre desconocido para muchos, pero que en Europa y América tiene un gran reputación y es una de las pianistas más importantes de la actualidad, por desgracia, algo habitual eso de que nuestros artistas triunfen antes en el extranjero que en su propio país y por otra parte, un incunable, es decir, un trabajo que los aficionados a la música ambient deberían de tener dentro de su colección y para aquellos que no lo tienen, esta reedición es una oportunidad inmejorable para hacerse con él, hablamos del disco Structures From Silence del gran Steve Roach. Dos discos para disfrutar del buen tiempo y cómo no, de la buena música. -Roberto Vales

  28. Reviews Editor

    Press quotes from 1984:

    Structures From Silence is like riding the perfect wave in slow motion… as if sculpting liquid, Roach carefully shapes his sounds into a stately crescendo for an eternal dawn.” – John Diliberto

    Structures From Silence is a superior album of floating, cosmic electronics.” – John Schaefer, Spin Magazine

    “Roach’s imagination breathes passion into mechanized sounds, often sterile and unfeeling when produced by less creative hands.” – Vicki Arkoff, Los Angeles Weekly

    “Roach adroitly weaves melodic strands from his multiple keyboards to create a multi-layered textural whole.” – Don Snowden, Los Angeles Times

  29. Reviews Editor

    From Pitchfork

    The 50 Best Ambient Albums of All Time – #33
    In the early 1970s, inspired by the likes of Klaus Schulze and Tangerine Dream, California desert motocross racer Steve Roach wandered away from a career of high-revving engines and taught himself how to play the synthesizer. He’s since become one of the defining American artists of new age music, perpetually on a quest for silence and the suspension of time in his music. “For me, the essence of this music is what is felt when it ends, a returning to the silence,” he wrote on the sleeve of his 1984 masterpiece, Structures From Silence.

    The three extended compositions that comprise Structures arise out of such quiescence; the loops and gentle melodic refrains spire upwards and suggest vistas. With just a few cycling elements and floating chords, “Reflections in Suspension” and “Quiet Friend” exude a peaceful calm, while the title track is a half hour of contemplative bliss, full of purring drones and high notes that shimmer and fade. Like a desert mirage, these structures hover forever at the horizon, an oasis from the din surrounding it. –Andy Beta

  30. Reviews Editor

    From Exclaim

    Given the fondness for analog synthesizers so prevalent among today’s electronic music producers, you would think that re-releases like this one would garner more excitement. Steve Roach’s 1984 LP Structures From Silence was a huge success in its day, but like so much else that came out during that Orwellian period, it sounds very much like a 30-plus-year-old recording.

    Whether it’s our rapidly decreasing attention spans or simply the plethora of new toys available to composers, the direction electronic music has taken in the last decade has left Roach and his contemporaries behind. In a 140-character universe, Structures From Silence feels very much like a long read.

    Which is a shame, because the record is genuinely extraordinary. Before the new age mania of the late 1980s, Roach, Brian Eno and others were making music for meditation (formal or otherwise). It was a radical departure from the commercialism of pop and the formality of classical music. Armed with the day’s cutting-edge tech, those ambient music pioneers kick-started an approach to composition that we’re still working through three decades on.

    Structures From Silence features three tracks, all updated from the original analog mixes. “Reflections in Suspension,” a study in synth washes, is effective, but not overly memorable, while “Quiet Friend” a straightforward minimalist piece, manages to capture a warmth that few synthesizer recordings from that time came close to. It’s beautiful, like a late summer morning.

    Side two of the album features the 29-minute title track. While clearly the most dated-sounding piece, it clearly qualifies as a major work from the period. Collectors — and DJs looking to create a Blade Runner vibe — will love it. -Kevin Press

  31. Reviews Editor

    From TimeOut Dubai

    Ten chill-out albums perfect for soothing your soul during lockdown. Put your headphones on and drift away

  32. Reviews Editor

    From Self-Centered

    Album of the Day

    It doesn’t take long for Steve Roach to lull most listeners to sleep — or at the very least, a semi-comatose state — on Structures From Silence. Originally released in 1984, and expanded into an essential three-disc edition 30 years later, this is as good as the ambient icon gets — three lush, synth-led pieces that sound like they would go on forever if given the chance.

    Repetition never becomes redundant here. It’s part of the plan, as if Roach’s Oberheim OB8 started finishing his sentences in the middle of a marathon session, and the California-based composer let it lead us all towards the light.

    “With synthesizers emerging in the ’80s,” Roach explained in an old interview, “it was clear that you could almost stop breathing, lose the body connection, sit disconnected in a chair, and still manage to make sounds. This realization was a big piece of my entire waking and sleeping focus. I worked to deepen and nourish the connection to the essence of sound, body, mind and breath awareness when creating with synths. This was directly translated into Structures From Silence – conscious breathing, the sigh and the expansion of this place in-between.”

    Like a lucid dream burned into your memory banks, the final product is as potent now as it’s ever been. That’s why Projekt’s reissue worked so well in 2014: because it tacked on four new songs drawn from a similar “place of stillness.” No demoes; no alternate tracks; no remixes — just a widescreen masterwork of pure weightlessness.

  33. Reviews Editor

    From Discogs
    Best Ambient Albums For Getting Stuff Done

    Steve Roach’s swelling synth textures and ethereal loops put him on the ambient map, and the timeless sound of this recording makes the album sound as vital and lush as ever. You may feel like you’re floating through outer space as you listen to Structures From Silence, but the shimmering melodies and meditative drones will help you feel empowered to conquer any project that comes your way. Roach’s 1988 album, Dreamtime Return, is also an ambient masterpiece that may come in handy when you’re trying to focus.

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