Steve Roach: Reflections in Repose (2CD/Digital)

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Product Description

Disc 1
1 Watercourse
2 Reflections in Repose
3 The Splendor Within
Disc 2
1 Hear Now
2 This is Why

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Reflections in Repose captures the pure essence of Steve Roach’s ever-deepening intimate embrace of silence, breath, rich harmonic inventiveness, and shifting liminal states; it’s a sound and style completely unique to his electronic/ambient vision. Created over two evenings at the close of 2023, the music was recorded in the same sequenced flow as presented on the two discs’ 116 minutes. The five long-form tracks were performed on a single instrument — the Oberheim OB-X8 — the modern equivalent of the iconic Oberheim OB-8 which Steve used 40 years ago in the making of his classic piece “Structures from Silence.”


Steve reflects, “As I conceived these pieces, the intention and flow was to merge into the space where ‘Structures’ was born. Not as a nostalgic tribute but rather returning to the source where this essence lives within me. It’s the realm where I fully inhabit the emotional suspension and dynamic connection to the transportive power of sound. Expressing it in the moment with clarity and focus.”


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 manifests a sonic experience that breathes a vital life energy, connecting to an ever-expanding global audience. Drawing from his 45-year dedication to the evolution of electronic music, concerts worldwide, and a lifelong passion for the hardware instrument-based way of working, Roach 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: April 5 2024

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Reviews

  1. Reviews Editor

    From Musique Machine

    Reflections In Repose is a recent two-CD/116-minute album from US ambient master/pioneer Steve Roach. It features five long-form tracks- which sees him stripping down his sound using just a single instrument — the Oberheim OB-X8 — the modern equivalent of the iconic Oberheim OB-8, which he used 40 years ago to make his classic 1984 album Structures From Silence.

    The physical release comes presented in an eight-panel digipak. This takes in a moody black-and-white picture of Mr. Roach on the front cover, and water-like textures/ visuals inside. As with all of his main releases over the years this double CD set appears on the Projekt label.

    All of the tracks featured here are of the beat-less, stripped back, and drifting ambient variety- been built around tonally ebbs and drones. Each has runtimes between fifteen & nearly thirty minutes.

    The first CD takes in three tracks- “Watercourse”, the title track & “The Splendour Within”. The first track is all about swelling and then drifting tones- these feel somewhere between lightly warm & greyly nostalgic, with both peacefulness & slight forlornness in their make-up. The title track is not only the longest track here (29.46)- but for me the highlight/ centrepiece of the whole album. It finds Roach placing out these selections of slowly swirling & drifting tones, which hint at both hope/ warmth & darkness/ shadow. I’m not sure how he’s done it, but it literally feels like he’s creating an almost 3D picture with sound. The picture I’m getting is of a huge monolithic object- which is half submerged in dark deep blue water, and half open to the air & sun- with the track Roach takes us slowly around the mass- moving from the light and brightly glinting, to the shader and cool, though to the murky & dark. The track really is a feat to behold, and each time I play it- I’m once again enchanted, if at points subtle unsettled by the track. The third track/final track on this disc- brings together hovering lows & mids, with graceful sweeps/ ebbs- with the whole thing having a rather cathedral-like quality to its lightly reverbing tones.

    Moving onto the second disc, we have two tracks “Hear Now” & “This Is Why”. The first track is all about more rapidly sailing ‘n’ shifting drones- it feels like you are travelling along on the wing of a plane- as distant landscapes unfold below you- moving between the sun lite & cloud shaded. This is most certainly the most urgent/ shifting of the tracks on the album. The second track once again has a feeling of more rapid pull ‘n’ ebb to it- though it’s not up to the level of the first track – once more having rather forlorn/ troubled air-as the lightly tumbling bass tones meet more rising mids & highs.

    Reflections In Repose finds Roach striping back & narrowing his ambient craft. At its most engaging/successful- he manages to create very keen/well-defined sonic pictures. -Roger Batty

  2. Reviews Editor

    From Exposé

    A convergence of myriad textures and subtle tonal colors into a vast ambient sonic fabric. One can call it spirited meditation music, or a slow dreamlike odyssey, mystifying cavernous sounds, or a warm pillow of soft cloudlike structures, or a slow evolution of shimmering sonic beauty; I’m sure I may have come up with some even better descriptives of Steve Roach’s floating ambient music in the 70 or so previous times I’ve reviewed his solo works and collaborations. He does occasionally perform sequenced electronic works, and other times offers up heavy percussive fare with hand drums and didgeridoo, but the better portion of his solo work, especially that from more recent years, is exactly what Reflections in Repose has an overwhelming abundance of: beauty, warmth, subtle textures, drifting dreamlike structures, and a viewing of introspective emotional landscapes that works subtly as it calms the nerves and soothes the spirit.

    Listeners already familiar with Roach’s music really don’t need this review — his style is well established across 200-plus releases to date since the early 80s, and those who appreciated Structures from Silence (one of his earliest works, reissued a few months back) or any of a hundred or so others along the way will know exactly what’s in store; for those who are new to Roach’s work, Reflections in Repose is a perfect place to get on board and begin your exploration. What’s on offer here are five long-form compositions (meaning: an LP side in length or longer, a couple of the numbers approach the 30 minute mark) spread across two CDs, in his floating ambient textural style, without drums or percussion, without any busy sequencing — what’s here is all borne of synthesizers and electronics, but that of a gentle, introspective nature that wraps around the listener like a warm blanket, and allows the listener to lock in and follow the sounds and textures down the eternal spiral. And yes, if slumber is in your path, Reflections in Repose will be there to guide you down gently. -Peter Thelen

  3. Reviews Editor

    From Ambient Music Radio

    I was fortunate enough to have Projekt send this to me today for a review, press, and promo. I am not an absolute fanboy of all of Steve Roach’s releases — as he knows the type releases of his I most admire. He and I have discussed such.

    But all that aside, I am going to say something I thought I’d never say . . . Reflections in Repose surpasses his legendary Structures from Silence. It also eclipses his landmark Dreamtime Return. Steve states, concerning this new phenomenal release, “It’s the realm where I fully inhabit the emotional suspension and dynamic connection to the transportive power of sound. Expressing it in the moment with clarity and focus.”

    Whatever Steve is trying to express here, to myself as an ambient musician, it is that condition and atmosphere allowing the creation of a release that encompasses those rare moments when the artist can fully express, exactly what he is hearing and feeling inside himself.

    I absolutely adore every moment of this release. It is such a vast soundscape stretching out nearly 2 hours within 5 very cohesive pieces created in two evenings. Every piece was entirely created via an Oberheim OB-X8 8-Voice Polyphonic Analog Synthesizer. (I guess I will be shopping for one now.)

    This release is incredibly refreshing to hear and totally relaxing to experience. Thank Steve for outdoing yourself on this one. The Muse spoke and you listened very, very well. This is top shelf ambient electronic music. It will be a new benchmark in the realms of Steve’s discography, referred to for many, many decades. My highest recommendation on this one folks! ~John W. Patterson aka SourceCodeX

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