Steve Roach: The Passing (CD) (Out Of Print)


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1 The Passing


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Limited edition of 300

Steve says: The thematic essence contained in this new soundworld has haunted me since the late-90s, when I created a short piece for a compilation centered on the main harmonic chord cycle. Through the passage of time, the evanescent nature of this atmosphere only grew more poignant and deeper in emotional resonance. As life continues to be fully lived, blooming outwards and simultaneously mirrored with the passing of family, friends and animal companions, these emotions aligned and called on me. In a five day period leading up to my birthday in February 2017, I fully immersed in the feeling this echo in time delivered, realizing this long-form piece in totality.

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Weight .3 lbs



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  1. Reviews Editor

    From Synth and Sequences

    Steve Roach knew quite a very productive end of 2016 year with 3 albums appeared in December. And each of these albums visited the sound territories occupied by the American synthesist-philosopher since he released Now in 1982. I don’t count any more the albums since then, so much they are many and flooded in an impressive list of reissues. The last time when I tried a counting I believe that I had exceeded the point of 100 albums. But it doesn’t matter in that story! If some of his works sound as something of deja-entendu, in particular at the level of dark ambient music, others turn out to be monuments of pensive, meditative and transcendental music. Like this impressive The Passing whom Steve Roach wrote and performed in 5 days, just in time to be offered in downloadable format the day of his 62nd birthday on February 16th, 2017. Skillfully mastered by Howard Givens, this last album respires the soft perfumes of the best meditative music of the Californian musician sculptor of deep ambiences. A nth album of meditative soundscapes! The source dried up? Not at all! To say the least not here.

    The contemplative adventure begins with a deafened wave which spreads its presence like a guide making us discover the greatness of empty spaces. Foggy strands get out from this dense shadow which seems to float as in a passage towards another territory. We can hear secret flutes manipulate the incandescent heaviness of this shadow of which the whispers are reflected into a long ceaseless humming. It’s at around the 14th minute when the charm becomes obvious! Some slow wings which are bearer of sibylline harmonies begin to float all around this long wall of vocal drones, reflecting an attractive harmonious approach of which the equivalence is in this ghost melody that our ears savor since the first stammerings of Reflections in Suspension, but in a lento mode. And there far from me the idea to draw a parallel, because over the time I understood that there is only one Structures from Silence. All which looks like it, set apart Emotions Revealed, is but a mirage that we like comparing. But this winged melody possesses nevertheless the same effect of comfort, of to hear an old friend. We float within this minimalist melody to the uncertain and undoubtedly nebulous forms which presents constantly an accentuated inflection, like a fluttering which becomes viral. Sometimes I have the impression that Steve snivels through this opaque passage so much the tone of the melody is a reflection of condolence and where the slow movements in the wings loaded of ever-changing colors prostrate themselves as prayers. An insidious melody my friends whose meditative layers tangle the colors of the harmony in a slow horizontal spiral. A little as the specter of a huge squid in an oceanic bottom gone iridescent by the thousand fires of a weighty sun.

    My ears, which are marked by musical imprints of thousand albums of EM for more than 35 years, recognize here this spectral melody, very cold and flavored by powder of copper, but oh much delicious of Mojave Plan from Tangerine Dream’s White Eagle. Except that here she is especially slower and more encompassing. It’s as if we were between two universes. In a few words, the imagination becomes fertile as our feelings soar with this undeniable effect of crescendo which slumbers between the depths of The Passing. Can a so long title hide an effect of redundancy? A drying up of our interest? That always depends of our expectations. Except that at this level The Passing is not really different from the other sonic Masses of Steve Roach. On the other hand, we always have this impression that The Passing evolves with subtle differences due to its colors which change as our ears lose it in the magnetism always fascinating of this slow shaded membrane which irradiates the mysticism of The Passing. In brief, another very beautiful monument of ambient and meditative music of Steve Roach. The journey is beautiful and soft, the melody is mesmerizing and the structure is soaked with this bewitchment unique to Steve Roach. Great Roach here! But there I have this feeling of being redundant. -Sylvain Lupari

  2. Richard Gurtler

    “The Passing” was initially released as a surprise gift by Steve Roach on his birthday at February 16th, 2017 as “name your price” digital download , but fortunately also a limited CD version was immediately announced. 4-panel digipak edition, limited to 300 copies with immersing cover image by Sam Rosenthal, followed in the middle of March and it’s quite obvious I couldn’t miss another long-form epic carved by one of the truest masters of this format. Although recorded during a five-day period prior to above mentioned Steve’s birthday, the origins of this composition go back to the second half of the 90’s when “Dreaming… Now, Then: A Retrospective 1982 – 1997” 2CD compilation was released on Celestial Harmonies. And there can be celebrated among many other essentials also a piece entitled “The Passing Time”, a 12-minute unreleased archive track from 1997, which closes the second disc and presents Steve Roach at the most majestic vertex of his aural profoundness. Now this utterly poignant delight has been reshaped and expanded to a fully engrossing one hour of emotional exquisiteness. The mastering credit, as usual, goes to kindred wizard Howard Givens.

    Droning sonic insignias, invading my listening room with reverberating infinity, are persistently propelled by spirally ascending reflections. Warmly evocative meridians clandestinely permeate across and join this meticulously layered multi-dimensional stratum. Around the 18th minute soulfully voluminous vistas steal the spectacle before serenely dissolving into sweepingly breathtaking horizons. The aural magic of Steve Roach once again fully reveals all its ambrosial hallmarks and I am delving deeply into his atmospheric oasis I have been always exhaustively fascinated with. When heading towards the 30th minute mark, slightly calmer glimpses arise, however still abundantly expansive with awe-inspiring climaxes. Then again quietly metamorphosing towards balmier landscapes counterpointed with amorphously lithe gracefulness that can’t be anyone else but The Master. Yet auxiliary apexes continuously emerge with ear-bending intensity, but then, while approaching approximately the 48th minute, the composition starts its halcyon move to full blossom and it reaches its ingenious pinnacle, when transmuting through gorgeously heartwarming mirages into absolutely blissful all-embracing sonic euphoria. And it happens again and again with each spin, I am drifting through the emotionally magnified sonic Eden into the resonant silence with goosebumps on my arms…

    Recorded in the remembrance of lost loved ones, “The Passing” dives into the most intense, yet nectarously sumptuous, harmoniously gratifying and luminously eulogistic zones of heart-rending contemplations ever sculpted by Steve Roach. After nebulously subterrestrial monument “Fade To Gray”, released only several weeks earlier, the listener experiences here another opus in the Master’s dedication to the long-form magnificence. As far I know, only few copies are left with no re-prints in the future, so if you are still craving for the physical version, don’t wait any second, once “The Passing” CD is gone, it’s gone just like it happened to other milestone “Invisible”! Also don’t forget to explore also “Painting In The Dark” and “Spiral Revelation”, both CDs were released at New Year’s Eve 2016 together with “Fade To Gray”. And the next colossal chapter “Long Thoughts” is coming this summer!!!

    Richard Gürtler (May 17, 2017, Bratislava, Slovakia)

  3. Reviews Editor

    A review from Terra Relicta

    Steve Roach is an artist that has meant more and more to me as the years go by, his heavenly sonic tapestries have woven themselves into the very core of my being and this new release has left me speechless.

    What a delight it is to see a surprise long-form piece released on his 62nd birthday! This man cannot be stopped and was clearly sent here solely to guide us into our higher selves and bless us with his soundscapes.

    “The Passing” starts off with his signature droning ambience bubbling in and out of your consciousness and breathing all around you. Slowly it builds up aiding you in reflection of long passed family members or animal companions, how it might be in the other side or if they really are somewhere out there in the ether. These feelings come and go as the track builds as an emotional and heart-wrenching drone starts to build around 22 minutes in leaving me feeling weightless and full of welling emotions. I sit here as the world fades away, leaving the darkness of the past behind. All that I’m left with is what can only be described as how it sounds when you ascend to what we might deem as heaven.

    Steve Roach is at his highest tier in this release and shows his mastery at building an atmosphere… a world you can live inside and experience it in many ways. From the subtle thought provoking melodies he weaves throughout this track to the bass rumbling around you this will leave a mark on your life as all his music has for me personally. If you’re looking for some answers inside yourself or to let ghosts of the past rest easy, then plug this world into your ears and let it take you to places you never dreamt were real.
    Review written by: Tom Necklen
    Rating: 10/10

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