1 Towards the Dream (2018) 39:57
2 The Continent (2018) 13:18
3 Songline (2018) 5:11
4 The Ancients’ Way 14:31
1 Magnificent Gallery (2018) 10:52
2 A Circular Ceremony (2018) 17:31
3 Looking for Safety (2018) 13:57
4 Towards the Continuum 15:05
5 After the Return 14:57
This return presents expanded and evolved pieces from Dreamtime Return, created live at the Galactic Center, Tucson Arizona, February 10, 2018.
Return To the Dreamtime – 30 years deeper – Steve Roach comments:
Day and night for several months leading up to the February 2018 Return To The Dreamtime premier concert weekend I traveled deep into the essence of where this music lives in my being. Initiated by the process of immersing in the 30th-year remastering of Dreamtime Return, this inspired the desire to expand upon and present this music live for the first time since the early 90’s.
The live-in-a-studio-like environment of Solar Culture’s Galactic Center was essential in this recording; the energy of the packed in-house audience combined with the worldwide listeners tuning into SomaFM’s live broadcast supercharged the atmosphere of the space and momentum into this moment.
As these portals to the Dreamtime experience were opened, memories and tactile sensations of my time in Australia along with the epiphanies from then into now flooded my creative consciousness, placing me directly into this realm of a return within the Return.
The concert was broadcast live worldwide on SomaFM. Recording engineer Rusty Hodge.
Experience the mesmerizing long form sequencer/analog synth driven companion release Electron Birth recorded live the night after Return To The Dreamtime was created.
Ich möchte mal so tun, als wenn ich die Dreamtime Return nicht kennen würde und bekomme die Return To The Dreamtime in die Hände, lege die CD in den Player und los geht´s – “Wow ” sage ich nur! Irgendwie Magisch, die Musik hat was an sich, dem man sich nur schwer entziehen kann. Diese Ruhe, aber mit wahnsinnig viel Gefühl gespielte Musik, diese dichte, athmosphärische Stimmung – das ist echt ein Hörgenuss!
30 Jahre nach seinem wohl bekanntestem Album Dreamtime Return wurde die Return To The Dreamtime am 10. Februar 2018 inTucson, Arizona neu eingespielt. Die Stücke wurden überarbeitet und weiterentwickelt, haben aber von ihrem Ursprung nichts eingebüßt. Neben dem Original aus den 80er Jahren ist diese Rückkehr ein weiterer Meilenstein im der Karriere von Steve Roach!
Die Dreamtime Return ist ein Klassiker – und die Return To The Dreamtime wird´s sicherlich auch….
Ich kann es immer noch nicht glauben, dass ich vor ca. 15 Jahren mit der Musik von Steve Roach etwas überfordert war. Ambient war (noch) nicht mein Ding – und nun? Ich liebe diesen EM-Stil und höre Steve Roach, jetzt seit Jahren, immer wieder gerne! Diese Doppel-CD ist ein “Must Have”. -Uwe Sasse
I want to pretend that I don’t know the Dreamtime Return and get the Return To The Dreamtime in my hands, put the CD in the player and let’s go – “Wow” I just say! Somehow magical, there is something about music that is difficult to escape. This calm, but with a lot of feeling played music, this dense, atmospheric mood – this is really a listening pleasure!
30 years after his most famous album Dreamtime Return the Return To The Dreamtime was re-recorded on February 10th, 2018 in Tucson, Arizona. The pieces have been revised and developed, but have lost none of their origins. In addition to the original from the 80s, this return is another milestone in Steve Roach’s career!
The Dreamtime Return is a classic – and the Return To The Dreamtime will certainly be …
I still can’t believe that I was a little overwhelmed with Steve Roach’s music about 15 years ago. Ambience wasn’t (yet) my thing – and now? I love this EM style and have been listening to Steve Roach for years now! This double CD is a “must have”. -Uwe Sasse
From Ambient Music Guide
This year’s Return To The Dreamtime album is a real treat for fans: a live performance of the entire suite recorded in February 2018 in Tucson, Arizona. It’s well worth hearing thanks to some reworkings and several new pieces, though the original’s central themes and distinctive textures remain largely intact. It also benefits from three decades of advances in recording and production, including a superb mastering job by Howard Givens from Spotted Peccary Records.
During the process of revisiting, remastering, and reimmersing himself for the 30th anniversary edition of his classic album Dreamtime Return, Roach was inspired to expand upon parts of the original and at the same time follow some paths not taken at that time, the result being Return to the Dreamtime – 30 Years Deeper, a live event recorded at the Galactic Center in Tucson, Arizona, on February 10, 2018, and again a two-disc set. The first disc follows the original starting with “Towards the Dream,” “The Continent,” and “Songline,” although all of these are greatly expanded upon, especially the opener and its follow-on, together taking 53 minutes compared to the original’s 12 minutes, and within that expansion we have more exploration of the original ideas that drove the first version way all those years ago. Over the years Roach maintained much of the original equipment, location recordings, and samples, on 512 KB floppies and 80s-era hard drives, as well as his original analog synth patches, so it wasn’t so difficult to create something ‘new’ using the tools that were used before.
After those initial three cuts the first disc takes a new turn for its last 15 minutes with “The Ancients’ Way,” a piece that opens with natural sounds of birds and animals and the growling of didgeridoo accompanied by deep end synths, sampled hand percussion, and rainsticks. The booklet offers the complete instrument list used to create these pieces in this live setting, although one won’t hear any applause or other evidence that this is indeed a live recording, it might as well be recorded in the studio, a credit to the Solar Culture’s Galactic Center. Disc two begins with three more reworkings culled from the original: “Magnificent Gallery,” “Circular Ceremony,” and “Looking for Safety,” the latter being the only piece here that is shorter than the original version, before moving on to 30 minutes of all new material in “Toward the Continuum” and “After the Return.” Certainly anyone who has spent a fair amount of time immersed in the 1988 original Dreamtime Return will be right at home among the floating drifts, subtle sequences and primal elements of this new recording. -Peter Thelen
From Synth & Sequences
Dreamtime Return is undoubtedly the first album of Steve Roach to have given him a global visibility. The skillful mix of electronic equipment with tribal vibes of the first peoples of Australia not only added more credibility to his creativity but also opened doors to what is now called tribal ambient music. For Steve Roach and his artistic entourage, it was out of the question to pass the 30th anniversary of this cult album in silence. The basic idea was to go back into the atmospheres of those years by searching through the archives of this project composed between 1987 and 88. Fortunately, everything was sorted in the impressive archives, both sound and photographic, and sketches from this work of Steve Roach. Archives and sound sources that have survived to many traverses of continents from the American musician. And so after several months of research, both spiritual and musical, and reflections was born the project Return to The Dreamtime and whose outcome was an international broadcast by SomaFM of a concert performed at Galactic Center in Tucson, Arizona, on February 10, 2018. Recorded by sound engineer Rusty Hodge, reworked by Steve Roach and finally remastered by Howard Givens, this double album features a top nickel recording with well-known titles from Dreamtime Return, but performed in a more elaborate vision of Steve, and nearly 45 minutes of new music which fits admirably in the sets of the original work.
And it’s with over 33 minutes of extra music that “Towards the Dream (2018)” explains the new sound realities of Return to The Dreamtime. Preceded by songs from the inhabitants of the Australian jungle, the rhythm is much more fluid than in the original version. The movement of the sequences is also more in Berlin School mode with a fast pace which is woven in a series of oscillating loops scrolling at high speed. The organic texture arrives a few seconds later, but with a clear decrease in resonance. Slender and degraded movements show beautiful inclinations in the structure which makes detours, as subtle as musical, in this rhythmic labyrinth which plays constantly within its minimalist pattern. Nearly 40 minutes, is it too much? Not really since Steve Roach constantly plays with the nuances in his rhythmic frame where percussions get also grafted in order to solidify an approach which becomes more trance, as in the original version but with a more contemporary tone. Well adorned with electronic elements which cleverly blend the tones of yesterday and today, the long journey of “Towards the Dream (2018)” reaches a point of breathlessness around the 21st minute. Thus slower, the movement undulates with light descents and ascent, as in the beautiful analog years, before regaining strength and complete its longest exploration in the atmospheres of its opening. Stretched of nearly ten minutes, “The Continent (2018)” is closer to the realities of the original title with fascinating percussions whose echoes are crumbled by soft rubber tones which are resounding of enchantment. The synth pads are always very enveloping and the additional minutes express more the ambiences which have guided the final of the original title. I imagine the difficulties encountered with the rhythm of frenetic tribal dance that we found in the original version of Songline. In an extended version of more than 130 seconds, “Songline (2018)” is yet rather close with a slightly more aggressive rhythm and these unmissable Didgeridoo textures.
First novelty, “The Ancients’ Way” adopts a little bit the essences of Airtribe Meets the Dream Ghost, especially in terms of vibes and scenery. The rhythm is on the other hand more luxuriant in percussion and more sustained, in accordance with the first 60 minutes of Return to The Dreamtime. “Magnificent Gallery (2018)” is essentially based on its origins, even with almost 5 minutes more on the clock. It’s a very nice track of meditative moods which continues its path of cavernous textures in the introduction of “A Circular Ceremony (2018)”, a title which used to precede it in the original version of Dreamtime Return. The ambiences and this soft rhythm are at the rendezvous. Since Steve Roach revisits his work, everything seems better balanced here with a clear distinction between synth layers, rain effects and celestial voices. Subsequently, we drift to a new version of “Looking for Safety (2018)”. Amputated of 18 minutes, the structure here is more intense and proposes an evolution towards a softer rhythm. This intense phase, these ambiences and the effects of wild jungle get thrown into the introduction of “Towards the Continuum”, a second novelty. Under a rich sound fauna, the rhythm deploys an oscillating approach which releases some fragrances of Berlin School, Empetus or just a little livelier than in the last part of “Towards the Dream (2018)”. The synth attacks this structure with sound rays of circular mists which envelop a superb tonal texture in a small treasure of creativity from the sequencer. It’s a kind of rebirth of Return to The Dreamtime and the concert performance ends in a quieter finale of this title that stretches its ethereal breezes throughout “After the Return”.
“Return to The Dreamtime” is a solid concert performance of an extraordinary album that which deserves nothing less than this re-editing by Steve Roach. One could not hope so much and yet it’s a tour de force that he realizes by bringing a contemporary vision to textures which mingle the two temporal distances without altering of an iota the depths of this timeless work. And in the end, Return to The Dreamtime follows the logic and stands out as the perfect sequel, if not the perfect companion, for the 30 years of Dreamtime Return. Well done Steve! -Sylvain Lupari