1 Electron Birth 54:49
2 Cloud Currents 12:14
2 Cloud Currents 12:14
Available on its own or with the new Timeroom release Return to the Dreamtime (2-CD) at special discount combo-pricing. Use the pulldown (below the green price bar, to the right of the word “Formats”) to chose your option.
This mesmerizing masterpiece of multi-dimensional analog sequencer spun music connects directly to Steve’s passion for the interweaving of pure emotion, energy, delicate grace and driving flow. Interconnected melodic-rhythmic forms bloom into a constant morphing state of kaleidoscopic change.
Over several months before this piece was recorded, many directions were explored, motifs developed and structures were revealed evolving up to the moment when “Electron Birth” was realized in its final creation. This stellar performance was recorded with a live audience in the studio-like environment of Tucson’s Galactic Center, Feb 11, 2018. The DNA of Molecules of Motion, Spiral Revelation and Skeleton Keys along with the tradition of great German EM School masters is woven into this vibrant long-form journey. The album concludes with “Cloud Currents,” a deep drift zone created in the Timeroom. Post production fine-tuning by Steve and mastering by Howard Givens brings out even more detail and sonic impact from this peak experience.
Experience Return to the Dreamtime – all new expanded and evolved pieces from Dreamtime Return, created live at the Galactic Center, Tucson AZ, February 10, 2018, and broadcast live worldwide on SomaFM.
From Prog Archives
The number of studio albums from American progressive-electronic/ambient icon Steve Roach may vastly outnumber his live discs, but when those ones do show up, the results are always electrifying and particularly special! Roach performed a handful of live concerts in Tucson earlier in the year that this disc is taken from, and along with the Return to the Dreamtime double set released alongside it, Electron Birth sees the master composer deliver a thrilling and energetic performance teeming with life that completely captures the evocative imagery hinted at in the title.
Electron Birth runs just shy of fifty-five minutes, and while it opens with lulling electronic caresses, within seconds looping and ringing pulses are infiltrating the piece, and it only races fervently ahead from there. As it progresses, it picks up a heavier dynamic energy, bombarded with an unceasing and relentless array of varying skittering and jangling sequencer beats, subtly diverting into sly variations and low-key direction changes without losing momentum for even a second, and its backdrop slinks and dazzles as strident sweeping themes slowly permeate with dramatic purpose. Many early stretches call to mind `Ricochet’-era Tangerine Dream just given a modern approach, and the lengthy piece truly revels in the initial Berlin School/German electronic masters inspiration of Steve’s earlier works, but it always remains instantly recognisable as pure Roach and comes from the same mindset as his recent studio albums `Skeleton Keys, Spiral Revelation and Molecules of Momentum.
A shorter studio-created `Cloud Currents’ is then seamlessly integrated into the performance and strips things back for a purer ambient closer of drowsy and surreal crystalline washes that lap at the listeners’ senses, but still retains haunting drifting moods and the most subtle of darker stormy textures.
Prog-electronic listeners (and especially fans of the above mentioned seminal Seventies years of the German electronic masters) perhaps unsure of where to start in Roach’s admittedly intimidating back catalogue of endless titles would find Electron Birth the perfect introduction. By embracing the Berlin School sound of old without ever sounding like mere rehash or lacking originality, and avoiding the beatless drones of much of his last two decades that some less patient listeners struggle with, Steve has crafted an inviting and instantly approachable performance that doesn’t skimp on his usual intelligence and humanity.
Electron Birth is Steve Roach looking to the past for a renewed purpose of ever-seeking new directions to pave the path to the future, and another sublime example of a master electronic musician at the top of his game and more inspired than ever despite a career of over forty years to date. Five stars. -Aussie-Byrd-Brother
In most circumstances, a CD with only two tracks would be considered a ‘single,’ but when the total time of the two tracks approaches the 70-minute mark, and consists of two essentially expanded electronic meditations, we are suddenly suspended in the timeroom of Steve Roach, a completely different world where interwoven threads of sonic energy flow inward to a point and outward in all directions at once. The 55-minute title track that opens the set is a multi-layered sequenced piece in the classic Berlin EM style that seems to be in a constant state of evolution, the slower atmospheric drifts coming to the surface occasionally while the more busy kaleidoscopic sequences dodge and evolve, raining colorful melodic fragments in all directions while dominating the proceedings of the piece, never far from the surface.
Surprisingly, or perhaps not, the title track was recorded live in the studio-like environment of the Galactic Center in Tucson, Arizona on February 11, 2018 in front of a live audience. I say surprisingly because as multi-layered and dense as the piece is, one would suspect this could only be something created in the confines of a studio, meticulously building the layers up and out and mixing them in the process; but Roach has a lot of experience creating live experiences like this, and many of them have been made available in recordings. As his other recent primarily sequenced releases like Molecules of Motion and Skeleton Keys clearly exhibit, this is a new level of complexity and depth for the pioneering classic German electronic music sound. The closing track, “Cloud Currents,” a studio creation in its entirety, is much shorter in length, barely over twelve minutes, but no less powerful, offering a beautiful crystalline landscape of floating ambience, with ever-shifting colors and atmospheres in slow moving waves that caress the soul like a blanket of warmth on a cold winter night under the stars. -Peter Thelen