Robert Rich – What We Left Behind –$6.99
“As unpredictable as he is prolific, multi-instrumentalist/composer Robert Rich defies expectations on a stunning new release that combines field recordings, acoustic instruments (PVC flutes, percussion), lap steel guitar, and electronics. The result is a luscious, organic mix where textures and melodies float naturally in and out of the foreground, often to the accompaniment of irregular rhythms that decorate time as raindrops do, suggesting patterns that are always slightly out of reach.” –Gino Robair, Electronic Musician
Robert Rich – Vestiges –$6.99
“VESTIGES began as the unspoken corollary to the strong concept album ‘What We Left Behind’ and proves even more up close and personal. While traveling forward in his own imagination to experience the earth after human extinction, Robert Rich needed to push aside the brooding sense of melancholy and unfulfilled promise that accompanies thoughts of our own end. Well, VESTIGES explores those feelings without apology, finding catharsis in the melancholy that hovers behind its predecessor … What initially starts out from a dense and dark place transforms slowly into a next level of emotive, organic-flavored and desolate soundscapes growing tenderer and reconciled as a kind of catharsis while facing the inevitable. It reaches a first highlight and transition on the mesmerizing intense ‘Spectre of Lost Light’ where things dissolve in unity in the end. Immersion is deepened again on the hypnotizing textural ‘Obscured by Leaf Shadows’ and “Equipoise and Dissolution”. Both velvet aural perfumes feel like a hallucinogenic and surreal desolate journey beyond. Toward the end, the solitary journey we all have to make seems to dwell on effortless, descending imminently into far-off, misty borderlands and ghostly plains on ‘Anchorless on Quiet Tide.’ It was no repose or release I felt at the end but a brooding vast journey of darker sonic surrealism carrying on elsewhere. It makes VESTIGES an in-depth and most compelling listening experience for all of us confronted with reality and what lies beyond.” –Bert Strolenberg, Sonic Immersion
Robert Rich & Markus Reuter are well-known for their many musical journeys – from the back of beyond to the brink of the mainstream. On Lift a Feather to the Flood (66’00”) they mainly explore tonality, and many of its subtle shades and moods. With Rich at the grand, and Reuter breathing out atmospheres and textures from his touch guitar and synth, this duo realizes eight subtle thought zones meant for pondering and questioning – more so than assurance and confirmation. On Lift a Feather to the Flood we do find the dignified, stately procession of reverberant piano notes walking thoughtfully through a cloudy haze of digital mist. But the most potent pieces are made with an ear for light, motion and surface – compositions that we must reason our way through. It is in these deepest moments that we may feel this album’s personal tone. As they work in this unique frequency, using melody and harmony likes signs and symbols, Rich & Reuter lean into the Avant-Garde. Locating tone is their mission, and the production of these rarefied ambient zones touches a distinctive, inquiring energy, and maybe even a bit of our fear of the unknown. This work does seem to be searching, just for the stimulation of it – with Rich & Reuter sharing their deep wondering about music, humanity and life. This duo knows about this music’s secret mind, and in their dreamy, drifting, lulling, pulling sonics, we approach something like the actual flow of consciousness. –Chuck van Zyl/STAR’S END 18 May 2017
Robert Rich – Filaments –$6.99
Robert Rich says of this album:
“I am deeply inspired by the scientific forays helping us to discover habitable planets besides earth, showing us that we are almost certainly not alone in the Universe. I feel wonder at our efforts to place our precarious existence into the context of this 13.8 billon year old reality, and at our model-building nature, trying to understand the shape of space and time. As I sought inspiration for this music in the realms of physics and cosmology, I found that the concept of the Anthropic Principle helps to connect my sense of wonder with the scientific curiosity that keeps us doubting what we think we know. The Anthropic Principle observes that our particular universe is well suited to evolve consciousness within it, as evidenced by the fact that we exist. As we look within our own consciousness, we find our place in this immensity, as an eye of the universe observing itself. This doesn’t place humanity in a special central position, but does make note of the surprising complexity of our existence. As we proceed to undermine the dynamic balance that helped us evolve on this Eden Earth, putting our own future in doubt, we should pause to understand the miracle that allowed us to exist at all.”
Hypnos is pleased to collaborate with Robert Rich on this deluxe reissue of Rich’s out of print classic ambient drone work. Originally released on cassette individually three decades ago, Trances and Drones were later released together on double-CD by Extreme (1994) and Release (2000).
Our new edition, designed to be the ultimate archival version of an essential ambient/drone classic, includes a beautiful 6-panel digipak with 8-page full-color booklet insert.
We’re very pleased to make available this archival 2CD digipak reissue of two of Robert Rich’s earliest albums, Sunyata and Inner Landscapes. Both albums were originally released on cassette, then issued for the first time on CD by Hypnos in 1999-2000. Two classic Robert Rich albums together in a deluxe package including 2CDs, 6-panel digipak and 8 page booklet insert.
Of this new release, Robert says:
Three decades after the release of my early works “Sunyata” (1982) and “Inner Landscapes” (1985), we created an archival edition with the help of Mike Griffin at Hypnos, who sponsored the first CD re-issues of these albums back in the late 1990s. After those pressings sold out, we decided to wait before bringing them back, assuming that the interest in physical media might be diminishing in favor of downloads. As it happens, people still express interest in getting a beautiful artistic package holding music that somehow stays relevant after all these years.
On his newest CD, Electric Ladder (2006), Robert Rich finds a new voice for the vibrant interlocking melodies that characterized his works such as Numena, Geometry and Gaudí.
With its seamless blend of analog modular synthesizers and acoustic tonalities, Electric Ladder weaves a hypnotic spell – lush, ecstatic and seductive. Its shimmering geometric lines grow more sharply etched with the clarity of justly tuned instruments and the intelligence that pervades Rich’s compositional vocabulary.
Robert’s second self-released disc (following last year’s well-received Temple of the Invisible) is a recording of a 2003 Denver concert — ambient and atmospheric Rich sounds, similar to the Humidity release on Hypnos.
This 74 minute live recording documents an entirely improvised concert in Denver CO, on Saturday July 26, 2003, with an intimate audience who came prepared for anything. With a thunderstorm forming outside, breaking to a peak mid-concert, this improvisation refered directly to the recent weather I had experienced on tour that summer. Below are two journal entries that might flesh out the meaning of the cover artwork, visually interpreted by John Bergin.
Robert Rich – Open Window –$5.99
While better known for his electronic textures, Robert Rich often includes piano solos during his live concerts. Open Window documents his improvisational approach to acoustic piano, with influences ranging from Alan Hovhannes, G.I. Gurdjieff and Erik Satie to Terry Riley and Keith Jarrett.
Rich chose to record Open Window on his own 1925 vintage A.B. Chase baby grand, an instrument with a more intimate sound than a full-size concert piano. Over a period of two months, he kept a daily schedule of piano improvisation, with microphones set up to record at all times. The pieces selected here reflect special moments during this concentrated period. These were the moments when effort vanished, and the music seemed to write itself.
Steve Roach – Empetus (2CD collector’s edition) –$7.99
Empetus is full blown sequencer-based music illustrating a further evolution in the visceral side of Roach’s music. Nine precise pieces that still sound fresh today. A favorite of sequencer music lovers. Released in 1986, this recording of intricately-woven sequencer lines and buzzing synthesizers established Roach as the American answer to the pioneering European electronic masters of the ’70s (Klaus Schulze, Tangerine Dream). Alternately thrilling and serene (sometimes within the space of the same track), EMPETUS’ waves of energy rest upon labyrinthine patterns of interlocking notes and wildly cascading tonal clusters. Roach varies the moods from piece to piece as well: the bright, piercing electronics of ”Seeking” contrast vividly with the starker, sweeping veils of sequenced notes and arcing waves of ”Empowerment” or the turbo-charged synths that rev through ”Conquest”. It’s all riveting, exciting stuff, and although Roach largely abandoned the style as he moved forward, EMPETUS remains an important, if largely unsung, statement documenting the course of modern American electronic music. -Darren Bergstein
“Brace yourself for one of the most stunning tribal-ambient-atmospheric recordings ever made. In HOLDING THE SPACE, the second installment in the FEVER DREAMS series, soundcurrent wizard Steve Roach dishes up a heroic dose of powerful sonic textures saturated with archetypal power from the collective ancestral depths. Take a breath and plunge head-first into an astonishing blend of meticulously crafted synth worlds and multi-layered throbbing grooves, augmented by the high-velocity percussion of Byron Metcalf and the achingly beautiful vocals of Jennifer Grais. This holotropic recording pulses with life and spirit, beckoning each of us to journey to our depths to discover (or recover) what possibilities we are destined to embody. This is archaeology of the soul.” –Frank MacEowen, M.A., author, shamanic-guide
Since its release in 1988, Dreamtime Return has earned its reputation as a genuine classic. The two-CD Magnum Opus is perhaps the most important, widely known and highly respected release in Steve Roach’s vast body of work. it serves as an essential benchmark within the Ambient-Ethno-Atmospheric genre.
“Steve Roach demonstrates that electronic music’s greatest potential may lie in bringing our most elusive dreams and ancient memories into focus through potent, highly imaginative soundscapes. This is without question Steve Roach’s masterpiece. 10-10 rating” CD Review Roach’s travels in the Australian outback, along with studies of the Aboriginal Dreamtime, and his desert walkabouts in California were the life blood for this recording which still defies the boundaries of genre classification 17 years after its release. Dreamtime Return still sounds like a transmission from the near future and the very distant past.
“Dreamtime Return is more than a seminal recording that has influenced a generation of musicians. It’s the voice you might hear calling back at you at the edge of the world.”
– John Diliberto, Echoes Radio, syndicated to over 150 stations nationwide.
“Musically Dreamtime Return richly deserves its classic status, but Roach also deserves credit for leading electronic musicians out of their sheltered studios and into an active relationship with the landscape, the wider world, and deep cultural history. The whole genre is stronger and more relevant for his example.” – Stephen Hill, Hearts of Space Radio
2 CD retrospective of one of the great ambient/space artists, and certainly one of the most prolific.
Steve Roach – Origins –$6.99
1993. Steve’s next solo after extensive touring in Europe and fruitful collaborations with Robert Rich and Suspended Memories. Primordial shamanic electronic music at its most powerful. Steve’s didgeridoo playing is woven throughout. Jorge Reyes appears as guest, and the hybrid trance grooves find a new level of potency infused by surreal soundworlds dripping with primordial sweat. Incredible liner note story by Linda Kohanov helps to set the mood. Perfect music to shake the primordial cage door loose and run outside.
A full-blown dreamtime alchemy of all the elements. The living, breathing percussion, didgeridoo and soundworlds are unified in a single purpose: to open to the door out of the ordinary world, initiating the listener into an empowered journey of infinite possibilities for spiritual rebirth, illumination, and transcendence. -steveroach.com
Steve Roach – Analog and Digital Instruments, Groove Creation, Prehispanic and Shamanic Percussion and Voice, Atmospheres, Soundworlds and Processing.
Vir Unis – Fractal Groove Creation, Synthesizers, Treatments, Atmospheres and Soundworlds.
From the gene pool of possibilities, an evolutionary mandala emits the music of chance, while the electric body emerges intelligent and in an awakened state of eternal becoming. Forged out of the primordial protoplasm from which we crawled, Body Electric is a cyber-shamanistic celebration of man and machine.
Steve Roach and Vir Unis combine different rhythmic sensibilities and undeniable soundscapes in an alchemical reaction, creating an aural sensation that is surreal, hallucinogenic, but still organically human. Body Electric is a welcomed edition to the borderless world of new electronic music; this album is a zenith in bio-electronic body music, an evolutionary spark, a focused, high-energy trip of life-affirming, hyper-terrestrial grooves and sustained, soul-expanding sound worlds. -projekt.com
2002. Fresh from select U.S. performances in 2002, this purely live double-CD documents the current evolution of Steve’s iconoclastic live experience after 24 years of electronic concerts worldwide. During the first half of this year, Steve was on the road constantly, playing in one city, then setting up the live system in The Timeroom to reflect on that week’s performance, developing new sounds in response. The music evolved through this process, offering a refreshing alternative to the “tour-’til-you-drop” approach for the composer and audience alike.
Elements from CORE, STREAMS & CURRENTS, EARLY MAN and INNERZONE are present, but the spontaneous moments within these two CD’s, along with many new pieces and spaces created just for these events, create an atmosphere than can only come from stepping outside the safety of the studio. From the intimate to the immediate, ALL IS NOW captures Roach’s deepest, most intense and searching sound journeys undertaken with an entire audience onboard. These “mobile Timeroom” events were recorded at Sedona Arizona, Oakland and San Francisco California, Portland Oregon, and the SFMOMA / Yoko Ono event in June 2002.
Steve Roach – Storm Surge –$6.99
For an uninterrupted 45 minutes, Steve Roach captivated the NEARfest audience in 2005 with a hyper-charged set designed to create an exhilarating ride through the many worlds found in his sonic landscapes. Fire-breathing primal-voiced synths, pulsing rhythms and haunting didgeridoo passionately intertwine as STORM SURGE progresses to an emotional climax. This is a well-timed release, as those who are experiencing the KAIROS DVD can hear first first-hand one of the many concerts that helped shaped the outcome of the DVD. This abbreviated set was supported by visuals that were part of the developing KAIROS project. STORM SURGE: LIVE AT NEARFEST is presented just as it occurred, with no edits or post studio fixes; the sound of the hall and the audience is all a part of the impact of this powerful live document.
2001. Steve Roach’s latest release on Projekt is a sort of follow-up to MIDNIGHT MOON, in the sense that it uses primarily processed guitars as a sound source. To these ears, though, STREAMS AND CURRENTS is a more evolved and sonically varied recording that MIDNIGHT MOON, and is likely to be more pleasing to those who enjoy the multi-layered and complex sound of Roach’s space music.
Following their collaboration STREAM OF THOUGHT, Roach and Wollo reunite to travel THE ROAD ETERNAL, an electronic/ambient path filled with passion and beauty. Six engaging and expansive rhythmic sequencer-based tracks intersperse with ambient zones and soaring electric guitar textures highlighting sparse, arching thematic lines. -steveroach.com
Steve’s pinnacle performance from 2010’s SoundQuest Fest proved to be a real moment in time, and fortunately it was documented with a high resolution recording that places the listener front and center on that special night. Presented as a single CD, the first 74 minutes of the concert are experienced as it unfolded. Three distinct realms are seamlessly mapped out in this inspired set. The opening starts with a 25-minute piece of perpetual forward motion in the mode of DESTINATION BEYOND, created specially for the concert, carved from pure analog synths and sequencers. From here we experience an amazing interplay between didgeridoo players Dashmesh Khalsa, Brian Parnham, percussionist Byron Metcalf and Steve performing real-time looping, processing and mixing along with soundworlds, ocarina and voice. This passage is an all-out expression of shamanic ecstasy that boils over into the engulfing tribal trance state of Thunder Walk” from the recent release DREAM TRACKER. The last portion of the set settles into an ultra drifting electro-organic zone. This evocative space, which premiered at the Fest, would soon evolve into the opening of IMMERSION FIVE – CIRCADIAN RHYTHMS.” -steveroach.com
Beginning as a collaboration between Roach and Metcalf, the music on The Serpent’s Lair evolved over the past year into an epic 2-CD set, augmented with a myriad of guests. For those familiar with Roach’s work, this release has it all. Steve’s ultra-soundworlds, hybrid grooves and magical production combined with Byron’s acoustic-organic tribal trance patterns set disk 1 in motion (in all directions). Aligning with themes of shamanic initiation found throughout the world, this disc is rooted in the organic . . . the earth . . . the ancestors . . . and the initiatory energy of focused transformational ritual practice which is integrated into the alchemical fire of psycho-spiritual death and rebirth. It is here that one is confronted with all the essential elements of danger and possibility.
Disk 2 — subtitled Offerings To The Underworld” — is built around musical elements from disc 1, yet forges a sonic alchemy as it dives deeper. Thought at times rhythmic, the overall feeling is a floating, pulsing, breathing adventure through a system of underground rivers and caves, inspiring fantastic epsiodes along the way.
Guests on The Serpent’s Lair include Vicki Richards, Vidna Obmana, Jeffrey Fayman, Momodou “Mohammad” Kah, Jorge Reyes, Jim Cole, Lena Stevens and Vir Unis.” -projekt.com