We’ve cut prices this week on a handful of our HYPNOS label items. Follow the links to read/listen/buy, and be sure to keep an eye out for more markdowns in the coming weeks!
Viridian Sun – Solar Noise –$5.99
Viridian Sun – Perihelion –$5.99
We’ve cut prices this week on a handful of our HYPNOS label items. Follow the links to read/listen/buy, and be sure to keep an eye out for more markdowns in the coming weeks!
Viridian Sun – Solar Noise –$5.99
Viridian Sun – Perihelion –$5.99
We at Hypnos are very excited to bring you our first new CD release after an extended hiatus!
Dreaming in the Well of Slow Shadows is a new long-form piece from one of our favorite Ambient music artists. Based in Wales, Seren Ffordd has previously released many albums on the the Umbra label, several of which were later reissued on our own Hypnos Secret Sounds imprint. He also collaborated with the late ambient master Oöphoi on their album The Martian Chronicles, released by Hypnos in 2011.
Of his latest recording, Seren Ffordd says:
Some music arrives quickly – almost completing itself. However this album has not been like that, taking it’s own time, requiring periods of patience and silent waiting.
The title ‘Dreaming In The Well Of Slow Shadows’ was inspired by the seemingly endless well of imagination out of which we create art, music, ideas, civilisations….The slow depths from which formless and incoherent energies arise and take on shape, form as they are birthed into the world.
It was a number of years before the ‘Well’ first found its voice as the recorded sounds of a visiting friend’s harp playing began to take shape and form in the studio.
The album is composed almost completely from transformed and sculpted harp with minimal addition of other sounds to add to the sonic textures, patterns and shiftings… The album is a long-form single track that moves slowly and deeply while shimmering like a mirage, the textures and tones drifting over time.
Dreaming in the Well of Slow Shadows is packaged in our new CD release format, a plastic-free eco-wallet, rather than a digital or jewel case.
The Hypnos team hopes you will enjoy this deep and rich soundscape, and we look forward to bringing you more ambient, drone and minimalist recordings in the near future.
Track listing with mp3 sample clips:
Dreaming in the Well of Slow Shadows is a continuous 75 minute track, so we have provided below representative clips selected from throughout the extended piece.
Dreaming in the Well of Slow Shadows is now available at our SoundSwim store for $9.99.
We’ve got several restocks and one newly-added item from the INNESTI label this week, but inventory is limited and these tend to sell out quickly, so visit SOUNDSWIM soon and get yours before they’re gone!
Innesti – In Letters –$10.99
Limited edition. Glass mastered CD. 6-panel digipak with matte laminate finish. Features the photography of Katia Chausheva.
“Ethereal, minimal ambient soundscapes created with field recordings, organic synthesis, a sense of longing, and the slow movements of shadows.” –innesti.bandcamp.com
Innesti – Apperception (2CD) –$13.99
“Ethereal, minimal ambient soundscapes created with field recordings, organic synthesis, fading light, and experiments in dreaming.” –innesti.bandcamp.com
Innesti – In Currents –$10.99
“Hazy ethereal drones created using generative processes, field recordings, nostalgic fragments, and spectral residues.” –innesti.bandcamp.com
Innesti – Formless –$10.99
“Hazy, dream-like soundscapes created with field recordings, organic synthesis, hidden spaces, and long-lost letters.” –innesti.bandcamp.com
Innesti – Parenthetical –$10.99
“Ethereal, minimal ambient soundscapes created with field recordings, organic synthesis, turns of phrase, and the contours of shadows.” –innesti.bandcamp.com
Innesti – Between Worlds –$10.99
“Hazy, dream-like soundscapes created with field recordings, organic synthesis, vintage maps, and aural labyrinths.” –innesti.bandcamp.com
We’re back this week with a selection of temporarily marked down items from the 12k label — regularly priced at $9.99-$10.99, right now they’re just $7.99 each through September 12th or while supplies last!
“Between You And The Shapes You Take is the second collaborative album by Richmond based musician/sound artists Stephen Vitiello and Molly Berg. As with the duo’s previous release, The Gorilla Variations (12k2013, 2009), tracks are created out of improvisations and sculpted through editing. Molly Berg’s clarinet and vocalizations tend to cover the CD’s lyrical content while Vitiello’s guitar and processing covers a good deal of the textures. Two of the tracks on the CD feature violin by the multi-talented Hahn Rowe, once a member of the group Hugo Largo.
There’s an immediate air of melancholy and longing to a number of the tracks. An initial demo recording for the album was remarked on by a listener who said “I’ve fallen face first into a machine that erases the memories of an ended relationship as if it were a sound instead of a real life that fell in love with the girl again in the end.” A strange amount of truth exists in that statement and the entirety of it was momentarily considered as the album title. Instead, Between You And The Shapes You Take is a borrowed quote from Wallace Stevens’ poem The Blue Guitar.” –12k.bandcamp.com (Follow link to read more about this release.)
“2007 saw the album debut of Moskitoo with 12k’s Drape (12k1041). Since then, Moskitoo (Tokyo’s Sanae Yamasaki) has been busy performing live, recording and releasing new work (including sound/voice for Japanese media/television and iOS apps) and expanding her talents as a visual artist in Japan. After six years of growth as an artist she presents her sophomore album, Mitosis.
Mitosis begins with “Wonder Particle,” a track that very much sums up Moskitoo’s intentions: to embrace the digital with not only a human, but a distinctly feminine touch. Wispy, layered vocals swim around rhythmic fragments and warm insect-like noises. The music is strange and otherwordly, perhaps the soundtrack to an evening stroll on a warm night in a bustling alien city. There are lights, swarms of sound, a myriad of conversations blended by a thousand different stories of passers-by always on the move.
The inspirations behind this second album are not far away from these ideas. Moskitoo herself was thinking of journeys, even ones on the cellular level. Mitosis, or the division of a cell into two identical sets of chromosomes, was a point of departure for Moskitoo as she explored the ideas of division, expansion, the human body, and small particles of matter. One can draw a correlation between these ideas and her music as it nervously wiggles it way through sounds both liquid and electronic.
Mitosis is a dreamy, playful and serious album that shows Moskitoo’s talents as a sound explorer and songwriter. It is at once both catchy and curious, a question that doesn’t always need an answer.” –12k.bandcamp.com
“12k presents Every Action, the 3rd full-length release from the UK’s Motion (Chris Coode) and the follow-up to 2002’s critically acclaimed Dust (12k1019). In addition to his work with 12k (Dust, as well as a collaboration with Doron Sadja on 12k’s recent Two Point Two compilation, and an MP3 only release on 12k’s term. series) Coode has worked with Fat Cat and also released the debut Motion cd Pictures (now out of print) on his own imprint.
The work on Every ActionPictures was produced, sharing that release’s more obvioius tonal and melodic content. Using a stipped-down setup of studio equipment Coode crafts his sound by sampling, processing, resmapling, reprocessing.. back and forth, like generations of tape transfers or photocpies of photocopies, until the final results are smeared and distorted ghosts of the original: detuned, groaning, fragmented. Despite the digital sources, Coode’s music is highly organic, utilizing randomness, openess and dysfunction to create an oddly ambient and quieting sound made from stressed melodic flickering and skittering, tones, drones, and overprocssed textures.
Motion is important in Coode’s work, too; slow motion formed in grainy timestretches punctuated by dynamics that swell and disappear creating odd suggestions of performance, structure, and deconstruction built from his always live mixdowns.” –12k.bandcamp.com
“In 1995 Steve Peters and Steve Roden toured as a trio with singer Anna Homler; sometimes they would vocalize behind her, and they liked the way their voices blended together. They then spent about 15 years saying that “someday” they should record a voice-based project together. Aside from the physical distance between them, the problem was always: What would we sing? Neither wanted to write or sing lyrics.
Inspiration came in the form of a book of Japanese jisei – poems allegedly written by monks on their death bed – printed in both English translation and Romanized Japanese. Phonetically pronouncing the Japanese reminded Peters of the technique Roden has used of systematically chopping up the syllables in English texts to transform them into sound poems. Since neither of them speaks Japanese, it seemed like a good place to begin.
The two of them applied for a residency at Jack Straw, a non-profit recording facility in Seattle that gives grants of studio time. They had no exact plans other than they intended to avoid electronic instruments, or directly referencing the poems’ literal meaning, or imitating any Japanese musical idioms or “Zen” stereotypes. Culling some of the poems that made references to sound and noting them on 3×5 cards, Peters and Roden sorted the cards into four groups according to the seasons of the year that the poems represented, divided the cards between them, and taped them to their music stands. They then sang random fragments from the various cards – a word here, a line there, maybe backwards, maybe the English translation. They made no effort to keep the poems intact or retain any of their meaning, instead treating the material simply as phonemes to put in their mouths.” –12k.bandcamp.com (Follow link to read more about this release.)
“Akari is the third album from Tokyo duo Illuha. Following 2011’s debut Shizuku (12k1067) and 2013’s Interstices (12k2028), Akari takes the next artistic step for the band. While Shizuku was recorded in the US and completed separately by the artists, Interstices captured the duo creating their exceptionally detailed music together live during a Japaneses tour. Akari, in turn, is the first studio album where Illuha recorded and mixed together, throughout the entire process. The beautiful st-robo studio in Tokyo put a collection of amazing equipment at their fingertips, from vintage mics and outboard gear to a vast collection of instruments, both acoustic and electronic. Their writing sessions were numerous and long with details meticulously obsessed over for nearly a year. The result is the most bewildering music Illuha have created to date. An album swimming with the most delicately tactile sounds and instrumentation that draws the listener in with hushed, motionless attention.
While Illuha’s Corey Fuller and Tomoyoshi Date are often drawn to the most sparse notes of Rhodes and Wurlitzer electric pianos, acoustic grand piano and guitar, the breadth of instrumentation is partially what makes Akari so abosrbing. They have succeeded in creating their own universe of sound, so beautifully recorded, where each element not only has its own space but connects and interacts so fluidly with the other sounds. It is as if they are placed perfectly by nature, the compositions are fluid and organic, a far cry from anything calculated or structured. It is this open space that the music exists in which in turn defines the music itself. There is ample room to breathe within this forest of gentle tines, bubbling analogue synthesizers, clicking percussion and quiet field recordings. This is subtlety at its most refined; hushed without being saccharine, distant without being morose.” –12k.bandcamp.com (Follow link to read more about this release.)
“Shape Memory is the first full-length recording made through a collaboration between 12k label mates and friends Marcus Fischer and Simon Scott. In the fall of 2017, on a free day between US tour dates for Slowdive (for which Simon is the drummer), the pair managed to conceptualize and record an album at S1/Synth Library in Portland, OR.
In advance of their meet up, the pair shared sounds and recordings and then dubbed them on to cassette tape loops. Field recordings, processed acoustic sounds and synthesizer found their way to these tapes. In person, once they had a system of looping tapes playing back, they layered additional live elements: a bed of cymbals and scattered percussion, contact mic’d objects, live sampling, guitar and modular synths.
Shape Memory unfolds as a 36-minute piece (divided into three movements) rich in texture and deep connections. Fans of both artists’ solo works will recognize shadows of their unique aesthetics but the beauty lies in the new direction they chose to take it together. There’s a captivating density to the sound with plenty of atonal moments highlighted by the metallic resonances of the cymbals. Floating drones underpin granular guitar scattering while tape loops, lost in noise, provide a rhythm that’s not quite there. By the end, deep tones, mysterious and murky, take over, darker than each artist often goes.
Collaborations are all about creating a new entity beyond the expected from the members. Shape Memory is an album that’s not simply the sum of its parts, but a new creation from two talented explorers and friends.” –12k.com
“Michael Grigoni is a multi-instrumentalist who specializes in dobro, lap steel and pedal steel guitar living in Durham, North Carolina. His songs are beautiful, slow, wistful and lonely. The hazy, sliding sound of the guitars steep the music in nostalgia and mystery. Mount Carmel is his debut release on 12k”
FROM THE ARTIST:
“I’ve always been curious in my listening, searching for something in music and sound. I grew up playing the piano, and in college I took up the uilleann pipes, spending a summer in Ireland taking lessons. I traded the pipes for the dobro toward the end of my undergraduate years and discovered lap steel and pedal steel guitar a few years after that.
I studied ethnomusicology at the University of Washington where I learned about ethnography. Ethnography is a method for field-based research developed by anthropologists. The method involves spending time with people and learning about different ways of being in the world, and taking notes while one does so—jotting impressions, observations, feelings, snippets of speech, social landscapes. Ethnographers put experience to paper over and over again, over a lengthy period of time—for months, sometimes years.
This sensibility colors my music—this layering of textures, feelings, and ideas. Through this process, something emerges or is discovered or revealed. Blending and enfolding sounds made with an instrument, with sounds recorded in the field, is deeply satisfying and grounding for me. Making and recording music in this way is somehow like ethnography.
I wrote Mount Carmel with the place of my childhood in mind. The neighborhood in which I grew up had only two streets, both of which wound into cul-de-sacs between an interwoven set of barren, gentle hills in Rancho Peñasquitos, California. Growing up, my mother, who immigrated from Mexico to the United States to marry my father, told me that “los peñasquitos” means “the hills with white rocks on them.” Today I am told by the internet that it means “little cliffs.” I spent a lot of time on those little cliffs, kicking through dust as I explored them, watching for rattlesnakes.
I grew up between these hills, under the sun. Feelings anchored to material things constitute my memory of that place: the ice plant in our front yard that we would step on to crush out its juice; the lava rock beneath the pine trees; the Santa Anas – hot, dry winds that would suddenly manifest in our backyard; the dry hills without trees, only brush – chaparral and sage – that I constantly climbed. This particular landscape permeates and orients the record for me.
I named the album Mount Carmel because there was a church at the bottom of our neighborhood that I attended growing up called Our Lady of Mount Carmel. I used to think of that entire landscape – the neighborhood, the church, the hills – as Mount Carmel. In my mind, I lived at the base of Mount Carmel.”–12k.com
“Corey Fuller is one half of the duo Illuha on 12k and Break is his first solo recording for 12k. A crashing wave, the breaking dawn, an impact, the crushing of emotional spirit… the breaking of a storm. These are all relevant ideas behind his choice of a title for this highly emotional abum. Fuller has addressed the universality of human struggle without going into specifics of his own personal waves. The ideas that we as humans all share many of the same difficulties is both a launching point and a message he wishes to share with Break — the catharsis.
While Illuha’s music is known for its attention to small sounds and light textures, Break, while equally as fragile, sees Fuller working with much heavier elements. Still highly melodic, the work pulls and churns between harmony and tension, weight and air, the crash of a wave, the pull of the undertoe. The album is focused intensely on melody and harmony, progressions more carefully composed than the serendipitous found sound of his work with Illuha.
The piano is often at the center of these songs, an instrument (his own) that has become much an extension of his own body. His own voice plays an important role as well, sometimes lyrically ethereal and sometimes just a breath signifying the ever-fragile thread of life. Beautifully recorded in his Tokyo studio, the sounds are captured with all of their inherent physical flaws. As Fuller himself states about the piano being “Recorded in a way that you can hear the bones, like an open ribcage, moving contorting…” Everything on Break is there for a reason, not just the sound and soul of the piano but the electronic elements as well, rattling bass tones and dramatic, emotional waves of synthesizer rising and dissolving.
If a single word can be used to describe Break it is physical. From the instruments and techniques used to produce the album to the concepts of vulnerability of the human body. Break is an emotional riptide where violence and rest struggle to be the last voice.” –12k.com
“Taylor Deupree and Federico Durand share simple sounds with complex stories. Their music balances an edge between translucency and exploration, focusing on obscurity, repetition and a shared fascination of the mountains between them.” –12k.com
“Gareth Dickson is ghostlike. From the dark outskirts of Glasgow he has sent three studio studio albums in to the world – Collected Recordings (2009), The Dance (2010) and Quite A Way Away (2012). These albums have bewitched a growing inner circle, including some of the most innovative musicians around today – Juana Molina and Vashti Bunyan to name just two. Gareth has been the only constant member of Vashti’s touring outfit over the past ten years and latterly they have stripped down to a duet on their worldwide travels. Vashti indeed makes a spectral apparition on the first track of Gareth’s new album Orwell Court.
Gareth Dickson’s music is both beautiful and dark. A quiet Scottish melancholy underpinned by a grace and ethereal purity paired with a unique impression where the delicacy of Nick Drake mixes with the openness and space Brian Eno. Gareth’s music is often stripped down to the spare elements of voice and acoustic guitar, but a complex and mysterious music hides beneath the surface, demanding but generous and surprising. Clearly picking up where his previous albums left off, Gareth throws in a few surprises. Gleaned from his time spent touring and experimenting between albums the addition of a drum kit, some keyboards and guest vocalists enrich the palette. But fear not, these elements, while previously unheard of in his music, are approached with the subtlety that his listeners expect. They are a texture that adds dimension throughout the album. The hush is still there in its most genuine form.
His music is a form of modern classicism, by a man constantly aware that perfection lies shrouded in mists of uncertainty and ambiguity. It is above all a question of obsession and atmosphere. And it is a unwaveringly sublime cover of this Joy Division title that closes Orwell Court. Past revisited, and behind that, transcendence.” –12k.com
“Five Wooden Frames marks the return of Italian artist Giueppe Ielasi to 12k after his captivating polyrhythmic explorations on Aix (12k1051, 2009). He completely abandoned the guitar in the mid 2000’s to explore minimal electro-acoustic abstractions (see his releases on his own Senufo Editions) or rhythmic and groove-based music (see his Stunt series, the Inventing Masks project, and Aix and Tools on 12k).
Once again, however, the guitar has become his main focus, both as an instrument in the traditional sense and as source of sound material. The sections on Five Wooden Frames were produced using continuously shifting and modulating loops of acoustic guitar glissandos resulting in pitches that slide around in a haunting, yet spirited juxtaposition of delicate and strangely playful textures.” –12k.com
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