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Messages - Robert Logan

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1
It seems I feel differently about this every time I hear it. But to my ears it is definitely beautifully produced, mixed and mastered - it's got that really 'vivid', three dimensional and 'present' sound whilst also being really pared back and subtle, similar in that way to Nest and other great R. Rich albums. Lovely mastering too. I do think he has such a unique sound, although because similar elements are used from album to album no matter what their theme (which I understand he considers his 'voices' or something to that effect, like the steel guitar, flutes and other recurring sounds) I have to separate my listens with his material in order to preserve a sense that each work is addressing something different. For some reason it doesn't matter so much with other ambient artists - I can just let the albums roll on, album to album. But there is something quite 'thematic' to each of his works, so if I'm hearing similar sounds in Nest as I am in What We Left Behind - even though the two seem to be in very different zones thematically - my brain finds it a bit problematic. Odd huh?

2
I spent the day listening to Second Nature. Outstanding! I think it is really hard to get the right combined sound from synths and piano. This is perfect. The way the grand piano is processed makes it seem more mysterious, while still being a majestic acoustic source. And the lightly mixed synths and electronics function like wisps in the background, always filling the space but without commanding too much attention.

That's encouraging to read, Chris. It is brilliant to hear the album is speaking to you. I must confess I would never have thought to release an album of this nature, but Steve has a special intuition for things and makes magic happen. And yes; he carves out those treatments/processing with great degree of care and sensitivity.

Ekstasis - even though that was your experience of this one, best wishes for your future listens to 'Biosonic'! :)

I feel very bad now, I did not mean to sound harsh. But I can also add a lot of steve roach albums I have been listeningen to and it has taken a long time before I have been able to grasp it fully and when the right doors has been opens.

It makes me really glad steve roach still putting out albums in steady flow! I think his discography can never be big enough.

I spent the day listening to Second Nature. Outstanding! I think it is really hard to get the right combined sound from synths and piano. This is perfect. The way the grand piano is processed makes it seem more mysterious, while still being a majestic acoustic source. And the lightly mixed synths and electronics function like wisps in the background, always filling the space but without commanding too much attention.

That's encouraging to read, Chris. It is brilliant to hear the album is speaking to you. I must confess I would never have thought to release an album of this nature, but Steve has a special intuition for things and makes magic happen. And yes; he carves out those treatments/processing with great degree of care and sensitivity.

Ekstasis - even though that was your experience of this one, best wishes for your future listens to 'Biosonic'! :)

I feel very bad now, I did not mean to sound harsh. But I can also add a lot of steve roach albums I have been listeningen to and it has taken a long time before I have been able to grasp it fully and when the right doors has been opens.

It makes me really glad steve roach still putting out albums in steady flow! I think his discography can never be big enough.

Thanks Ekstasis. You know what us musicians are like... We can be a right sensitive bunch. But I am not sure it is wise of me to be reading or interacting in such a thread anyway. :p

'Second Nature' did involve less obsessiveness/control than usual, so a part of me can comprehend an initial reaction like this. When one can tend towards being a bit OCD - things like layering elements until the computer collapses, spending 3 weeks on one hi-hat, skipping life basics just to keep tweaking milliseconds of some sound for that bit longer - well, I guess it can be a very refreshing experience to not be able go down that path. :D 

I agree with your observation that many Steve Roach albums take a time to digest - especially those of a more minimal nature. Who knows; perhaps this will be one of them for you, at least for the mystery and special specific feeling being captured.

All the best!


3
I spent the day listening to Second Nature. Outstanding! I think it is really hard to get the right combined sound from synths and piano. This is perfect. The way the grand piano is processed makes it seem more mysterious, while still being a majestic acoustic source. And the lightly mixed synths and electronics function like wisps in the background, always filling the space but without commanding too much attention.

That's encouraging to read, Chris. It is brilliant to hear the album is speaking to you. I must confess I would not have necessarily thought to release an album of this nature, but Steve has a special intuition for things and makes magic happen. And yes; he carves out those treatments/processing with much sensitivity.

Ekstasis - even though that was your experience of this one, best wishes for your future listens to 'Biosonic'! :)


4
not sure what we can expect from this album, but I think we can expect maybe something a long the lines with steve roach albus with vir unis, with complex percussion. Anyway it looks like this album will be something special I hope so. I think it is good steve works with others too

Thanks Ekstasis...

It has been a wonderful and eye-opening experience working with Steve. It felt like a most natural melding of two different (but linked) worlds - and he is such a brilliant and encouraging creative force.

I should mention that my bandcamp was created by Slowfoot Records and only has material that has been put out on that label - so it represents one 'side' of things, if you like. Like some other musicians on this forum I am sure, there is much music made that isn't really reflected on certain releases or output. For a slightly wider range, my soundcloud could be good bet:  https://soundcloud.com/robert-logan

For example - minus the treated vocals- some of 'Second Nature' has a mood and harmonic aspect that feels linked to a film piece I created called 'Unveiled' : https://soundcloud.com/robert-logan/unveiled

However, I would say overall that 'BioSonic' and 'Second Nature' are tapping into some new territories for both Steve and I...Which is a beautiful and exciting thing. The Vir Unis albums are a relevant reference, though. :) ('Blood Machine' is up there with my favourite Roach releases of all time.)

It'll be interesting to see how people respond to the music. Much care went into the creation of these two albums.

5
I remember being quite blown away by this one - especially the second half, where it seems to dive into some deep and darker territories. Wonderful layered sounds and a very unusual atmosphere... It takes me somewhere very special and some of the sonics even had a slightly industrial feel. It stood out as a very special Steve Roach release when I heard it - must investigate the longer mix now available.

6
"In the next newsletter we have big news to announce on BioSonic, an amazing collaboration with UK-based electronic artist Robert Logan, four years in the making. Stay tuned!"

Seems very interesting!

👍😉

7
Forum Member Projects News and Promotion / Re: Third album 'Flesh'
« on: September 27, 2015, 07:11:02 AM »
Pete,

Thank you very much for that.

Just in case you or anyone is interested in some background, Trax Magazine recently did an interview with me. Answers are in French and English. http://fr.traxmag.com/interview/29474-c-est-quoi-ton-blaze-robert-logan-album-en-exclu

:D

All the very best

8
Forum Member Projects News and Promotion / Third album 'Flesh'
« on: September 25, 2015, 02:52:00 AM »

https://slowfoot.bandcamp.com/album/flesh


Thanks, and all the best to you, Hypnos...

9
Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Robert Rich - Filaments
« on: February 09, 2015, 07:22:52 PM »
Robert Rich lost his muse years ago.  There, I said it.  This new one is another overly digitized, cold affair that continues to be light years away from his visceral work of the 80s and 90s.  Seems to be no real passion anymore in the music, and every new release sounds like the last.  No thanks.  I'd rather hear numena or trances/drones on repeat than buy 10 more very mediocre releases.

I'm not just buckling to pressure here at all - but I must confess I have now been struggling to connect with this new one over the last few days. Your post reminded me about that... Maybe it's a mood thing, maybe not. I find it amazing how at one moment an album can seem so special, and then so irritating and unfulfilling.

Another reason I wanted to respond to you is because I had also ordered an older Robert Rich (from '94) that I somehow missed - that 'Propagation' one. I think the cover art put me off (oh dear.) But it is an amazing release, and I am currently enjoying it much more than the new one. It seems so full of life, and the tracks build to such subtle but sublime climaxes. It hasn't dated at all and seems buzzing with fresh energy.

I hope my feelings about 'Filaments' return to where they were on that first listen when I wrote that post! 

10
Other Ambient (and related) Music / Robert Rich - Filaments
« on: January 31, 2015, 09:08:02 AM »
Good afternoon,

I'm surprised there isn't a thread on here for Robert Rich's newest album yet. I've listened to a youtube upload of it (am waiting for my physical order to arrive.)

I think this a brilliant release from Robert. Dark(ish), mesmerising and intricate, and to me his best since 'Electric Ladder'. It seems a bit more of an 'active' work from him,0 but I like it more than his last few 'active' albums (not that they were bad or anything - I simply find the nature of the harmonies, tunings, atmospheres, structures and the mysterious energy of the music here thrills me more easily than, say the approach taken on 'Ylang' or 'Medicine Box'.)

Robert Rich remains one of the most interesting 'ambient/electronic' composers alive to these ears. I can see anyone giving it a chance falling in love with this one.   

What do you folk make of 'Filaments'?

 

11
Mike and Robert,

I've been listening to Nest lately and I think what you're hearing on Tracks 3-5 are cicadas or a relative very close to them.

Forrest

Ah, thanks. Mystery solved (for me at least!... Maybe it should have been obvious. But us Brits don't get to enjoy so many interesting insect sounds.)

By the way, what do people make of this new Robert Rich release in a more general sense!? It's a sequel to Somnium after all! Kind of significant... :-)

12
it sounds like a air valve which seeps constantly while the "pressure " in this "valve" does vary the sound does come and go a little bit.. disappear for a few seconds but always come back...
Hmmm . . . this sounds like the exact same problem I hear in "Nest". It starts up around the end of track 3, and continues through to the end of track 5. The entire album is bathed in forest environmental sounds, but these field recordings are quite noisy. There's something very raw about the recordings that I can appreciate though, and I figure that was Robert's intent, but the hiss during those parts is especially distracting.

Looking at the spectral analysis, those tracks have a wide band of noise covering 3.5-10k range. From your description, this seems like the hissing sound you're talking about. As you said, it's not a consistent hiss. It sort of reminds me of bad noise reduction where the noise is sitting on the threshold of being removed or not.
The noise actually extends beyond that to the ceiling, but there's a clear drop in gain beyond the 10k range. It looks similar to MP3 compression, but without the smearing.

I wonder if it's a bizarre chorus of bugs of some kind.

I'm glad someone mentioned this! Thank you Altus. :)

I love 'Nest', you see, except I have always found that 'hissing' noise that runs from track 3 to track 5 pretty bizarre and distracting. Part of me usually likes seemingly 'strange' sonic decisions like that, but for me it's strange because it's actually such a plain sound. Sometimes when listening I can't even tell if it's a field recording or just some constant modular white/pink/whatever noise layers simmering in and out! I found it so odd I was going to email him to ask about it, but never got round to that.

He is obviously a master of sound, though, and I generally find his work technically flawless and wonderful on all systems. That's what makes that aspect of tracks 3-5 all the stranger (as deliberate as it obviously is.)

13
Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Aphex Twin
« on: October 01, 2014, 02:40:51 AM »
So, what do folk here make of his new album, 'Syro'?

I seem to really love it one day, and then find it not interesting enough the next.

Lots of vintage sounds on this one, for sure... Much like his last Analord and Tuss releases.

It seems from interviews there are other 'more experimental' releases lined up, and he defined this as his 'pop album' - so I look forward to hearing those (if they actually materialise.)

It's great to have new Aphex material whatever the case.

14
Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Bad Ambient
« on: September 03, 2014, 06:04:27 PM »
I must say, some Tim Hecker (and similarly, Ben Frost's ambient moments) match what you're saying exactly. Whatever interesting things may be going on texturally in some of their pieces, and however much I enjoy these more extreme approaches to distortion, I find the harmonies behind it all so obvious and saccharine that the music trips up on itself. Now, I don't see any division between melodics, texture, production, harmony, or whatever other divisions people make: it all melts into one. And the musical clash of fragility and beauty with sonic violence is so exciting when it is done well. But this case is different. I've read people describe the harmonic movements of, say, Tim Hecker's 'Harmony in Ultraviolet' as 'emotional', but I find it hard to get emotional with such tried and tested progressions, and the excellent sonics actually makes the lack of imagination in that department all the more apparent to me. It's a weak juxtaposition, which is a same, as in theory I should love such a combination.

PS - I should say do like some of these guys' music very much!

15
This arrived today and I've given it a few spins.

There are some gorgeous and fresh sounding analog textures on this album, even if they'd sit comfortably with the kinds of sounds Steve has been emitting from many other releases. Still, these are luscious and beautifully subtle soundworlds, and space and silence are utilised to great effect in the music. I also prefer the darker EQing of Steve's newer stuff, but I can understand if people miss the brightness of old!

As much as one part of me enjoys the minimalism and focus of these pieces and other newer Steve Roach releases (like 'Spiral Meditations'), I do miss the days where individual tracks would have more distinct developments and contrasting sections within them. I remember often loving the majestic gear shifts throughout some tracks on The Magnificent Void, Mystic Chords and Sacred Spaces, that album The Dream Circle, the Vir Unis and Vidna Obmana collaborations, and many others. But this isn't specific to Steve's output; I've noticed that a number of ambient artists I like tend to focus on one main 'idea' per track these days, whereas their past works often had more surprises and definite shifts within individual tracks.     

16
The samples are much longer on Spotted Peccary --> http://spottedpeccary.com/shop/the-delicate-forever/

Thanks...

This release is sounding great. I have take the plunge. :D

I enjoyed reading people's impressions too...

17
Hello,

Has anyone had a chance to listen to this new Steve Roach release yet? Apologies if it has already been discussed, but I couldn't find anything when I searched the forum...

http://steveroach.com/store/store.php?item=518

The samples are a little short for me to be able to deduce anything much about the music. It'd be really interesting to read your impressions. :)

18
Just downloaded and had a quick listen to 'At The Edge Of Everything'. It's actually fantastic. I am glad to hear more of this fierce 'darkness' or 'otherness' in a new release of his (well...it is a concert from many years ago. But perhaps that kind of weird energy will show up again in a new release!) 

19
I can understand where people are coming from on the newer Steve Roach releases, but 'Spiral Meditations' actually sounds pretty vibrant and fresh to my ears (from the samples at least.) I'm purchasing it.

20
Hello sonic adventuring brothers...I've just noticed that the soundtrack has been released. :) https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/mea-maxima-culpa-silence-in/id716676829 & https://play.spotify.com/album/63L4RAF50OMxn7FINPc2hK

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