Author Topic: Steve Roach Starting Point ?  (Read 7484 times)

Wanterkeelt

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Steve Roach Starting Point ?
« on: January 15, 2009, 03:46:03 AM »
Hi,
I'm kind of new to Steve Roach's music, and wanted to make myself a present of some of his CDs. What would be a good point to start, as there are soooo many releases ?
I thought about his Immersion series as I really love records with only one long track...

Thanks in advance
Mirko

SiF

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Re: Steve Roach Starting Point ?
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2009, 04:16:51 AM »
I think Landmass and the Mystic Chords Series should be a good starting point.

Seren

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Re: Steve Roach Starting Point ?
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2009, 05:14:02 AM »
As would The Magificent Void - deep and spacey. If you like more rhythm then my favourites are Light Fantastic and On This Planet.

The Immersions are good, but also consider Darkest Before Dawn and Early Man....

.........or just buy the lot.........

Campus Stellae

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Re: Steve Roach Starting Point ?
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2009, 05:23:44 AM »
First of all, "Dreamtime Return", an unforgettable classic. Then, "World's Edge" (with Robert Rich), "The Magnificent Void" (for dark excursions), "The Dream Circle", "Kiva" (a powerful ritual with Michael Stearns and Ron Sunsinger), "Early Man", "Prayers to the Protectors". Among this latest releases, I'd say "Landmass" and the "Immersion" series. Steve is the leading light of this field, so every release deserves our deepest attention.

jim brenholts

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Re: Steve Roach Starting Point ?
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2009, 03:13:58 PM »
i am in complete agreement that on this planet is a great starting point. magnificent void is also excellent as are western spaces (either version) and desert solitaire. of course, soma and strata also feature robert rich, giving you 2 of the best of all time. it is difficult to find a bad starting point!
all the best and God bless
jim
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9dragons

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Re: Steve Roach Starting Point ?
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2009, 05:28:24 PM »
Steve Roach has a variety of different styles or approaches to his music, which appeal to widely different listeners. Everyone on this forum who likes his music will likely be giving you different ones to start with. You should check out the copious samples on his site and see which ones appeal to you most. I personally would go with Soma, the collaboration with Robert Rich, as an excellent foundation point. Dream Circle is a great earlier work, which is one long track and is very mysterious. World's Edge is a classic. There are so many, it's difficult to decide. Serpent's Lair is one of my favorites in the tribal vein. Body Electric is an amazing album in the more electro/techno vein. Early Man is an extremely deep trip. Maybe just plunge it at any point and branch out from there...

Bill Binkelman

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Re: Steve Roach Starting Point ?
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2009, 06:20:45 PM »
As others have already stated, Roach's music has passed through too many phases to isolate to one or two "starting points." He's done minimalism (Quiet Music et al.), ethno-tribal (Soma et al.), dark ambient (Well of Souls et al.), drone (Magnificent Void and a ton of his more recent stuff), Berlin school (Empetus, Stormwarning), fractal EM (Blood Machine, Core), and music that can't be defined (Midnight Moon et al.).

But, if I was pressed to recommend ONE Roach CD to initiate someone to his music, it would be World's Edge because it is the best possible snapshot of his multitude of styles, except his overt EM stuff. Or you can try On This Planet which, during it's album-length track, also encompasses a variety of styles. The thing with Roach is this: He is so prolific and is so varied that you simply cannot judge him on one style or a few albums. I am nowhere near as enamoured of him as others here (to say the least), but even I can't deny his greatness of talent. I may not care for all his music but the man can certainly compose and play some amazing shit.

My personal fave, though, is Soma (his second collaboration with Robert Rich). This is about as close to true 100 percent perfection as I have ever heard in the course of thousands of albums. It is stunning...it literally personafies an entire genre (ethno-tribal) and, IMO, is absolutely without a doubt the most sensuous album ever recorded. If you can't get horizontal with someone you dig with this music playing, one of you has no pulse.

Wanterkeelt

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Re: Steve Roach Starting Point ?
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2009, 01:33:37 PM »
Thanks for all your comments. I went to the Roach website (in fact why had I never done that before??) and checked a few samples, I really like Immerson 2 and Possible Planet. Put them on my order list immediately.
It's strange, I've liked Robert Rich's music now for some years, but I never "tested" Roach. Better late than never hehe

christeaves

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Re: Steve Roach Starting Point ?
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2009, 06:16:39 PM »
For me personally, you start off chronogically, with Structures From Silence, then Quiet Music, Dreamtime Return, Strata, Soma, Origins, Artifacts, Dream Circle, Early Man, Mystic Chords and Sacred Spaces.  Those are my best-of...(of those I've heard)

drone on

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Re: Steve Roach Starting Point ?
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2009, 12:41:23 AM »
Although everything is recommended by this great artist, I find the period '93-'94 to be his most inspired and artistically "on fire": thus, "Origins," "Artifacts," "The Dream Circle," "Ritual Ground" (Solitaire), and "Forgotten Gods" (Suspended Memories)  would top my list. 

Antdude

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Re: Steve Roach Starting Point ?
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2009, 12:21:33 AM »
I'd also kick in my recommendation of Dreamtime Return. It was my introduction to Steve Roach's music, and although every suggestion here is good, DR has a good mix of tribal, sequencer-based, and pure floating ambient. All the different aspects of his music that he has explored in the past 20 years have their roots in this album, and you really can't go wrong here. 

That said, you really can't go wrong with any of his work.
There is no spoon. Which sucks because I have a pudding cup.

LNerell

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Re: Steve Roach Starting Point ?
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2009, 11:35:47 AM »
Dreamtime Return was listed in this book 1000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die (http://www.1000recordings.com/) if that is of any help.
Take care.

- Loren Nerell

Scott M2

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Re: Steve Roach Starting Point ?
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2009, 11:47:33 AM »
Dreamtime Return and Structures From Silence were my first two Steve Roach CDs and they're great starting points.

sio

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Re: Steve Roach Starting Point ?
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2009, 01:34:30 PM »
I also agree with "Dreamtime Return". This and "The Dream Circle" were my entry points to Steve's music back in the mid-nineties... On a personal level, i often felt that "Core" was a nice representation of Steve's more electronic/dynamic style. It's got some sequencer-based pieces and some in the "Blood Machine/Light Fantastic" spirit and also two of his most furious tracks "Core Meditation" and "Hyperportal".

...Or there's always that cd compilation "Space and Time: An Introduction to the Soundworlds of Steve Roach". Cheap if you're afraid to take any risks ....
« Last Edit: January 18, 2009, 01:40:43 PM by sio »

Ekstasis

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Re: Steve Roach Starting Point ?
« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2009, 09:26:53 AM »
Not sure if there is a perfect starting point, the best would be of course to go through all his albums and see what you like...
As you can see here http://steveroach.com/store/ have done many different style...

However, Mystic Chords & Sacred Spaces is for me his ultimate album...it will give you a very good insight in his music...

If prefer his more primitive 80s style I recommend Dreamtime Return (2005 version!)

spectral67

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Re: Steve Roach Starting Point ?
« Reply #15 on: January 19, 2009, 12:41:13 PM »
I`m fairly new to his music but i`ve bought a load of his stuff over the last few months or so and his music is incredible,so deep mysterious beautiful and inspiring.Dreaming now,then a retrospective 1982-1997 is highly recommended and covers a variety of his styles,but if you`re like me you will probably want all of his albums he`s so consistently fantastic.

Bill Binkelman

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Re: Steve Roach Starting Point ?
« Reply #16 on: January 19, 2009, 12:45:34 PM »
I`m fairly new to his music but i`ve bought a load of his stuff over the last few months or so and his music is incredible,so deep mysterious beautiful and inspiring.Dreaming now,then a retrospective 1982-1997 is highly recommended and covers a variety of his styles,but if you`re like me you will probably want all of his albums he`s so consistently fantastic.

If that is indeed the case, you better have a Visa account with a hefty amount of available credit, because you're going to need it! We're talking a LOT of albums here.  ;)

deepspace

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Re: Steve Roach Starting Point ?
« Reply #17 on: January 19, 2009, 03:19:51 PM »
Yes, Roach is a master.  I was sitting here yesterday, listening to the first track on Arc of Passion "Moment of Grace" marvelling at the awesome chord progression at the beginning.  He uses some very sophisticated harmonic language there- massive extended chords and polytonality.  I wonder if he approaches it technically, and knowingly, or if he does it all by ear.  Not that it really matters, but I'm always interested by other people's compositional approaches.  Anyone know?  (I wonder if steve ever lurks on these forums...)
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Numina

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Re: Steve Roach Starting Point ?
« Reply #18 on: January 19, 2009, 05:09:52 PM »
Personally I'd recommend his "best of" compilation called "Dreaming Now... Then" - a 2-CD set of goodness.

http://www.discogs.com/Steve-Roach-Dreaming-Now-Then-A-Retrospective-1982-1997/release/24232


Wanterkeelt

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Re: Steve Roach Starting Point ?
« Reply #19 on: January 20, 2009, 12:57:16 PM »
Hehe lots of competent information here :)
Well I ordered the 4CD box Mystical Chords and Sacred... and the 3 immersed volumes and Possible Planet as a start (but after listening to some samples)
I guess you can't do lots of mistakes with his music.
Let's hope they arrive soon