Author Topic: Steve Roach discussion  (Read 58122 times)

deepspace

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Re: Steve Roach discussion
« Reply #120 on: June 12, 2008, 04:46:01 AM »
"The Great Purge" eh?  Sounds to me like a name for an ambient record. ;)
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Bill Binkelman

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Re: Steve Roach discussion
« Reply #121 on: June 12, 2008, 10:58:47 AM »
I've thought about responding to this as one of those who don't hold the same high opinion of Steve Roach as do most of you, but frankly, I'm not sure what it would accomplish . No matter what someone like me writes, it's not seen as valid for one reason or another, which is fine with me, to be honest.

Frankly, I'm less interested in debating Roach's artistic merit than I am in debating over why his most ardent followers want to always make it so personal. It's funny because THEY'RE the ones who accuse US of having a personal grudge or an axe to grind, but they're the ones who always start slinging the mud...at least IMO. The last thing I need is someone infering that I don't "get" Steve Roach when it's simply I don't like all his music as much as most of you do (I love some of it, like some of it, and don't like some of it - is that too tough to grasp?). It's got nothing to do with "getting it"...it's just a matter of taste and opinion. Why is that such a big deal? If I think he's over-rated, why does that deserve a tongue lashing? It's not like I'm insulting him. Shit, my thinking he's over-rated has nothing to do with Steve as a person and he actually doesn't control that. The over-ratedness comes at the hands of his fans, not him. If I'm insulting anyone (which I don't think I am), it's YOU, not him - think about it.

I just don't get it. If anything, I have at times thouhgt that lots of folks who love him and buys all his CDs but ignore lots of lesser known stars are the ones who should be shamed (I feel the same way about TD fans, BTW)...but I won't point that finger like I used to because it just breeds divisiveness. You love Steve and his music, fine. You think he's the greatest thing since sliced bread, fine. Just don't infer that those who don't share your opinion are stupid or subhuman or have no taste. That's what gets me riled up. Just leave it alone. Praise him all you want but stop trying to paint us as illiterate uncultured boobs.

9dragons

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Re: Steve Roach discussion
« Reply #122 on: June 12, 2008, 03:10:18 PM »
Just don't infer that those who don't share your opinion are stupid or subhuman or have no taste. That's what gets me riled up. Just leave it alone. Praise him all you want but stop trying to paint us as illiterate uncultured boobs.

Who is persecuting in this manner? Not me I hope! Where are these vicious attack dogs?

Isn't the point of this to have a spirited debate?

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Re: Steve Roach discussion
« Reply #123 on: June 12, 2008, 03:15:41 PM »
I think Bill's probably talking more about previous debates about Roach (which as I mentioned, became more heated, more along the lines of a political or religious argument), than about the discussion that's been happening here lately.
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Joe R

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Re: Steve Roach discussion
« Reply #124 on: June 12, 2008, 05:39:57 PM »
I think Bill's probably talking more about previous debates about Roach (which as I mentioned, became more heated, more along the lines of a political or religious argument), than about the discussion that's been happening here lately.

Those heated debates were years ago. Now the debates are very well-mannered.

I'm one of those who love some Roach discs, but am  indifferent to most. I always thought most of his best stuff is the collabs with vidna.

uhurit

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Re: Steve Roach discussion
« Reply #125 on: June 12, 2008, 05:44:45 PM »
I must confess that I am a big fan of his earlier tribal period, courtesy of Jorge Reyes +Byron Metcalf  etc. The rest of it I just find to be synthetic sounding. All IMHO, of course.

Joe R

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Re: Steve Roach discussion
« Reply #126 on: June 12, 2008, 07:06:38 PM »
Of the Jorge Reyes collabs,  I LOVE Vine- Bark & Spore (I'd call that atmospheric-tribal), and the tracks on The Serpent's Lair. It seems that lots of people like Mantram, but I found it to be tedious and uninspired. But wait- Reyes isn't in Mantram, is he?

Robert Logan

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Re: Steve Roach discussion
« Reply #127 on: June 12, 2008, 09:14:37 PM »
Vine- Bark & Spore is indeed a beautiful one, Joe R. I like the production on this disc especially; it seems very detailed and carefully layered. Every sound seems liked it's been carefully worked at to perfection. InnerZone is another collaboration that has a similarly inspiring level of polish.

Since I'm in a very critical mood, I'll say that one disc I've never got is Light Fantastic. Some of it just sounds a bit dull to my ears, though the last two tracks are pretty fabulous. Though I tend to prefer his beatless works, I have thoroughly enjoyed parts of the Fever Dreams series and Blood Machine; there just seems to be something lacking in Light Fantastic. Perhaps I just don't find the atmospheric/droney/paddy elements in a lot of it quite fantastic enough.

Another one I've never got my head around is Midnight Moon. Although I try and enjoy Roach discs on an instinctual level, and though that normally works a treat, I can't get it out of my head that it just sounds like someone noodling on a guitar for the first time through a chain of reverby-pitch-delayed effects. ;) If I hadn't found out about the context of its creation, I think I'd be able to enjoy it more.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2008, 03:00:23 PM by Robert Logan »

solyaris

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Re: Steve Roach discussion
« Reply #128 on: June 13, 2008, 03:29:59 AM »
Another one I've never got my head around is Midnight Moon. Although I try and enjoy Roach discs on an instinctual level, and though that normally works a treat, I can't get it out of my head that it just sounds like someone noodling on a guitar for the first time through a chain of reverby-pitch-delayed effects. ;)

mmhhh... indeed I think Steve realized interesting paths on guitar treating there, even if with a too dark mood for my ears; anyway unique sound,  even if using tecniques abused by lots guitarists;

technique and inspiration come Suso Saiz mode (as Steve confirmed) following recording them realized in past;

Last but not least, please note that Suso just published a box of recordings of '90s (see my post in this forum about) that I consider seed of a way followed afterward by many people ... also Steve :)

giorgio
« Last Edit: June 13, 2008, 03:32:50 AM by solyaris »

deepspace

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Re: Steve Roach discussion
« Reply #129 on: June 13, 2008, 02:48:19 PM »
I get where you're coming from Bill, and I hope it wasn't my comment that annoyed you!  The thing that impressed me was that there are so many Roach fans.  I hope I didn't unwittingly insinuate that people who don't enjoy Roach don't posses the positive qualities that I described. :)  I may have.  Oops. 
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Seren

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Re: Steve Roach discussion
« Reply #130 on: June 14, 2008, 07:26:53 AM »
Steve does such a wide range of music that there is something there for almost everyone. And I've not seen any of his albums universally slated by fans/nonfans, which perhaps says a lot for the general quality of the releases as most bands/artists seem to have periods generally considered 'golden'. But knowing how different people define TD or Hawkwind Golden Periods - even that could be argued.

I love some of Steve's stuff - and some does very little for me - sitting there until I either give it away or sell it. The ones I really like reach across some of the width of his releases rather than every cd in a particular shade or vein. It would be hard for me to argue for or against on a music point because of that.

It's my own personal taste that is either touched or not touched by an artist, and whether it's the music or an aspect of the presentation that pushes my buttons does not matter - it's still my personal taste. I'm not sure it's possible to take the music out of the context, though I admit I do like some music by 'awful' artists [madonna -frozen] but I like the music in spite of the context. I don't mind the shamanic aspects and inspiration to Steve's work and understand that as it underpins almost everything he does that it could put others off.

drone on

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Re: Steve Roach discussion
« Reply #131 on: June 14, 2008, 08:34:29 AM »
Just wanted to clarify: when I used the phrase "some people don't get it," I was not speaking about Roach fans or ambient fans, but more the people who don't enjoy/listen to/know anything about ambient/electronic music.  To some people (my parents especially, who used to call it "non-music"), if something doesn't have melody and isn't on the radio then it isn't real music and they're like, "What's this all about? This is just a bunch of sounds that never change, I'm waiting for it to start, etc. etc."  So "not getting it" doesn't mean they're stupid or subhuman, but more it hasn't registered with them as something worthwhile and enjoyable.  People into country or rap would probably say I don't "get it" either. :-)

As far as personal tastes concerning the vast Roach catalogue, opinions (as evident in this topic) are going to vary widely.  I've never met a Roach album I didn't like, but some I like much more than others.  I still buy everything he releases because I am a fan and always will be.

Anglican

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Re: Steve Roach discussion
« Reply #132 on: June 21, 2008, 07:49:27 AM »
You're absolutely right about the discomfort zone some people have with ambient music. It's just so out of their realm of what music "is" that is is incomprehensible why anyone would want to listen to it, let alone devote their artistic talent to creating it. There's a great quote from Stuart Braithwaithe of Mogwai that I think sums this up:
Quote
"I think most people are not used to having no lyrics to focus on. Lyrics are a real comfort to some people. I guess they like to sing along and when they can't do that with us they can get a bit upset." (cited from Wikipedia entry on Mogwai)

Add to the absence of lyrics missing rhythm (or at least rhythms people are used to) and you really have a weird reaction on your hands.

I think it's fair to say that most all of us here have no problem with these issues. Just one more reason I am grateful for Hypnos, the entire ambient scene and, frankly, the Internet which helped me to find it all. I've known I liked this kind of music since I was a kid first introduced to Vangelis and other music from the Carl Sagan Cosmos series, but I never knew what to call it or where to look for more. The rise of New Age in the 1980s made it a little easier, but even that led to some seriously disappointing music purchases.

This topic is supposed to be about Steve Roach, so I'll close by attempting to bring that back. I have almost the complete Roach catalog. I return to some CDs more than others, but none leave me completely cold. And some of my favorites took a little while to grow on me. The Magnificent Void, for example, was an album I didn't get at all on the first listen, but by now it is probably my #1 Roach CD of choice and would definitely be on my "you're on a desert island" list. 

sraymar

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Re: Steve Roach discussion
« Reply #133 on: June 22, 2008, 12:17:50 PM »
Oddly enough from all the ambient music I've listened to Roach's stuff has always been by far the most accessible to my ears and I come from a more mainstream background. My first inspiration were the Beatles, and surf music for instrumental thinking, along with film soundtracks. Long after that I got into more melodic newage music that had the equivalent of verses and choruses instrumentally before listening to the more oblique ambient soundscapes.

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Robert Logan

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Re: Steve Roach discussion
« Reply #134 on: June 30, 2008, 12:53:15 PM »
http://steveroach.com/Music/discography.php?albumID=403

New Steve Roach album!

What do people make of the samples? Sounds very, very 'Arc of Passion' to me, which is no bad thing I guess. I like the samples.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2008, 03:00:50 PM by Robert Logan »

DeepR

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Re: Steve Roach discussion
« Reply #135 on: June 30, 2008, 04:51:29 PM »
Samples sound nice, especially the last one.

As much as I love Steve Roach' music, I have to say that I would like to see more variation in his sound.
I don't mind when he uses similar sounds and patterns across various albums, as long as it's not too much and too obvious....but the overall sound character is very much the same on most albums after 2001 or so.
It's that highly polished, reverb-laden, glimmering sound of his. You could say that's simply his style, but it would be very interesting if he could make something a bit more dry, gritty, noisy, low-fi sounding some time... to create different moods and atmospheres....something you wouldn't instantly recognize as that Steve Roach sound.

hdibrell

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Re: Steve Roach discussion
« Reply #136 on: June 30, 2008, 09:02:05 PM »
You could say that's simply his style, but it would be very interesting if he could make something a bit more dry, gritty, noisy, low-fi sounding some time... to create different moods and atmospheres....something you wouldn't instantly recognize as that Steve Roach sound.

      I  agree! I want more "Possible Planet" kind of stuff.     Harry
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Robert Logan

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Re: Steve Roach discussion
« Reply #137 on: July 01, 2008, 01:08:13 AM »
Samples sound nice, especially the last one.

As much as I love Steve Roach' music, I have to say that I would like to see more variation in his sound.
I don't mind when he uses similar sounds and patterns across various albums, as long as it's not too much and too obvious....but the overall sound character is very much the same on most albums after 2001 or so.
It's that highly polished, reverb-laden, glimmering sound of his. You could say that's simply his style, but it would be very interesting if he could make something a bit more dry, gritty, noisy, low-fi sounding some time... to create different moods and atmospheres....something you wouldn't instantly recognize as that Steve Roach sound.


I sometimes think that...

It's not only because I think his take on a different kind of sound, like the type you mentioned, would be very interesting, but because his use of those wonderful glimmering eventide-reverby sounds across all these newer albums sometimes renders earlier releases (like Mystic Chords and Sacred Spaces) a little less special. Do you know what I mean? When I first heard those four discs, they sounded like a wonderful culmination of Steve Roach's work - totally transporting and magical - but now I've heard the same sounds off that release on others since, those discs can sometimes loose a little of their magic for me. 

I'm all for an artist sticking to a core sound (and Steve Roach's is a sound a can't get enough of!), but I think I recognized sequencer patterns off the new samples from Arc of Passion and Proof Positive, and the more droney/chordal elements from many post 2000 albums too. I've still bought the new one and will probably grow to love it, but it'd be nice to see a whole new perspective on things. Robert Rich, for example, always reverts to his flutes and lap steel guitar, but each album seems to be a unique thing unto itself beyond that core sound. Apart from React, which is a live disc anyway, I don't think I've ever heard or will ever hear Robert Rich repeating musical sequences quite so clearly from album to album. But I believe Steve is refining, rather than repeating....
« Last Edit: July 24, 2008, 02:55:35 PM by Robert Logan »

solyaris

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Re: Steve Roach discussion
« Reply #138 on: July 01, 2008, 01:30:57 AM »
Samples sound nice, especially the last one.

As much as I love Steve Roach' music, I have to say that I would like to see more variation in his sound.
I don't mind when he uses similar sounds and patterns across various albums, as long as it's not too much and too obvious....but the overall sound character is very much the same on most albums after 2001 or so.
It's that highly polished, reverb-laden, glimmering sound of his. You could say that's simply his style, but it would be very interesting if he could make something a bit more dry, gritty, noisy, low-fi sounding some time... to create different moods and atmospheres....something you wouldn't instantly recognize as that Steve Roach sound.


I was just thinking that...

It's not only because I think his take on a different kind of sound, like the type you mentioned, would be interesting, but because his use of those glimmering eventide-reverby sounds across all these newer albums renders earlier releases (like Mystic Chords and Sacred Spaces) a little less special. Do you know what I mean? When I first heard those four discs, they sounded like a wonderful culmination of Steve Roach's work - totally transporting and magical - but now I've heard the same sounds off that release on many others since, it's lost a little of its magic for me. 

I'm all of an artist sticking to a core sound, but I recognized sequencer patterns off the new samples from Arc of Passion and Proof Positive, and the more droney/chordal elements from many post 2000 albums too. I'll still bought the new one and will probably grow to love it, but it'd be nice to see a whole new perspective on things. Robert Rich, for example, always reverts to his flutes and lap steel guitar, but each album seems to be a unique thing unto itself beyond that core sound. Apart from React, which is a live disc anyway, I don't think I've ever heard or will ever hear Robert Rich repeating musical sequences quite so clearly from album to album.

generally speaking,

there are so many reasons an artist always continue to realize the same sound, the same "note" ...

- it could be because a requirement of his essence; I mean the fact he follow a path to "true" he discovered and he consider right... (you could name that the "obsession" and it's a positive fire move a person to make art)

- it could be for a lack of vision of new paths indeed! so he continue to repeat the old ways ... (that's a sad condition, or simply a stand-by, the resting on a place instead of fohead on news streets ...)

- it could be for a commercial aim even; for example because he discovered that people enjoy a specific music ... (that's deceiving, beacuse possibly mean follow something "untruthful")


Mee too, estimator of Steve Roach & Robert Rich mainly, I complain about a possible lack of exploration of what I could imagine as news ways of their music...  but, as "free" music maker myself, I know that nothing may influence an artist in the research of beauty ... so every art "product" is good, but at only one condition, a spiritual tie: that I name "sincerity".

giorgio
« Last Edit: July 03, 2008, 01:55:04 PM by solyaris »

g.@.b.

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Re: Steve Roach discussion
« Reply #139 on: July 03, 2008, 03:48:56 PM »
I'm liking the Landmass samples & plan on ordering a copy. Being that I haven't purchased anything from Steve in the last two years...I've nothing recent with which to compare the sounds.

Edit: Actually, some of the sounds are reminding me, just a bit, of RR's Electric Ladder.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2008, 03:57:38 PM by g.@.b. »