Author Topic: Steve Roach discussion  (Read 57902 times)

Bill Binkelman

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Re: Steve Roach discussion
« Reply #60 on: March 28, 2008, 01:14:59 PM »
All kidding aside, it is very difficult, IMO, to remain dispassionate and objective when people we are close to or whom we consider to be friends are criticized. That only makes sense. However, since artists release music to the public, the public needs to be free to take their shots. Certainly, it rankles me when people criticize either the music (or the person him/herself) of someone who I hold in high regard, but I have to just bite my tongue because unless the person who is doing the criticizing is saying something potentially libelous or is slandering the friend (I never do get it straight which is which), well, they're entitled to express their opinion and I would only be showing my bias to intrude, except to say "Well, I disagree." I ran into this dilemma a lot when I first started reviewing...I couldn't leave a neagtive comment about someone I liked alone.

What happened over time, for me, was that I realized I can't, as a reviewer, afford the luxury of considering artists "friends" (I have maybe 3 or 4 exceptions, the most notable one being Kevin Kendle). I really hate it when an artist refers to me as a friend in an email just because I have given him/her some advice, some praise, or whatever. It sets up an unrealistic paradigm, especially as a reviewer. And, frankly, it feels icky.

This is not the same thing Loren is writing about, but there are some analogies, IMO. When a friend is criticized, and we believe it unfair, our natural inclination is to jump in and defend him or her. Strictly IMO, on a board/forum like this, one has to be careful so as not to appear (and I use this term not because it fits this particular instance, trust me on that, but because the perception of such behavior can lead to this) sycophantic. Most of us, although I could be wrong, don't really "know" each other at all. So, conclusions are drawn based on typed comments on a computer screen. Assumptions are made based on perceptions.

I don't mean to pontificate, and it's not as simplistic as "can't we all just get along" because we have different opinions after all and want to express them without being slammed. But I do think there is a world of difference between taking a comment about someone else too personally and someone insulting you yourself. I can feel I'm getting into rambling mode so I'll close witha little self-deprecation..

OTOH, I believe in the adage "Love me, love my dog" so you say something bad about my little Mamie and then I gotta hunt you down and skin you like a fish! ;D

judd stephens

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Re: Steve Roach discussion
« Reply #61 on: March 28, 2008, 01:20:27 PM »


I think I have a pretty good memory but I don't remember that at all. If I did as you said then I am sorry. Its sometimes hard to tell when one is joking and one is being serious in a written context. Maybe Drone on is doing the same but I have seen over the years enough people take pot shots at Steve just because he is thought of as a big name in the field. And since he is a close personal friend it takes it to a whole other level for me.

Don't worry, man.  It was back in '03 or something.  We all land on the "striike-out" square in the jump game. Besides it was on an older version of the forum... Not only do I claim I got mugged, I have no evidence to prove it. ;D

So maybe I am the one jumping to conclusions and I should just shutup or maybe even just get off these forums all together.

No I couldn't have that on my conscience.  After all the real musicians on here would be mad if you left  :P  I apologize for feeling like I had to be the irony-police myself.  Please, consider it dropped.

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Re: Steve Roach discussion
« Reply #62 on: March 28, 2008, 01:24:57 PM »
Nothing like a good Steve Roach "battle royale" to get Hypnos Forum traffic peaking again!

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judd stephens

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Re: Steve Roach discussion
« Reply #63 on: March 28, 2008, 01:37:20 PM »
Nothing like a good Steve Roach "battle royale" to get Hypnos Forum traffic peaking again!


Survival of the fittest...

The check's in the mail, M.  My wallet is swelling ala George Castanza's with all these Steve Roach, Hypnos, etc. club cards. 

9dragons

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Re: Steve Roach discussion
« Reply #64 on: March 28, 2008, 02:00:23 PM »
It's kind of fun to rant about music. I can understand someone ripping on Roach's music, but with all due respect to Drone On, it seemed more like he was saying Roach was personally bs-ing the public about the 80 cds. It seems kind of petty that Roach would do that, and even though I know nothing of the man, I just don't feel he needs to 'cover up' bad sales by lying. I would feel differently if 'Ascension' were a crappy, lame release that I got tricked into buying, but it's actually an epically good work of music. Ultimately, though, I don't care about any personal foibles an artist displays in the 'business' end of their work...where it counts is in the final product, and Roach almost always delivers in spades...

As for the 'New Age' or not 'New Age', I think I would agree that sometimes the Roach titles and tracks and descriptions could be a little more subtle, but then again, most of the ambient big players have this same problem. But again, I think he names the songs after he makes the songs, and I imagine it is a bit difficult to give a name to some amorphous musical thought-form. I used to kind of deride whatever I thought 'New Age' was, and that was something I had to get over when I first got into Hearts of Space and Roach/Rich. But when I realized that the slightly cheesy covers/descriptions/track titles of an album like Strata actually hid a very intense, exploratory, and unclassifiable music, I started to loosen up about it. I really can appreciate as well Roach's dedication to the idea/practice/whatever of Shamanism. Though some might dismiss shamanism as a scam, the more you study into ancient cultures and their systems of logic and interior exploration, it reveals itself as a technology just like any other, which actually taps in and works with forces that are real, but perhaps beyond our normal understanding. But aside from that, it is not just a pose with Roach, he has really shown his dedication to it over the years.

Another funny aspect of this is that at root, Roach's music is quite dark and intense. If the average (what we might think) cheesy, shallow new age person bought one of his releases expecting a shower of shimmering, ineffectual spirit-pap, they might be in for a dark surprise. Roach really does get pretty outlandish, dark, and scary, and is not afraid to explore the concept to its fullest. Check this dude's (from ambientmusicguide.com, which dubs itself 'a guide to essential ambient and downtempo albums) review out:

During the 1980's Steve Roach albums were modest in number but consistent in quality. The 1990's and beyond are a different story. Literally dozens of solo and collaborative works have appeared since Sound Of The Earth and their appeal varies enormously. The most difficult of these tend to be works centred around the themes of palaeontology, shamanism and the primordial mind. The dominance of these themes marks a shift in focus from the outer worlds of his middle period music (eg. the impressionism of Western Spaces) to exploring the evolution of our own inner worlds. Unfortunately albums like Origins (1993), Artifacts (1994), The Magnificent Void (1996) and Early Man (2001) retreat into dark worlds of dissonance and strangeness where melody and harmony are virtually outlawed. The sound is one or a combination of rhythmic tribal elements, atonal soundscaping and grim atmospheres. It's fine in moderate doses, certainly, and some hardcore Roach fans swear by such works. But like most dark ambient they are an acquired taste and if you're a newcomer to his music, forget it.

So our man is now accused of being a filthy practitioner of the feared 'dark ambient'! What a joke! Seems one can't win if trying to please everyone. Happily, Roach plows forward, carving out his own sonic domain, seemingly oblivious to people calling him too dark or too new age...
« Last Edit: March 28, 2008, 02:04:01 PM by 9dragons »

Undershadow

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Re: Steve Roach discussion
« Reply #65 on: March 28, 2008, 03:45:51 PM »
[...] Check this dude's (from ambientmusicguide.com, which dubs itself 'a guide to essential ambient and downtempo albums) review out:

During the 1980's Steve Roach albums were modest in number but consistent in quality. The 1990's and beyond are a different story. Literally dozens of solo and collaborative works have appeared since Sound Of The Earth and their appeal varies enormously. The most difficult of these tend to be works centred around the themes of palaeontology, shamanism and the primordial mind. The dominance of these themes marks a shift in focus from the outer worlds of his middle period music (eg. the impressionism of Western Spaces) to exploring the evolution of our own inner worlds. Unfortunately albums like Origins (1993), Artifacts (1994), The Magnificent Void (1996) and Early Man (2001) retreat into dark worlds of dissonance and strangeness where melody and harmony are virtually outlawed. The sound is one or a combination of rhythmic tribal elements, atonal soundscaping and grim atmospheres. It's fine in moderate doses, certainly, and some hardcore Roach fans swear by such works. But like most dark ambient they are an acquired taste and if you're a newcomer to his music, forget it.[...]

I’d say that this 'ambientguide' is a very poor guide, failing to properly represent the nature of the music while smearing the representing of the tastes of the ‘guide’ all over it. For a start, it departs from the premiss that the 80s Roach albums are some kind of benchmark of ‘quality’ against which what follows is somehow degenerate. This is a value judgment presented as simple fact. The ‘ambientguide’ sets up a kind of opposition between the early period Roach (= ‘quality’), against which later period Roach is assessed (= ‘difficult’). The question of ‘difficult for whom’ is begged. Personally, I find more Roach works from the pre-90s period ‘difficult’ – this is entirely subjective admittedly, but the guide somehow smuggles his value judgments in under the guise of analysis or description.
And it is simply wrong to state that the later works mentioned are characterised by ‘dissonance’, and that ‘melody and harmony are virtually outlawed’. This is based on a simplistic assessment that’s clearly  made by a non-musician. I can state - from my knowledge as a (non-practising) musician - that there is plenty of consonance, melody and harmony in these works, albeit much of it not of the dully conventional kind that must have been deployed by our cloth-eared ‘ambientguide’ as part of his inadequate assessment scheme. The last parts of this ‘review’ consist of lazy journalistic tropes and facile dismissals. I can think of any number of newcomers who would respond to e.g. Mystic Chords... or Early Man far more positively than, say, Now Traveler or Stormwarning, for the sake of example.
This piece is just garbage, basically, dressed up in well-turned prose, through which it gets through, masquerading as authoritative. I don’t know how any authority can become attached to such toss. If this guy were my ambientguide, I’d soon lose interest in the journey.


DeepR

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Re: Steve Roach discussion
« Reply #66 on: March 28, 2008, 07:01:09 PM »
I start to like most of his music sooner or later. It's a matter of acquired taste. But once it gets to you, it doesn't let go. It's almost addictive. Lately I've been obsessed with some tracks on Fever Dreams 2, like 'Fires Burning'. Fantastic album, possibly his all time greatest.
Anyway, some people just don't get it and they never will. ;D

Bill Binkelman

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Re: Steve Roach discussion
« Reply #67 on: March 28, 2008, 08:43:11 PM »
I start to like most of his music sooner or later. It's a matter of acquired taste. But once it gets to you, it doesn't let go. It's almost addictive. Lately I've been obsessed with some tracks on Fever Dreams 2, like 'Fires Burning'. Fantastic album, possibly his all time greatest.
Anyway, some people just don't get it and they never will. ;D

Swear to god, if I had a dollar for every time I read this phrase on the internet over the last 15 years, I could retire early.

Even as a joke, what in the name of god propels people to write this? Nothing personal against the poster, but geez Louise...is anything more tiresome than claiming to know/appreciate something that someone else doesn't as if there was a prize to be awarded?

sorry for the rant...no, not really....I actually have read that phrase at least 100 or maybe more times, and about artists such as Klaus Schulze to Vangelis to Yanni to Enya to Steve Roach to Lustmord to Aphex Twin to who knows.

Eddie Jessup: "The final truth of all things is that there is no final truth. Truth is transitory."

Time for bed...

Robert Logan

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Re: Steve Roach discussion
« Reply #68 on: March 29, 2008, 06:59:49 AM »
[...] Check this dude's (from ambientmusicguide.com, which dubs itself 'a guide to essential ambient and downtempo albums) review out:

During the 1980's Steve Roach albums were modest in number but consistent in quality. The 1990's and beyond are a different story. Literally dozens of solo and collaborative works have appeared since Sound Of The Earth and their appeal varies enormously. The most difficult of these tend to be works centred around the themes of palaeontology, shamanism and the primordial mind. The dominance of these themes marks a shift in focus from the outer worlds of his middle period music (eg. the impressionism of Western Spaces) to exploring the evolution of our own inner worlds. Unfortunately albums like Origins (1993), Artifacts (1994), The Magnificent Void (1996) and Early Man (2001) retreat into dark worlds of dissonance and strangeness where melody and harmony are virtually outlawed. The sound is one or a combination of rhythmic tribal elements, atonal soundscaping and grim atmospheres. It's fine in moderate doses, certainly, and some hardcore Roach fans swear by such works. But like most dark ambient they are an acquired taste and if you're a newcomer to his music, forget it.[...]

I’d say that this 'ambientguide' is a very poor guide, failing to properly represent the nature of the music while smearing the representing of the tastes of the ‘guide’ all over it. For a start, it departs from the premiss that the 80s Roach albums are some kind of benchmark of ‘quality’ against which what follows is somehow degenerate. This is a value judgment presented as simple fact. The ‘ambientguide’ sets up a kind of opposition between the early period Roach (= ‘quality’), against which later period Roach is assessed (= ‘difficult’). The question of ‘difficult for whom’ is begged. Personally, I find more Roach works from the pre-90s period ‘difficult’ – this is entirely subjective admittedly, but the guide somehow smuggles his value judgments in under the guise of analysis or description.
And it is simply wrong to state that the later works mentioned are characterised by ‘dissonance’, and that ‘melody and harmony are virtually outlawed’. This is based on a simplistic assessment that’s clearly  made by a non-musician. I can state - from my knowledge as a (non-practising) musician - that there is plenty of consonance, melody and harmony in these works, albeit much of it not of the dully conventional kind that must have been deployed by our cloth-eared ‘ambientguide’ as part of his inadequate assessment scheme. The last parts of this ‘review’ consist of lazy journalistic tropes and facile dismissals. I can think of any number of newcomers who would respond to e.g. Mystic Chords... or Early Man far more positively than, say, Now Traveler or Stormwarning, for the sake of example.
This piece is just garbage, basically, dressed up in well-turned prose, through which it gets through, masquerading as authoritative. I don’t know how any authority can become attached to such toss. If this guy were my ambientguide, I’d soon lose interest in the journey.



Very well said. I too find his 80s stuff far harder to listen to, simply because I've been spoiled by the more adventurous music he released from the 90s to this day. When I go back to his earlier stuff, I can appreciate it in context and can hear that it was doing something special, but it somehow just doesn't move me like later works do. I think the presence of dissonance and the moments of suffocatingly dense sound design in his later pieces really take them somewhere very special.

That article really irritated me! :)

drone on

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Re: Steve Roach discussion
« Reply #69 on: March 29, 2008, 09:30:53 AM »
I played the jump to conclusions game last night after a game of Twister and twisted my brain.

Joe R

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Re: Steve Roach discussion
« Reply #70 on: March 30, 2008, 07:29:33 AM »
I've been spinning Spirit Dome the past 2 days.  I guess I've never given it a proper listen before. It's amazing- so deep, dark, and cavernous...  funny how it can take years to appreciate a CD sometimes.

Seren

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Re: Steve Roach discussion
« Reply #71 on: March 31, 2008, 04:42:05 AM »
Over the years Steve has been one of those artists whose music regularly produces exchanges like these, ones that explore issues of the music and forum ethics.....

Is the strength of feeling a reflection of the music or of the posters?

Steve has created music in a very wide range of styles and in a profusion of discs. I don't enjoy them all myself, but that is my limitation not Steve's.

Steve is obviously passionate about his music and the different aspects of it, including the shamanic/primordial mind stuff. Having spent a number of years interested in those fields myself i have to say Steve is one of the few people to portray it well in musical form (though I acknowledge my assessment might be based on my own personal music tastes). He is even running workshops with Byron so it has to be a passion for him.

Most people who post regularly are passionate too, and I think it must be ok for people to raise issues that concern them. Many of the forums seem to have periods of argument and reconciliation and expecting here to be different.....

It is true that understanding the written word on a computer screen is very different to listening to someone actually speak their thoughts.




petekelly

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Re: Steve Roach discussion
« Reply #72 on: March 31, 2008, 01:32:55 PM »
Curious to know why this kind of debate is always about Steve Roach ?

How come you never see something like this about Robert Rich (for example) ?
It seems Robert is allowed to just get on with his music without some people feeling the need to
publicly 'big him up'/chastise any 'off-message' nay-sayers periodically.

I'm stating the obvious, but any artist isn't going to appeal to everyone and saying something
to the effect that a listener 'doesn't get it' if they don't like artist 'X' is a bit pointless. 

cheers
Pete

Bill Binkelman

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Re: Steve Roach discussion
« Reply #73 on: March 31, 2008, 03:07:25 PM »
Curious to know why this kind of debate is always about Steve Roach ?

How come you never see something like this about Robert Rich (for example) ?
It seems Robert is allowed to just get on with his music without some people feeling the need to
publicly 'big him up'/chastise any 'off-message' nay-sayers periodically.

I'm stating the obvious, but any artist isn't going to appeal to everyone and saying something
to the effect that a listener 'doesn't get it' if they don't like artist 'X' is a bit pointless. 

cheers
Pete

At the risk of jumping in where angels fear to tread, I'll give you my two cents.

Why Steve Roach has the status he does:

1) He's a little like Sara Lee ("Nobody doesn't like Sara Lee") and I mean that sincerely. With his deep and broad discography, everyone seems to like at least one Steve Roach album, whether his Berlin school stuff, his fractal grooves, his ethno-tribal, his dark ambient, his desert spacemusic well, you get the idea. So, hardly anyone ever comes into a discussion and says "Who is this Steve Roach of whom you speak?"

2) Lots of people know "him" personally. He's produces other artists, he spends time talking to many of them, he plays live, etc. As a result, there is a perceived and/or actual kinship with a lot more folks than, e.g. Robert Rich. He also engenders good will through these actions and that further makes him more unassailable.

3) He is a "serious" musician, i.e. he takes his music very seriously and seems to be a very serious person as well. He's into shamanism etc. This sets up a dynamic whereby, unless you want to be perceived as making fun of someone who is viewed as "serious," you best keep yer opinions to yourself. If Steve were to have the self-deprecating sense of humor that some ambient artists have (I won't name names but I'll bet most of you know who heads that list), it would be easier to every now and then take a pot shot at him, knowing he could roll with the punches.

4) He makes a living at his music so, as a result, it's hard to go after the guy. After all, what else is he supposed to do? It's admirable that this is the life he has chosen and he is doing what he can to endure in what is, admittedly, a genre in which NO ONE has become rich selling records (except Vangelis, probably, and only if you consider the pompous Greek an ambient artist). This doesn't count the ambient subgenre of dance music, e.g. Oakenfold, which sells tons of copies.

5) For whatever reason, and this is the snarky rationale, his music resonates on a deep spiritual level like no other ambient artist. Myself, meh, I don't get it. I love some of the guy's music, like some of it, and some of it is so ponderous that I seldom get past the first 10 minutes. Yet, because people have an almost mystical/religious experience listening to his music, they really "bring it" when his music is attacked. Hey, just try and tell a devout Christian that Jesus was "just a man." When art resonates deep into someone's core, they sometimes feel the need to defend their love of it. I say this is the "snarky" reason because I don't understand the reflexive action that when someone doesn't like Roach, instead of it being that person's taste, it's a matter of them not "getting it." But I do understand what drives the devotion. I just don't understand the vitriol that accompanies it. And just once I'd love to have Steve say to his followers "Chill. You ain't doing me any favors by alienating those folks who don't like some of my music as much as you do." Provided he feels that way.

6) He is a private person (yeah, this kinda flies in the face of point number 2) in that he lives out in the desert and most of the times keeps to himself (most artists come to him, IIRC, not the other way around). He has, again IIRC, seldom if ever "spoken" on the internet...not here, not on the spacemusic list, the ambient@hyperreal list, not on rec.music.ambient, etc. So, when he is attacked (or is perceived as being attacked) the very human reaction from fans is "he's not here to defend himself so by the gods I'll do it...they're not going to pick on him when he can't be here to answer for him; someone's gotta stick up for the guy." Again, this is not like...oh geez, we can run a lot of you guys on this list, take your pick; many of you have spoken up about your own music.

Anyway, that's just some random ramblings on the question. Look, I'm not trying to be mean-spirited or flip, but long-timers know that I have never been the biggest fan of his music or of him, but in the past, somehow, that got twisted into folks thinking I hated his music or hated him. Not true at all. But I don't think he is all that. And I feel the same way about most of the "revered" e.g. Eno, Budd, Vangelis, Klaus Schulze, Aphex, you name him, and I think the slavish devotion to them is unwarranted because, well, they're just musicians. As I wrote earlier, I have a deep friendship with Kevin Kendle, but that's because of who he has been to me as a person, not his music. But if you said his music was sucky, fine. You can even insult him as a person if you want to. I know who he is and that's good enough for me. Only if you crossed over into criminal level libel would I probably give a damn (call him a child molester and watch out!).

Sorry if the above rankles anyone (I can think of a few who it might), but as many of you know by now, I seldom back away from speaking my mind.

mgriffin

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Re: Steve Roach discussion
« Reply #74 on: March 31, 2008, 04:39:39 PM »
How to disagree:

http://www.paulgraham.com/disagree.html

Helpful tips for navigating a Steve Roach discussion!
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APK

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Re: Steve Roach discussion
« Reply #75 on: March 31, 2008, 07:31:28 PM »
Quote:    1) He's a little like Sara Lee ("Nobody doesn't like Sara Lee") and I mean that sincerely. With his deep and broad discography, everyone seems to like at least one Steve Roach album, whether his Berlin school stuff, his fractal grooves, his ethno-tribal, his dark ambient, his desert spacemusic well, you get the idea. So, hardly anyone ever comes into a discussion and says "Who is this Steve Roach of whom you speak?"

---------------

Who the heck is Sara Lee ?
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Bill Binkelman

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Re: Steve Roach discussion
« Reply #76 on: March 31, 2008, 07:45:04 PM »
Quote:    1) He's a little like Sara Lee ("Nobody doesn't like Sara Lee") and I mean that sincerely. With his deep and broad discography, everyone seems to like at least one Steve Roach album, whether his Berlin school stuff, his fractal grooves, his ethno-tribal, his dark ambient, his desert spacemusic well, you get the idea. So, hardly anyone ever comes into a discussion and says "Who is this Steve Roach of whom you speak?"

---------------

Who the heck is Sara Lee ?





here's the company's website

http://www.saraleefoodservice.com/

And their cheescake, back in the 1970s, DID kick ass...cheesy/creamy and with a great graham cracker crust...their butter streusel coffee cake was great too.



Good times.... :)


Brian Bieniowski

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Re: Steve Roach discussion
« Reply #77 on: April 01, 2008, 06:48:04 AM »
It is weird that Steve Roach is singled out over many other ambient guys.  He's certainly not the most prolific (especially when compared to powerhouses like Oöphoi and Mathias Grassow), nor do you get the impression that he spam-bombs you with advertising and the like.  I've never felt that he's taking advantage of his fans by releasing the same old stuff over and over (I can only think of a few instances where old albums were brought back, and they were always improved in some way).

Much of it might just be the old saying about the tallest nail getting hit on the head.  For whatever reason, Steve Roach is one of the most popular ambient guys out there, and that kind of success breeds a lot of "what's the big deal" or "that guy is totally overrated" discussions (and meaner stuff), as we've seen here.  It happens in all the other businesses too (well, I know it happens in publishing).  When you get "big" you become a bigger target.

I think it's great when the discussions are critical, i.e. getting a guy like Bill here to explore Steve's work from a non-fanboy perspective.  Perhaps some of the issue here is that, for many years, you only heard slavering positive reviews without much meat on them, and it seemed as though the artist was being reviewed much more than the albums themselves.  I guess it's only natural from that angle that there's a great degree of skepticism toward the new releases—but that seems to have little to do with Steve.  Now, with decent sound samples (Roach has been generous with these), there's no reason to hit All Music and try to figure out if that new CD is similar to the last three done that year.

Plus, we've all got our pet likes and dislikes.  I'd like to see fewer Immersion style releases, and I'd be glad to never hear about any more Fever Dreams (and if somebody tried to keep Robert Rich and Ian Boddy out of the same rooms, I'd probably feel good about that, too  ;D).  And I wish Alio Die would keep cranking it out as he has been lately.  Just a matter of what you can afford and have room for, I think.

Mark Mushet

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Re: Steve Roach discussion
« Reply #78 on: April 01, 2008, 09:59:18 AM »
Quote:    1) He's a little like Sara Lee ("Nobody doesn't like Sara Lee") and I mean that sincerely. With his deep and broad discography, everyone seems to like at least one Steve Roach album, whether his Berlin school stuff, his fractal grooves, his ethno-tribal, his dark ambient, his desert spacemusic well, you get the idea. So, hardly anyone ever comes into a discussion and says "Who is this Steve Roach of whom you speak?"

---------------

Who the heck is Sara Lee ?



http://youtube.com/watch?v=SP1xf2LgN7M

here's the company's website

http://www.saraleefoodservice.com/

And their cheescake, back in the 1970s, DID kick ass...cheesy/creamy and with a great graham cracker crust...their butter streusel coffee cake was great too.




Oh! And here I was thinking you were referring to the bass player in Robert Fripp's League of Gentleman project circa 1980!  ;)

But regarding Steve Roach: I like Immersion One, Midnight Moon and Early Man. I do think he's too prolific (like too many in the genre) and I avoid the occasional work that sounds like goth/new age soundtrack music. His production standards are wonderful in any case and he's always worth a listen.

9dragons

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Re: Steve Roach discussion
« Reply #79 on: April 01, 2008, 04:33:59 PM »
The reason I personally like emitting praise of Steve Roach's music is because I really like Steve Roach's music. This forum is the only place I can talk about it. You think my wife cares about how much I like 'Spirit Dome'? Hell no. So I'm stuck in this world where I love ambient music, have great experiences listening to it (using it while drawing and painting), but can't really see how other people feel about it. The nature of this music is that it is difficult to get into without a lot of patience, and it can be very personal and ephemeral with personal taste, so it is fun to see how others react to it. I am only into certain sides of Roach's work, and Bill, I can sympathize with you in your dislike of the music. I can see how some of Roach's music/musical image can be perceived as pretentious. For me, I judge the music on its own merits. If I don't like something, it gets sold, and if an artist sucks over time, I of course refrain from buying their work.  But certain Steve Roach albums stay over time. Such as Joe mentioning 'Spirit Dome' and getting into it after not listening to it for a long time, that is the kind of thing that endears me about Roach's music. It holds up over time. Some albums were lame like Trance Spirits or Mantram (and I don't own most of his output such as the sequencer stuff which I never got into) but a lot of his work is unique in the world of ambient/dark ambient. I would say, rip away, choose an album that you dislike and take it apart and show how it is pretentious and weak. I would certainly listen to and enjoy reading that. That's what I would like to hear, a specific review of an album, or an overall review of the music. Personally, I am able to separate the man from the music. I don't care that he doesn't really say anything or drop in to express his opinions or defend himself. Time better spent making more music...

Maybe there should be an anti-Steve Roach thread alongside the pro-thread...I think it'd be funny...