Sleeping Dogs Lie 23apr10: Steve Roach

Steve Roach
“Texture Maps: The Lost Pieces Vol. 3”

1. Gray and Purple 21:14
2. Artifact Ghost (edit) 8:46
3. Spiral Triptych 15:24
6. Bottomless 2 7:03
7. Quiet Sun 5:29
8. Soul Light 15:09

“Texture Maps” gathers tracks from 1987 to 2003 through different stages of this artist’s life. It feels the echoes of distant times typical of “Dreamtime Return” or “Quiet Music”, where Roach explored wide, tuneful spaces in absolute lack of gravity, and the real sonorities chosen for the monumental “Mystic Chords & Sacred Spaces”. Those two worlds are not independent; far from it they interpenetrate and enhance the link between the old and the new, and also testify the integrity of either the man or the artist along with his constant development, as well as his never-ending creativity.

Often used as the linking material during concerts (“Artifact Ghost”, for instance, was chosen as the opening for the Due Acque concert), or as a deep atmosphere to put in “Timeroom” loop in order to shape the nights in the desert, these deeply static tracks come as fragments of a huge mosaic, the boundaries of which are no longer visible.

Roach is way beyond our range of vision. He is the most advanced musician of the Ambient movement. If this is his “scrap” work, then it comes easy to get the reason for that. The long, epic genesis of “Mystic Chords & Sacred Spaces” had Roach keeping himself in the Timeroom for months, as he got stricken by a rare, creative fever; it was his own inner flame that burnt away, and the consequent soundworlds pushed him to pursue the searching, to end up completely worn out by the rash of creativity, and to open new gaps.

Superb sounds and atmosphere convoy into what can be looked at as the spiritual will of an artist who has always tried to share with us his own visions or the projects in his mind, and who has eventually overcome his own skills by wide-opening his heart in a most extreme way, in a final sacrifice, in a perfect act which has disclosed his unconscious engine-room door — the image of collective unconscious. Travelling through times and places belonging to the myth, Roach reached the depth of his own soul as well as ours. He saw things that only music can describe, and he brought those things back to us. It’s been quite a while since I last shuddered, since I was surprised by every single change of atmosphere, or since I shivered along with the air. These four records represent a sort of experience that transcends mere listening; they are sacred sculptures, or spaces of a new cathedral sound, or the keys to revealed truth. After such a work, Deep Music is bound to change. The king is dreaming. Let’s listen to him in religious silence. (Gianluigi Gasparetti, Deep Listenings)