A tribal-ambient cornerstone. Electronic and acoustic lines start to blur. Steve and Robert bring the best out of each other's talents on this important collaboration. Ethnic and electronic drums, flutes and expansive atmospheres of searing beauty only start to describe this music.
With "Strata", Steve Roach asked Robert Rich embark on an exploration of "the subconscious, the surreal..Sounds which evoke a reverie... personal, collective, and universal," a music "half forgotten, buried within the strata of the primordial mind." Whether the final product achieves its virtually shamanistic goals will have to be decided by each listener, but it's clear that Strata pushes resolutely deeper into the new territories opened up for contemporary psychonauts by electronic sound production.
From its early polyrhythmic movement pieces, through the darkly compelling interior landscapes at its center, to the healing sonorities that enshroud the concluding "La Luna," Strata conveys the listener to soundworlds below the surface of ordinary music.
Experienced listeners will hear evidence of influences from artists like Brian Eno and Jon Hassell, North African and other world music traditions, but the mixture and ultimately the meaning of the musical sound experiences which Strata unlocks is unique. Remarkably, it advances on a sonic frontier without resorting to an alien musical language.
released August 20, 1990
Steve Roach: analog and digital synthesizers,
sequencers, samplers, glurp
Robert Rich: synthesizers and sampler,
percussion, steel guitar bamboo flutes, tape
Thanks to David Hudson for didjeridu sample
food, Micky at Grandma's Music, Tom Perot,
Stephen and Leyla, Ethan Edgecombe and
Fortuna Records, Linda Kohanov, and Dixie Chan
Recorded 1989-90 at The Timeroom, Tucson, Arizona,
and Soundscape Studios, Mountain View, California,
Mixed to DAT at The Timeroom.
Digital mastering: Stephen Hill and Robert Rich at
Hearts of Space Studio, San Francisco, on Thiel CS 3.5
monitors. Digital editing and assembly: Bob Olhsson
with Sound Designer Il.
Hearts of Space Records | A Valley Entertainment Label
Launched in 1984, this record label
was created as an extension of the weekly syndicated radio show Hearts of Space. Centered around contemplative music, the label features music from the ambient, new age, electronic, world, Celtic, classical, and experimental genres....more
Normally I go to Steve Roach albums to experience time less linearly, so to speak, but here we have an album that's structured almost like a conventional one, with tracks that are distinct from each other. We get pure ambience, gentle tribal rhythms, and glimpses of piano, all building towards a breathtaking final pair of tracks in which Roach sets aloft a full-throated melodicism that's new to me in his oeuvre. fyeahmetal