Mystic Chords & Sacred Spaces
by Jim Brenholts
June 2003


Steve Roach has never been one to rest on his laurels. After releasing a stunning trilogy (totaling four CD's) to commemorate the tenth release on his own Timeroom Editions label, he has stunned the e-music community again. He has released a four disc set, MYSTIC CHORDS & SACRED SPACES. Each disc has its own sonic and thematic integrity and each takes steps to -- with apologies to Aldous Huxley -- A Brave New World.

Disc one is "Mystic Chords & Sacred Spaces". Steve does not fool around, as this disc goes straight to the heart of the matter. The obvious juxtapositions actually make sense. The dark strokes of the "ambient paintbrush" create bold and vivid sonic Technicolor. The music, while subtle in its ambient and minimalist natures, is anything but subtle. It transports casual listeners to cavernous bio-sonic catacombs. Deep listeners will venture with Steve as he goes to plateaus at the highest realms and the deepest miasmas. The travelers gather knowledge. Knowledge is good. Goodness is truth. Truth answers all questions.

Disc two, "Labyrinth", is -- as the name implies -- suitable for losing the listener. Steve has gathered a series of dark organic atmospheres to intensify the mysteries surrounding this shamanic ritual. The mystic chords have strong overtones and psychoactive properties. There will be no casual listening; it is, quite simply, not an option! Deep listeners will follow the progression of the trance as Steve delves deeper and higher -- further -- into his own psyche. These atmospheres and soundworlds are so unique that they are reminiscent of everything. The journey continues to begin. Each note is a fresh start. Every atmosphere is a new experience. The journey begins again... and it is half over.

"Recent Future", disc three, will not buy into the pessimistic concept of "half over". Rather, listeners are half fulfilled. This disc continues the continuation and the continuity. This is interrelated to everything. The absolute appeal of this magnificent and elegant soundscape is numbing. Listeners must become part of the fold. The soundscape is an intoxicant. Meditators will question nothing and succumb to the will of the spirit. The brilliance of this sound design is that it seems to have no design. The simplicity is intricate. The intricacy is simple. Is it a chicken or an egg? It is both. It is neither.

"Piece of Infinity" is a classic Steve Roach-ian long-form composition. This is 74 minutes of electronic minimalism as only he can do it. There are the beginnings of some ends and the ends of some beginnings as he starts to come down from the mountain. The languid structure takes listeners on a gentle and gradual surrender. The surrender is to the inner workings of their own inner psyches. It is in the surrender to the self that one finds the true self. Truth answers all questions.

This set is absolute classic Steve Roach. The emotional and spiritual experiences continue to cascade as each atmosphere unfolds into a new soundworld. The entire set -- almost five hours of brilliance -- takes on existential and Zen personae. It questions everything and validates nothing. It questions nothing and validates everything.



Mystic Chords & Sacred Spaces

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feature  feature

Poster $5.00
Part 1 CD  $23.00 
ON SALE, $17.00 
Complete 4-CD Set CD  $46.00 
ON SALE, $28.00 
iTunes 
Mystic Chords & Sacred Spaces
Part 1 (Discs 1 & 2)

Steve Roach
2003 Projekt PRO142 (Poster, CD)
Reviewed by Frank MacEowen, Gilles Bédard, Jim Brenholts, Hannah M.G. Shapero, Ambient Musings, Beneath the Icy Floe, Deep Listenings, Disquiet, Echoes, Eclectic Earwig Reviews, Electroambient Space, e|i magazine, Morpheus Music, Sonic Curiosity, Sputnik Music, Synth Music Direct, Wind and Wire

Moving into the majestic realm of pure, non-rhythmic electro-acoustic soundworlds, MYSTIC CHORDS & SACRED SPACES is a stunning 4-CD release marking a new milestone in Roach's history as a true artist of sound. His landmark statements -- including DREAMTIME RETURN, THE MAGNIFICENT VOID and STRUCTURES FROM SILENCE -- are all parts of the uninterrupted flow building to this release. After a recent run of rhythmically fused CD's, Roach moves into awe-inspiring sonic immersion, delving into a spiritual dimension of sound. Nearly 5 years in the making, this release offers a listening experience beyond entertainment and pop culture appeals, creating a new sense of 'ambient orchestration' through a constantly shifting flow of sounds and textures that enters a sacred realm of music.

"Abandoning all conventional notions of music as melody, harmony and rhythm, MYSTIC CHORDS & SACRED SPACES allows the listener blissful hours on the high frontier between deep listening music and the spirituality of pure sound." -- Stephen Hill, Hearts of Space Radio

Note: The 4-Disc Set has an extra $3 shipping charge for deliveries outside the U.S. and Canada.

 
Disc 1: Mystic Chords & Sacred Spaces
1. Palace of NectarMP314:15 
2. OracleMP320:06 
3. Within the MysticMP315:52 
4. PresenceMP311:47 
5. Vortex RingMP311:51 
Disc 2: Labyrinth
1. Wren and RavenMP314:49 
2. The OtherworldMP34:48 
3. WonderworldMP39:07 
4. ThresholdMP32:20 
5. Dream BodyMP311:12 
6. Slowly DissolveMP34:15 
7. Womb of NightMP32:42 
8. SoulwaveMP311:00 
9. Wordless 4:06 
10. NamelessMP39:29 

Poster measures 12" x 17".


Mystic Chords & Sacred Spaces

Part 2 CD  $23.00 
ON SALE, $17.00 
Complete 4-CD Set CD  $46.00 
ON SALE, $28.00 
iTunes 
Mystic Chords & Sacred Spaces
Part 2 (Discs 3 & 4)

Steve Roach
2003 Projekt PRO143 (CD)
Reviewed by Sputnik Music

A cinematic epic for the ears, part 2 of MYSTIC CHORDS & SACRED SPACES builds upon the swirling currents and massive harmonic landscapes established on part 1. On the first disc of part 2 (titled "Recent Future"), Roach creates a state of constant becoming: soundscapes shift and morph in perpetual motion as one space dissolves away only to reveal the next compelling place. This realm of unresolved, suspended beauty reaches a high plateau setting the stage for the final disc's departure into a single long form track, perfectly titled "Piece of Infinity." The serene, mysterious atmosphere of the 74-minute space completes the tour de force MYSTIC CHORDS & SACRED SPACES.

Moving into the majestic realm of pure, non-rhythmic electro-acoustic soundworlds, MYSTIC CHORDS & SACRED SPACES is a stunning 4-CD release marking a new milestone in Roach's history as a true artist of sound. His landmark statements -- including DREAMTIME RETURN, THE MAGNIFICENT VOID and STRUCTURES FROM SILENCE -- are all parts of the uninterrupted flow building to this release. After a recent run of rhythmically fused CD's, Roach moves into awe-inspiring sonic immersion, delving into a spiritual dimension of sound. Nearly 5 years in the making, this release offers a listening experience beyond entertainment and pop culture appeals, creating a new sense of 'ambient orchestration' through a constantly shifting flow of sounds and textures that enters a sacred realm of music.

"Abandoning all conventional notions of music as melody, harmony and rhythm, MYSTIC CHORDS & SACRED SPACES allows the listener blissful hours on the high frontier between deep listening music and the spirituality of pure sound." -- Stephen Hill, Hearts of Space Radio

Note: The 4-Disc Set has an extra $3 shipping charge for deliveries outside the U.S. and Canada.

 
Disc 3: Recent Future
1. Open HeartMP34:38 
2. Turn to LightMP39:19 
3. Shift the DimensionMP33:46 
4. This Moment is a MemoryMP35:44 
5. This Moment is Another MemoryMP34:32 
6. Slightly BelowMP32:28 
7. Essence of PhaedraMP32:45 
8. Left Perfectly AloneMP32:29 
9. A Subtle Body CurrentMP35:15 
10. Personal NatureMP310:36 
11. Grounding PlaceMP37:48 
12. Turning BackMP33:38 
13. The Spiral of Time's Fire Burns OnMP310:52 
Disc 4: Piece of Infinity
1. Piece of InfinityMP373:49 



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