Life Sequence
by Chuck Van Zyl, Star's End
Nov. 21, 2003


LIFE SEQUENCE stands in stark relief against the transcendent depths of Steve Roach's more atmospheric / textural works. The music found on this collection is designed to propel the listener endlessly through the tractless void, creating our own space as we fly. The music is searching, tremulous and expectant while being enigmatic, limitless and empyreal -- at once personal and universal. LIFE SEQUENCE groups together five studio tracks from significantly different points along the arc of Roach's eminent career in electronic music. What ties this album together is not just the hardware, the analog style step sequencer and its seemingly endless facility for composition, repetition and variation; but the fidelity and expanse of these realizations. We are entranced through Roach's criss-crossing of fractured rhythms and blip patterns, enthralled at the interplay of complex layering and multifaceted patterns and entangled in the kaleidescopic mutations of the music's pulse. The beauty of these works comes from its many strands, heard individually and comprehended collectively -- in the way we come to admire a large tapestry from a swatch of its fabric. LIFE SEQUENCE is an album of tomorrow's music masquerading as yesterday's rage. Here Roach renders into musical form his concept of rhythmic unity and timeless space. In spite of Roach's music having been borrowed from so many times, this vital artist still has the power to inspire and move.


Life Sequence

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Life Sequence
Steve Roach
2003 Timeroom Editions 12 (CD)
Reviewed by Ambient Musings, Electroambient Space, e|i magazine, Guts of Darkness, Ping Things, Sonic Curiosity, Star's End, Synth Music Direct, Wind and Wire, Wind and Wire

A chronicle of new and classic unreleased pure electronic sequencer-driven pieces filled with beauty and emotion. Spiraling melodic sequences, floating majestic textures along with thematic and melodic contributions from guest synthesist Paul Ellis all add up to a set of music that is filled with optimism and passion from start to conclusion.

"Steve has really produced what must be the first CD that mixes sequencers and space-music, but manages to have all the atmosphere of classic cosmic music despite the fact that he uses rhythmic 'devices'. It somehow all blends seamlessly and the one simply adds to the other when, in the hands of so many others, it would be just a mix of two styles at odds with each other. A superb CD and yet another winner, for me the best one so far that combines electronic rhythms as well as the soundscaping." -- Andy Garibaldi, CD Services Scotland

From the liner notes...

LIFE SEQUENCE is a chronicle of new and personally significant unreleased pieces. Since the release of CORE and my recent purely atmospheric projects, I felt the growing urge to re-visit my electronic "roots" in analog sequencer style music. The fact that I had moved away from this sound for awhile made reconnecting with it much like finding an old friend inside myself.

While the pieces presented here were recorded over a fifteen year period, they share a similar feeling: that of embracing life's movement toward the unknown with excitement and anticipation. The first two pieces described below were created during especially significant moments of transition in my own life's sequence.

"Destination Horizon" was originally recorded live for the first Echoes Living Room Concert series in 1989. It was also the last piece created at The Timeroom in Venice, California just before for leaving for a second trip to Australia and returning to a new life in Tucson, Arizona. "Living the Dream" was recorded live in the Tucson Timeroom just before leaving the U.S. for my first European tour in 1991.

"Sands of Time" and "Sundial" are recent collaborations with electronic artist Paul Ellis. These pieces grew out of our live rehearsal sessions for a 2002 Portland concert. His appreciation of this style of music and my earlier work in this direction was an inspiration. The opening track, "Lightness of Being" created in 2003, holds for me an unbroken feeling that is connected to the early impulses that drew me to a form of music I still feel close to my heart.
 
1. Lightness of BeingMP34:56 
2. Living the DreamMP316:56 
3. SundialMP39:27 
4. Sands of TimeMP315:03 
5. Destination HorizonMP327:12 
 
-  Sands of Time LiveMP317:55 

3, 4 with Paul Ellis; "Sands of Time Live" is an Internet bonus, not on the CD, recorded live June 29, 2002 in Portland



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