Life Sequence
by Phil Derby, Synth Music Direct
January, 2004

What a fantastic CD this is. "Lightness of Being" grabs attention immediately, fading right into the middle of an energetic sequence. Fans of some of Steve's earliest work, when references to Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze could be more closely felt, will be exceptionally pleased with this album, myself included. After the quick 5-minute opener, which is a new recording, we are introduced to a 17-minute unreleased track from 1991, "Living the Dream." A dreamy slow outward spiraling of sound ensues, starting with gentle sequencing and percussion. Eventually the sequences pick up speed and seem to overlap in a very hypnotic effect. Synth pads float soothingly over the top. Everything flows, smooth like glass. The next two tracks feature Paul Ellis, who played with Steve in Portland, Oregon in 2002. "Sundial" has a crisp, cascading sequence that plays off a meandering bass line. The loops are quite mellow throughout, 'though far from passive. This is music on the move. "Sands of Time" is the most structured piece, and was the climax to Paul's segment of their live set, the only piece they performed as a duo in concert. A deep bass pulse holds things together, and another great sequence gets underway just past the 5-minute mark. It slowly builds and builds to an inevitable finale. The last track, "Destination Horizon," is a 27-minute unreleased track dating back to 1988. Previously, only a 12-minute version of it was released on a compilation CD. This is another first-rate outing from Steve Roach.

Life Sequence

CD out of stock
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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