by Rik Maclean, Ping Things
The second of two new Timeroom Editions from Steve Roach, TEXTURE MAPS
is a collection of previously unreleased ambient pieces taken from various points in Roach's career, work built around the ideas of oblique motion and the slow drift of shapes.
Beginning with "Gray and Purple", Roach creates an environment of organic soundscapes, rising and falling, passing through states of consciousness and inspiring dreams. Wonderful.
"Artifact Ghost" suggest subterranean travels, a haunted journey through inner space. "Spiral Triptych" brings together three separate compositions into one long form piece. Roach melts each part into the others creating an elegant, almost conceptual whole. I like this/these one/s a lot.
The disc closes with "Soul Light", a recent composition recorded shortly after his recent MYSTIC CHORDS & SACRED SPACES
As a whole, TEXTURE MAPS
is a fantastic journey through space suggesting the birth and death of stars, the dawn and dusk of life, and a thousand other secrets that have yet to be shared. A fantastic work of space music sure to appeal to all fans of the genre.
The Lost Pieces Vol. 3
2003 Timeroom Editions 11 (CD)
Reviewed by Bert Strolenberg, Ambient Musings, Ambient Visions, Deep Listenings, e|i magazine, Ping Things, Sonic Curiosity, Wind and Wire
This purely atmospheric set maps the shift from the tonal serenity found on Steve's earlier work towards the harmonically rich and contrasted souldworlds of late. The centerpiece of TEXTURE MAPS is a pivotal 20-minute piece recorded the same week as "Looking for Safety" from DREAMTIME RETURN. Titled "Grey and Purple", it's a genuine lost piece from 1987 that foreshadows Steve's sonic evolution as later realized on THE MAGNIFICENT VOID and ultimately MYSTIC CHORDS & SACRED SPACES.
This edition of Lost Pieces has a consistent atmospheric feel throughout, unlike THE LOST PIECES (Vol. 1) and TRUTH & BEAUTY (Vol. 2) which mixed the dynamic and more atmospheric pieces together.
1. "Gray and Purple" (1987) -- This pivotal piece was recorded live in the studio the same week as "Looking for Safety" from DREAMTIME RETURN. In listening now, I can feel how it was forecasting the oncoming contrasted harmonic climates that would become most realized on THE MAGNIFICENT VOID and MYSTIC CHORDS & SACRED SPACES. The shift from the serene nature of QUIET MUSIC and STRUCTURES FROM SILENCE is clear on this recording.
2. "Artifact Ghost" (1993) -- This atmosphere has continued to haunt me from the moment it was made. It first was heard supporting the momentum of the rhythmic forms on ARTIFACTS and WELL OF SOULS. This pure version was used as a "walk in" atmosphere for many concerts around this time. While it's around nine minutes on this CD, the original length was 90 minutes. I found the circular - spiraling - aspect of this steady state space especially effective when it was played in continuous low volume loop playback in the house for many days and nights around this time.
3, 4, 5. "Spiral Triptych" (2001) -- These three interconnected spaces are part of a large collection of unreleased zones that shaped the direction of the MYSTIC CHORDS & SACRED SPACES project early on.
6. "Bottomless 2" (1999) -- An alternate mix of a piece featured on a compilation for the Hypnos label. It is poured from a similar material that made THE MAGNIFICENT VOID, and created around this same time.
7, 8. "Quiet Sun" and "Soul Light" (2003) -- These two spaces are a few of the many created live in the studio after MYSTIC CHORDS & SACRED SPACES was complete. The creative momentum continued pulling me deeper in as I was coming back up to the surface upon the official conclusion of the four Mystic CD's. The pieces kept coming, and this one in particular feels like a fitting bookend in relationship to the opening piece from 1987, "Gray and Purple".