Texture Maps
by Matt Howarth, Sonic Curiosity

This CD from 2003 features 73 minutes of pleasant ambience.

This release is also Roach's "The Lost Pieces, Volume 3", representing auxiliary soundscapes that enhance and expound on a few of Roach's past masterpieces.

"Gray and Purple" was recorded in 1987, the same week as material for DREAMTIME RETURN, but serves as an early hint of THE MAGNIFICENT VOID to come. This track is 22 minutes long, fully affording the minimal drift to adopt a tranquil disposition of quite expansive quality.

Recorded in 1993, "Artifact Ghost" is a basic atmosphere from the ARTIFACTS and WELL OF SOULS recordings, and has been used as walk-in music prior to many Roach concerts. Its sparse tonalities produce an affable reduction of physiological functions, generating a pleasant trance state.

There are three tracks from 2001 that function as primal templates for the zones explored by Roach on his ambitious MYSTIC CHORDS & SACRED SPACES box set. These soundscapes temper Roach's signature minimalism with a spiritual flavor, resulting in heightened (or deepened, depending on your perspective) insights.

"Bottomless 2" was featured on a Hypnos compilation, and is inherently similar to THE MAGNIFICENT VOID. In this alternate version from 1999, the sonic textures propel the listener into an abyss of psychological proportion wherein self becomes synonymous with immaterial existence, inducing a serenity of momentous scale.

While the last pair of pieces are further auxiliary recordings from 2003 and constitute Roach's fascination for the themes he examined on his MYSTIC CHORDS & SACRED SPACES box set. Again, their amorphous qualities explore realms that dwell beneath the obvious, manifesting as sonic visualizations of softly roiling nebulae inside the mind.

The cover art for this release is another surreal digital piece by Richard Baily.

Texture Maps

CD  $15.00 
ON SALE, $9.00 
Texture Maps
The Lost Pieces Vol. 3

Steve Roach
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".
1. Gray and PurpleMP321:14 
2. Artifact Ghost (edit)MP38:46 
3. Spiral TriptychMP315:24 
6. Bottomless 2MP37:03 
7. Quiet SunMP35:29 
8. Soul LightMP315:09 

Steve Roach News Music Discography Live Press Reviews Store Links Bio Contact