Steve Roach: Icon of Echoes

Steve Roach has created 20 years of Echoes Soundscapes.

You can hear an audio version of this blog with Steve Roach’s music.

Steve Roach calls his studio the Time Room and it’s an appropriate name for a place where music plays with concepts of time and perception.

STEVE ROACH : It’s about time, the distortion of time, the playing with time. Ever since I was very very young I was always like to move in and out of time.  I remember when I was very young I liked to spin in circles like children do and just feel that disorientation and I really enjoyed that feeling.

Steve Roach didn’t spring fully formed from his synthesizer circuitry. In the 1970s he was listening to space music from Europe, and in particular Klaus Schulze.  In fact, until he moved to Tucson 20 years ago, the cover of Schulze’s 1975 album, Timewind, sat in Roach’s studio like a religious icon.

Steve Roach: I think when I heard Timewind it was really the album that hit the switch for me. There’s just a sound and a quality of the sound and a feeling that the sound gave me went so deep and cut through so many layers and was so direct, the experience of that music was so direct, it was so familiar.

Roach is now an icon in his own right.  He’s released over 50 solo albums, and a like number of collaborations.  His signature album is Dreamtime Return. Inspired by a trip to Australia, it sent him into a more acoustic, organic sound that he pursued for the next decade.

Steve Roach: The dreamtime and states I wanted to evoke on that album are the essential aspects of combining almost earth type sounds from the environment with internal deep physical feelings and sounds.

It was a short step for Steve Roach from Australia to Arizona.   His soundscapes for the last 20 years have been inspired by the high desert there.

Steve Roach: It’s the kind of landscape that I am personally attracted to for whatever reason. This stark, absolutely alien like desertscape which is barren with possibilities but really evocative and other-worldly in its presence.

I’m always hesitant to say what Steve Roach’s most recent album is, because a new one is likely to drop at any moment.  But in 2009 he released the album, Destination Beyond, an CD that looks back to his early work as much as it looks forward.


John Diliberto ((( echoes )))


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