Roach, Steve - Truth And Beauty

Year of Release: 1999
Label: Timeroom Editions
Catalog Number: Timeroom Editions 2
Format: CD
Total Time: 69:39:00

Truth And Beauty. Wasn't it John Keats who wrote, "Beauty is truth, truth beauty"? Yes, he did, in imagining what the titular Grecian urn was saying to the less permanent human kind. Like that Grecian urn, the music of Steve Roach has a timeless quality - perhaps because so much of the earth, of the living world around us, is tied up into every note, every crash of percussion, every synth wash, every nook and cranny of his soundscapes. For all its texture, it is simple - clearly stated truthful statements of beauty. There is art, but no artifice. Natural rhythms like the beat of a drum, the beat of wings on air, or like the beat of our own heart. "Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on;?"

The pieces on this compilation disk, subtitled "The Lost Pieces Volume Two," are mostly previously unreleased compositions from the early 90s, but also tracks from other, multi-artist compilations. The opening track is "Aftermath," wherein Roach demonstrates again the unique juxtaposition of stillness and movement - that magical moment when time seems suspended, the held breath of anticipation, the signature moment between the road taken and not taken. The slow drive through the war-torn and abandoned town where nothing makes a sound, not even the birds. The air is still, and thick. Where you expect at any second something startling will happen - something unexpected, but you remain just on the cusp of that moment. All this compacted into a mere 9 minutes. "Aftermath" originally appeared on the Spanish version of Stormwarning.

Many pieces are unused tracks from the Earth Island period - Roach's work with Suso Saiz in 1993. Track 5, "Fate Awaits" has an almost Pink Floyd quality about it - if one recalls the opening atmospherics to A Momentary Lapse of Reason or sections of The Division Bell even. A steel stringed guitar picks out crystal clear, shimmering notes a bit like David Gilmour (courtesy here of Saiz). And yet, there is also something of a Tangerine Dream quality to it as well.

"Beyond The Blood" is lead by round percussion and bass, while synth washes undulate, crest, and fall, rising with the high-voiced vocalisations of Roger King. This vocal addition gives the track a pleasant Native American/Middle-Eastern flavouring. And yet, as the title suggests, it transcends all that - it is the voice of just people releasing their innerself. It is the spirit that is in each of us, singing.

The truth is that these are all beautiful pieces. Sometimes fragile and delicate like "The Unreachable Place (Again)," written in the same period as Dreamtime Return, but always rich. There's always more than just surface layers to Roach's work; you can't just listen to a piece and get it the first time through. Roach's music is meant to be absorbed, infused, surrendered to - only then can you find the "meaning," And, of course, those "meanings" can change each time - different impressions based on your own mindset. Which again gives Roach's music a timeless quality, it will always be "of the moment" as long as there are moments. "And happy melodist, unwearied, forever piping songs for ever new?"

As you might expect, this comes highly recommended.

Quoted lines are from John Keats' "Ode On A Grecian Urn" (1819)

Aftermath (9:11) / The Majestic Void (5:36) / Fall of the Moai (1:53) / Earthman (9:44) / Fate Awaits (4:22) / Beyond The Blood (5:15) / Before The Sacrifice (6:54) / The Unreachable Place (Again) (9:38) / The Unbroken Promise (7:51) / This And The Other (11:15)

Steve Roach - keyboards, synths, programming
Suso Saiz - guitars (4, 5)
Roger King - bass, vocals (6)

Moebius (1979) Now (1982)
Traveler (1983/1987)
Structures From Silence (1984/1987/2001)
Quiet Music 1 (1986)
Empetus (1986)
Quiet Music 2 (1986)
Quiet Music 3 (1986)
Starflight (multi-artist compilation) (1986)
Western Spaces (w/Kevin Braheny) (1987)
The Leaving Time (w/Michael Stearns) (1988)
Quiet Music (1988) Dreamtime Return (1988/2005)
Stormwarning (Live) (1989/1992/1999)
Desert Solitaire (w/Braheny and Stearns) (1989)
Strata (w/Robert Rich) (1990)
Australia: Sound Of The Earth (w/David Hudson and Sarah Hopkins) (1990)
Forgotten Gods (w/Jorge Reyes and Suso Saiz as Suspended Memories) (1992/1993)
World's Edge (1992)
Now/Traveler (1992)
Soma (w/Rich) (1992)
The Lost Pieces(1993/1995)
Ritual Ground (1993/2000)
Origins (1993)
The Dream Circle (1994/1999)
Earth Island (w/Reyes and Saiz, as Suspended Memories) (1994)
Artifacts (1994)
The Dreamer Descends (1995) Kiva (w/Stearns and Ron Sunsinger) (1995)
Well Of Souls (w/Obmana) (1995)
Amplexus: Collected Works (w/Thom Brennan and Vidna Obmana) (1995)
The Magnificient Void (1996)
Halcyon Days (w/Stephen Kent and Kenneth Newby) (1996)
Caverns Of Sirens (w/Obmana) (1997)
On This Planet (1997)
Slow Heat (1998)
Dust To Dust (w/Roger King) (1998)
Truth & Beauty: The Lost Pieces Volume Two (1999)
Atmospheric Conditions (1999)
Ascension Of Shadows - Meditations For The Millennium (w/Obmana) (1999)
Dreaming ... Now, Then: A Retrospective 1982 - 1997 (1999)
Body Electric (w/Vir Unis) (1999)
Quiet Music -- Complete Edition (1999 reissue)
Light Fantastic (w/Obmana, Unis, and Stefin Gordon) (1999)
The Ambient Expanse (w/ Patrick O'Hearn, Obmana, ...) (1999)
Vine ~ Bark and Spore (w/Jorge Reyes) (2000)
Early Man (2000/2001) Circles & Artifacts (2000) Live Archive (w/Vidna Obmana) (2000)
Midnight Moon (2000)
Serpent's Lair (2000)
Prayer's To The Protector (2000)
Blood Machine (2001)
Core (2001)
Streams & Currents (2001)
Pure Flow: Timeroom Editions Collection 1 (2001)
InnerZone (2002)
Trance Spirits (2002)
Day Out Of Time (2002)
Darkest Before Dawn (2002)
All Is Now (2002)
Mystic Chords & Sacred Spaces (2003)
Space And Time: An Introduction To The Soundworlds Of Steve Roach (2003)
Texture Maps: The Lost Pieces Vol. 3 (2003)
Life Sequence (2003)
Spirit Dome (2004)
Fever Dreams (2004)
Mantram (2004)
Holding The Space: Fever Dreams II (2004)
Places Beyond: The Lost Pieces 4 (2004)
Possible Planet (2005)
New Life Dreaming (2005)
The Dreamtime Box (2005) (incl. remastered Dreamtime Return plus New Life Dreaming and Possible Planet)
Somewhere Else (2005)
Immersion: One (2006)
Immersion: Two (2006)
Kairos (2006)
Proof Positive (2006)
Storm Surge (2006)
Terraform (2006)
Arc Of Passion (2007)
Fever Dreams III (2007)
Immersion: Three (2007)
Stream Of Thought (2008)
Nada Terma (2008)
Empetus (2008)
Landmass (2008)
A Deeper Silence (2008)
The Memory Pool / Revealing the Secret (2008)
Destination Beyond (2009)
Steve Roach 2009 Box Set (2009)
Afterlight (2009)
Immersion: Four (2009)
Dynamic Stillness (2009)
Spirit Dome - Live Archive (2009)
Nightbloom (2010)
Sigh Of Ages (2010)
Dream Tracker (2010)
Truth & Beauty (2010)
Live At Grace Cathedral (2010)
Journey of One (2011)
Quiet Music: The Original 3-Hour Collection (2011)
Live At SoundQuest Fest (2011)
The Road Eternal (2011)
Immersion Five - Circadian Rhythms (2011)
Sounds From the Inbetween Box Set (2011)
The Desert Inbetween (2011)
Soul Tones (2012)
Tales From The Ultra Tribe (2012)
Stormwarning (Live) (2012)
Day Out of Time (2012)
Low Volume Music (2012)
Back To Life (2012)
Groove Immersion (2012)
Steve Roach 2012 Box Set (2012)
At The Edge Of Everything (2013)
Spiral Meditations (2013)
Live In Tucson 2000 (2013)
Live Transmission (2013)
Future Flows (2013)
Rasa Dance (2013)
Ultra Immersion Concert (2013)
The Ancestor Circle (2014)
Bloodmoon Rising Night 2 (2014)
The Delicate Beyond (2014)
The Delicate Forever (2014)
The Desert Collection (2014)
Structures From Silence (2014)
The Long Night (2014)
Skeleton Keys (2015)
Skeleton Keys (vinyl) (2015)
The Skeleton Collection 2005 - 2015 (2015)
Bloodmoon Rising Night 3 (2015)
Invisible (2015)
Monuments of Ecstasy (2015)

Space Dreaming (1987) (VID, oop)
Structures From Silence (1987) (VID, oop)
The Art And Vision Of James Hubbell (1989) (VID, oop)
Earth Dreaming (1989) (VID, oop)
Into The Soundcurrent: The Musical World Of Steve Roach (1997) (VID)
The Electric Body (1999) (VID, oop)
Time Of The Earth (2001) (DVD)
Borealis (2006) (DVD)
Kairos (2006) (DVD)
Day Out Of Time (2012)

Genre: Electronic

Origin US

Added: March 17th 2000
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 1001
Language: english


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