Exposé Online banner

Steve Roach — Arc of Passion
(Projekt 202, 2008, 2CD)

by Paul Hightower, Published 2009-07-01

Arc of Passion Cover art"Passion" is one of those loaded words. For instance, though it dealt with a fictional account of the life and death of Jesus of Nazareth, Martin Scorcese’s film Passion (for which Peter Gabriel created a mesmerizing soundtrack) had as much to do with the sensual meaning of the word as the biblical. With this collection, ambient musician Steve Roach is pretty much doing the same thing. The inspiration for the opening piece, “Moment of Grace,” came from a recent visit to San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral. But you won’t find any cliché musical references typically associated with churches, like pipe organs or boys’ choirs. Instead, Roach operates firmly in the realm of abstract ambient compositions that are highly improvisational and hard to describe as “musical” since there’s nothing in the way of melody or compositional structure. Instead, wave upon wave of enormous, sonorous synth washes and drones flow ethereally over the listener, imparting a calm and soothing after-effect. The title track (weighing in at a whopping 60 minutes) is broken into two parts that straddle the two disks. Roach begins “Arc of Passion” where “Moment of Grace” leaves off, though he eventually works his way deeply into realms of electronica reminiscent of Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze. Part Two embraces the sort of programmed and sequenced synth and percussion explorations many Exposé readers enjoyed so much on Roach’s recent Storm Surge release and this might be worth the price of admission alone. “Views Beyond” concludes this set where it began, in the realm of ambient soundscapes that evoke deep, cavernous spaces and primal emotions that explore realms of the subconscious. As with much of his work, on this collection Roach opens doors to places where the listener can connect with their inner self on many levels, whether it be spiritual, transcendent, or intensely focused. All you have to do is take the journey.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 37, 2008 releases

Related artist(s): Steve Roach

Latest news

2018-06-05
Koenjihyakkei Seeks Funding for New Album – It's been quite a few years since the last new studio album by the amazing Koenjihyakkei. Now they are preparing Dhormimviskha for worldwide release, and they're asking fans to pre-order via a Kickstarter campaign to help it happen. » Read more

2018-05-14
Glenn Branca RIP – Experimental guitarist and composer Glenn Branca has died at the age of 69. He was known for compositions featuring large ensembles of guitars, and for the use of feedback. He founded his band Theoretical Girls in the mid-70s as an art-punk answer to what he saw as the increasing commercialization of punk music. His compositions were highly influential, with such figures as David Bowie, Thurston Moore, and John Lurie among his fans. » Read more

2018-04-05
OBEY Convention XI Set for May 24-28 in Halifax – As the 2018 festival season rapidly approaches, we’d like you to be aware of a real treasure of diverse and creative music that’s going to take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, next month. The OBEY Convention is on its 11th outing, and features a wide range of artists from around the world. From avant-industrial noise to experimental takes on Classical Chinese music, from chamber jazz to doom metal, from ambient soundscapes to Canadian First Nations drumming, you’d be hard pressed to find a festival with more variety in sound anywhere in the world. » Read more

2018-04-04
Close to the Rain Festival in Bergen Announces Lineup – Now in its second year, the Close to the Rain Festival of progressive music is scheduled to take place in Bergen, Norway, on June 7 - 9. They've got an amazing slate of bands lined up, including such powerhouses as Anekdoten, Major Parkinson, Arabs in Aspic, Tusmørke, and many more. » Read more

2018-03-01
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington and Oregon. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Quantum - Quantum – This outstanding Brazilian instrumental five-piece recorded only this one album in the early 80s, and then disappeared. Their sound combines the best elements of the European progressive sound with...  (1993) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues