Steve Roach — Live Transmission: From the Drone Zone at SOMA FM
(Projekt 293, 2013, 2CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2013-08-26The element of magic that keeps it interesting and intrigues – in this case the listener, is its mystery. Once all the secrets are revealed and the creative processes are laid bare, that mystery is gone forever. So it’s not with a lot of regrets that I say I don’t want to know all the details of how this music is made. Certainly there are synthesizers… lots of them, modular analog and sampling units and such, loops of hand drums, didgeridoo, and whatnot, all amid an ocean of studio type effects, in this case brought into a live setting. The peaceful, dreamy and floating sounds that emanate from Roach’s rig may seem effortless, but the man has made his life’s work coming up with new sounds and different ways to achieve that magical state that a listener perceives. I recall attending one of his live shows, slowly descending into that state where consciousness meets slumber, only to be surprised when I opened my eyes suddenly at one point to see Roach on stage very busily working the boards and patches and generating live loops from his didge and drums. So what we have here are two discs of a live performance at SOMA-FM (a San Francisco based internet radio channel) on May 7th, 2013, eight tracks that pretty much join together seamlessly apart from where one changes the disc. Those who have experienced a few of his hundred-or so previous releases and collaborations, and are tuned into his trajectory will know what to expect here – a warm ocean of floating sounds that morph and change in slow motion, presenting fragments of melodic color amid mysterious textures and tones. For those who haven’t tuned in to Roach’s wavelength yet, this is a fine a place as any to get on board. Be sure to give the music plenty of time to reveal itself over numerous plays and different states of consciousness.
Related artist(s): Steve Roach
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more
Canned Heat / John Lee Hooker - Hooker 'n' Heat, Historical Figures, Ancient Heads, & The New Age – If you don't dig the blues and you don't boogie, skip this review. Canned Heat's stock in trade was merging classic blues with rock, and in the late 60s nobody did it better, due in part... (2007) » Read more