Steve Roach — On This Planet
(Fathom 11082-2 , 1997, CD)
by Mike McLatchey, Published 1999-01-01
The last time I had the pleasure of seeing a Steve Roach live show was late in 1996 in Sacramento. Steve's continuous two-hour long set was one of his finest moments for me; the finale of the show, a fade out of chord washes and drones, was one of the best pieces of music I had ever heard from him (I hope to see the “Sacramento Finale” on CD someday!). On This Planet is “The Steve Roach Live experience! [A] Studio recording inspired by on- the-edge concert explorations.” It is certainly a different way of going about a live album, but rest assured, this release captures in essence the show that I saw and other live experiences from around the same time. In the tradition of Origins and Artifacts, this album is mainly in his more percussive / tribal direction with lots of didgeridoo and drum rhythms, but there are also some more ambient moments, dark droning synths with much resonance. Not to mention, some equipment changes produce some interesting analog-like tones which strangely remind me of Schulze around his Picture Music days. Steve also uses, to great effect, human voices, an effect similar to some early 80s Tangerine Dream, but much, much more impressive, and quite psychedelic. Unfortunately, the CD doesn't give you enough of Roach's finely handled segues, part of what made the live experience so incredible, but here's a man who recognizes and surpasses his limitations. He has done so here.
Related artist(s): Steve Roach
Roswell Rudd RIP – Jazz trombonist Roswell Rudd, one of the distinctive players of his instrument in many strains of music, has died at the age of 82. With a career stretching back to the early 60s and over a hundred recordings featuring his playing, he leaves behind a substantial legacy. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2013. » Read more
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more