Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
On This Planet
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Alternative Rock, World Music, New Age, Pop
Opening with a violent clap of thunder, Roach's first live album lives up to its creator's exhortation that you "turn it up, feel it in your bones!" Though it's built from the same glassy, ghostly synthesizer drones, didge... more »
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Opening with a violent clap of thunder, Roach's first live album lives up to its creator's exhortation that you "turn it up, feel it in your bones!" Though it's built from the same glassy, ghostly synthesizer drones, didgeridoo howls, and clay-pot ethnic rhythms as much of his other work, On This Planet is a more visceral, less trancelike experience. Aided by mysterious voices murmuring about being "haunted by visions that have been painted from the inside out," the music suggests a very intense, Castanedan peyote journey through an otherworldly desert landscape (tripping over the odd beer can). Swirling noise clusters, shuddering rain sticks, shamanic chanting, rhythms that sprint across the spectrum like organic drum & bass beats--this isn't your father's New Age. A maxed-out 72 minutes on one CD, On This Planet makes an ideal, if quicker-paced, introduction to Roach's aesthetic, a potent distillation of his more mind-bending materials. --James Rotondi
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One of his most addictive recordings to date
dronecaster | Baton Rouge, LA USA | 12/18/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Those attracted to the techno-influenced sounds of Roach's collaboration with Vir Unis, "Body Electric", will find "On This Planet" irresistible. Based on the idea of creating an album based on improvisational live performances, Roach has seeked to bring the energy of his concerts back to the studio. He's done it before with albums like "Stormwarning" (1989), now available on his Timeroom Editions label (Tuscon, AZ). But unlike that recording which was entirely live and with no overdubs, "On This Planet" shows Roach taking tracks from different venues and improving upon them dramatically. From the thunderous cacaphony of "Heart of the Tempest" to the tribal-techno of "Remember It Now", it resembles a "greatest hits" album of sorts without really being such, more of an example of his different styles from different periods in his 20+ year-long career. As a result it's perfect for the newcomer along with the veteran fan. Perhaps as significant an album as "Dreamtime Return", "Origins", and "The Magnificent Void", "On This Planet" offers some of Roach's deepest music yet. It clearly affirms what one reviewer said earlier, that he has become the "master of creating landscapes of the mind." Or of interstellar space, or of underwater expanses of ocean, or racing through the desert at the speed of sound, for example. Whatever your imagination has in store, Roach provides the perfect soundtrack to create your own mental roadmap. Along with his usual assortment of synths, FX processors, and percussion, he ties in the exotic sounds of the bandir, darbuka, and baglama courtesy of Omar Faruk Tekbilek. Together they create a seething cauldron of frentic, runaway rhythms and howling digeridoo on "Void Memory 4" that is truly blistering in intensity as well as volume...rarer still when you consider that much of Roach's work doesn't rise above the 50-60 decibel level. Roach's unique approach to electronic music leaves much to be desired by most of his peers. Instead of impressing us with his technical wizardry, he is more concerned with creating emotional sounds that have an uncanny way of impressing the intellect as well. He hasn't quite shaken his "Berlin School" (Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze) inspiration, as evidenced by the hyperkinetic nature of "On This Planet"...he's simply perfected an earthier approach he added to his music over a decade ago with "Dreamtime Return". This is the best example of electroacoustic music of the spacey/rhythmic variety yet."
Reminds me of when I had a pet gerbil...
Heidi M. Hawkins | Bellingham, WA: City of Subdued Excitement | 05/23/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I have really enjoyed everything I have heard by Steve Roach...up until now. The scritchy-clicky noises in this one remind me of trying to sleep while a pet gerbil is chewing on things in my bedroom late at night. Perhaps I have been spoiled by such brilliant gems as "Midnight Moon," "The Magnificent Void," "Quiet Music," or Roach's collaborations with Robert Rich. All of those recordings have gotten a great deal of airplay in my home late at night. I also enjoy "Early Man" and "Australia: Sound of the Earth" with David Hudson and Sarah Hopkins much more than this recording. Perhaps it will grow on me, but I like those others so much more, I doubt this one will get played much. I don't exactly dislike this recording, but it doesn't come close to my favorites."
Further magnificent tone poems from the undisputed master.
Heidi M. Hawkins | 07/21/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Steve Roach continues magnificently on his journey toward the new millenium with this superb piece of music. As in all his creations, a first listening is always exciting, and this is no exception, but it is only after further listenings does the true import of his music make itself apparent. The man is without a doubt, the master of creating landscapes of the mind. What is surprising about this release, is that it contains so many diverse examples of his characteristic musical styles. Whether it is a fast, sequenced or tribal based composition, or a slow, ambient dream-state piece, the effect is the same - you can feel the hairs rise on the back of your neck. As C.S. Lewis once wrote.." Science Fiction is the only true mind expanding experience...". well, you can add the music of Steve Roach to that as well. A wonderful, and welcome, new recording - buy it and see for yourself."