Steve Roach – Journey Of One

Steve Roach - Journey Of One

2CD, Projekt, 2011

From Sam at Projekt we received a nice package with some new releases on his label, and it is sufficient to say these are not ‘just’ any releases. I mean, that’s not how we know Projekt, right?
The first release that fell out of the envelope is by Steve Roach. It is titled “Journey Of One” with a subtitle “The Tribal Ambient Era, Live 1996”. It is a registration from a solo concert Steve did on November 8th, 1996, in Sacramento. Of course it was not a 30-minute in-and-out press play kinda performance, but a solid 90+ minutes happening, showcasing all styles and stuff of which Steve is capable. Maybe not all, but those I knew from him did find their way into this set.
Despite his huge (!) catalog of 90+ releases – either splits or solos – I only have one earlier release in my private collection. Reading the promo sheet that came with the release, the mid-90’s were very characteristic for Steve’s sound and style, and it is no surprise to me that the one other release I have is a 1995 collaboration he did with Vidna Obmana.
So what can you expect if you’ve never heard his work before? First of all, the discs are split into parts, but the music plays as one long track on each. The main style under which this should be categorized is a mixture between ethnic, ethereal, ritual, drone and ambient. The composition has quite a strong improvisational feeling to it, because if you think at some point it could use a bit more rhythm, the ritual aspect steps in, if you think it’s time for some rest, he steps back and lets the background drones do their work. In other words, the entire release is very balanced, which is also applicable for that earlier release I wrote about.
If you are interested in the aforementioned styles, and are still missing a bit of ethnic, ethereal and ritual music in your collection, this is a great release to get.


— Bauke van der Wal