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Slow Heat

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Album Review

Slow Heat is the ultimate in desert ambience. Steve Roach, the premier desert ambience artisan, created this long-form (71 minutes) piece in response to his own desert habitat in Tucson, AZ. The imagery of this music is incredible. It sounds like heat — listeners will hear the shimmering of the desert sands. They will hear the cacti baking in the sun and they will hear themselves sweat. The imagery is visual, too. Roach's organics bring the soundscape to life. The desert is incredibly active, but the activity is slow. This piece evolves fittingly and slowly. There is no crescendo, only a languid buildup to a slow denouement. Roach remains on his own plane; his discs compare best to themselves. This disc is intended for continuous play and it is the natural follow-up to Western Spaces, Desert Solitaire, and Dust to Dust. It is also one of the Top Five ambient CDs ever.


Born: 16 February 1955 in La Mesa, CA

Genre: New Age

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

A longstanding leader in contemporary electronic music, composer and multi-instrumentalist Steve Roach drew on the beauty and power of the Earth's landscapes to create lush, meditative soundscapes influential on the emergence of ambient and trance. Born in California in 1955, Roach -- inspired by the music of Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, and Vangelis -- taught himself to play synthesizer at the age of 20. Debuting in 1982 with the album Now, his early work was quite reminiscent of his inspirations,...
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Slow Heat, Steve Roach
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