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On This Planet

Steve Roach

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Album Review

The cover of On This Planet offers two of the many faces of Earth. One is a craggy, misty place of eerie cold, the other a wind-worn ancient desertscape. Both extremes are intense and lonely, yet extremely inviting in their inhospitableness. It is like being drawn toward the knife. Challenging "dark ambient" composer Steve Roach asks you to experience his compositions loud. This is no unobtrusive sonic background, but a sound atlas to the nether regions. His creations are wrought with didgeridoo, clay pots and other varied percussion, synthesizers, conversation, and electronic respirations. This is a condensation of material developed for and through his 1997 tour. On the basis of the evidence presented here, listeners who missed the tour should rue the day they passed up any opportunities to witness it.

Biography

Born: 1955 in California

Genre: New Age

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

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. A onetime professional motorbike racer 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...
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On This Planet, Steve Roach
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