Posts Tagged ‘Steve Roach’

Natalie Merchant Giving Up Everything Video

April 11, 2014

Natalie Merchant Returns with Self-Titled Album and Haunting Video

Natalie-MerchantNatalie Merchant releases her first album of all original music this May.  Ahead of that, she’s released a simple, but powerful video for the best song on the album, “Gving Up Everything.”

 

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

Foy-MirrorNo Echoes station in your area.  You can hear it online and on-demand at Echoes On-Line. Now you can go Mobile withEchoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

Join the Echoes CD of the Month Club. and get  Lyla Foy’s Mirrors the Sky, the April CD of the Month.  You’ll get great CDs and help support Echoes at the same time.   You can do it all right here.

OR
Pick Up 
TRANSMISSIONS:
THE ECHOES LIVING ROOM CONCERTS VOLUME 19

LRC19-250pxJoin us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album. Or Follow us on Twitter@echoesradio.

 

Advertisements

Steve Roach in Echoes Podcast

April 11, 2014

Steve Roach Contemplates the Contemplation of Structures from Silence in Echoes Podcast

Structures-DeluxeOver the last 25 years, Steve Roach has been one of the signature artists of Echoes.  He wrote our original theme music in 1989 and he was voted one of 20 Icons for 20 Years of Echoes.  I’ve known Roach since 1983 when I visited his small bungalow in Culver City near Los Angeles.  At the time I was recording interviews for the radio documentary, Totally Wired: Artists in Electronic Sound.  As I recall I interviewed Michael Stearns and Kevin Braheny on that same trip.  Roach had two albums out at that point, Now and Traveler.  But he unveiled his newest release, just out on cassette at the time, called Structures from Silence. It came out the next year on Fortuna and has gone on to become a classic of space, new age and ambient music.  Four years ago, I cited Structures as the number two of Five Essential Steve Roach CDs.   Now they’ve released a triple CD edition with the original album and artwork plus two contemporary CDs which have roots in the Structures from Silence aesthetic while sounding almost nothing like it.  Steve Roach remembers days of silence in the Echoes Podcast.  Here’s something that didn’t fit in the interview.

Steve Roach: This opportunity came to play at Terminal Island Prison for the inmates the prison.  So I setup in what was like a high school gymnasium or a high school auditorium in the Terminal Island Prison, and I had to go through all these layers of security check and with all the gear and inspecting everything. And finally you get in and setup, then in comes a whole completely full auditorium of inmates.  I’m playing sequencer kind of material and doing my thing at that time with all the pure analog gear.  I had a trajectory to go with and then it was going to end in a more quiet reflective place, which was where I was heading to with Structures and with that first track on Structures, “Reflections in Suspension,” so eventually that piece emerges. And it’s absolutely gentle and very quiet and really not a piece that you think you would play for inmates in a prison, you know.

Steve Roach Immersion '07 (64)And the guy that played before me, Bob Ramey was his name, at the time he had all these drum machines mounted into a big rack and he used to do these drum machine grooves for Eddie Harris, the jazz player. So when Bob was playing the guys out there were wadding up pieces of paper and throwing them at him and all that sort of thing. So I thought I’m in for it here, you know, I don’t know what’s gonna happen here, but I’m just gonna go for it.

So I played that track and ended the concert with that very gentle track, and it was amazing because it stayed quiet. I wasn’t pelted with paper balls and a lot of the the inmates came up to the stage and they were clearly vibing in the music and they were absolutely stoned [on the music].

Hear more stories about Steve Roach’s Structures from Silence in Echoes Podcast.


John Diliberto (((echoes)))

Foy-MirrorNo Echoes station in your area.  You can hear it online and on-demand at Echoes On-Line. Now you can go Mobile withEchoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

Join the Echoes CD of the Month Club. and get  Lyla Foy’s Mirrors the Sky, the April CD of the Month.  You’ll get great CDs and help support Echoes at the same time.   You can do it all right here.

OR
Pick Up 
TRANSMISSIONS:
THE ECHOES LIVING ROOM CONCERTS VOLUME 19

LRC19-250pxJoin us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album. Or Follow us on Twitter@echoesradio.

 

30 Years of Stillness with Steve Roach

April 8, 2014

Steve Roach’s Structures From Silence Turns 30

Structures-DeluxeSteve Roach has been one of the signature artists of Echoes.  He wrote our original theme music in 1989 and he was voted one of 20 Icons for 20 Years of Echoes.  I’ve known Roach since 1983 when I visited his small bungalow in Culver City near Los Angeles.  At the time I was recording interview for the radio documentary, Totally Wired: Artists in Electronic Sound.  He had two albums out at that point, Now and Traveler.  But he unveiled his newest release, just out on cassette at the time, called Structures from Silence. It came out the next year and has gone on to become a classic of space, new age and ambient music.  Four years ago, I cited Structures as the number two of Five Essential Steve Roach CDs.   Now they’ve released a triple CD edition with the original album and artwork plus two contemporary CDs which have roots in the Structures from Silence aesthetic while sounding almost nothing like it.  Steve Roach remembers days of silence today on Echoes.  Here’s something that didn’t fit in the interview.

Steve Roach: This opportunity came to play at Terminal Island Prison for the inmates the prison.  So I setup in what was like a high school gymnasium or a high school auditorium in the Terminal Island Prison, and I had to go through all these layers of security check and with all the gear and inspecting everything. And finally you get in and setup, then in comes a whole completely full auditorium of inmates.  I’m playing sequencer kind of material and doing my thing at that time with all the pure analog gear.  I had a trajectory to go with and then it was going to end in a more quiet reflective place, which was where I was heading to with Structures and with that first track on Structures, “Reflections in Suspension,” so eventually that piece emerges. And it’s absolutely gentle and very quiet and really not a piece that you think you would play for inmates in a prison, you know.

Steve Roach Immersion '07 (64)And the guy that played before me, Bob Ramey was his name, at the time he had all these drum machines mounted into a big rack and he used to do these drum machine grooves for Eddie Harris, the jazz player. So when Bob was playing the guys out there were wadding up pieces of paper and throwing them at him and all that sort of thing. So I thought I’m in for it here, you know, I don’t know what’s gonna happen here, but I’m just gonna go for it.

So I played that track and ended the concert with that very gentle track, and it was amazing because it stayed quiet. I wasn’t pelted with paper balls and a lot of the the inmates came up to the stage and they were clearly vibing in the music and they were absolutely stoned [on the music].

Hear more stories about Steve Roach’s Structures from Silence tonight on Echoes.


John Diliberto (((echoes)))

Foy-MirrorNo Echoes station in your area.  You can hear it online and on-demand at Echoes On-Line. Now you can go Mobile withEchoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

Join the Echoes CD of the Month Club. and get  Lyla Foy’s Mirrors the Sky, the April CD of the Month.  You’ll get great CDs and help support Echoes at the same time.   You can do it all right here.

OR
Pick Up 
TRANSMISSIONS:
THE ECHOES LIVING ROOM CONCERTS VOLUME 19

LRC19-250pxJoin us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album. Or Follow us on Twitter@echoesradio.

 

Japanese Spaces-Arizona Skies

April 2, 2014

Today on Echoes it’s new music from Hiroki Okano and Steve Roach

jpHiroki Okano was initiated as a Buddhist monk, but he decided to take a different path.  Throughout the 1990s, Okano made beautiful , delicately etched albums like Enn , Hearing There and Rainbow Over the Gypsy Hill, some of them on the late-lamented Innovative Communications label.  He formed the Wind Travelin’ Band, mixing Japan’s native Ainu artists with contemporary musicians and that band then collaborated with R. Carlos Nakai for the album Island of BowsSpiral-MeditationsHe spent the last decade or so playing in jam bands and other music experiments including collaborations with English New Age artist Nigel Shaw, but he returns to form on a new CD called .jp. We’ll also hear a new, deep electronic journey from Steve Roach called Spiral Meditations.  We’ll be hearing a lot more about Steve Roach next Tuesday when we feature him talking about the 30th anniversary of Structures from Silence.

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

Foy-MirrorJoin the Echoes CD of the Month Club. and get  Lyla Foy’s Mirrors the Sky, the April CD of the Month.  You’ll get great CDs and help support Echoes at the same time.   You can do it all right here.

OR
Pick Up 
TRANSMISSIONS:
THE ECHOES LIVING ROOM CONCERTS VOLUME 19

buyit

LRC19-250pxJoin us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album. Or Follow us on Twitter@echoesradio.

Now you can go Mobile with Echoes On-Line. Find out how you can listen to Echoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

“Phaedra” at 40 in Echoes Podcast

February 21, 2014

Hear an Homage to Tangerine Dream’s Phaedra in the Echoes Podcast

Tangerine Dream circa 1974

Tangerine Dream circa 1974

On February 20th, 1974, Tangerine Dream released the album that changed electronic music for the next 40 years.  It takes its name from Greek mythology and its sound from the imaginations of Edgar Froese, Peter Baumann and Christoph Franke, the three members of Tangerine Dream at the time.  Phaedra was their fifth album, coming on the heals of Atem in 1973 and Zeit in 1972.  Both of those albums were abstract improvisations of floating sound fields.  Zeit in particular was a minimalist, Ligeti-like exploration in texture and sustain with a mixture of electronics and a cello quartet.   Phaedra had some of those elements, but on the side-long title track they were linked to sequencer grooves like rubber bands being twanged in space.  It’s the sound you hear in every retro-space band, a lot of techno and dance hits like Donna Summers’I Feel Love.”

PhaedraOn the Echoes Podcast, we celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Phaedra with commentary from several artists influenced by this recording.  Moby, Ulrich Schnauss, Mark Shreeve, Ian Boddy, Robert Rich, Steve Roach, and Alan Howarth sing Phaedra’s praises and Edgar Froese reveals the thought behind the introduction of sequencers into the band.  We’ll also hear two tracks off the album and a set of music from Tangerine Dream influenced artists.  You can trip into space on Tangerine Dream’s Phaedra in the Echoes Podcast

Five  years ago, I compiled a list of the 10 Best Tangerine Dream albums.  Phaedra is at the top of that list.  Here’s the rest.

10 Best Tangerine Dream Albums From Number Six of 20 Icons of Echoes
Bookmark and Share
On the air I said I’d pick five, but I decided to go with ten.

1-Phaedra
2-Rubycon
Phaedra and Rubycon have always been a pair for me and  that pair is half of a quartet with Ricochet and Stratosfear.   These are the signature Dream albums, the blueprint for every retro-space artist out there, the sound that influenced ambient, techno, and more.   The classic trio of Edgar Froese, Christoph Franke and Peter Baumann found the secret of rubber band sequencer patterns discovered by Tonto’s Expanding Headband 2 years earlier.  The Dream   bound them in  interlocking patterns, mellotron chords and synthesizer textures.    Phaedra is transitional, retaining some of the avant-garde Ligeti-esque texturalism from Zeit on the mellotron drenched “Mysterious Semblance at the Strands of Nightmare,” but the title track and Rubycon, an album length composition were definitive journeys into inner space.

3-Logos
Tangerine Dream was an exciting live band in the 70s and half of the 80s.  Listening to Logos, from 1982, you can hear why.  This was the Dream working with a precision and structure that earlier works didn’t have, but they were still creating in long-form with a fair amount of improvisation.  Johannes Schmoelling had been in the group for a while at this point and his influence is felt in gorgeous melodies and rhythms that have you ricocheting off your seat and between your headphone cups.  This was really the truly last live recording from the group.  Subsequent live albums would be more pre-programmed performances.

4-Zeit
It’s been called their most experimental CD, but I think it’s their most thoughtful, controlled and uncontrived album.  Playing with a cello quartet, it’s a journey of interwoven tones phasing through each other from acoustic to electric to something entirely new.  Ambient before ambient, but owing much to Gyorgy Ligeti pieces like “Atmospheres,” synths, gliss guitar, organ and “noise generators” unfold in undulating, slow motion patterns across what was a double LP.  This 1972 recording is a drone zone manifesto, and a beautifully enveloping work free of melody, rhythm and just about any other conventional music signpost.

5-Tangram
This is one of the last long-form Dream recordings.  Originally a two sided work, Tangram is a  multi-movement opus sometimes sabotaged by episodic writing, but still with some haunting themes amidst the pounding sequencers and more melodic invention than most prior Dream albums.

6-Stratosfear
Part of the classic quartet of albums, this was their most commercial release to date and the first album with real melodies.

7-Ricochet
The other album in the classic quartet.  Ricochet was their first live album, although it was all new materiel and sounds like a studio recording.  Another two-sided excursion that moves from the quietest solo piano spot to thundering sequencers from the heavens.

8-Goblins’ Club
Goblins’ Club recalls the 80’s sound of Tangerine Dream when they were just adding more aggressive rhythms and clearly defined melodies to their fanciful spacescapes.  But unlike so many of their post-Virgin releases, this 1996 albums doesn’t bludgeon you with canned synthesizer bombast.  There seems to be more exploratory fun and a more personal sound   as they drop in surreal free falls in the midst of their dramatic compositions.

9-Force Majeure
Something of an anomaly in that it features a drummer, Klaus Krieger, and gives the Dream a more fluid and aggressive sound, especially in the screaming side long title track.

10-Optical Race
I know that consensus opinion has it that the Private Music years sucked, and they did, except for Optical Race the first album they made for the label, owned by former Tangerine Dreamer, Peter Bauman.  With just Froese and Paul Haslinger, they create dense, rhythmically charged excursions that stand up to some of their best works and hold up better than albums like Le Parc.

Finally an album that should be on the list, Epsilon in Malaysian Pale, the third solo album from Edgar Froese and a Dream album by any other measure.

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

TimelinesCDcoverJoin the Echoes CD of the Month Club.  Erik Wøllo’s Timelines is our February CD of the Month.  You’ll get great CDs and help support Echoes at the same time.   You can do it all right here.

LRC19-250pxGIVE THEM THE GIFT OF TRANSMISSIONS:
THE ECHOES LIVING ROOM CONCERTS VOLUME 19

Join us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album. Or Follow us on Twitter@echoesradio.

Now you can go Mobile with Echoes On-Line. Find out how you can listen to Echoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

 

 

Tangerine Dream’s “Phaedra” at 40

February 20, 2014

PhaedraOn February 20th, 1974, Tangerine Dream released the album that changed electronic music for the next 40 years.  It takes its name from Greek mythology and its sound from the imaginations of Edgar Froese, Peter Baumann and Christoph Franke, the three members of Tangerine Dream at the time.  Phaedra was their fifth album, coming on the heals of Atem in 1973 and Zeit in 1972.  Both of those albums were abstract improvisations of floating sound fields.  Zeit in particular was a minimalist, Ligeti-like exploration in texture and sustain with a mixture of electronics and a cello quartet.   Phaedra had some of those elements, but on the side-long title track they were linked to sequencer grooves like rubber bands being twanged in space.  It’s the sound you hear in every retro-space band, a lot of techno and dance hits like Donna Summers’I Feel Love.”

Tonight on Echoes, we celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Phaedra with commentary from several artists influenced by this recording.  Moby, Ulrich Schnauss, Mark Shreeve, Ian Boddy, Robert Rich, Steve Roach, and Alan Howarth sing Phaedra’s praises and Edgar Froese reveals the thought behind the introduction of sequencers into the band.  We’ll also hear two tracks off the album and a set of music from Tangerine Dream influenced artists.  You can trip into space on Tangerine Dream’s Phaedra tonight on Echoes

Five  years ago, I compiled a list of the 10 Best Tangerine Dream albums.  Phaedra is at the top of that list.  Here’s the rest.

10 Best Tangerine Dream Albums From Number Six of 20 Icons of Echoes
Bookmark and Share
On the air I said I’d pick five, but I decided to go with ten.

1-Phaedra
2-Rubycon
Phaedra and Rubycon have always been a pair for me and  that pair is half of a quartet with Ricochet and Stratosfear.   These are the signature Dream albums, the blueprint for every retro-space artist out there, the sound that influenced ambient, techno, and more.   The classic trio of Edgar Froese, Christoph Franke and Peter Baumann found the secret of rubber band sequencer patterns discovered by Tonto’s Expanding Headband 2 years earlier.  The Dream   bound them in  interlocking patterns, mellotron chords and synthesizer textures.    Phaedra is transitional, retaining some of the avant-garde Ligeti-esque texturalism from Zeit on the mellotron drenched “Mysterious Semblance at the Strands of Nightmare,” but the title track and Rubycon, an album length composition were definitive journeys into inner space.

3-Logos
Tangerine Dream was an exciting live band in the 70s and half of the 80s.  Listening to Logos, from 1982, you can hear why.  This was the Dream working with a precision and structure that earlier works didn’t have, but they were still creating in long-form with a fair amount of improvisation.  Johannes Schmoelling had been in the group for a while at this point and his influence is felt in gorgeous melodies and rhythms that have you ricocheting off your seat and between your headphone cups.  This was really the truly last live recording from the group.  Subsequent live albums would be more pre-programmed performances.

4-Zeit
It’s been called their most experimental CD, but I think it’s their most thoughtful, controlled and uncontrived album.  Playing with a cello quartet, it’s a journey of interwoven tones phasing through each other from acoustic to electric to something entirely new.  Ambient before ambient, but owing much to Gyorgy Ligeti pieces like “Atmospheres,” synths, gliss guitar, organ and “noise generators” unfold in undulating, slow motion patterns across what was a double LP.  This 1972 recording is a drone zone manifesto, and a beautifully enveloping work free of melody, rhythm and just about any other conventional music signpost.

5-Tangram
This is one of the last long-form Dream recordings.  Originally a two sided work, Tangram is a  multi-movement opus sometimes sabotaged by episodic writing, but still with some haunting themes amidst the pounding sequencers and more melodic invention than most prior Dream albums.

6-Stratosfear
Part of the classic quartet of albums, this was their most commercial release to date and the first album with real melodies.

7-Ricochet
The other album in the classic quartet.  Ricochet was their first live album, although it was all new materiel and sounds like a studio recording.  Another two-sided excursion that moves from the quietest solo piano spot to thundering sequencers from the heavens.

8-Goblins’ Club
Goblins’ Club recalls the 80’s sound of Tangerine Dream when they were just adding more aggressive rhythms and clearly defined melodies to their fanciful spacescapes.  But unlike so many of their post-Virgin releases, this 1996 albums doesn’t bludgeon you with canned synthesizer bombast.  There seems to be more exploratory fun and a more personal sound   as they drop in surreal free falls in the midst of their dramatic compositions.

9-Force Majeure
Something of an anomaly in that it features a drummer, Klaus Krieger, and gives the Dream a more fluid and aggressive sound, especially in the screaming side long title track.

10-Optical Race
I know that consensus opinion has it that the Private Music years sucked, and they did, except for Optical Race the first album they made for the label, owned by former Tangerine Dreamer, Peter Bauman.  With just Froese and Paul Haslinger, they create dense, rhythmically charged excursions that stand up to some of their best works and hold up better than albums like Le Parc.

Finally an album that should be on the list, Epsilon in Malaysian Pale, the third solo album from Edgar Froese and a Dream album by any other measure.

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

TimelinesCDcoverJoin the Echoes CD of the Month Club.  Erik Wøllo’s Timelines is our February CD of the Month.  You’ll get great CDs and help support Echoes at the same time.   You can do it all right here.

LRC19-250pxGIVE THEM THE GIFT OF TRANSMISSIONS:
THE ECHOES LIVING ROOM CONCERTS VOLUME 19

Join us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album. Or Follow us on Twitter@echoesradio.

Now you can go Mobile with Echoes On-Line. Find out how you can listen to Echoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

 

 

Erik Wøllo’s Timelines: Echoes February CD of the Month

February 3, 2014

Erik Wøllo’s Timelines
Echoes February CD of the Month

It’s a cliché, I know, but as soon as an Erik Wøllo album starts,
yoTimelinesCDcoveru know you are on a journey.  It’s like the moments before take-off, only Wøllo’s ascent doesn’t throw you back in your seat with G-Force thrust.  It’s a gentle rise into euphoric space. Timelines is a beautifully sculpted example of that.

Wøllo is a Norwegian musician who has been recording since 1984, releasing 18 solo albums in that span plus collaborations with musicians like Steve Roach, Ian Boddy and Kouame Sereba. From his 1988 album Traces (recently reissued on Spotted Peccary Records along with other Wøllo titles) Wøllo showed a command of detailed orchestrations and dramatic melodies. A guitarist and keyboardist, both elements come together in intricate and unexpected ways on Timelines.

Erik Wollo Live on Echoes 2010

Erik Wollo Live on Echoes 2010

Wøllo’s recent albums, Silent Currents and Airborne, have taken him into the drone zone inhabited by Steve Roach, but Timelines is a return to form for this guitarist who is more at home in a world of melody.  But you can hear those abstract influences in his electronic percussion palette which reflects the influence of his collaborations with Roach on Streams of Thought and Road Eternal.

The central core of this album is acoustic guitar, on which Wøllo composed all of the tracks, except I suspect, the spacey closer, “Ocean.”  On “Blue Rondo,” an acoustic guitar arpeggio seems to reveal itself out of an electronic swirl, merging with glurpy water drip electronic percussion, soaring synth pads and growling electric guitar drones before evolving into a gently percussive piece with some searing ebow guitar leads.

Erik Wollo Live on Echoes 2010

Erik Wollo Live on Echoes 2010

“Visions” is the centerpiece of the album, a slowly building work of interlocked percussion, electronic cycles and that ebow guitar that seems to emerge like a stealth bomber out of the storm clouds. Maybe that imagery is a little foreboding, but that’s what draws me to Wøllos music.  A track like “Along the Journey” could be a gentle walk through a Norwegian forest and easily devolve into New Age prettiness.  But throughout the walk, Wøllo has ambient atmospheres swirling at the edges, leaving them unfocused and mysterious.  There’s a darkness that balances the light, a dark undertow that serves to put his melodies in beautiful bas relief.  And then of course, there’s the thudding percussion and spiraling ebow solo that reveals this is no country walk.

Erik Wøllo has had a few CD of the Month picks in the past.  It’s hard not to.  Time is suspended when you cross Erik Wøllo’s Timelines.

John Diliberto (((echoes)))
Read more about Erik Wøllo
Gateway CD of the Month
Erik Wøllo & Steve Roach Interview

TimelinesCDcoverJoin the Echoes CD of the Month Club.  Erik Wøllo’s Timelines is our February CD of the Month.  You’ll get great CDs and help support Echoes at the same time.   You can do it all right here.

OR

Pick Up  TRANSMISSIONS:
THE ECHOES LIVING ROOM CONCERTS VOLUME 19

LRC19-250pxJoin us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album. Or Follow us on Twitter@echoesradio.

Now you can go Mobile with Echoes On-Line. Find out how you can listen to Echoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

Echoes 24 Years Ago Today!

October 2, 2013

In 1989 the World Wide Web was invented
The Berlin Wall fell.
The Dalai Lama won the Nobel Peace Prize.
Denmark legalized civil unions between same-sex couples

They were all ahead of the curve.

And so was Echoes which launched on this day 24 years ago, on October 2, 1989

Today on Echoes, you’ll hear all the music from that very first show, from beginning to end, in sequence.  Has Echoes changed?  Sure.  Has the music lasted? Definitely.

Andreas Vollenweider & John Diliberto on Echoes

Andreas Vollenweider & John Diliberto on Echoes

Let’s look at some of the artists.  The first track you’ll hear is Tangerine Dream’s “Tiergarten” from their album, Le Parc.  The Dream is still going after all these years.

Swiss harpist Andreas Vollenweider was at his peak in 1989 when we played  Down to the Moon.  He’s appeared on the show many times with interviews and live performances.

Japanese American shakukachi player Masakazu Yoshizawa is one of only two musicians on this list who isn’t still with us.  The other artist who left us is Colin Walcott.  He was the world music soul of the band, Oregon, the gold standard of chamber world fusion.  Ralph Towner, Paul McCandless and Glenn Moore continue the Oregon tradition to this day.

Pat Metheny on Echoes

Pat Metheny on Echoes

George Wallace was pretty obscure in 1989 when we played his electronic album, Communion, and he still is although he also continues making music with a 2013 album, Soul Ascending and a reissue of his Sacred Earth recording.

And speaking of ahead of the curve, Pat Metheny has always been in his own orbit. He was the first interview run on Echoes.  He’s been a perennial on Echoes playlists and still continues to surprise.  His 2013 Tap album will be near the top of my best CDs of 2013.

Three of what we considered to be the California electronic quartet appeared in this Echoes. Michael Stearns was one of the leading lights of new electronic music in 1989 with expansive recordings Like Planetary Unfolding and Encounter.  His Floating Whispers album was one of his prettiest and most melodic.  Steve Roach was something of a protege of Stearns for a moment and Stearns played on at least one of Roach’s albums..  He wasn’t actually played on the first show, but Roach wrote the theme song we used back then.  There was a stretch into the early 21 century when Roach always had an album in rotation on Echoes. We’ll hear from one of the classics from the year before Echoes launched, Dreamtime ReturnRobert Rich was often mentioned in the same breadth as Roach and they recorded two albums together.  Rich went on to develop his own rhythmically propulsive, melodically sinuous, organically woven music and that sound really began with his album Rainforest, which was also released in 1989. All three played the Ambicon Festival this past summer. (The 4th member of this quartet was Kevin Braheny).

Michael Stearns

Michael Stearns

Robert Rich Recording for Echoes in his studio.

Robert Rich Recording for Echoes in his studio.

John Diliberto & Steve Roach

John Diliberto & Steve Roach

 

Jonn Serrie is often considered part of that group of 1980s space/New Age/electronic artists. He was plugged into the electronic zeitgeist in 1989.  His second album,  Flightpath was released that year and it remains my favorite of his.  He’s also still recording and released a nice album called Sunday Morning Peace in 2011.

The other John & Vangelis

The other John & Vangelis

And all of those musicians bowed at the feet of Vangelis.  He was one of the reasons we created Echoes.  His mix of classical orchestration, choral voices and wild space synthesizer provided music of one of the most varied careers that includes film scores and his massive orchestral-choral work, Mythodea.   Mask remains one of his most dynamic albums.

Progressive Rock is in the Echoes DNA and you hear it with King Crimson’s “Sheltering Sky” one of the most timeless pieces recorded by this long-lived, continually shifting band.  And in 2013, Robert Fripp has announced a new edition of the group.

Will Ackerman & John Diliberto

Will Ackerman & John Diliberto

Would their be Echoes without Will Ackerman and Windham Hill Records.  I’m not so sure.  He launched the finger-style revolution taking it out of the folk domain of Leo Kottke and John Fahey and into the popular consciousness.  Ackerman is still at it.  He won his first Grammy in 2004 and continues to make music and produce notable artists like Jeff Oster and Todd Boston. We’ll hear something from Ackerman’s album of duets, Past Light.

Philip Glass’s minimalism was a big part of Echoes early on and Glass is ever-prolific, releasing several new albums a year.   1000 Airplanes on the Roof is one of his lesser known works, but it’s epic.  Singer Meredith Monk emerged form the same downtown New York scene as Glass, creating a music that tapped into primal spirits.  And she’s still doing it.  Dolmen Music remains my favorite album from her.

Roger Eno in Clerestory

Roger Eno in Clerestory

Probably the most influential album we played 24 years ago was Peter Gabriel’s Passion, his score to the movie, The Last Temptation of Christ.  Who knew in 1989 that this album would influence so many musicians, virtually creating the techno-tribal and world fusion genres.

Patrick O’Hearn’s Eldorado was also released in 1989.  It’s a brilliant recording of electronic world fusion with O’Hearn using Middle Eastern modalities and musicians on several tracks, presaging the whole Persian fusion movement of artists like Vas, Niyaz, Axiom of Choice, Omar Faruk Tekbilek, Transglobal Underground and more.

And speaking of world fusion, there was Yas-Kaz, a Japanese multi-instrumentalist who put out some beautiful recordings in the 1980s.  Steve Roach created a collection from them called Darkness in Dreams on the Celestial Harmonies label.

Peter Buffett’s The Waiting is one of the more quintessentially New Age albums here, while Roger Eno’s Between Tides was one of the early signpost albums of ambient chamber music.  Erik Wollo was among the first of the onslaught of wonderful Norwegian electronic musicians and he has been a continuous presence on Echoes.  Traces is from 1985 and it holds up so well that Spotted Peccary re-released it in 2012.

I think the best thing I can say about this playlist is, as much as Echoes has changed, there is nothing on here that I wouldn’t play on the show today.

So enjoy this flashback to the beginning tonight on Echoes.  Thanks to all the radio stations who have run the show, whether they are original stations like WXPN, Philadelphia, or newcomers like WDET, Detroit.   And a special thanks to all of you who have been with us on the journey, whether you were there in 1989 or just discovered us tonight.

See tonight’s playlist here.

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

Choose either a one time $1000 or on-going $84 Monthly PaymentSupport Echoes by becoming a member of the Echoes Sound Circle.  We can only continue another 24 years with help from listeners like you.

Think of the great artists you love on Echoes. Think of the informative interviews and exclusive live performances. Then, think of a world without Echoes. You can make sure that never happens by becoming a member of the Echoes Sound Circle.

Echoes is a non-profit 501(c3) organization just like your local public radio station. And all donationsare tax deductible. You can support Echoes with a monthly donation that will barely disturb your credit card.

Join the Echoes Sound Circle and keep the soundscapes of Echoes flowing!

WorldsBeyondSign up for Echoes CD of the Month Club.   CD of the Month Club members will be getting Akara’s The World Beyond.  Follow the link to the Echoes CD of the Month Club and see what you’ve been missing.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00BIUOH1O/echoes

AMBIcon Full Concert Videos – Micus, Roach, Stearns

May 24, 2013

ambicon2013-stars-780x207Videos for the full concerts of AMBIcon 2013 are currently up on youtube.  You”ll find them all on the  AMBICON youtube page.  Here’s a bunch of them with Stephan Micus, Michael Stearns, Steve Roach, Robert Rich, Jeff Pearce, Tim Story and Hans Christian.  A rare confluence of ambient artists.  I knew I was missing a great show.







~John Diliberto (((echoes)))

Echoes On LineStoriesSign up for Echoes CD of the Month Club. With the Echoes CD of the Month Club, you get great CDs like Rhian Sheehan’s Stories from Elsewhere Follow the link to the Echoes CD of the Month Club and see what you’ve been missing.

Now you can go Mobile with Echoes On-Line. Find out how you can listen to Echoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

Join us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album.

5 Essential Steve Roach CDs

September 27, 2010

The #2 Icon of Echoes and His 5 Essential CDs

Steve Roach has s released nearly 50 solos albums and just as many collaborations, so narrowing his  output down to 5 CDs is daunting. So I have limited myself to pure Steve Roach solo albums, leaving behind great works with his Suspended Memories group and his pair of CDs with Robert Rich.    Roach is so prolific that albums often blend together, but when you start pulling them out over  an expanse of time you can hear the monumental shifts in sound he’s explored over the last 30 years.

Steve Roach is #2 among 20 Icons of Echoes and of all the icons, I’d say he’s made the most uncompromising and challenging music, often forcing listeners ears into new and uncomfortable terrain.

SYou can see a complete list of the 20 Icons of Echoes.

1 Dreamtime Return
Dreamtime Returnis more than a seminal recording that has influenced a generation of musicians. It’s a portal into a universe where technological designs merge deep inside primordial moods. Roach found the nexus of primal didgeridoo growls and synthesizer drones and orchestrated them into this techno-tribal opus. When you shout out at the edge of the world, Dreamtime Return is echo that calls back to you.

2 Structures from Silence
The quintessential slo-mo electronic album and a disc that musicians have been imitating since its release in 1984. It only has three tracks, each of them long explorations of glacial chordal shifts and aurora borealis curtains of sound.  Even in 1984 Steve Roach had an original sound palette and it has not dated a second.

4 Empetus
This may be the most concise Steve Roach album and came at the end of his sequencer phase, his last flame-out on Berlin school electronics. But he was already taking it somewhere new. Unlike Roach’s usual CD long expanses, these are bite-size compositions that do their job, quickly, efficiently and with every moment counting. Roach leaves you breathless in a maze of synchronized spinning patterns only to pick you up and send you whirling again.

3 Artifacts
In the liner notes to Artifacts, cover photographer William Lesch writes how he likes to “reach out and touch something ancient with a modern hand” in his pictures. I’ve been stealing that line ever since. It perfectly describes the music Roach was making in the early 1990s. The primitive: clay pots, ocarinas, didgeridoos, and percussion mix with the technological: environmental sounds, synthesizers and samplers. Roach made a music that could be from some ancient time past, or 20 minutes into the future.

5 Light Fantastic
After a decade of music that employed didgeridoos, sticks and stones as much as technology , Steve Roach returned to his synthesizers full force on Light Fantastic, creating a music born from his techno-tribal rhythms but morphed into a Blade Runner urban landscape. Grooves shape-shift in a techno-zombie dance as modulating chords descend like cloud banks roiling out of a desert horizon. This isn’t the Steve Roach of sequencer dervishes like Empetus, but neither is it the organic techno-tribal grooves of albums like Artifacts.

Other than the first three, I could have easily chosen from at least half a dozen other Steve Roach albums, and next time, maybe I will.  Let us know what your choices would be.

John Diliberto ((( echoes )))


%d bloggers like this: