Review Summary: Dream on.
Amazing is the concept of unlimited space, the idea that there is no physical boundary within the reach of anything at any given point that marks the edge of our universe. Brilliant is a being that can capture and understand such a marvelous concept on so many levels and express it by means of sound, specifically in musical form. Ambient and electronic musician Steve Roach is one of the rare few who have successfully been able to achieve this goal, proving his understanding of the notion in a number of ways. Metaphorically speaking, Steve Roach truly captures the true meaning of space with his music because over the years it has become obvious that his musical capacity knows no bounds. The musician has released one and a half solo albums on average per year since his 1982 debut Now
, each one ranging somewhere between generally solid and utterly flawless. In a more literal sense, Roach’s music perfectly captures the essence of space and all of its wondrous aspects, portraying them through peaceful melodies and mysterious ambiance. When it comes to fulfilling such a task, however, nothing that Steve Roach or any other musician has ever done or very likely ever will do will come close to competing with his magnificent third record, Structures from Silence
Structures from Silence
is a monumental landmark in the area of ambient music. It didn’t take long after its release to become a widespread ambient favorite and be considered one of the greatest albums in the genre of all time. Up until the release of Structures from Silence
, Roach’s music has been composed of far more energized pieces, being both fast-paced and occasionally calm and relaxing while including a wide variety of electronic beats and tribal rhythms. With his third album, Roach pushed aside the majority of his previous musical qualities and left behind the most simple and beautiful quality of his sound. This worked all for the best, as the final product is certainly one of the most special pieces of electronic music one can experience. The album itself is a journey waiting to happen that, once started, you will never want to end. “Reflections in Suspension” will see you taking off from Earth and traveling farther than anyone has ever dreamed possible, getting closer than ever to destinations barely visible through a telescope back home; with “Quiet Friend” you will continue your journey through space while becoming overwhelmed with all that you have experienced: the sights, the distances, the sizes, the endlessness; finally, the title track will find you coming closer to a true understanding of space and its lack of limits, countless undiscovered regions, and infinite questions that have yet to be asked and may never receive answers.
Structures from Silence
is truly the soundtrack to a dream that has yet to take place. It is an album everybody should keep accessible at all times in case of a desperate need of relaxation, the impulsive desire to stargaze, or even just for pleasurable listening purposes. This is not the type of ambient record that will require time and patience to allow the music to sink in. Once the music kicks in, the last thing you will want is for it to end. Structures from Silence
is just one of Steve Roach’s ambient masterpieces, though this is the one that will leave a mark on you and will stick with you for ages to come.