DYNAMIC STILLNESS is a vast new work that has progressed over the past three years, evolving in its own time alongside the many other releases that were created and released during this period. The opening for these pieces was accessed through long periods of solitude at Steve's high desert studio and beyond. This environment was essential for informing the inner breath of this work and revealing a mastery within the art of original sound creation, bold harmonic structures, silence and sonic space. DYNAMIC STILLNESS reaches into a realm of amorphous soundworlds filled with a sense of unresolved expansion and mystery, blooming into cloudlike form.
- Birth of Still Places [40:28]
- Long Tide [19:41]
- A Darker Light [7:34]
- Opening Sky [5:06]
- Nature of Things [8:50]
- Further Inside [16:58]
- Slowly Revealed [23:55]
- Canyon Stillness [23:17]
2009. Press Information
The dynamic stillness. It's all a tour de force to create such a sound illusion which flows as weighty reverie. This album matured during the last three years, during which time he also realized other more powerful albums. It is also a collection of silence that is passed on by atonal sound waves, slight in movement, personifying the quiet strength by the wandering of a remorseful spirit. We are in the soils of STRUCTURES FROM SILENCE and A DEEPER SILENCE, but with more substance, more sorrow and more nostalgia.
A loud musical shower increases during a dark movement at the opening of "Birth of Still Places". A world of sound reverberations coos slowly but with a sonorous strength, like a cerebral hypnosis. Powerful, but languishingly slow, the musical structure spreads as a big charmer snake, ready to lull you asleep on a rangy musical piece of around 61 minutes, divided into two soporific but slowly ethereal acts: "Birth of Still Places" and "Long Tide". From powerful beginnings, the movement eases slowly, as if the sleep seized us.
"A Darker Light" opens on a less stormy structure, as a soft warm wind which caresses our hearing. A soft temperate wind which continues on "Opening Sky".
Disc two opens with the same "chloromorphomity" that ends disc one. "Nature of Things" is a long passage of finely oscillating waves revolving in a dark cosmos, letting wandering choirs filter through. A cosmic journey, as if we were there.
Always in the cozy comfort of stasis, "Further Inside" flows slowly, as enchantress loops try to form an invisible cadence. A long piece where the rhythm tries to gush out is held by an internal strength which Roach controls with the aid of his synths. It's a melodramatic quest which encourages more the nostalgic reverie than meditation, and is connected to "Slowly Revealed", a softer and more romantic title with its delicious steams of tranquility which navigate on a harmonious sea with its fine and charming undulations. We do not grow tired of it; the movement pours with a strange melody blown by an obscure romanticism, where subtle flute essences leak out in a spectral atmosphere.
"Canyon Stillness" depicts the creative strength of Steve Roach. Here, as throughout DYNAMIC STILLNESS, Roach forges his music with an incredible dexterity for its nominative structures. Throughout this 23-minute piece, we feel winds whistled towards the imperfect furrows of the Roachian desert canyons, a desert with a thousand utopian facets which lull Steve Roach's creative illusions.
DYNAMIC STILLNESS is a powerful floating album, filled with feelings and sensibilities of an artist in constant pursuit of his spiritual ideal. Very beautiful and especially very sincere. Sound floating at Roach's best.
Sylvain Lupari / Guts Of Darkness
This 2009 CD offers 146 minutes of extreme tranquillity.
Languid textures unfurl into sonic structures of expansive proportion, filling the sky with their moody definition. As these drones undergo gradual pulsations, additional tones enter the panorama to season the flow with subtle fluctuations.
These tenuous electronic formations are subject to continuous progression, steadily evolving in ways that are often too gossamer to readily discern. Long passages ensue in which things do not seem to change. You space out at one point, only to surface later and find yourself cocooned in ambience of a completely different certification.
As these complacent electronics drift and commingle, territories of vast potential are generated. The ethereal harmonic layers are constant in their elusive quality, maintaining a sense of intense fragility.
A gritty character lurks deep within some of these soundscapes, an edginess immersed in the severe tranquillity that serves to goad consciousness from its vacuity and instill a peaceful alertness.
While excruciatingly minimal in constitution, these compositions possess definite body and verve. Their sparse nature tends to seep and saturate, expanding inside the head into lavish auralscapes of psychic vitality.
This music foreshadows momentous revelations ahead, but the epiphanies are not found in the tuneage. They lie within the listener's own capacity; the soundscapes serve as the trigger to unlock depths beyond introspection.
2009. Matt Howarth / Sonic Curiosity
DYNAMIC STILLNESS presents ambient-electronic pioneer Steve Roach in the deep end of the pure atmospheric, rhythmless soundscape genre. Across the 2-CD release, amorphous shifting sonics glide in a phenomenal flow, highly cohesive and yet ever-changing. Dynamic stillness indeed!
These eight long-form tracks (140 minutes in all) undulate softly and slowly, radiating light even as darkness hovers along the edges. It's an album of subtle pieces, more often than not with emphasis on the stillness as opposed to the dynamics.
Disc two's closing 'Canyon Stillness' plays like a dark inversion of STRUCTURES FROM SILENCE. A cold breeze blows through it all like a black mist. After so much softness it makes for a surprisingly chilling, engaging finish.
Phil Derby / Electroambient Space
I have been a long time Steve Roach fan since the beginning of his career, and I have to say that this CD is one of the best out there since the release of 'Structures From Silence'. This is it!
Imagine standing on the top of a mountain, observing the landscapes ahead of you, taking a few deep breaths while listening to this phenomenal CD. Imagine seeing the past, the present and what the future holds. Reach out for the abstract matters of life and try to feel what's close but not touching. Only then you will find the real truth of what life on this planet is all about.
The music on this disc makes dreams into reality before you know it, and it also evokes your deepest inner feelings and let's all your sensations and emotions come to life. At least that's how I felt when I got indulged by this masterpiece!.
The music is mysteriously beautiful, almost like taking the best from both worlds in terms of good and bad, bright and dark. Steve certainly knows how to create imaginary landscapes with slow-motion terraforming structure and rhythmless soundscapes. Think of this album as a slightly darker 'Structures from Silence' and you have a good recipe of what to expect. With it's strong subtle messages, It feels that this CD has more to offer to the listener, a deeper meaning than his previous releases. And the flow of the dramatic sequences that can be heard throughout is simply stunning!. You will be able to explore subtle messages through a deserted landscape in no time.
I consider this album to be a must have in any SR fan's collection. And for those who are not so familiar with Steve Roach, I have only one thing to say to them...You will not be disappointed!
My deepest atmospheric recommendations!!
2009. Kristian Persson / Sweden
There is something musically beautiful and utterly captivating within the 2 discs that make up the latest release in Steve Roach's vast ambient catalogue. Dynamic Stillness is best characterized as being sounds of a lone location where emptiness abounds in a very powerful, but immensely beautiful way. As the music progresses from piece to piece, they change to reflect the completeness of this genesis as it comes alive.
The album begins with a 40+-minute work called "Birth of Still Places." It starts with a noised stillness that is full of an unimagined power. It progresses to uncover simple melodies sounding much like Roger Eno's miraculous ambient masterpiece, Voices. They are small installments of echoed and ghostly shards of sound that express nothing short of grandeur in birth; something great in the act of becoming.
But what makes Dynamic Stillness an ambient force is that it doesn't stop at the already magnificent extended first track. You are awarded seven more pieces that combine with "Birth of Still Places" to further accentuate the audio journey that this album will guide you in. All speak of the same power and grace that lies just within our consciousness. This birthing element, when woven into a story that your mind will supply you with, can be a soothing elixir of sound that will energize your spirit.
Just close your eyes and slip into a new world of peace and strength supplied by the talent of Steve Roach, one of our treasured ambient greats.
2009. Matt Rowe
A moving meditation on the quiet power inherent in vast spaces. Roach has come back around to the slow-motion terraforming of soundworlds that seem to go on forever, pulling skeins of light through layers of cloud to describe gorgeous imaginary landscapes. Reminiscent of the sighing, beatless drifts of THE DREAM CIRCLE and THE MAGNIFICENT VOID in its blend of soul-surrounding calm edged with dramatic tension, DYNAMIC STILLNESS is Roach at his contemplative best, a sure and silent guide coaxing us to follow him into the endless realms inside ourselves.
John Shanahan / Hypnagogue
Mysteriously beautiful, ambient electronic waveforms bridging panorama and parsec. The singularities guiding Roach's hand are now unquestionable -- this is breathtaking stuff.