Timeroom treasures: review of Bloom Ascension

Bloom Ascension
by Steve Roach

Lightly dancing rapid rhythmic intricate patterns, endlessly swirling while overseen by searching spotlight
fingers of tones, complicated weaving and blending, layered currents and subcurrents. Imagine a whole
landscape of busy forms creating and shaping speckled structures made of smaller particles. Imagine
colors you have never seen before, rotating and spiraling in new ornamentations. Imagine inhabiting a
single cell in a vast four dimensional mosaic forest of light and sound. Imagine blooming flowers rising
straight up into the sunrise and rainbows reflected on the dew. The pattern repeats and builds, always the
same and never the same, simultaneously energizing and soothing, infinite and yet portable, somehow
these are not contradictions, this is my simple observation.

The electronic music that Steve Roach pioneered and helped define over the past 40 years has led to
the development of whole genres of electronic music, including tribal ambient, ambient atmospheric,
ambient electronic, immersive, and drone soundscapes. He sets up cycling layers of electronic sounds
and allows them to take us where they go. They fade in, you meet eternity, and after a time the track fades
out. Somehow his recordings always manage to fit infinity onto the recording medium. This is a collection
of four songs that are all sequencer based, weaving patterns that repeat in layered cycles, opening cosmic
doors the way drones do, leading the intrepid listener to reach a hypnotic sense of bliss and absorption, with
spiralling vibrating patterns and  endless small details to explore and discover. This is superb music for
dreaming. These four tracks together create a single symmetrical audio mandala, for meditation, and for
experiencing the cosmos in nocturnal visions.

1. The Beauty Relentless 12:12
2. Motivating Factor 06:43
3. Synesthete 06:18
4. Bloom Ascension 16:11

Bloom Ascension was released in digital forms (streaming, MP3, FLAC, and audiophile) on
August 17, 2019. Physical formats (vinyl, audio cassette and CD) will be available at Steve Roach’s
Ambient Church Concert in Los Angeles, August 30. Early-bird tickets are advised.

Throughout the Ambient Church performance of his wide dynamic range of work, the First United Methodist
Church of Pasadena with its gothic style chapel, open beam ceiling, amphitheater sanctuary, pipe organ and
glowing stained glass windows, will be the backdrop of immersive, architecturally mapped projections.
Ambient Church (https://ambient.church) is a nomadic experiential event series dedicated to working with
artists to bring new ecologies to architecturally unique spaces through transcendent audio and visual

Inspired by Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze and Vangelis in the 1970s Steve Roach made a strategic and
intuitive career move from airborne maneuvers in motocross and taught himself how to play synthesizers
to reach for the thrilling and dazzling atmospheric heights of electronic music. He taught himself because
he knew exactly what he wanted to do, and waiting for his turn in a classroom would not allow him to
achieve what he has accomplished. He knew this when he started. He has two Grammy nominations, for
Spiral Revelation (2017) and Molecules of Motion (2018). He began his epic now 40 year journey into
electronica working with other pioneers such as the Swiss-born electronic musician Dieter Moebius,
releasing an album on Moonwind Records in 1979 titled Moebius. His first solo album was Now (1982)
followed by Structures from Silence (1984) and the Quiet Music series in 1986. Dreamtime Return
(1988) was one of the most significant albums of its kind to hit the market, and was praised by Linda
Kohanov who said of the album, "At the core of the Los Angeles-based artist's compelling style is his
uncanny ability to create the illusion of suspended time. Altered chords that breathe ever so slowly,
floating textures, digitally sampled aboriginal timbres, and arresting special effects lead you through
a gently unfolding maze of sonic dimensions that depict a sense of mystery and confrontation with the

Bloom Ascension is entirely electronic, but the repository of musical treasure found coming from the
Timeroom is as spectacular and complex as the Tucson wilderness oasis where Steve Roach now makes
his home. He has visited Australia numerous times, perhaps he has returned to that exotic and distant place
after lifetimes spent living and dreaming there, where he added the mysterious sound of the didgeridoo to
his repertoire of fantastic euphonic instrumentalisms. His work with the musician Jorge Reyes introduced
Prehispanic musical elements to his sonic palette and developed an organic electronic fusion style now
called tribal-ambient. Other collaborators include Avant Garden, Biff Johnson, Brain Laughter, Brian
Parnham, Byron Metcalf, Daniel Blanchet, Djam Karet, Douglas Spotted Eagle, Erik Wøllo, Forrest Fang,
Justin Vanderberg, Kelly David, Kit Watkins, Lee Underwood, Loren Nerell, Lustmord, Lycia, Ma Ja Le,
Perry Silverbird, Peter Grenader, Robert Rich, Ross LewAllen, Solitaire (Elmar Schulte), Takadja, Temps
Perdu?, Thom Brennan, and Walter Holland. His Timeroom catalog includes over 150 titles; his albums can
be accessed and purchased worldwide, on Projekt Records, on his own website, and some are available
at Spotted Peccary Music’s online store.

Go to the Timeroom, you will discover that time itself has new meanings. You will never fully return, and you
will proceed forward enriched with treasures in the form of new dreams.

Guest reviewer: Robin B. James, August 30, 2019