Steve Roach | Empetus (2-CD Collector's Edition)

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Empetus (2-CD Collector's Edition)

by Steve Roach

Long out-of-print Electronic classic with limited edition bonus disc of never-before-released tracks. At the price of a single CD.
Genre: Electronic: Soundscapes
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Arrival
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4:25 album only
2. Seeking
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5:36 album only
3. Conquest
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6:08 album only
4. Empowerment
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4:01 album only
5. Twilight Heat
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3:15 album only
6. Merge
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6:24 album only
7. Urge
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6:25 album only
8. Distance is Near
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2:42 album only
9. The Memory
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5:51 album only
10. (disc 2) Harmonia Mundi
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45:16 album only
11. (disc 2) Release
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26:27 album only


Album Notes
Long out-of-print Electronic classic with limited edition bonus disc of never-before-released tracks. At the price of a single CD!
The rights to the 1986 release Empetus reverted back to Steve; this - along with some recently discovered \"lost pieces\" - inspired this 2-CD Collector\'s Edition. The second disc, entitled The Early Years, features two amazing long-form sequencer pieces circa 1982. The first piece, \"Harmonia Mundi,\" was recorded live in the L.A.-based Timeroom with Swiss-born electronic musician Thomas Ronkin. At 45 minutes, this is one of the more possessed and intense analog sequencer trance pieces you\'re likely to hear. \"Release\" is a 24-minute solo statement of emotion and energy connected to the early years of Steve\'s evolution in sound, harkening to Now and Traveler. By the time Empetus was released, the approach of these longer German School styles were morphing into a new sound heard on Empetus and beyond.

Empetus Full blown sequencer-based music illustrating a further evolution in the visceral side of Roach\'s music. Nine precise pieces that still sound fresh today. A favorite of sequencer music lovers.

Released in 1986, this recording of intricately-woven sequencer lines and buzzing synthesizers established Roach as the American answer to the pioneering European electronic masters of the \'70s (Klaus Schulze, Tangerine Dream). Alternately thrilling and serene (sometimes within the space of the same track),

Empetus\' waves of energy rest upon labyrinthine patterns of interlocking notes and wildly cascading tonal clusters. Roach varies the moods from piece to piece as well: the bright, piercing electronics of “Seeking” contrast vividly with the starker, sweeping veils of sequenced notes and arcing waves of “Empowerment,” or the turbo-charged synths that rev through “Conquest.” It’s all riveting, exciting stuff, and although Roach largely abandoned the style as he moved forward, Empetus remains an important, if largely unsung, statement documenting the course of modern American electronic music. Muze - Darren Bergstein
On Empetus, Roach has created a masterpiece, done purely on synths and sequencers... a rhythmic / melodic tour-de-force of solid, totally compulsive synth music. Lotus, England - Andy Garibaldi

A 2008 review from Music Tap:
Originally released in 1986, this 2CD reissue of the single-disc Empetus by legendary US ambient artist, Steve Roach, comes with a bonus disk of tracks tied in to the period in which Empteus was created. Steve Roach, who has a huge catalog of cutting-edge synth albums, has been at the forefront of new technology for decades. Where many artists have produced and then fallen out of fashion, as did many of the German artists (Tangerine Dream, Peter Baumann, Klaus Schultze, ), or those that simply produced few complete works (Michael Hoenig), Steve Roach has continued to fulfill ambient fans with various pathways of inventive sounds.

Empetus takes complete pages from the magnificent trance-works by many of those previously mentioned artists. But Roach is one of the masters and his album is a dead-on classic that should be in every library right next to those German masters of electronic synth and sequencers and their respected albums. Fans of the genre and particularly fans of this German-dominated style will recognize the sound. They will also recognize the creative talents that went into its formation.

Originally released, as many of Roach’s early works were, on Fortuna Records, Roach has recently recovered recording rights and has elected to revisit this album. The new bonus CD is referred to as The Early Years and, as such, provides two rhythmic sequencer sets originally recorded in 1982. The first is a 46+-minute absorption piece recorded with Thomas Ronkin, a classically-trained pianist whose own works and explorations mimic the interests of Steve Roach. The piece is called “Harmonia Mundi” and is followed by a 26+-minute composition called “Release.” While it is great to have these additional sets, it is the Empetus CD that is the real prize here.

Fans of those early German synth maestros (if you are not already aware of this album (Empetus)) will marvel at the classic feel that this album generates. Empetus is NOT to be missed. Rating: 4.5/5


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