Tag Archive: Steve Roach

It’s been quite some time since I’ve posted to my blog.  But below is the playlist for my latest program on KKUP (Sunday March 11).  For this program, the music grouped itself nicely into three main courses (with an “appetizer” by Paul Beaver & Bernie Krause to kick things off).  First, we heard some ambient ocean soundscapes by Danna and Clement and by Jonn Serrie (from his brand new album on Valley Entertainment).  Very serene music for the first hour!

Secondly, mostly electronic music with the metaphor of the heartbeat running through it.  The idea of this segment came to me when listening to Klaus Schulze’s 1980 album LIVE — a wonderfully atmospheric piece titled “Heart.”  Mentioned on-air that the early back catalog of Schulze seems to be deleted for now, owing to the financial bankruptcy/demise of SPV Records in Germany.  In fact, many of the older titles (1970’s, 1980’s, early 1990’s) recently vanished inexplicably from the iTunes store!

The third hour morphed from a sort of tribal sound to choral/orchestral/rock music hybrids by Mike Oldfield and the late David Bedford (a classically trained composer & conductor who worked with Oldfiled on numerous projects).  Very unusual music back then — ebullient, free, playful even — neither classical nor pop, but with elements of both.  Who does music like this today?  Seems to me there’s still room for new innovative soundscapes in this arena.  Dan Pound’s new album Cocoon does seem to share some of that energy.

The final song was in honor of SF Bay Area guitarist Ronnie Montrose, who unfortunately died on March 3rd, 2012.  Can’t help but think that “Voyager,” the song by his band Gamma, is not just a song about one man at sea — but that it’s about our lives.  We are all voyagers charting course on an enormous ocean that’s sometimes stormy, sometimes gentle.  There’s fear about what lies ahead, but hope also.


8:00 am
Gustav Holst (cond: Simon Rattle) — “Neptune the Mystic” — The Planets — EMI Classics (theme music)
Beaver & Krause — “By Your Grace” — In a Wild Sanctuary/Gandharva — Warner Bros.
(featuring Moog synthesizer, pipe organ & saxophone)

~8:15 am (Ocean soundscapes set)
Jonn Serrie — “Sunday Morning Peace” & “Maiden Voyage” — Sunday Morning Peace — Valley Entertainment
Mychael Danna & Tim Clement — “To the Land Beneath the Waves” — The Best of Danna & Clement — Mirage/Oasis Productions

~9:00 am (‘Heartbeat’ set)
Klaus Schulze — “Heart” (~1st 11 min) — Live — Revisited/SPV
Steve Roach — “Destination Beyond” (~1st 11 min) — Destination Beyond — Projekt
Mickey Hart — “Music to be Born By” (~1st 12 min) — Music to be Born By — Rykodisc
Paul Ellis — “Chambers of the Heart” — Mysterious Sketches — self-published [download only]
Tangerine Dream — “Invisible Limits” (~1st 8:30) — Stratosfear — Virgin

~10:00 am (from tribal electronic to Native American harmonized peyote chant to orchestral/rock hybrids)
Dan Pound — “Life Stages” (~1st half) — Cocoon — Pound Sounds
Primeaux & Mike — “Awakening” — Prophecy [v/a compilation] — Hearts of Space
Mike Oldfield — “Part Two” (~last 9 min) — Incantations — Mercury (CD reissue)
David Bedford — “Penelope’s Shroud (iii)” & “The Sirens” — The Odyssey — Virgin (orig. vinyl LP)

~10:45 am (after events annc. — a meditative track for flute & keyboard synths)
Deuter — “Traveling the Stars” — Empty Sky — New Earth

~10:55 am (after sign-off — a prog rock classic in memory of guitarist Ronnie Montrose)
Gamma — “Voyager” — Gamma 2 — Elektra (orig. vinyl LP)


For this morning’s broadcast, I felt like dwelling in a “lighter” space — just didn’t feel like playing “darker” or particularly serious music this time around.  I love music along the lines of Klaus Schulze’s X and the orchestral music of Arvo Pärt.  But for this edition of “Neptune Currents,” we heard mostly quiet, contemplative music, with a little more emphasis on melody than usual — a serene, vaguely happy mood.  I featured the ‘bubbly’ sequencer based tracks from Steve Roach’s brand new Sigh of Ages album, having played the more sombre middle portion of this fine CD a week earlier.  Definitely one of the best releases of 2010 IMO!

During the last half hour, I even played some music that had humorous spoken-word portions (e.g. “Feathers” by the duo Dogon and also “Box of Sky” by Darshan Ambient).  Definitely a rarity on “Neptune Currents.”  This music puts a smile on my face! 🙂  Was going to follow those pieces with the conclusion of Laurie Anderson’s Big Science album, but had trouble finding my CD copy at home, or even the LP copy that I was sure was in KKUP’s library.  Oh well, some other time.

I know that I knocked New Age music in my introductory post of this blog, but that doesn’t mean that all New Age music is bad.  I believe that the early days of the New Age movement offered some innovative music (e.g. Iasos’ Angelic Music at the beginning of this morning’s broadcast).  It’s when the movement became more commercially successful — when the major labels got involved in the mid to late 1980s — that the decline happened rapidly.  Fortunately, other genres (e.g. dark ambient, tribal ambient, ambient dub) emerged to fill the void.

Apologies to Al Gromer Khan and the late Klaus Wiese for my speaking over “The Alchemy of Happiness” from the CD of the same title.  This is a very nice album, similar to the long form ambient works of Brian Eno (e.g. Thursday Afternoon and Neroli).  Will have to devote more time to Alchemy… soon.

Anyway, here’s my playlist for Sunday August 15th:


8:00 AM  (starting w/ the program’s theme music):
Gustav Holst (cond. by Simon Rattle) — “Neptune the Mystic” — The Planets —
EMI Classics
Iasos — “Angel Play” (~1st 10 min) — Angelic Music — Inter-Dimensional Music
David Michael & Randy Mead — “Heartscape” _and_ “Wings at Dawn” — Heartscape — Purnima Productions
P.C. Davidoff — “Santosh I” (~1st 21 min) — Santosh — Garland of Letters, Inc.
Robert Scott Thompson — “Moonbeam Splashes on Water” — Poesis Athesis —
Lens Records

~9:00 AM
Al Gromer Khan & Klaus Wiese — “The Alchemy of Happiness” (excerpt) — The Alchemy of Happiness — Rasa/TeaTime Music
Steve Roach — “The View from Here” _and_ “Return of the Majestic” (1st half) —
Sigh of Ages — Projekt
Stu Jenks — “Molino Falls Blue” — West of the Fire: Soundtrack for Photographs, Vol. 2 — Fezziwig Music

~9:40 AM
Jean-Paul L’Heureux & Marc Laperle — “August Moon” — Crepuscule/Dusk
Third Ear [cassette only]
Mychael Danna & Tim Clement — “Sparrow Hill” — Another Sun — Chacra Alternative Music
Scott August — “River of Stars” — Radiant Sky — Cedar Mesa Music

~10:00 AM
Blow Up Hollywood — “RKK” _and_ “Eos” — Take Flight — Blow Up Hollywood
Yes — “Close to the Edge (iii. I Get Up I Get Down)” — Close to the Edge — Atlantic

~10:25 AM
Robert Rich — “Moth Wings” — [unreleased version] — n/a
Dogon — “Feathers” — Notdunjusta — New Dog
Darshan Ambient — “Box of Sky” — Re:Karma — Lotuspike
Utopia XO — “Under a Blue Sky: Above You” — The Light — Birnam CD, Scotland
Utopia XO — “Under a Blue Sky: Together” (part) — The Light — Birnam CD, Scotland

~11:00 AM, after sign-off
Richard Bone — “Fractal Ashes” — Sudden Departure — Quirkworks Laboratory Discs

* voiceover music during breaks (except for break at 9 AM):
Steve Roach — “Immersion: Four” (~1st 7 min) — Immersion: Four — Timeroom Editions