Suspended Memories - Forgotten Gods
It's awfully nice to hear a live hand drummer playing against Steve Roach's trademark sheets of synthesizer drone; though Mexican instrumentalist Jorge Reyes sometimes layers clay-pot and frame drum on top of drum-machine figures, his syncopated touch--rolls,…
It's awfully nice to hear a live hand drummer playing against Steve Roach's trademark sheets of synthesizer drone; though Mexican instrumentalist Jorge Reyes sometimes layers clay-pot and frame drum on top of drum-machine figures, his syncopated touch--rolls, flams, paradiddles--adds the organic quality Roach's percussion tracks have often needed. Guitarist Suso Saiz blends in well with the general ambiance, contributing lightly distorted textures and lines that occasionally cry out for more body and warmth. Settling on a shamanic, paganesque theme for the project was a no-brainer--lots of Roach projects evoke the peyotian mysteries--but it seems particularly apt for a trio who first performed in a volcanic cave in the Canary Islands. --James Rotondi
different deserts [12:20] Meeting together on common ground with the shared desire to corroborate the latent power of music in the moment. Sampled and acoustic percussion, synths, sampled voice and guitar set the course across the great expanse.
snake song [5:44] A trance dance of power under a crimson sky. The old shaman dances with snakes firmly gripped in each fist. Electronic percussion, clay water pots, seedpod shakers, synth and guitar encircle spirit singing and prehspanic flutes.
night devotion [8:51] For those of the ncocturnal clan, the further into the night, the deeper into the devotion. A fluid, mercurial brew of guitar loops and synth textures support a clay pot rhythm that emerges for the night journey.
saguaro [5:23] Noble guardians of the eternal landscape, sentinels of the roaring silence -- the towering cactus of the southwestern desert. Distant percussion, flutes, whistles, ocarinas mix in a heatwave of guitar loops and synths.
mutual tribes [7:06] The ritual continues. Electro-acoustic trance drums and percussion, mutated flute, voice, didgeridoo and synth textures amplify the hallucinations. Segues to...
suspended memories, forgotten gods [5:01] The broken icon of the past is pieced together, casting a reflection into the future. Chords of question, existential guitar, and the rustling of moth cocoon shakers...
ritual noise [3:48] The drum is always beating like the heart, keeping a steady focus at the peak of the ceremony. Perhispanic flutes, ocarnas, ritual drum and ghost synths convene.
distant look [7:39] From the hill at spiral rock, we see far and then farther and then beyond. Expansive guitars, synths, flute and percussion.
shaman's dream [6:07] Return to shadow world of night visions, the one of half-formed dreams and fantastic creatures whispering in your ear. Rubbed stones, prehispanic flutes, percussion and voice drift on a mystic chord to the edge of forever.
- Review notes by Steve Roach
STEVE ROACH has earned his position in the international pantheon of major new music artists over the last decade through his ceaseless productivity, constant innovation, open-minded artistic collaborations, and the psychological depth of his music.
He has recorded neary 20 albums since 1981, including Structures from Silence, the classic Dreamtime Return, Australia: Sound of the Earth, and World's Edge. Roach's collaborations with Robert Rich have generated international acclaim with the releases Strata and Soma, both on Hearts of Space.
From his base in Tucson, Arizona, Roach travels worldwide to present his music in concert, where he combines ancient and modern instruments in an atmosphere of ritualistic intensity.
His longstanding influences are not strictly musical. Roach receives much inspiration from regions in the Sonoran and Mojave deserts, and the effect of his extensive travels in Australia and collaborations with aboriginal didgeridoo master David Hudson continue to weave their way into the fabric of his music, blurring the lines between the modern and the ancestral.
JORGE REYES, enigmatic Mexican multi-instrumentalist, draws from the diverse culture and history of his homeland as well as international travels through Turkey, Iran, India, Afganistan, and Pakistan, and time spent living and studying music in Hamburg, Germany.
Since the early '80s, Reyes has been developing his musical concept of blending indigenous Mexican and world music elements with modern technology. He has been steadily building a strong following in Mexico and abroad with his compelling concert performances and numerous recordings, including the haunting Comala, Niérika, and his master work, Bajo El Sol Jaguar.
The Mexico City-based artist performs consistently for thousands of people throughout his country, often in the dramatic settings of Aztec and Mayan ruins. Combining pre-hispanic instruments, percussion ranging from clay water pots and snake rattles to his own body, guitar and synthesizers, Reyes evokes images of jungles, jaguars, and Aztec rites. With all his titles available only as imports for years, Forgotten Gods marks Reyes debut release in the United States.
SUSO SAIZ is a Madrid-based composer with an intense, restless, and probing spirit. His passionate approach to life and music are demonstrated in his vast and eclectic list of credits.
Beginning with studies of guitar at the Madrid Conservatory of Music, he went on to form numerous performing and recording groups, including Orquesta de Las Nubes (Orchestra of the Clouds) in 1980, an important Spanish group known for its innovative musical experiments.
Saiz is also a highly respected and sought after producer in the Spanish music arena, with projects ranging across jazz, pop, world, avant-garde, and new music. As a composer and performer, his solo work is a stunning culmination of influences and production techniques which deliver music defying categorization. He explores multi-cultural trance rhythms and the psychology of ambience while transforming the quintessentially Spanish instrument, the guitar, into a vehicle for electronic flight.
Saiz's outstanding 1991 Spanish release, Simbolos, presents his textural, expansive guitar sound in an ever-changing, surreal world of cinematic proportion. Staying true to his music-as-art philosophy, Saiz has released a handful of limited edition works including Hypnotics, a CD of intense sound sculptures created from processed multitrack guitars and shortwave radio cuttings, revealing yet another side to a complex and multitalented musician.