top of page
  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

Steve Roach The Sky Opens (2020)

Updated: Sep 20, 2022

This is a magnificent live album which joins a huge list of classics that Steve Roach has aligned since a couple of years

CD1 71:24

1 Structures from Silence 10:11

2 Mercurius Presence 6:32

3 The Mystic Within 11:26

4 The Sky Opens 11:53

5 Merge Infinite 31:19

CD2 46:47

1 The Continent 8:17

2 Songline 5:31

3 Time of the Ancients 7:21

4 Magnificent Gallery 4:07

5 Circular Ceremony 7:11

6 Looking for Safety 14:17


(CD/DDL 118:05) (V.F.)

(Ambient, Berlin School, Tribal Ambient)

In the same stride as the Journeys to the Infinite's compilation, the American label Projekt Records has just produced another form of compilation with this very beautiful album in concert that Steve Roach gave in the First United Methodist Church in Pasadena, California, on August 30, 2019. An exceptional place where the engineers of his team have placed dozens of microphones in strategic locations, in terms of sound and acoustics. The noises outside the music have been all removed, so that we can feel and follow the music circulating without hindrance on the curves, the walls and the ceilings of this mythical Methodist church. It's so successful that I am not even sure there were people during this recording. Hence this impression of Best Of…. THE SKY OPENS offers a 2-hour rendezvous that goes from the album Structures from Silence, released in 1984, to a new vision of Dreamtime Return that Steve reworked and remixed in May 2018. So, almost 35 years of music recreated in the pure tradition of the Californian musician's visions with a slow start, a passage of excellent Berlin School unpublished here, to finally reach the magnificent lands of Dreamtime Return. A magnificent album that joins a huge list of classics that Steve Roach has aligned since a couple of years.

It's a version cut of about twenty minutes that Structures from Silence lands between our ears. This is the first time that Steve has interpreted this title in concert and this version makes me ardently wish that he'll perform the whole album one of these days. A splendid interpretation with a 2 D vision of these sleeping wings which hum us a lunar fable which sticks to all possible visions. The presence of Mercurius Presence is amply justified here with its winged movements and its delicate line of aerial melody which follows the logic behind Structures from Silence. Stripped of its layers of reverberations and embellished by a piano selfish of its notes in the ambient universe of Steve Roach, The Mystic Within brings us to the borders of its dark and hefty music. It's on the other hand a less dark vision of Within the Mystic that we find in Mystic Chords & Sacred Spaces, a quadruple album of mystical music produced in 2003, that awaits our senses here. Next comes the sublime title-track which animates the music of this double album of a Berlin School very precise to the vision of Steve Roach. The movement comes from a large luminous reflection which gives the signal to the sequencer and to its multiple static rhythm lines to sink and jump like a volcano spitting its explosions of magma. It's the beginning of a brilliant cacophony of tinkles which remains and swirls on a circular conveyor, like thousands of balls and their reflections sparkling in a mass where tap dancing and organic dialogues