Steve Roach

Real Name:
Steve Roach
A longstanding leader in contemporary electronic music, composer and multi-instrumentalist Steve Roach (born 1955 in La Mesa, California) drew on the beauty and power of the earth's landscapes to create lush, meditative soundscapes influential on the emergence of ambient and trance.

A onetime professional motorbike racer, Roach -- inspired by the music of Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, and Vangelis -- taught himself to play synthesizer at the age of 20; debuting in 1982 with the album Now, his early work was quite reminiscent of his inspirations, but with 1984's Structures From Silence his music began taking enormous strides, the album's expansive and mysterious atmosphere inspired directly by the natural beauty of the southwestern U.S. Subsequent works including 1986's three-volume Quiet Music series honed Roach's approach, his dense, swirling textures and hypnotic rhythms akin to environmental sound sculptures. In 1988, inspired by the Peter Weir film The Last Wave, Roach journeyed to the Australian outback, with field recordings of aboriginal life inspiring his acknowledged masterpiece, the double-album Dreamtime Return. A year later, he teamed with percussionist Michael Shrieve and guitarist David Torn for The Leaving Time, an experiment in ambient jazz.

After relocating to the desert outskirts of Tucson, Arizona, Roach established his own recording studio, Timeroom, and in the years to follow grew increasingly prolific, creating both as a solo artist and in tandem with artists including Robert Rich, Michael Stearns, Jorge Reyes and Kevin Braheny -- in all, close to two dozen major works in the 1990s alone, all of them located at different points on the space-time continuum separating modern technology and primitive music. His album roster from that decade includes: Strata (1990), Artifacts (1994), Well Of Souls (1995), Amplexus (Collected Works From The 1995 Ltd Series) (1997), and Dust To Dust (1998). Early Man was released on Projekt in early 2001, followed by one of his many collaborations with Vidna Obmana.

He received his second Grammy nomination with 2018’s Molecules Of Motion album. Chosen in the Best New Age Album category, it follows 2017's nominated Spiral Revelation.
In Groups:


none Steve Roach - Now album art Steve Roach Now (Album) Not On Label none US 1982 Sell This Version
NO-101 Steve Roach - Traveler album art Steve Roach Traveler (Album) Domino Records NO-101 US 1983 Sell This Version
SQ-1, FOR-024 Steve Roach - Structures From Silence album art Steve Roach Structures From Silence (Album) Fortuna Records, Fortuna Records SQ-1, FOR-024 US 1984 Sell This Version
17043-4 Steve Roach - Quiet Music 1 album art Steve Roach Quiet Music 1 (Album) Fortuna Records 17043-4 Germany 1986 Sell This Version
FOR 045 MC Steve Roach - Quiet Music 3 album art Steve Roach Quiet Music 3 (Album) Fortuna Records FOR 045 MC US 1986 Sell This Version
17044-4 Steve Roach - Quiet Music 2 album art Steve Roach Quiet Music 2 (Album) Fortuna Records 17044-4 Germany 1986 Sell This Version
FORLP036 Steve Roach - Empetus album art Steve Roach Empetus (Album) Fortuna Records FORLP036 Germany 1986 Sell This Version
D1-74761 Steve Roach - Western Spaces album art Steve Roach / Kevin Braheny / Richard Burmer Steve Roach / Kevin Braheny / Richard Burmer - Western Spaces (Album) Innovative Communication D1-74761 US 1987 Sell This Version
18055-2 Steve Roach - Dreamtime Return album art Steve Roach Dreamtime Return (Album) Fortuna Records 18055-2 US 1988 Sell This Version
PL83032 Steve Roach - The Leaving Time album art Michael Shrieve / Steve Roach Michael Shrieve / Steve Roach - The Leaving Time (Album) Novus, RCA PL83032 Germany 1988 Sell This Version
OXCD2165 Steve Roach - Stormwarning (Live In Concert) album art Steve Roach Stormwarning (Live In Concert) (Album) Soundquest Recordings OXCD2165 US 1989 Sell This Version
17070-4 Steve Roach - Desert Solitaire album art Steve Roach / Kevin Braheny / Michael Stearns Steve Roach / Kevin Braheny / Michael Stearns - Desert Solitaire (Album) Fortuna Records 17070-4 US 1989 Sell This Version
17071-4 Steve Roach - Australia: Sound Of The Earth album art Steve Roach / David Hudson / Sarah Hopkins Steve Roach / David Hudson / Sarah Hopkins - Australia: Sound Of The Earth (Album) Fortuna Records 17071-4 US 1990 Sell This Version
HS11019-4 Steve Roach - Strata album art Robert Rich / Steve Roach Robert Rich / Steve Roach - Strata (Album) Hearts Of Space HS11019-4 US 1990 Sell This Version
18057-4 Steve Roach - World's Edge album art Steve Roach World's Edge (Album) Fortuna Records 18057-4 UK, Europe & US 1992 Sell This Version
HS11033-2 Steve Roach - Soma album art Steve Roach & Robert Rich Steve Roach & Robert Rich - Soma (Album) Hearts Of Space HS11033-2 Europe 1992 Sell This Version
17081-2 Steve Roach - Origins album art Steve Roach Origins (Album) Fortuna Records 17081-2 UK, Europe & US 1993 Sell This Version
LTD 1 Steve Roach - The Dream Circle album art Steve Roach The Dream Circle (Album) Soundquest Recordings LTD 1 US 1994 Sell This Version
17082-2 Steve Roach - Artifacts album art Steve Roach Artifacts (Album) Fortuna Records 17082-2 USA, Canada & Europe 1994 Sell This Version
none Steve Roach - Kiva album art Steve RoachMichael StearnsRon Sunsinger Steve RoachMichael StearnsRon Sunsinger - Kiva (Album) Fathom, Fathom none US 1995 Sell This Version
PROJEKT 60 Steve Roach - Well Of Souls album art Steve Roach & Vidna Obmana Steve Roach & Vidna Obmana - Well Of Souls (Album) Projekt PROJEKT 60 US 1995 Sell This Version
HS11062-2 Steve Roach - The Magnificent Void album art Steve Roach The Magnificent Void (Album) Fathom HS11062-2 US 1996 Sell This Version
11072-2 Steve Roach - Halcyon Days album art Steve Roach / Stephen Kent / Kenneth Newby Steve Roach / Stephen Kent / Kenneth Newby - Halcyon Days(CD, Album) Fathom 11072-2 US 1996 Sell This Version
PROJEKT 73 Steve Roach - Cavern Of Sirens album art Steve Roach & Vidna Obmana Steve Roach & Vidna Obmana - Cavern Of Sirens (Album) Projekt PROJEKT 73 US 1997 Sell This Version
11082-2 Steve Roach - On This Planet album art Steve Roach On This Planet(CD, Album) Fathom 11082-2 US 1997 Sell This Version

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May 18, 2021
edited 5 months ago
I bought Structures from Silence long ago on a used cassette tape because cover art looked cool and song titles were intriguing. OMG, this was a revelation for me. I now own three hardware synths and a bunch of virtual synths on my iPad Air. And what do I create? Ambient music — all because of Steve Roach. In the years past I have had the privilege to promote Steve and other ambient musicians via my many music reviews over the decades. Thanks goes to Steve. He’s kind of a private guy though — as I have emailed him many times thanking and praising him for his superb work. Never heard a word back... If you like Roach’s beatless, evolving soundscapes then find Surrender by James Johnson. Also check out Jim Butler on Bandcamp. He is THE most prolific ambient composer on planet and 90+% of his work is spot on. Lastly, seek out ambient works by Phillip Wilkerson, Max Corbacho and Andrew Lahiff — both on Bandcamp and both stellar musicians.


November 23, 2020
What are his best albums? I am starting with Structures from Silence. Where should I go after?


August 17, 2020
edited about 1 year ago
First came across Steve Roach via a 12 minute track 'At The Edge Of The In-Between (Anima Revealed)' from 1995 on the really wonderful 'Endless 2' compilation. Everything on that comp. is fantastic (and includes one of Robert Rich's best pieces), but this one really outshines the rest. Steve's track was revelatory for me, early dark ambient soundscape, has different sections, emotions, sensations, constantly morphing, plus an incredible array of background sound effects layered on which are never repeated. Like a long deep twisting underground symphony, unpredictable to the end. And this is a live recording. Been a huge fan ever since, keeps me constantly surprised. Respect is due for an original and exceptionally talented sound and music artist.


February 21, 2020
Steve is such a prolific artist, and yet the quality of his music never diminishes! Its therapy, its life. He is up there with the greats, such as Klaus Schulze, Pete Namlook, Robert Rich, etc. Check him out, you won't regret it.


October 12, 2018
Thank you steve roach for your amazing efforts. Music therapy for the mind, soul to overcome life's obstacles, heart aches, and our struggle for survival.


August 13, 2018
Had discover a long time ago the Electronic Music via Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze and Vangelis, and appears to my ear Steve Roach.
This was another shock, as he's capable of so many variations in his music.
This is what i like/enjoy from him.
Listened for so many hours Quiet Music. And Dreamtime Return.. and what to say about The Magnificent Void. World's Edge, Structures from Silence and more and more...
.. even in his recent works, Skeleton Keys.. and also with B. Metcal & R. Thomas: Monuments of Ecstasy... just great
He never cease to amaze me.


January 6, 2018
A great artist I have followed since the late 1980s. In a real sense he's provided the soundtrack for the quiet moments of my life - happy and sad.
Please check him out!


August 11, 2017
I've been innumerably obsessed with Steve Roach & anything he's collaborated on for a bit now. He's a master of his craft: blending electronic & ambient music with tribal & sometimes new age undertones. It's fantastic work. Please, check him out!


January 27, 2017
How does an artist manage to be so ridiculously prolific and still release classic after classic of absolutely top-shelf material? I don't get it either -- lesser artists would be lucky to release just a few classic albums in a row, but Steve Roach is an absolute master of his genre.

I don't think he's ever quite gotten the respect or awe he deserves in "electronic" music circles since he's of a slightly older generation and not necessarily as well known, so anyone with an interest in dark, brooding, ambient music (often with excellent exotic overtones) would be well served to check him out. He's one of those ultra rare artists that not only has gotten better with age, but MUCH better with age over what is now a decades-long timespan.


December 18, 2016
edited over 6 years ago
He's the best Ambient composer of all time.Godfather of Space Ambient genre and Independent music. Im also creating music and he's for me the biggest inspiration. I recommend my favourites: The Magnificent Void, Mystic Chords & Sacred Spaces, Texture Maps: The Lost Pieces Vol. 3 ,Quiet Music..must have for every ambient fans.. He's music will be always in my heart.
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