With his distinctive melange of analogue and digital synthesisers, acoustic instrumentation and imaginative soundscaping, Steve Roach is a giant in modern ambient and one of the most respected electronic musicians in the world. Active since the late 1970's, his discography of solo albums, collaborations and compilations is now enormous, his range of styles broad.
His 1984 album Structures From Silence marks the first time he moved away from the sequencer-driven, Berlin-school ambient trance of his earliest releases to record an album-length foray into beatless ambience. There are just three tracks - all extraordinarily delicate. The slow-motion melodic strains of the 30-minute title track, in particular, breathe and sway with exquisite gentleness.
One of albums extraordinary qualities is the sense of natural breath in the music; an organic quality not easily realised with synthesisers back in the day. These 'breathing chords' quickly become part of the DNA of Roach's music over the following decades, as he sought to release his machines from their mechanical moorings.
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