Pushing the boundaries of perception-expanding music, Steve Roach and Robert Logan release two vastly different transmissions of powerful emotion and exploration.
Biosonic’s elegant futurism and Second Nature’s romantic minimalism are distinct yet linked through a passion for engaging, subtle body-mind states. The former’s darkly ecstatic, deeply-layered, electro-neural atmosphere contrasts with the latter’s nuanced, sparse, ambient-atmospherics and processed-piano tone paintings.
Biosonic’s labyrinth of bio-electrical rhythmic pieces mixes with passages of deep drifting textural magnetism. Tracks possessed with intense fire and driving dynamism push down to the molecular level, while entrancing groovescapes inhabit new textural worlds of mind-expanding power. The music’s intention is ecstasy and intensity – like the frenzied rush of red blood cells, nerve impulses or the firing of pistons – such tendencies are balanced by an undercurrent of tranquility and yearning. This yearning finds a full embrace in the companion release Second Nature, a shadowplay of gentle reflection and repose. The tone and warmth of processed electric grand piano mixed with atmospheric synth textures are the grounding point for an emotive reflective watercourse of harmony, melody, texture and space woven together with an innate human sense of tension and release.
The journey that led to the creation of these albums is a story unto itself.
Twenty-eight-year-old England-based Logan has been a fan of sixty-one-year-old American ambient innovator Roach’s music since first discovering it at the age of thirteen. Logan’s father introduced electronic music into Logan’s life at a young age; soon thereafter, an Amazon search turned up Roach’s The Magnificent Void, a life-changing listening experience for the evolving artist.
Logan remembers, “I had been looking for nourishing, truly mysterious, deep-space music being carved out by current artists in modern studios; with Void, the album was everything I dreamed of and much more. As a teenager, I went on umpteen mind-bending, cosmic trips of the imagination to that album; I soon began collecting Steve’s music. It soundtracked many blissful journeys in the night travels across Europe.”
Logan’s father was a teacher, and he encouraged his students to draw pictures in response to albums he played for them. In the mid-2000’s he played Roach’s music, then collected the drawings and sent them to Roach along with a CD of Logan’s ambient music.
A correspondence grew between the two artists separated by more than thirty years of experience; the mutual appreciation was immediate. As Roach recalls, “I was instantly amazed upon hearing Robert’s first CD. His music was already emoting at a very high level that seemed well beyond his years. We began a long-distance collaboration fusing and morphing our approaches and unique languages into a new hybrid of electronic music.”
Over the course of four years, the two traded sound files with regular phone sessions and emails mapping out the vision and pieces that would become Biosonic. Logan and Roach describe the work, “Biosonic expresses a kinetic energy that drives the imagination channeled through the tools of hypersonic creation. The expressions rise up from the unconsciousness; the bio/machine-theme mushrooms outwards in this sonic fantasy. It emerges from the pulses and rhythms of the body while also diving consciously into expressing fractalized patterns which find parallel in the natural world, the universe and beyond. This is a vivid dream world for the bio-mechanical era where the lines between human and machine dissolve and reach moments of peak perception.”
In late 2015, Logan visited Roach’s Timehouse studio in Arizona for an intensive to put the finishing touches on the album; the creative session-environment inspired an entirely new project. A second album was created unexpectedly.
Roach says, “Second Nature emerged directly from instinct, the call and response to the moment between two artists interacting together in the studio for the first time. It’s a ‘less is more’ minimalist statement. The balance of ambiguity and quiet reflection is present in this set of pieces of fleeting emotional weight. I utilized the Timehouse studio as an instrument, working with my beloved vintage analog synths, live looping, mixing and effects processing. This created the opening for Robert to focus solely on playing processed electric grand piano; it evoked a new way of performing, drawing on his years of experience with the instrument. Over three days, the music emerged without hesitation. The album title perfectly speaks to the feeling we had with this process; it flowed forth as if by second nature.”
Biosonic and Second Nature are two powerful, distinct yet interconnected releases. While in dramatic contrast to each other, the potency of the music on these releases is a testament to the agility that exists between these two artists. It reveals their immediate response to a universe of emotion and stimulated mental states felt and expressed in this pure transmission. The music celebrates the energy of being fully alive, engaging the senses, opening to a vast and fascinating world of Biosonics: body, mind and heart sound art for TODAY.