Since its release in 1988, Dreamtime Return has earned its reputation as a genuine classic. The two-CD Magnum Opus is perhaps the most important, widely known and highly respected release in Steve Roach s vast body of work. it serves as an essential benchmark within the Ambient-Ethno-Atmospheric genre.
Steve Roach demonstrates that electronic music s greatest potential may lie in bringing our most elusive dreams and ancient memories into focus through potent, highly imaginative soundscapes. This is without question Steve Roach s masterpiece. 10-10 rating - CD Review
Roach s travels in the Australian outback, along with studies of the Aboriginal Dreamtime, and his desert walkabouts in California were the life blood for this recording which still defies the boundaries of genre classification 17 years after its release. Dreamtime Return still sounds like a transmission from the near future and the very distant past.
Dreamtime Return is more than a seminal recording that has influenced a generation of musicians. It s the voice you might hear calling back at you at the edge of the world. John Diliberto, Echoes Radio, syndicated to over 150 stations nationwide.
Musically Dreamtime Return richly deserves its classic status, but Roach also deserves credit for leading electronic musicians out of their sheltered studios and into an active relationship with the landscape, the wider world, and deep cultural history. The whole genre is stronger and more relevant for his example. Stephen Hill, Hearts of Space Radio
Deep Space Swirls
Steve Roach's 1988 double-disc, inspired by visits to the Australian outback and the Aboriginal concept of "dreamtime," has been hyped as one of the pivotal works of ambient music. You may wonder why: It begins with the generic whooshing you'd expect from a NASA training film, and as it evolves acquires similar sounds typically used by film scorers to connote open planetary vistas. That's ambient music for you: To some, one minute its sweeping sounds evoke a great metaphysical vastness, to others that same material can seem a tired cliché.
Stick with Dreamtime Return, because after its garish opening segment, the music travels less expected pathways, with slow-moving textures luring listeners into evocations of tribal ritual. In Aboriginal mythology, "dreamtime" refers to a state of being in which the past, present, and future are experienced simultaneously. Dreamtime's tales address the earth's origin, and the role of humans in it (the Aboriginal people believe every human event leaves a "record" in the land).
Inspired by these stories, Roach used a combination of synthesizers and ancient instruments, most notably the dumbek drum and the didgeridoo (that two-toned wind instrument native to Australia, played here by David Hudson), to create shape-shifting, constantly evolving atmospheres. Dreamtime Return is among a handful of pioneering works of what's sometimes called "Ethno-Ambient," though its rhythms are more aggressive than most music carrying that label. Moving from solemn, ceremonial beats to unmoored, tempoless explorations, Roach scatters tones and colors into brilliant arrays, and evolves them, ever so slowly, into a majestic long-distance journey. It may only be a simulation of dreamtime, but it's dazzlingly hypnotic all the same. -- 1,000 Recordings To Hear Before You Die:
STEVE ROACH #2 ON 20 ICONS FOR @) YEARS OF ECHOES. "Dreamtime Return is more than a seminal recording that has influenced a generation of musicians. It's a portal into a universe where technological designs merge deep inside primordial moods. Roach found the nexus of primal didgeridoo growls and synthesizer drones and orchestrated them into this techno-tribal opus. When you shout out at the edge of the world, Dreamtime Return is echo that calls back to you." - John Diliberto ((( echoes ))) -- Echoes Radio
Surrounding every masterpiece there is an arcane and indecipherable energy, a divine breath that blows. Works like "Dreamtime Return" change the course of history and accomplish a prodigious jump forward. It is a recording that has inspired a whole generation of musicians and that contains within its two hours astounding artistic intuitions, the starting point for all of the esoteric and tribal music that is produced today. The drones of the didgeridoo, the ceremonial drums, the alien ambiences, the voices from the past, the eternal silences, the tribal atmospheres, the dilation of time, and the sculpture of space have created the tribal-ambient genre, of which Roach was the first techno-shaman. The record can be considered a soundtrack for an adventure at the edge of time, an experience that has deeply and indelibly marked Roach, whose life from that moment will no longer be the same. The channel is open. --Deep Listening: