Steve Roach/Erik Wøllo
"STREAM OF THOUGHT "

REVIEWS


e/i Magazine (USA):
Vibrant, eclectic and at times fetching mindmeld from two gents whose collective talents are more simpatico than you
might think. Stream of Thought's back cover notes this recording as a “continuous stream of sonic consciousness in
19 parts”; though the many pieces stagger their running times, making for an episodic (neé filmic) narrative that
may or may not rattle the chains of the proletariat, is of no import - such an accumulative variety of pulsing textures
is so soldered they transcend the sum of the album’s numerous parts.

Erik Wøllo’s musical background strikes similar chords to Steve Roach’s, as he’s trucked between atmospheric, drone,
and even pastoral guitar ambience with equal ease, his recent recordings displaying a joie de vivre that deflected
sentimentality by simple dearth of their years-etched acumen. The smoldering aftereffect of Roach’s still-fresh Landmass
hovers like a Damoclesian blade over these proceedings, imbuing their entirety with the requisite compositional tension,
but the duo’s salutations, styles, and substances merge effortlessly nevertheless. And surprises lay in store for those
of patient dispositions. On the opening piece, sun-dappled guitars dance ceremoniously across a Steve Reich-ian flatbed
of chiming percussion and ascending synths. This then morphs into the second movement, a recognizable Roach-mantra
of whipping modular bass sequencers that the two free-associate a phalanx of electronics over. Similar patterns/patterning
emerge as the album further unfolds, yet the one persistent conclusion to be drawn is that, much like the nebulous quality
of REMsleep dreamstates, everything seems ephemeral, just out of reach, hallucinatory: so much occurs within each of the
19 segments that the various micro-events taking place can only be discerned by the spectator’s enthusiastic revisitation
thereof - or at least by damn fine headphones.

Roach and Wøllo tinker with each other’s muse to such calibrated effect that the resultant miasma becomes nigh on
impossible to dissect, much less describe fully. Strange, offworld sounds curdle and ebb; rubbery beats spontaneously
blossom only to quickly combust; guitar kindling icily shatter as they breach glacial membranes; shoals of deep space
radiowaves oscillate through parsecs of blackness, designing malevolent shapes. Choose to explore each rapidly changing
tributary singly (the closing fifteen-minute cavalcade of whorl and whirlygig alone nearly mandates the repeat button)
or course down this Stream as its makers intended.
Either way, Roach and Wøllo got their senses working overtime - and ours, too.
- DARREN BERGSTEIN



All Music Guide/Billboard(USA):

Steve Roach has never been one to turn away from collaborations, making this new partnership, with Norwegian musician
Erik Wollo, both a familiar and a slightly different experiment. At this point in his now decades-long career Roach has not
only established a general sonic approach but a wide range of variations within the general rubric of "ambient" music as
described, and much of Stream of Thought similarly finds itself balanced between these two extremes -- sweeping, gently
cyclical swells of lush, gleaming electronic textures interweave with nervous understated rhythms, or chilled out musical flows
that almost force the listener into contemplation.

Split into 19 short, untitled tracks, Stream of Thought isn't mixed as a single track and might reward random
resequencing on a listener's part, but as it stands it is perfectly enjoyable. Sequences such as what sounds like a cross
between water dripping and the most understated glitch click track ever on the eighth song add quiet variety,
though ultimately this is an album for dedicated fans of either artist rather than newcomers.
- Ned Raggett



Sonic Curiosity (USA):
This release from 2008 features 70 minutes of stimulating ambience. Roach plays analog and digital synthesizers and
sequencers, loops and atmospheres, while Wollo plays electric and acoustic guitars, mandolin, bass, Roland guitar,
synthesizers, VST instruments, sequencers, loops and atmospheres.

Crisp electronics and airy tonalities blend with stringed instruments to generate lavish yet serene melodies.
Initially, layers of soothing but lively guitars establish a bewitching presence with undulating textures providing
an atmospheric foundation. That basis expands with subsequent pieces, exploring realms of haunting distinction with
floating drones and cosmic ambience. This ambience refuses to remain sedate, however, persisting in variations of
thrilling diversity, maintaining a constant level of engagement throughout.

Ephemeral electronics express a trance state that is tempered and elevated by the presence of dreamy guitar patterns.
These strings vibrate with a spectral demeanor, bestowing the celestial music with a sense of human spirituality.
While some soft rhythms (all of them synthetic) are utilized, the music is generally a construction of interweaving
electronics designed to function like boundless fluid, oozing and flowing without restraint. In several instances,
the beats are processed into blurred sequences that are immediately alluring in their ethereal mien.
One sequence casts off ambient sensibilities and flourishes with a more energized sound with sprightly tempos,
lively electronics, and guitars that adopt a decidedly astral motif with their searing resonance.

Combining Roach?s arid desert flair and Wollo?s arctic stylings, this tuneage is of high appeal and unique disposition,
a fusion of hot and cold that exemplifies a psychic plane beyond physical sensations. While the music is presented as
a continuous stream, the various compositions (there are 19 of them) possess diverse characteristics whose variety
is guaranteed to entertain.
- Matt Howarth



Sonic Immersion (Holland):
"Stream of Thought" is the long-awaited outcome of these two skilled musicians, of which the first drafts were already
put down in 2007. Spanning exactly 70 minutes, this "continuous stream of sonic conciousness in 19 parts" is a complex,
emotionally charged and very diverse sound painting.

Sound wise, the music is less traditional and more experimental, moving away from Roach’s deeper, transcendental style,
although some ambient moments are still present. Instead, it merges carefully moulded sonic vistas, creating a highly
cinematic journey in which rhythmic, high-tech and ethereal ambient styles blend. Erik’s nice guitar playing shows up now
and then, adding some extra icing on the cake.

Taking off atmospheric, things get really groovy on the great second part, while most other parts are charged by
freeform textures, high-tech pulse sequencing and percussive elements. Part four and five venture nicely in darkening,
surreal soundworlds, while a low beat and fractal sequencing take centre stage on part eight.

Toward the end, the high-tech sonic outcome on part 15 and 16 sounds rather chaotic, inconsistent and experimental
to my ears, before the albums renders down in a smooth style.

All in all, "Stream of Thought" is an expertly produced, mixed and mastered, constantly evolving cycle of dynamic
sonic wizardy, more experimental in nature. So fasten your seatbelts and make up for a surreal listening experience
(which is also a treat for testing the sound your hi-fi system by the way).
- Bert Strolenberg



Electroambient Space (USA):
A friend of mine and I, both Steve Roach fans, weren’t sure what to think when we heard that Steve Roach and Erik Wøllo
had collaborated on a new CD. We were having trouble imagining how their two differing styles would complement each
other. I can happily and eagerly report that the resulting album, Stream of Thought, is fresh invigorating music that I
doubt either man would have come up with on his own. The 19 parts to this constantly changing and ever-evolving work
are captivating from the first hypnotic loops of “Part 1” to the 14-minute effervescent conclusion of “Part 19.”

Though repetitious, the first track is so entrancing that it barely seems to have started before it fades into near
silence just ahead of “Part 2.” This second part starts with soft ethereal floating, but a restless churning
percussive sequence soon emerges over the top of it. Most tracks are very short, many only a minute or two,
but these first two longer tracks do a great job of setting the mood early, pulling in the listener quickly along for
the ride so that you are ready for anything that might come next. “Part 3” is smooth as glass and just as pretty.

“Part 4” has a similar aggressive chugging quality to “Part 2” at first, but it soon subsides and turns into a dark haunter.
“Part 5” sounds like alien machinery, very cool. At very few times does Wøllo’s guitar make itself clearly known as such,
although “Part 9” is a notable exception as his gentle strumming echoes among the atmospheric synth textures.

Tracks alternate between moving, active numbers and subtler slower ones. Trying to describe the lovely nuances of each
of the 19 tracks would be lengthy, difficult, and not nearly as compelling as listening for yourself, which I thoroughly
recommend. Stream of Thought is one of the most pleasant surprises of 2008.
- Phil Derby



Musikzirkus-magazin (Germany):
Mit dem Amerikaner Steve Roach, der für seine ambientmäßige Spacemusik bekannt ist und dem Norweger Erik Wollo,
dessen Elektronikmusik sehr fassettenreich ist, haben sich zwei alt gediente Elektronikmusiker zu einer neuen
Kollaboration zusammengefunden. Beide machen bereits seit mehr als 25 Jahren Elektronikmusik und schätzen
gegenseitig ihre Arbeiten sehr. Das ist auch der Grund, warum dieses gemeinsame Wirken zustande kam.
Anfang 2007 haben die beiden mit ihrer Zusammenarbeit begonnen, das Album dann aber erst in 2008 zu Ende gebracht.
Jetzt, Anfang 2009 erscheint ihr Werk unter dem Namen „Stream Of Thought“, n dem sie sich dem Thema der
Gedankenströme widmen.

Der Untertitel „A Continuous Stream Of Sonic Consciousness In 19 Parts“ verrät schon, das die fast 70minütige
CD in 19 Parts unterteilt ist. Die einzelnen Klangbilder bringen es dabei auf Spielzeiten zwischen 0:37 und 14:17
Minuten Länge. Zwar finden sich am Ende der Stücke Fadeouts, diese sind aber so geschickt mit den Fadeins der
neuen Stücke abgestimmt, so dass die Tracks der CD nicht einzeln gesehen werden sollten, sondern die CD als Ganzes
funktioniert und eine Einheit darstellt.

Während Steve Roach vor allem digitale und analoge Synthesizer benutzt, bringt sich Erik unter anderem auch mit
elektrischer und akustischer Gitarre sowie Mandoline und Bass ein. Sein Saitenspiel dient aber der Atmosphärenbildung
und bringt - im Gegensatz zu anderen Gitarristen, die sich ebenfalls in der Elektronik betätigen -
keine Rockelemente mit in die Tracks hinein.

Wie schon oben erwähnt, erzeugen die beiden weitläufige Klangbilder, die Räume zu neuen, anderen Dimensionen öffnen.
Melodieführungen findet man hier eher nicht, allerdings haben wir es auch nicht mit einer experimentellen Spielart
der Elektronik zu tun, dafür ist die Musik dann doch zu homogen. Durch die sphärischen Flächen wähnt man sich mal
in den Weiten amerikanischer Wüsten- oder Steppenlandschaften, mal in den eisigen Gefilden des hohen Nordens,
der Heimat von Erik Wøllo, um im nächsten Moment den Eindruck zu bekommen, in einer Raumstation durch den Orbit
unseres Planeten zu Reisen.

Neben recht ruhigen Passagen, in denen sich lediglich langsam die Flächen und Akkorde durch den Raum zu bewegen
scheinen, finden sich dann auch rhythmische Parts wie z. B. in den Tracks 6, 7 oder 10. Gerade im zehnten Stück
möchte man fast meinen, dass der Brite Ian Boddy die Rhythmussequenzen beigesteuert hat, da sie seinem Stil doch
nahe kommen. Diese rhythmischen Sequenzen sorgen für Abwechslung innerhalb der sonst recht spacigen Synthie-Drones.

Wer auf elektronische Spacemusik der Marke Steve Roach steht, der kann hier bedenkenlos zugreifen. „Stream Of Thought“
bietet Ambientmusik, bei der man geistig abschalten - quasi die Gedanken frei strömen lassen kann -
und in andere Sphären abgleiten kann. Die Musik ist aber nicht geeignet, um sie mal eben nebenbei zu hören, vielmehr
sollte man sich ihr vollständig hingeben, so wirkt sie am besten.
- Stephan Schelle, Februar 2009



MusicTap (USA):
The combined efforts of ambient masters, Steve Roach and Erik Wollo, have created an extraordinary cerebral flow of
ambient music that is at once adrenaline pumping, yet mesmerizing.

This album is 19 separate musical parts over 70 minutes and transitioned by silence, one mood pushing into another.
Each part delivers a soundtrack-like urgency that underscores a tension. Whether softly moving or fiercely running,
these pieces effectively come together to produce the engaging whole.

The album is called Stream of Thought, an interactive escapist work that provides you the music to your relaxed state.
It’s not for you to slip on and run in the background as the music is too commanding. It will draw you in and have
you within the imaginative strands of your mind immediately by the first notes of the first song.
It is best experienced by headphones and with your eyes closed to achieve a unique full effect that this
collaboration is intending. And no experience should be the same.

Like aural opium, Stream of Thought is potent
and will deliver many satisfying dramas.
- Matt Rowe, February 25 2009



Dead Earnest (UK):
I suppose right now that, even though Steve continues to put out great albums on his own, his best works are coming
when he collaborates with other musicians, especially ones he's not worked with before or even who you never thought he
would work with, on a stylistic basis.

Yet this single 70 minute track, with guitarist Erik Wollo, is a thing of multi-faceted joy. It's a single track that plays
continuously yet is split into about 18 segments, which means that nothing outstays its welcome as you move seamlessly
from one idea to the next. That the pair manage to maintain the flow and feel of the music throughout the album, is a
testament to just how good this is. The starting block erupts with rhythm. Not just traditional sequencer and electro-percussive rhythm but subtly hypnotic and cyclical rhythm, at first feeling almost too hypnotic, but as you play it more and
more, you spot the charms that lie beneath. That this then moves forward to introduce elements of depth and texture as the tone and sound of the rhythms begin to change, is a kind of organic flow that you so love about Roach's music – there's
never anything that sounds “forced” or “disjointed”.

So, as you take your journey through the splendours of this wondrously full-sounding track which combines a vast array of
electronic, electro-percussive and percussive rhythmic strength and subtlety, allied to rivers of synthesized, guitar-textured
and treated undercurrents, you'll find a journey that's way more varied and yet solidly cohesive than any Roach collaborative musical travelogue for quiet some time, and this is an album that improves and becomes more spellbinding with every play.




The Hypnagogue (USA):
Grab hold of the rapidly changing sonic dialogue at work in Stream of Thought and see if you can keep up.
As wonderfully inconstant as the title suggests, this CD morphs, reforms and recreates itself over the course of its nineteen
vignettes. It’s an aural flipbook composed in complementary styles dovetailed over and over again in a multitude of ways.

I am not so familiar with Erik Wøllo’s latest work, but his atmospheric offerings here,including his smooth guitar work
in later tracks, meld seamlessly with Roach’s array of dense sound-swirls and analog/sequencer pulse-rhythms. Although the music can make abrupt shifts of tone and tempo,it’s never jarring enough to disrupt the experience. In fact, it’s an integral
part of it. One moment you’re off somewhere in the cool blackness of space, watching stars, and the next you’re in the middle of a storm of fast-firing synapses birthing thought in random mindsparks. A moment’s adjustment to the change
and you’re back delving into the deeper intentions at work here.

There’s a lot to listen to at any given moment, so pay attention - you’ll be quite nicely rewarded.
- John Shanahan




LUX ATHENA WEBZINE (Spain):
El álbum “Stream of Thought” es una de esas joyas musicales que solamente dos grandes compositores consagrados
como Steve Roach y Erik Wollo podían crear. Basándose en un espíritu puramente luminoso para abrir nuevos estados de
conciencia, este disco ha sido creado a través de un minimalismo sonoro decorado con melodías y notas de colores que te
irradian un profundo placer durante su audición. Desde luego, en este disco los lectores comprobarán cómo la combinación
de la experiencia ofrecida por Steve Roach dentro de la música electrónica, junto a la maestría de Erik Wollo al tocar
instrumentos como la guitarra acústica, la mandolina, el bajo eléctrico o la guitarra eléctrica, ha dado vida a
una obra musical inspirada en la armonía universal y el crecimiento personal como seres humanos. “Stream of Thought”
suena a espacios abiertos, a dimensiones nuevas, a oxígeno puro y limpio, a sorprendentes tonos de color que hacen
renacer la sensibilidad de nuestros sentidos. Un disco que te invita a viajar hacia tu interior, a las raíces de tu
subconsciente, para que todo lo externo cobre un sentido verdadero y trascendente.

La calma, el relax, la expansión sensorial, el disfrute sensitivo,… son efectos que los lectores podrán experimentar
mientras escuchan este álbum, porque “Stream of Thought”, tiene notas musicales que emocionan, que te aligeran el
espíritu para llevarte hacia nuevas percepciones. La armonía de su mensaje se siente en nuestro interior,
acariciando nuestra piel con aires puros alejados de ese falso hedonismo que nos sobrecarga para limitarnos.
“Stream of Thought” es vibrante, pero no estresante. “Stream of Thought” es espiritual, pero no psicodélico e irreal.
“Stream of Thought” es la energía que en este siglo XXI debería expandirse por el planeta para que en nuestro horizonte
futuro pudieran disolverse esas oscuras nubes que no presagian nada bueno. “Stream of Thought”, cuando la música se
transforma en algo más que en la simple audición de un disco. ¡¡¡Disfrútenlo!!!

translated by google:
The album "Stream of Thought" is one of those musical jewels that only two large consecrated composers as
Steve Roach and Erik Wollo could create. Basing on a purely luminous spirit to open new states of conscience,
this disk has been created through a sonorous minimalism decorated with melodies and notes of colors that
radiate you a deep pleasure during their hearing.
Of course, in this disk the readers will verify how the combination of the experience offered by Steve Roach inside the
electronic music, next to the mastery of Erik Wollo upon touching instruments as the guitar acoustics, the mandolin,
the under electric or the electric guitar, has given life to a musical work inspired in the universal harmony and the
personal growth like human beings. "Stream of Thought" sounds to open spaces, to new dimensions, to clean and pure
oxygen, to surprising tones of color that cause they reborn the sensibility of our senses. A disk that invites you to travel
toward your interior, to the roots of your subconscious, so that all the external thing charge a significant and true sense.

The calm, the relaxation, the sensory expansion, the sensitive enjoyment,… are effects that the readers will be able to
experience while listen this album, because "Stream of Thought", has you note musical that touch, that they lighten you
the spirit to carry you toward new perceptions. The harmony of their message feels in ours interior, caressing our skin
with far away pure air of that false hedonism that overloads us to limit us. "Stream of Thought" is vibrant, but not
stressful. "Stream of Thought" is spiritual, but not psychedelic and unreal.

"Stream of Thought" is the energy that in this 21st century should be expanded for the planet so that in our future
horizon could be dissolved those dark clouds that do not foretell anything good. "Stream of Thought", when the music
is transformed into something more than in the simple hearing of a disk. Enjoy it!!!
- Lux Atman




Tokafi (Germany):
An homage to flux: Transitoriness as a flow.

How long can two artists orbit each other before their tangents finally meet? All in all, it has taken Steve Roach and Erik Wøllo more than thirty years. In 1985, Roach bought a copy of Wøllo's Traces, stunned by the emotional intensity of the album. Three years later, his Norwegian counterpart spent entire days listening to nothing else but Roach's Dreamtime Return, putting the LP in a loop to immerse himself fully in the work's pioneering blend of Aboriginee drumming, Berlin-school sequencing and trance-like states of slow-motion drift. And yet, they spent the 90s wandering different roads, with Wøllo refining his lyrical guitar-soundscapes and Roach entering deeper and deeper into a mysterious cave, in which absolute time was suspended and the constituents of composition set free. This latter tendency inherently implied an even stronger focus on infinitely malleable electronic materials and finding devices other than melody and harmonic progressions Ð somewhat in contrast to Wøllo, who increasingly found inspiration in scoring for acoustic instruments. So when their paths finally crossed in 2004, they seemed to inhabit different galaxies, the opportunity passed by, a chance wasted.

In reality, of course, it was exactly their synergistic competencies which had always attracted them to each other in the first place. And underneath these outward polarities, symbolised almost cartoonishly by Roach living in the midst of the Arizona desert and Wøllo on the Norwegian countryside with its freezing winters, the artists importantly had a lot in common, too: A shared appreciation for perfect solitude in the moment of creation, a sculptural approach to composition, the indivisibility of art and life as well as a remarkable longevity of vision. And so, rather than feeling like strangers in each other's presence, they instantly connected, entering into a four-year period of exchanging files, sequences and concepts, which has clearly bled into their first release. Even without prior knowledge of any kind of overarching concept, Stream of Thought sounds like the work of two artists bouncing ideas off each other, playfully exploring new directions and pushing each other into realms they would probably never otherwise have considered feasible. A staggering nineteen tracks are spread out over seventy minutes here and one can't help but feel that plenty more were either discarded or considered unsuitable for the project, that this already prolific surge of creativity merely represents the tip of the iceberg. Just as in a good conversation, one suggestion appears to have lead to at least two more so that, even after hours of intense debate, the amount of potential topics will actually have increased.

This sense of anything-goes or almost-anything-goes has carried over into the eclectic stylistic scope of the album. While most of their individual releases seemed intent on zooming in on a particular muscle and then massaging it for an extensive period of time until it relaxed, Stream of Thought contrarily tickles every nerve, synapse and cell in the body, sending stimulating auditive messengers from one end of the musical spectrum to the other in the blink of an eye. Within the first half hour, Roach and Wøllo have already explored rhythmically driven tribal trance, floating dronescapes, hallucinatory collages between bliss and delusion, pounding echoes of decaying loops, slow-grooving acid and a gently undulating duet between guitar delays and streaks of glistening harmonics - and there's plenty more to follow. On top of the nervously twitching tension between tracks, every single element within them is also kept in constant motion: Bass lines and beats are sent through filters, themes and patterns gently tweaked and transformed, atmospheres and pads shifted and shaken into continually new constellations so that, for example, a piece like Stream of Thought Part 13 will start out as a hypnotic slice of sequencer-electronica and end up a floating piece of percussive ambient.

Despite the obvious pleasure gained from this undiluted spirit of joyful creation, it also presented Roach and Wøllo with the structural issue of shaping an uncontrolled outburst and avoiding the impression of randomness. Intriguingly, the answer to the dilemma lay in giving in to it: Rather than trying to find a Freud'ean explanation or Leitmotif to their stream of thought, the artists instead tried to emphasise its very inconsistency, willfulness, mutability, seeming illogicality and fleetingness in their collaboration. At times, listening to the album really feels like taking a roller coaster ride through someone else's mind, the carriage shooting through chains of intense scenes at the speed of light, almost skidding off the tracks at times. There are no seamless transitions here, with one section segueing into the next as suddenly and abruptly as changing channels on a TV set. Meanwhile, to a generation which grew up on remote controls, multitasking and the curse of partial attention, this newsflash-like rate of transformation will probably barely register as unusual. And after the initial shock has subsided, one quickly experiences the transitoriness of the record as a flow, the fractures as nothing but tiny scars on an otherwise perfectly smooth tissue.

It is only after repeated listens that one notices just how meticulously this impression was consciously created by the artists in their studios, textures re-appearing at various stages of the album like markers, themes being re-cycled and re-worked, moving from the back- to the foreground, mutating from melodic fragments into a rhythmical spine. Just like Roach once famously culled structures from silence, he and Wøllo are now searching for order in chaos. A stream of thought, after all, is anything but a unidirectional entity. Rather, it can jump both back and forth in time, wilfully skip particular passages while minutely honing in on others, mulling them over with an almost obsessive intensity and superimposing various layers of memories to arrive at new, more complex constructions. All of this is represented directly in the music, as Stream of Thought speeds time up in one instant and then considerably slows it down in the next, refining one passage with utmost attention while discarding another almost listlessly. It is only at the very end and in an epic grand finale-composition, that the album reaches its point of destination, all confluents flowing into the steady flow of a big river, the tension resolved, the music fading peacefully into silence and calm.

Occasionally, one would wish for some of the shorter pieces to be worked out just a little bit more. But that's the downside and very nature of human imagination, to which this album pays an intriguing homage: Everything is in flux and a moment, once lost, can never be recovered.
-Tobias Fischer




Expose (Holland):
Roach should be well known to Exposes readers, and in fact Wøllo should as well - he is a Norwegian guitarist who, at least these days almost always relies on elusive techniques that make his guitar sound like anything but a guitar. This long-distance collaboration is not as unlikely as it first seems, given both artists propensity for creating lush atmospherics by whatever means.

And atmospheric this is: Stream of Thought is actually 19 tracks that run together nearly seamlessly creating over an hour
of continuous sound, often drifting into deep space and areas beyond consciousness, but punctuated with regularity by sequenced passages - not rigid sequenced expanses like Schulze or Pinhas, but more subtle adventures blended with the nuances of deep-space drones and cloudy imagery floating within and behind the sequenced activity. The effect is like walking (or drifting) through a long corridor with side passages that take the listener in different directions for a while, but eventually return. There are even some brief splendid moments with "real" guitar (that is, unprocessed, un-synthesized),
but it does not come until later in the overall program. This - unlike many of the titles I have previously reviewed by Steve Roach alone and with various collaborators, is more of an "active listening" experience, though still quite relaxing and mentally soothing. Because of its varied approaches it seems a bit less suited for slumber.

All taken, this is an excellent collaboration that might surprise the listener.
- Peter Thelen




Guts of Darkness (France):
Fans of somber and wrapping atmosphere, unravel your ears because here is an opus which will transport you beyond the limits of simple ambiance music. Stream of Thought is an album to ionospheres tinted with circular movements and encircled by synthesized loops which spin persistence. An opus gathering 2 great musicians who like investigating the curves of musical caverns and the vestiges of their heritages, spreading out a music that allies tribal rhythms to chloroformed movements and hypnotic sequences, flavored by a wide range of synths and guitars. A music that comes out of ancestral memories, for the purest pleasure of ears fond of luxuriant atmospheres.

A long title divided into 19 parts, Stream of Tought starts as an evening news TV show. Clear and fervent tinklings on a continuous sequential movement, are trailed around by a guitar to honeyed chords and enclosed by a synth to intrusive shadows. A moderate Empetus, but so crystallized, which borrows the circles of very Roachian's heavy reverberations, in the part 2. A 2nd monstrous part, where the resonant hoops multiply in nervous loops on a soft synth filled of spectral waves. Oscillating waves which wave above a synthesized storm, stuffed with sound refractions to echoes duped by aggressive structures. These first 2 parts pave the way to a hybrid album where the rhythm is next to the atonal passivity in a dark and muffled atmosphere, loosening clannish atmospheres which bloom on sequences to shelled chords or the paces of tribal dances.

The 10th part distances itself with a more electronic approach. Knockings on drum skins draw a hypnotic structure surrounded with a charming synthesized veil. It is soft, relaxing and attracting with it's his synthesized streaks which modulate slowly a strange melody of an unknown descent. The electronic approach becomes more eclectic on the following parts forming a curious sea disturbed by waves which collide in a random way. A magnificent Roachian passage appears lasting around
7 minutes (Part XIII) with a movement boiling of slowly neurotic sequences, gird by a synth to spectral lamentations.
A beautiful moment which reminds the first Roach's works

(The 16th part also), especially with the presence of synthesized streaks which overhang these syncretic jolts, sustained by
a Wollo's ghostly howling guitar. Brief atmospheric parts follow which uncork in waddled tempos and ambient passages, until the last part which ends up with a nervous rhythmic approach, on a magnificent guitar with drawling impetous and a sequential structure which laps in a tenderly frivolous atmosphere.

With Stream of Thought duet Roach/Wollo redefined the ambient music. The so said "abstract" music with an epic title which straightens in an atmosphere of a delicious bipolarity where the hazy rhythms, clear and incisive are molding admirably to ambient passages, tinted with synthesized breaths and guitars which glance through a musical journey in outcomes so surprising as unexpected.
- Sylvain Lupari












Erik Wøllo and Steve Roach working together on Stream of Thought.
(Timeroom Studio, Apache Springs Ranch, Arizona, June 2008)