Forgotten Gods

Suspended Memories

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Suspended Memories

Forgotten Gods


Steve Roachanalog and digital synthesizers, rhythm programming, sampled percussion, voice, didjeridu, distant percussion, Lakota plains flute
Jorge Reyesclay water pots, prehispanic clay flutes and ocarinas, bamboo flute, whistles, voice, various drums and percussion, stones, turtle shell, rainstick
Suso Saizelectric guitars, processors, short wave radio, distant percussion

CD and cassette, Playing time 64:00 minutes

Track List:

  1. Different Deserts - 12:20
  2. Snake Song - 6:44
  3. Night Devotion - 3:51
  4. Saguaro - 5:23
  5. Mutual Tribes - 7:06
  6. Suspended Memories - Forgotton Gods - 6:01
  7. Ritual Noise - 3:48
  8. Distant Look - 7:39
  9. Shaman's Dream - 6:07

Publisher No.:
(1993) Hearts of Space - HS11034

Over the course of 20 albums, Roach had been perfecting a style combining ancient and modern instruments in an atmosphere of ritualistic intensity. His extensive travels in Australia, collaborations with aboriginal musician David Hudson, and inspiration gleaned from the stark beauty of the American Southwest all energized a spacious, expansive sound that blurred the lines between the ancestral and the futuristic. Reyes, though based in Mexico City, had been influenced by the sweltering landscapes of other parts of the world in travels through Turkey, India, Iran and Afghanistan. The core of his sound, however, came from the blending of contemporary techniques with his Mexican heritage. He combined flute, pre-Hispanic instruments and percussion with synthesized sounds to evoke visions of Mexico's sultry and savage past: its jungles, jaguars and Aztec rites. Saiz, the European sophisticate, had studied guitar at the Madrid Conservatory of Music. After distinguishing himself as an iconoclast in the continental new music scene, he went on to form numerous experimental ensembles. He also became a sought-after producer in Spain with projects spanning jazz, pop, world , and avant-garde music. His solo work is a stunning culmination of influences and production techniques that emphasize texture and emotional potency over melodic accessibility.
Reviewer: Linda Kohanov

When Steve Roach, Jorge Reyes and Suso Saiz recorded their first album (Forgotten Gods) under the group name Suspended Memories last year, each individual was a respected recording artist in his own right. Yet the overwhelming response to Forgotten Gods suggests that the force of this international ensemble may be even greater than the sum of its parts. This 1993 HOS release received superior ratings in Downbeat, Pulse! and CD Review, made several critics' annual Top 10 lists, and was recently nominated for a NAIRD award. That's just in the U.S. The group's growing international following led to a whirlwind tour of Spain and a well-received appearance at Germany's Klang Art new music festival. A number of artists worldwide have already hailed Suspended Memories as an important inspiration. One appreciative musician called the team of Roach, Reyes and Saiz "the ambient supergroup." Critic and radio producer John Diliberto, however, summed it up best in his CD Review critique: "This album reveals new crevices of sound, new interplays of culture, new voices from the past," later adding: "You don't experience Forgotten Gods, you are transformed with it."
Reviewer: Linda Kohanov

I don't claim to be a visionary, but for years I've been predicting the imminent arrival of a "spacejazz" movement among the more accomplished spacemusic artists.

This music wouldn't sound anything like jazz, but would share some of its musical tactics and recording strategy, like working quickly with lots of improvisation, and a fairly simple production process. But in place of the documentary recording style of jazz, spacejazz would paint freely and creatively with the imagery, electronic studio tools, and advanced sound design of spacemusic.

Forgotten Gods, though not the first, is a sterling example of this genre -- a natural and fortuitous meeting of three talented musical psychonauts at exactly the right moment in their respective careers.

Each member of SUSPENDED MEMORIES has dug up the roots of his cultural inheritance, seeking the shadowed origins of the musical experience on the path to discovering a valid ritual music for today. Each has recognized the necessity of creating a super-charged ambiance that transports both musicians and listeners to a plane of psychological intensity that cannot be achieved simply by bombast or by volume.

National music writer Linda Kohanov was on hand to witness their charmed early meetings, as well as the extraordinary fluidity of the recording process (she also happens to be Mrs. Steve Roach) which she describes in the liner notes.

With its rich blend of elemental rhythms, mutated voicings and expanded fourth world tribal spaces, Forgotten Gods succeeds admirably in the quest for an improvised spacemusic. Like jazz, you can listen to each of the players and consider their moment-to-moment artistic choices. Like avant-garde work it achieves something wholly new, yet it also manages to satisfy the tonal, rhythmic and textural demands common in other forms of polar music. That's not bad for starters, but under the surface lie the powerful stirrings of an authentic ritual music for a secular age.

Empty your mind, turn down the lights, turn up the volume. Listen for an hour and I think you'll agree that FORGOTTEN GODS hits the mark with a resounding bang, shake, rattle, and drone.
Reviewer: Stephen Hill

Copyright 1997 by John Morfit - All Rights Reserved