Light Fantastic
by TG Mondalf, RhythmUS
January 2003


First off, many of you may know Steve Roach from his releases with Projekt which is mainly a Darkwave, Ethereal, Medieval, and Ambient label. However I first heard of Steve Roach through the Hearts of Space collective which houses other ambient electronic musicians as Kevin Braheny, Micheal Stearns, Robert Rich, Mychael Danna, Bill Douglas, and Nik Tyndall just to name a few. Hearts of Space helped coin the term and genre of 'Space Music' back in the mid to late 80's with its unique blend of electronic ambient artists with a spacey feel to them. Micheal Stearns for instance is probably best known for the album ENCOUNTER which is based on a UFO 'abduction'.

Steve Roach has been producing ambient and electronic music since the early 1980's. I was actually surprised to see him on the Projekt label, but pleasantly of course. This particular release combines his signature ambient textures with 'fractal groove' rhythms. Steve speaks about this project, "After years of being absorbed in the sensation of light and that interplay with the senses, I began having a series of epiphanies, really focusing on the atmospheric side of the music again. I wanted to design sounds that possessed a searing yet serene quality, sounds that gave off a laser-like illumination that at times seemed to eminate from the inside outwards." Beautiful soundworks with an unusual yet serene texture. This is great music for altered states of consciousness and is an experience in itself. Steve Roach has a way of taking you on a journey with his music (best listened to full-force, uninterrupted, with headphones) which in turn tends to take us within ourselves. The method used for creating this project made it so that he could design rhythms and such that would 'swim' around each other. It definitely makes for interesting listening and sort of takes ambient music to new level of extremes. This is synthetic ambient that brings us back to the question "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?". This release also features Vidna Obmana, Vir Unis, and Stefin Gordon.


Light Fantastic

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CD  $15.00 
ON SALE, $12.99 
iTunes 
Light Fantastic
Steve Roach
1999 Hearts of Space 11094 (CD)
Reviewed by Gary Andrews, Brian Parnham, various listener comments, Billboard, L.A. Weekly, Muze, Progressive World, RhythmUS, SCI FI Magazine, Wind and Wire

LIGHT FANTASTIC does much to subvert one's expectations of musical structure, while remaining unabashedly beautiful throughout. Roach's soundworlds have never sounded more rich and full of light. On the other hand, the complexity of the 'fractal grooves' allows the hybrid percussion to assume what would be the melodic content of a given piece. The rhythms are as willful and intricate as an African drumming group or drum 'n' bass track, continually morphing from one pattern into another, describing animated moiré patterns in sound.
 
1. Trip the LightRealAudioMP38:34 
2. Breathing the PulseRealAudioMP35:25 
3. The Reflecting ChamberRealAudioMP37:05 
4. Touch the PearlRealAudioMP39:24 
5. Realm of RefractionRealAudioMP311:20 
6. The Luminous ReturnMP316:48 
 
-  Light Fantastic (medley)MP3 



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