Fever Dreams
by Gary Andrews, Ambient Visions
April 2004


Coming hot on the heels of Steve's recent collaboration SPIRIT DOME with Belgian musician Vidna Obmana, FEVER DREAMS is the first installment of three future releases coming in the future in the Fever vein.

Whereas "Spirit Dome" was a deep and dark spontaneous creation. "Fever Dreams" has a more mid-tempo rhythmic almost sensuous vibe to its formation and features the talents of Patrick O'Hearn, Byron Metcalf who has worked with Steve before on albums such as THE SERPENT'S LAIR and Byron's own neo-shamanic release WACHUMA'S WAVE. Will Merkle, fellow sound traveler also features on bass on one track.

From the opening moments of "Wicked Dream" one hears familiar ambient percussive textures such as ancient rattles and scrapping stones that represent the earthy and organic feel that Steve is putting into his music to add differing sounds that combine with the more electronic atmospheric sound creation. Then a new sound is heard in the form of a dramatic bass line provided by Patrick O'Hearn that manages to shift the familiar Roach sound into a new focus of musical creation. The effect is one of pure dreamlike rhythmic meditation tinged with a sensual side.

"Fever Pulse" combines the energy of a rapid undulating sequence laid back in the mix with the ebbing flow of synthesizer chords and the use of the bass guitar of Will Merkle that punctuates the sound field in a relaxed way that merges with the composition very well.

The longest track on the album, at just under half an hour, is "Tantra Mantra". A definite Far Eastern flavor comes through from the opening chords helped defined by an Indonesian gamelan sounding sequence that entices the listener into the outer limits of this track, enticing, exotic and above all hypnotic in context.

"Moved Beyond" is slightly more electronic sounding, at least in the beginning of the piece. The addition of Byron's frame drum adds yet another point of contact with the organic feel that plays such an important role in the creation of an album in the tribal-ambient field that Steve and others have helped to define over the last few years.

All in all this is yet another defining album that has come out of Steve's Timeroom studio. Much magic has come from this studio over the years, and judging by this new release much more magic will be arriving in the future.


Fever Dreams

CD  $15.00 
ON SALE, $13.00 
Combo Pack $20.00
FEVER DREAMS (CD)
HOLDING THE SPACE: FEVER DREAMS II (CD)
iTunes 
Fever Dreams
Steve Roach
2004 Projekt PRO154 (CD)
Reviewed by All Music Guide, amazon.com, amazon.com, Ambient Musings, Ambient Review, Ambient Visions, Ambient Visions, CD Services (UK), Electroambient Space, Electronic Shadows, Hypnagogue, Morpheus Music, Ping Things, Sonic Curiosity, Tokafi, Tokafi, Valley Scene (San Fernando Valley, California), Wind and Wire

Within the opening moments of FEVER DREAMS' first track, "Wicked Dream" featuring Patrick O'Hearn on bass, it is clear that a new chapter is opening on Steve Roach's long and winding pursuit of potent soundworlds far off the traveled path. The music's foundation is built upon long mid-tempo hybrid grooves with strong bass elements created from a combination of acoustic and electronic means. Steve Roach's atmospheric and loop-spun melodic guitar textures rise and fall, intermix with his synth and computer alchemy to create an aura of complex emotional import. The overall feeling of FEVER DREAMS is one shrouded in an exotic amber-colored light filtering through an overgrown mental landscape of last night's lingering FEVER DREAMS; the sensual atmosphere is especially present on the 30 minute track "Tantra Mantra" featuring percussionist Byron Metcalf. This release of floating, hypnotic groove meditations sets the course on a new direction presented over the three interconnected "Fever releases" planned throughout 2004.
 
1. Wicked DreamMP318:41 
2. Fever PulseMP310:34 
3. Tantra MantraMP329:36 
4. Moved BeyondMP314:30 

With Patrick O'Hearn (bass), Byron Metcalf (percussion).



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