Dreaming... Now, Then: A Retrospective 1982 - 1997
Steve Roach's selections and programming from his Fortuna and Celestial Harmonies catalog present a near-chronological picture of this prolific comploser's development of a personal ethno-electronica. Not deserving to be only the keep of New Age enthusiasts, Roach's sonic experimentation is some of the most interesting ambient music available incorporating diverse world music elements. Spread over two CDs and taken from about a dozen albums, the set begins with a twelve-selection timeline beginning with "The Ritual Continues". This 1982 piece is simple and effective, mating a reverberated, synthesized snare with a slow, sci-fi dance beat and exotic chants. The disc takes us on up to a previously unreleased blend of live and recorded material entitled "Dreaming Now". A densely woven tapestry, this sound collage is a kaleidoscopic look wooden flutes and synthesizer fantasy, desert soundscapes and subtle rainsticks.
Mostly atmospheric, disc two is about style, not chronology. The final, ninth track here, "Passing Time", is the other previously unavailble recording in the collection. Peaceful, "Passing Time" suggests the vision of a moonlit respite, canyon side. The entire Roach oeuvre, represented in its breadth and depth here, is the worthy consideration of any that appreciate organic collaborations between the technology of the studio and the wealth of cultural motifs employed in making most enjoyable that human endeavor of "passing time".