Holding the Space: Fever Dreams II
by Rik Maclean, Ping Things
With his latest release HOLDING THE SPACE: FEVER DREAMS II, Steve Roach builds and expands on ideas and themes touched upon in his FEVER DREAMS disc from earlier this year. Creating spaces by combining intricate rhythms with deep washes of sound, he's woven a beautiful tapestry of sound sure to appeal to both new and old fans alike.
"The Wounded Healer" opens the disc, a work of flowing liquid pads blending and growing overtop a weaving hypnotic percussive pattern. Listening to this track it's easy to be drawn in, led to another plane of thought. And from here our journey begins...
Track two, "Energy Wall" uses a series of rhythmic patterns gaining in complexity with each passing moment, building upon each other to create a solid mass of moving sound. There's a strong sense of connection made in this track between the listener and the music, a feeling that one is drawing strength from the other at alternating times. Masterful work.
"Opening the Space" combines voice and didgeridoo to create a haunting example of organic ambience, the piece quite literally being infused with the breath of it's creators. Ritual magic is at play here, a feeling of spirits being called down to earth, the vocals of Jennifer Grais inviting elder ghosts to commune with the living. A suggestion of old wisdom and forgotten secrets. Spellbinding.
"Heart's Core" draws on similar ideas of ritual, adding drums courtesy of Byron Metcalf and bass work to suggest a ceremony, shared experience between the living and the dead. Rapturous and groove-laden, there's the idea of celebration deep in the heart of this one.
"Fires Burning" brings to mind the sharing of wisdom, secrets being passed between generations, the mysteries of life laid bare for those who are brave enough to ask the right questions. Lush tones sweep throughout, interwoven with fretless grooves and flowing vocals. A fantastic piece that scales dizzying heights. I'm left breathless.
With closing track "Holding the Space" the disc and all of its ideas are drawn together and expanded upon. A slowly evolving environment that builds in complexity throughout the course of its 23 minutes, it captures the journey of self awareness, of coming to know oneself, of finding meaning not from outside sources but from within. A truly moving piece leading to self reflection and contemplation. Beautiful.
From beginning to end HOLDING THE SPACE: FEVER DREAMS II is an incredible work that truly captures a feeling of inner growth and development. The pieces collected here are all both inspired and inspiring, infused with a sense of magic that stays with you long after the disc has finished.