Rhythmic ambient mood pieces. The beats are subtle with mesmerizing repetition and looping all shot through with diverse percussive elements and unsettled sibilant washes. Restless, undulating bass guitar underpins sultry inflammations of deeply effected guitar and synthesizer. Rolling, folding tonalities fill the expanse that many artists reserve for melody instead, here warped, dreamy reverberations come and go like whales in a luminescent amber ocean.
The title captures the mood perfectly -- fevered, uneasy sound impressions. Tracks are driven by hypnotic neo-tribal beats that recur, repeat and gradually become background like a throbbing pulse or heartbeat. Hot soaked sheets of guitar, hazy sonic visions and seething smears of synthesizer ferment together -- everything seems flushed with an ebbing, heaving orange glow.
Again well suited to the title and music -- a montage of images blur in and out of each other creating a fluctuating impression with moments of focus. There are hints of the exotic places and microscapes -- some cool and shady, others burning from behind. The layout is sharp and the text functional.
The album opens with shakers, rolling drums and a low simmering cloud of sound that sets the temperature for what is to come. FEVER DREAMS consists of four long pieces and promises to be the first disc in a trilogy of 'fever' releases. Patrick O'Hearn brings an uneasy, brooding bass end to "Wicked Dream", and Byron Metcalf provides frame drum and percussion on other tracks. The performance ends with "Moved Beyond" where fitful drumming leads oceanic undulations of sound. Eventually, however, the rhythms gradually become lazy and although the air is still thick and torrid, a languor sets in -- perhaps the fever is passing, perhaps just a lull. The track ends with distant crackles and surges that call to mind an electrical storm on a far horizon.
WHO WILL LIKE THIS ALBUM
Anyone looking for ambient music with a bit of rhythmic structure. Psychonauts wanting a challenging new terrain to travel. Perhaps those wanting to begin exploring ambient music will find this to be a suitable way in -- there's plenty to hold the attention. Fans of Steve Roach for sure will love this CD.