Critic's Choice: Light Fantastic
October 23, 1999
Steve Roach dances the light fantastic on his new album, but his rhythms won't have Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers doing heavenly dips and twirls. Instead, the veteran techno-tribal synthesist generates a zombie-like dance of head-twisting grooves that owe more to trance than dance. Phantom hand drummers whip rapid brush strokes on virtual drums, while chordal clouds descend like the mother ship out of the sky. Like most of Roach's recent work, LIGHT FANTASTIC
is music of immersion. Melodies, such as they are, evolve out of his densely layered sound designs, which hover above the landscape, plunging and swirling with predatory yet beautiful stealth. With LIGHT FANTASTIC
, Roach has created his own sound world from the ground up, full of original colors sifted through stroboscopic beams and refracting prisms.
1999 Hearts of Space 11094 (CD)
Reviewed by Brian Parnham, various listener comments, Gary Andrews, 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 Light||MP3||8:34|| |
|2. ||Breathing the Pulse||MP3||5:25|| |
|3. ||The Reflecting Chamber||MP3||7:05|| |
|4. ||Touch the Pearl||MP3||9:24|| |
|5. ||Realm of Refraction||MP3||11:20|| |
|6. ||The Luminous Return||MP3||16:48|| |
|- ||Light Fantastic (medley)||MP3|| |