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.