Fever Dreams III
by Phil Derby, Electroambient Space
The ethno-tribal sensibilities of the Fever Dreams series has been well defined, and FEVER DREAMS III continues in the path of its predecessors, such that Roach fans will already know if they are inclined to like this 2-CD set or not. Ambient guitar wails mournfully in "Electro Erotic" as deeply resonant tribal drums and heavy bass rock your ears and subwoofers. Steve has commented before that he often intends his music to be played loudly, and this clearly would sound impressive in concert or on a really good sound system. "MetaSense" shifts from the organic to the synthetic, sounding like the grooves from PROOF POSITIVE, moving in circular hypnotizing fashion for 18 minutes. "Polyopsia" plays like a fusion of the two prior tracks, guitar and grooves commingling as the music shuffles forward. "Pulse Current" is surprisingly low on the pulse factor, a more expansive piece though there are a few dashes of synthesized glitch for added grit. Tribal drums and haunting atmospheres combine to great effect in "Pulse Impulse" and "Borderland." Throughout, the rhythms are crisp and succinct, perhaps nowhere more so than on "Moonshroud," which has excellent spatial dynamics. Disc one closes with the unsettled churning brew called "Phantom Fever Rising."
After several different soundworlds on disc one, Steve creates a singular experience on disc two, "Melted Mantra." The tribal rhythms are heavy but slow and smoky, rising out of a primordial mist. Steve had a good feel for tracks he can get away with extending for an hour-plus, resulting in meditation rather than merely tiresome repetition. Be sure to land safely after enjoying the ride.