Dreaming... Now, Then: A Retrospective 1982 - 1997
Insite: Atlanta's Entertainment Magazine
The biggest problem I have with the techno scene is that too many of its artists are often swayed by musical trends, changing styles with the times rather than creating their own timeless sound. But even as ambient music came in and out of fashion in the early '80s and again in the early '90s, American composer Steve Roach has remained true to his singular vision, as is documented on this career retrospective spanning 15 years and nearly as many albums. Roach has made miraculous artistic progression over those years, to be sure, but there can be no doubt that the creative mind behind 1997's lushly atmospheric "Dreaming Now" is the same one responsible for 1982's minimalist, Eno-esque "The Ritual Continues". This 2-CD set is divided by styles – the electro-tribal side of his recordings make up disc one and the more alien atmospheric soundscapes make up disc two. The first CD, which is arranged chronologically, really defines Roach's progression through the years, with one world-music influenced track leading into the next as an aural documentation of his artistic growth. The ambient epics on the second CD, however, prove that the more things change, the more they stay the same, as Roach's timeless, transcendental sound resonates through the ether.