various listener comments
LIGHT FANTASTIC includes and deepens the amazing "mandala grooves" from BODY ELECTRIC, but it also explores the contemplative atmospheres that exist within those grooves. Steve merges the two styles seamlessly and creates another awe-inspiring sonic vista that is, if you'll forgive the obvious pun, light years ahead of its time. With repeated listenings, I more fully appreciated how the grooves from the first half lead to the spaciousness of the later tracks, providing a deep, expansive experience. I highly recommend this fantastic CD. You'll enjoy the trip.
Chuck van Zyl, host of Star's End
"My attention has always been caught by hypnotic, trance-giving rhythmic patterns." Reading this quote from Steve Roach will give us some insight into his new release LIGHT FANTASTIC. On the latest CD Roach draws upon a number of his influences to produce new music with rhythmic qualities somewhere between the works of Steve Reich and Atom Heart. Having less to do with these two artists than the levels between their repective seminal works, the grooves on LIGHT FANTASTIC are well crafted, multi-layered, harmonically complex patterns that only hint at their ethno-origins. Roach's intricate and accessible rhythms draw the listener into the center of the energy pieces; while the slow shifts of his breathing pieces find their way (on a cerebral level) into the listener. Possessing both the acceleration of BODY ELECTRIC and the unfolding mystery of SLOW HEAT, LIGHT FANTASTIC delivers a fascinating listening experience.
Steve Roach's LIGHT FANTASTIC on Fathom is superb. I cannot claim to be objective, as Steve and Vidna Obmana are two of my favorite spacemusic artists. That said, however, this CD is excellent. The soundscapes are rich and vivid and will involve you from beginning to end. Highly recommended.
From the opening note there is no mistaking that this is a Steve Roach CD. The familiar wash and swoosh is totally present throughout the entire disc. He is setting up the theme, a sparkling theme at that. Listeners are accustomed to hot desert ambience from Steve. This CD is different and it does not disappoint. Listeners hear a light show! That bears repetition – a light show! The light show is amazing! Steve uses his synth and electronic equipment to pinpoint the lights. It is like watching a Laserium production or a fireworks display – or a lava lamp! The ever-changing sound design flows smoothly. Vir Unis and Vidna Obmana are along for the ride. They do not collaborate; they contribute.
Congratulations on LIGHT FANTASTIC. It's simply gorgeous. The blending of the groove patterns and the gliding synthe notes achieve here a perfect synergy. I think Steve is higher in every release he does, to say in a word, more derived in terms of reaching a unique quality of both composition and sound design. The work reminds strongly to BODY ELECTRIC, and it's another step in the ever-evolving soundcurrent. Steve, you've become not only a master in compsing and creating soundworlds, but also a master of the studio work as few artists I know. The quality of the sound of this work is awesome.
Both thumbs up!! I'll recommend LIGHT FANTASTIC to every one of my colleaues as soon as I have the chance!
Alan R. Lockett
Steve's latest offering sounds very much like BODY ELECTRIC Pt. 2, only better. Can't help but worry away anally at the curiosity nodule as to why this one is credited to him alone whereas BODY ELECTRIC was split twixt him and Vir Unis (and Vir is on this one too, but only acknowledged among list of contributors, and leaving his trademark 'fractal shamano-tribal groovescapes', or whatever they call 'em..., all over the place). You know how the basic template goes: some insistent kind of rhythm sounding like a mutant cross between a mud-caked tribe engaged in ritual skin-pummelling, the ghost of some syncopated d'n'b beats, and the bossa nova/rumba presets on your Dad's old Bontempi organ, all fed through some kind of hyper-flanger, is set up... then Steve choreographs a Gathering Storm of those massive diminished / augmented chords of his to come wafting over and hang there portentously, in some atavistic-futuristic conspiracy to leave you feeling overawed – then while you're still squirming under the Huge Overweaning Weight of his Soundworld, he summons up a surge of tenebrous bass drones from the subterranean depths to finish you off. He's a one, that Steve.
LIGHT FANTASTIC shines! Lots of searing and expansive new sounds. Subtle reflections of previous releases. A mesmerizing undercurrent of minimalistic grooves, all woven into a rich, prismatic sonic tapestry. Steve Roach never disappoints. His music evolves but always retains its magnificent sense of wonder.