Exposé Online banner

Robert Rich — Propagation
(Hearts of Space HS11040-2, 1994, CD)

by Mike McLatchey, Published 1994-10-01

Propagation Cover artRich is one of the more interesting of the "electronic" artists, his music is as much organic as it is synthesized. With a very wide array of flutes of different origins, and the occasional use of the pedal steel guitar, Rich has come up with his own rich and lush version of trance music, a very unique world that evokes different textures for every album and is unclassifiable. After the tropical wetness of Rainforest, the mystical structures of Gaudi, and the misty odor of Soma, Rich's new one attempts to weave a new tale from our "primordial" memories. In fact, its Rich's collaboration with Steve Roach that has influenced this album the most; Propagation is much like Strata or Soma. The atmospheres are thick and luxuriant, with a tribal/shamanic tone that remains an underlying theme throughout Rich's Hearts of Space career. The swirling synths, many of them created on Proteus/EMU modules, remind one of much of the early analog stuff, and with the environmental sounds, long drones on bamboo flutes, and an appearance by fellow sonic artist Forrest Fang, the overall sound is deep and extremely layered. After a while (several years now) the tribal drums are now getting to be a bit of an overused factor in new electronic music; I have yet to see "Dreamtime Return" by Roach topped in this area, and in my opinion, Rich's music works better on the long ambient drones like "Guilin" that have none or few drums. In summary, this is a deep and sonorous release by a musician of singular intent and vision, and another solid album. Is anybody ready to turn the next page?

Filed under: New releases, Issue 5, 1994 releases

Related artist(s): Forrest Fang, Robert Rich

Latest news

2018-05-14
Glenn Branca RIP – Experimental guitarist and composer Glenn Branca has died at the age of 69. He was known for compositions featuring large ensembles of guitars, and for the use of feedback. He founded his band Theoretical Girls in the mid-70s as an art-punk answer to what he saw as the increasing commercialization of punk music. His compositions were highly influential, with such figures as David Bowie, Thurston Moore, and John Lurie among his fans. » Read more

2018-04-05
OBEY Convention XI Set for May 24-28 in Halifax – As the 2018 festival season rapidly approaches, we’d like you to be aware of a real treasure of diverse and creative music that’s going to take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, next month. The OBEY Convention is on its 11th outing, and features a wide range of artists from around the world. From avant-industrial noise to experimental takes on Classical Chinese music, from chamber jazz to doom metal, from ambient soundscapes to Canadian First Nations drumming, you’d be hard pressed to find a festival with more variety in sound anywhere in the world. » Read more

2018-04-04
Close to the Rain Festival in Bergen Announces Lineup – Now in its second year, the Close to the Rain Festival of progressive music is scheduled to take place in Bergen, Norway, on June 7 - 9. They've got an amazing slate of bands lined up, including such powerhouses as Anekdoten, Major Parkinson, Arabs in Aspic, Tusmørke, and many more. » Read more

2018-03-01
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington and Oregon. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more

2018-02-26
Adelbert von Deyen RIP – Word reaches us that German electronic musician Adelbert von Deyen has died. His recorded legacy reaches back to 1978, when Sky Records released Sternzeit. Von Deyen, who was born October 25, 1953 in Süderbrarup, was also known as a painter and graphic artist. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Änglagård - Epilog – First off, I think change is good, so long as the change is in a positive direction. The world of music is a chaotic, complex entity, and to stay in the same place for too long is more than just a...  (1995) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues