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

2017-11-16
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more

2017-11-02
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Bill Bruford with Ralph Towner and Eddie Gomez - If Summer Had Its Ghosts – When Bill Bruford is on break from his drum duties with King Crimson, what would you expect him to do? Should he go on vacation or work in another less hectic, but rewarding mode? If Summer Had Its...  (1998) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues