Steve Roach — Artifacts
(Fortuna 17082-2, 1994, CD)
by Mike McLatchey, Published 1995-03-01The ever prolific Steve Roach has released his newest Fortuna release Artifacts, another 70 minutes of his patented electronic music. Although Exposé only barely touches the electronic scene, we feel it is important to cover the cream of the crop, and Steve has been at the forefront of this genre since his opus Dreamtime Return. A few things you can expect in Roach's recent music — tribal drums, sticks, pots, and pans and many other percussives; a good amount of digeridoo, and long rich and atmospheric synth drones. At first, this album seems no different; the opening track is in a style that Roach has practically got down in his sleep — slow tribal like drums with trancey synth washes — nice but it sounds like many a track from Origins, Soma, or Strata. Fortunately, Roach has never been one to rest on his laurels and the second track moves onto new territory — a dark and unusual cyclic track with lots of digeridoo — bizarre and unusual. Soon after is the 25 minute "The Origins of Artifacts," a gorgeous ambient track similar to the classic "On The Threshold Of Silence" from World's Edge. I find this style to be my favorite of Roach's — ambient, hypnotic with a lot of head space — ideal for drifting off to. The album's last four tracks are just as impressive in atmosphere and sonority. The "Temple of the Frogs" with its stormy sound and natural effects is just one of the great and evocative pieces of music that concludes this CD. In general, I'm glad that (except for the opener) Roach has put away the percussives for a while; the concentration on atmospheres (similar to the work of Loren Nerell — who guests on the album — or Lightwave) has opened up new vistas in his music, that weren't visible in the last few years. Artifacts is certainly his best work at least since World's Edge, and a must buy for the electronic fan.
Related artist(s): Steve Roach
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more