Fever Dreams
by John Shanahan, Hypnagogue
April 2004

After a series of successful CD's exploring rhythmless soundworlds, Roach returns to the beat with FEVER DREAMS, where familiar elements of his recent recordings hook back up with the subtle tribal percussion elements from earlier pieces such as DREAMTIME RETURN, EARLY MAN, and TRUTH & BEAUTY.

Roach has always worked pure magic with the tribal sensibility, and FEVER DREAMS is no exception. Here, soundworlds play a grounding role for the bass and drum loops that take center stage. Each long track -- the shortest of the four running 10-and-a-half minutes -- mixes laid-back grooves with a certain sinister air -- that serpentine, entrance-to-the-lower-world feel that while at times dark is nonetheless forcibly soothing. Bass guitar from Patrick O'Hearn and Will Merkle nicely anchor the first two tracks and lend that tinge of funk that separates the CD from the latest stuff. Shamanic percussionist Byron Metcalf adds frame drum on the last two tracks, including the nicely understated "Tantra Mantra", which is bound to dredge some primitive memory up out of your subconscious.

Kudos also to photographer Michel Noel for the wonderful wraparound cover art that truly sets the feel for the disjointed journey that lies within.

FEVER DREAMS (...) is another rich addition to Roach's body of work -- a piece that looks both forward and back at the same time. Watch for two more parts of FEVER DREAMS across 2004.

Fever Dreams

CD  $15.00 
ON SALE, $13.00 
Fever Dreams
Steve Roach
2004 Projekt PRO154 (CD)
Reviewed by All Music Guide, amazon.com, amazon.com, Ambient Musings, Ambient Review, Ambient Visions, Ambient Visions, CD Services (UK), Electroambient Space, Electronic Shadows, Hypnagogue, Morpheus Music, Ping Things, Sonic Curiosity, Tokafi, Tokafi, Valley Scene (San Fernando Valley, California), Wind and Wire

Within the opening moments of FEVER DREAMS' first track, "Wicked Dream" featuring Patrick O'Hearn on bass, it is clear that a new chapter is opening on Steve Roach's long and winding pursuit of potent soundworlds far off the traveled path. The music's foundation is built upon long mid-tempo hybrid grooves with strong bass elements created from a combination of acoustic and electronic means. Steve Roach's atmospheric and loop-spun melodic guitar textures rise and fall, intermix with his synth and computer alchemy to create an aura of complex emotional import. The overall feeling of FEVER DREAMS is one shrouded in an exotic amber-colored light filtering through an overgrown mental landscape of last night's lingering FEVER DREAMS; the sensual atmosphere is especially present on the 30 minute track "Tantra Mantra" featuring percussionist Byron Metcalf. This release of floating, hypnotic groove meditations sets the course on a new direction presented over the three interconnected "Fever releases" planned throughout 2004.
1. Wicked DreamMP318:41 
2. Fever PulseMP310:34 
3. Tantra MantraMP329:36 
4. Moved BeyondMP314:30 

With Patrick O'Hearn (bass), Byron Metcalf (percussion).

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