Fever Dreams
by Loren Bacon, Electronic Shadows
May 2004

I've read online that this is something like Roach's 54th album in the past quarter of a century. Now that's one amazing catalog, to say the least. However, the man is not content to rest on his laurels and has given us one sensual exotic sonic adventure with this release.
The mood is set with the opening track, "Wicked Dream", as Roach's drifting loops and guitar washes are met with Patrick O'Hearn (given co-writing credit on this tune) on bass, putting down a groove that just can't be denied. The music pulls you in and you suddenly find yourself in a steamy jungle with a shaman handing you a cup of some dark brew. Then the fun really begins! This song reminds one of some of the Laswell / Namlook collaborations (which is a very good thing, in my book).

Bass (and its link to the groove) seems very dominant throughout the recording, with two musicians on that instrument in addition to Roach. The complex percussion, however, comes in a close second in terms of dominance, with a lot of tribal sounds from acoustic percussion as well as electronic rhythms.

Byron Metcalf, percussionist extraordinaire, appears again with Roach on two of these tracks. The duo have worked together on several of each other's solo albums, and it is a great blending of talent. Metcalf puts down some marvelous frame drum work on "Tantra Mantra", the half-hour opus on this CD.

The bewitching cover represents the music well in that it is a collage of temple ruins, mountain heights, and swirling mysteries. This is the first of a trilogy of related recordings set to come out this year, and I can hardly wait to hear the next phase.

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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