Fever Dreams
Morpheus Music


Rhythmic ambient mood pieces. The beats are subtle with mesmerizing repetition and looping all shot through with diverse percussive elements and unsettled sibilant washes. Restless, undulating bass guitar underpins sultry inflammations of deeply effected guitar and synthesizer. Rolling, folding tonalities fill the expanse that many artists reserve for melody instead, here warped, dreamy reverberations come and go like whales in a luminescent amber ocean.

The title captures the mood perfectly -- fevered, uneasy sound impressions. Tracks are driven by hypnotic neo-tribal beats that recur, repeat and gradually become background like a throbbing pulse or heartbeat. Hot soaked sheets of guitar, hazy sonic visions and seething smears of synthesizer ferment together -- everything seems flushed with an ebbing, heaving orange glow.

Again well suited to the title and music -- a montage of images blur in and out of each other creating a fluctuating impression with moments of focus. There are hints of the exotic places and microscapes -- some cool and shady, others burning from behind. The layout is sharp and the text functional.

The album opens with shakers, rolling drums and a low simmering cloud of sound that sets the temperature for what is to come. FEVER DREAMS consists of four long pieces and promises to be the first disc in a trilogy of 'fever' releases. Patrick O'Hearn brings an uneasy, brooding bass end to "Wicked Dream", and Byron Metcalf provides frame drum and percussion on other tracks. The performance ends with "Moved Beyond" where fitful drumming leads oceanic undulations of sound. Eventually, however, the rhythms gradually become lazy and although the air is still thick and torrid, a languor sets in -- perhaps the fever is passing, perhaps just a lull. The track ends with distant crackles and surges that call to mind an electrical storm on a far horizon.

Anyone looking for ambient music with a bit of rhythmic structure. Psychonauts wanting a challenging new terrain to travel. Perhaps those wanting to begin exploring ambient music will find this to be a suitable way in -- there's plenty to hold the attention. Fans of Steve Roach for sure will love this CD.

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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