Exposé Online banner

Steve Roach — Artifacts
(Fortuna 17082-2, 1994, CD)

by Mike McLatchey, Published 1995-03-01

Artifacts Cover artThe 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.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 6, 1994 releases

Related artist(s): Steve Roach

Latest news

2021-04-01
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more

2021-03-25
Return of Jerry Lucky's Progressive Rock Files – After much consideration and surprisingly, positive feedback, Jerry Lucky is announcing the launch of the progressive Rock Files podcast, featuring the latest progressive rock music from around the world. » Read more

2021-03-14
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more

2021-03-11
RIP Roger Trigaux – The sad news has come to our attention that Roger Trigaux, the guiding force of Present and former member of Univers Zero, passed away on the evening of March 10, 2021 after a long ilness. » Read more

2021-02-14
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Jorge Reyes - Ek-Tunkul – I must have been sleeping at Best-of-'97 voting time as this old favorite managed to slip right out from under my nose. Ek-Tunkul was Jorge Reyes' very first (and best) solo recording from...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues