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

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more

2020-03-17
Cruise to the Edge and Seaprog 2020 Festivals Postponed – The worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus has started to produce casualties in the music world, and festivals are not immune. We've had word that both the Cruise to the Edge (originally slated for March 27 - April 1) and Seaprog (originally June 5-7) have been postponed to later dates, with those dates to be announced. » Read more

2020-03-06
McCoy Typer RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of one of the most influential pianists in the history of jazz, McCoy Tyner. His tenure with John Coltrane in the early 60s includes some of the most treasured recordings of the era, including My Favorite Things and A Love Supreme. After leaving Coltrane's group, he had a long and successful solo career. He was 81. » Read more

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Pure Food and Drug Act - Choice Cuts – Their extended version of "Eleanor Rigby" sounds uncannily like "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed" with a splash of "Papa Was a Rolling Stone." Preferring jam over marmalade...  (2007) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues