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

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Silver Apples - Silver Apples / Contact – Frankly, this is one of those reissues I thought I would never see. The (now long defunct) Kapp label issued these two albums in the late 60s, after which they quickly faded into obscurity. At a time...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues