Steve Roach

Light Fantastic

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Roach's second album of 1999 is, like the first, a collaboration with Vir Unis, though the material departs Roach's usual field of geographical inspiration for the realm of visible light. The six lengthy tracks coast over waves of ambient bliss with a series of skittery percussion lines that manage to draw on the physics of light refraction quite well. Another featured player, Vidna Obmana, brings his mastery of ambient noise to the mix, though the credits are a bit difficult to cipher (Obmana: "fujara sample food performance"). With his tamboura, Stefin Gordon fills in the Eastern slant to "The Reflecting Chamber." In total, Light Fantastic is a very digital work, continually plumbing the depths of crisp sound and gong-like reverberations. As usual with material by Roach, mere descriptions fail to conjure the acres of beautiful, expansive sound produced. The analogy of light that inspired the work is perhaps the best description of all.

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