With over fifty studio albums Steve Roach has delved deeply into numerous subgenres of electronic music. Ambient, progressive, trance, space rock, and house have all been explored by Roach. On New Life Dreaming
Steve does what he does best; he takes his beatless ambient style to the next level and creates some of the finest ambient music that I’ve ever heard from him. His minimal approach and knack for creating picturesque imagery is in full force.
New Life Dreaming
only consists of five tracks but it almost hits the seventy minute mark in length. This may sound too overwhelming to some but keep in mind that this is the type of music that’s effective when you turn it on in the background. 80% of the music is comprised of minimal soundscapes and a few warbling bass notes, in result you get an extremely spacey and atmospheric sound. Unlike some of his subsequent albums New Life Dreaming
has a calm, reflective vibe thanks to the lush soundscapes and flourishing dynamics. The production is spot on capturing the spiritual, sublime sound that this album has to offer.
After a few listens it’s fairly obvious that every song sounds similar and in order to differentiate them you’ll have to listen to the album through a solid set of headphones. If one song stands out it has to be the hypnotic closer, In the Eye of Noche
. Female vocalists hum over dreamy soundscapes that are so sparse they can barely be described. There’s just enough variation to get through the lengthy seventy minutes however nothing tends to standout and this does get tedious even to a more patient listener.
While I wasn’t very impressed with Roach’s other minimalist efforts New Life Dreaming
was a pleasant surprise. The twinkly, ethereal atmosphere found on New Life Dreaming
is spacious yet captivating at the same time. For the impatient listener Roach’s music may be too sparse and lengthy but for someone who is a fan of ambient music New Life Dreaming
will be a pleasant surprise.