Exposé Online banner

Steve Roach — The Magnificent Void
(Hearts of Space HS11062-2, 1996, CD)

by Mike McLatchey, 2016-11-17:

The Magnificent Void Cover art

McLatchey's Second Tier

Roach had a lot of truly great ambient albums in the 90s, but I was particularly impressed by this Hearts of Space release. With Worlds End in 1992 you had two discs split between the more tribal drum and rhythm based electronic music and the drumless, droning ambient style. I like both styles but the latter has always been my favorite, my medicine. Roach followed up Worlds End with two of his best tribal ambient albums, Origins and Artifacts, but on the other side we got the epic Dream Circle which was a bit closer to silence than The Magnificent Void, whose big soundscapes would soar with a sound that took a step in a much more modern direction. One thing about Roach which I've always admired is that he was always up on the most current technologies and you can you see his kit mutate over the years as new electronic equipment was added and replaced. This one was a big jump to my ears, it was still him but he was taking advantage of a lot of new sounds that had a real depth to them. It was a bit of a lead in to future collaborations with Vir Unis and Vidna Obmana as well.

by Mike McLatchey, 1996-08-01:

It seems Mr. Roach can do no wrong, always working with quality musicians always following different trails into uncharted areas and always sticking to psychosomatic energy in music. Lately, Roach's focus has been on the deep ambient side – in the vein of previous albums like The Dream Circle or World's Edge disc 2, where the focus on silence and spaciousness is as important as the notes themselves. Roach is a veritable giant in this field. There's arguably no one doing it better today and The Magnificent Void is good proof of this expertise. Roach's subtle sonic exercises are a wonder to behold – they unfold in various inventive ways; phasing, shifting, fading, looping and disintegrating. At times the sounds wash like the waves in the ocean; at others you can see the sound circle like the beam from a lighthouse throbbing in front of you until it passes out of sight only to fade up again as it completes its rotation.

Filed under: New releases , Issue 10 , 1996 releases

Related artist(s): Steve Roach

More info

Latest news

Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more

Adelbert von Deyen RIP – Word reaches us that German electronic musician Adelbert von Deyen has died. His recorded legacy reaches back to 1978, when Sky Records released Sternzeit. Von Deyen, who was born October 25, 1953 in Süderbrarup, was also known as a painter and graphic artist. » Read more

Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more

10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more

Tom Rapp RIP – Singer / songwriter Tom Rapp, best known with the band Pearls Before Swine, passed away on February 12, at the age of 70, after a battle with cancer. » Read more

Previously in Exposé...

Noetra - Neuf Songes – This is fabulous, very intricate and occasionally dark, somewhat Canterburyish kind of stuff. The pieces are mellow and rolling as well as intense and energetic, the writing is excellent, and there...  (1994) » Read more

Cursive - The Ugly Organ – Last year many in the prog community embraced The Mars Volta and their infusion of prog ideas (and excesses) into alternative/indie American rock. Cursive is another band making the same kinds of...  (2004) » Read more

Scaramouche - Scaramouche – Here is another one of those total obscurities that Musea has a knack for unearthing, others in recent memory being Flyte, Ivory, and Tibet — one-shots that came and went before most ever knew they...  (1995) » Read more

Kaizen - Gargula – Kleber Vogel, ex-Quaterna Requiem violin player, is all over with his expressive violin playing, be it acoustic, electric or MIDIfied. He wrote all compositions, except one he co-wrote with bass...  (1995) » Read more

Vacuum Tree Head - Thirteen! – Once one of the most prolific outfits around (when the band was based in San Jose, California, they put out no less than 10 CDs between ’93 and ’99), their output has slowed down...  (2011) » Read more

Listen & discover

Print issues