Exposé Online banner

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

by Mike McLatchey, 1996-08-01:

The Magnificent Void Cover art

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.


by Mike McLatchey, 2016-11-17:

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.


Filed under: New releases , 1996 releases

Related artist(s): Steve Roach

More info

Latest news

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more

2017-09-06
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more

2017-08-22
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more

2017-07-27
Yestival Dates Beef up the Beat – Word reaches us that Dylan Howe (son of guitarist Steve Howe) will be joining Yes on their "Yestival" tour, drumming alongside longtime band member Alan White. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

The Black Noodle Project - Play Again – Thick and chunky spacerock mannerisms assault unsuspecting onlookers before settling into the interactive stylistic conflagrations that expansive progressive rock is known for. This is classic...  (2007) » Read more

Theo Travis & Mark Hewins - Guerrilla Music – Well-traveled woodwinds man Theo Travis and vanguard guitarist Mark Hewins join forces on a departure outside the main scope of the efforts on Guerrilla Music. The nine pieces contained herein belie a...  (2003) » Read more

Stella Vander - Le Coeur Allant Vers – Stella Zelcer established herself as an artist with an uncompromising independent streak long before the close of the 60s, when she was known simply as “Stella.” Despite having a keen...  (2006) » Read more

The Muffins - <185> – This newly re-released version of <185> is an excellent document of the final recordings by this talented Washington, DC quartet. First, a little history: Fred Frith produced the album in 1981,...  (1997) » Read more

Mickey Simmonds - The Shape of Rain – Mickey Simmonds' debut as a solo artist presents a well-traveled craftsman in do-it-yourself mode. I'm not certain if this is due in part to his inability to supply material for a group...  (1997) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues