Steve Roach — The Magnificent Void
(Hearts of Space HS11062-2, 1996, CD)
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.
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.
Related artist(s): Steve Roach
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more
Allan Holdsworth RIP – Surely in the list of artists who have contributed to the sound of modern music, there is a special spot for guitarist Allan Holdsworth. His name is known to virtually every student of the instrument in jazz and rock, and his style has been so widely emulated that it's hardly worth mentioning anymore — we can just assume that every guitarist has Holdsworth as an influence. » Read more