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Steve Roach - The Magnificent Void  CD (album) cover


Steve Roach


Progressive Electronic

4.07 | 8 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars 'The Magnificent Void' is a deep brooding ambient recording with slowly evolving keyboard cords that occur at the speed of a tortoise injected with morphine. There's literally nothing else in terms of instrumentation that is used throughout this lengthy recording. It is however one of the best entries in his vast catalogue. The choice of keyboard patches are inspired and Roach wisely eschews the ambient sounds of his contemporaries in '96 for all that cheesiness that was prevalent then.

There's a huge cavernous atmosphere created throughout the 69 minute 'The Magnificent Void' that may remind first time listeners of the beginning of the 'Alien' film as the 'Nostromo' silently plunges through the deep abyss of space.

If it's a good sing-along or knees-up you want then avoid this at all costs. Unusually I find this more like mid-summer scorching hot music as drowsy bees full of nectar, helicopter around unsure of their surroundings.

There is one masterpiece on 'The Magnificent Void'. The wonderful 'Altus' at 20 minutes in length displays intense chord progression and a very sinister feel. Wave after wave unsettling cords slowly evolve into something evil and threatening.

Apparently Steve Roach has no recollection of recording this whatsoever because so many elements of each track were worked on over a number of years.

There's very little change in approach throughout, but that's no bad thing, as it truly envelops the listener which I'm sure was Steve Roach's intention all along. Some philistines may call this 'Suicide Watch' music, but for me it's an object of beauty and permanence. An album that I can't imagine being dated in 50 years time.

Dobermensch | 4/5 |


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