Search - Steve Roach :: Magnificent Void

Magnificent Void
Steve Roach
Magnificent Void
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Alternative Rock, World Music, New Age, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (8) - Disc #1

Departing from the tribal themes that occupied him through most of the 1990s, Roach takes a philosophical leap into Void, directing his endless reverbs and glowering synth programs toward the speck at the center of the uni...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Steve Roach
Title: Magnificent Void
Members Wishing: 3
Total Copies: 0
Label: Hearts of Space
Original Release Date: 2/22/1996
Re-Release Date: 2/13/1996
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Alternative Rock, World Music, New Age, Pop, Rock
Styles: Ambient, Indie & Lo-Fi, American Alternative, Europe, Continental Europe, Meditation, Progressive, Electronic
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 025041106221

Synopsis essential recording
Departing from the tribal themes that occupied him through most of the 1990s, Roach takes a philosophical leap into Void, directing his endless reverbs and glowering synth programs toward the speck at the center of the universe. Eschewing the indigenous drums and didgeridoos of his Dreamtime Return-era work, pieces like "Between the Gray and the Purple" could as easily be the soundtrack to a psychological thriller as a rumination on infinity. "Void Memory One" refracts sheets of pure frequency across a pitch-black galaxy; "Cloud of Unknowing" taps the elements in a maelstrom of cosmic wind and solar fire. What--too much imagistic hyperbole for you? Roach invites such musings, if only because he carries you down those dark corridors so convincingly. Sequenced as one continuous piece, Void is an astral-gothic collage of fear, transcendence, and weightlessness; a high-water mark of space music; and one of Roach's finest hours. --James Rotondi

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CD Reviews

A Different Voyage
G-Dexter | Lakewood, NY United States | 10/19/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I've read a number of reviews for THE MAGNIFICENT VOID, both good and bad, and I felt that I would like to add my voice to the crowd. I will start by saying that I own more than a dozen Steve Roach CD's and that this is one of my favorites. That being said, I will also add that it is not a typical Steve Roach tribal offering.

Roach's signature sound is the undulating tones that wash over and through you as you listen. Often these 'drones,' as I refer to them, are the underpinnings of complex rhythms, aural textures from nature, and on rare occasions - vocal tribal chants. Roach is the master of the ambient medium and has produced an impressive catalogue of absolutely stunning works.

On THE MAGNIFICENT VOID, Roach has stripped away many of these textures, leaving a vast field of his signature 'drones' to fill the empty spaces. Gone are the links to the Earth, to nature and to mankind - thus the name of the album. That being said, it is truly remarkable how varied and complex even these simplest of sound patterns can become. This album is, to my mind, the quintessential example of "space music." While listening, I often visualize long journeys in deep, uncharted space. This album would be the ideal soundtrack to video montage of images from the Hubble Space Telescope.

Steve Roach has explored and revisited this theme of complete emptiness on several discs, notably his 2002 release DARKEST BEFORE DAWN - a single 70+ minute exploration of utter emptiness. However, in my opinion this CD is the best example of space music available.

Summary; if you're looking for tribal, I would recommend EARLY MAN or WORLD'S EDGE, but if you want to explore the vast reaches of deep space, this is the finest example available.
Oh man oh man oh man. This disc is a trip. Wow.
N. Bell | 02/09/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Humans are facinating creatures. We deliberately eat hot chili peppers, even though they bring us pain and tears. We drink fine wine, even though it gives us heartburn and makes us dizzy. And some of us listen to dark-ambient music, even though it freaks us out and haunts our dreams.
This was my first dark-ambient disc. I have a few single d.a. tracks and snippets from sampler albums and have heard much d.a. on the Hearts of Space radio show. So I thought I was prepared for this journey into the void. Seldom have I been so wrong.
I lowered the lights, lit some candles, cranked up the surround sound and layed back. "This oughta make for some nice, trippy images," I thought.
What followed was 70 minutes of awe, a little uneasiness, and occasional jolts of terror. Good terror, like a good 'ol horror flick. This music doesn't simply let you listen, is holds you hostage. Energy crackles, etherial voices that aren't quite voices, sudden slams, and Mr. Roach knows how to use dissonance in the most beautiful way possible.
As for the technical quality of the disc itself, I was impressed. This is one of those recordings that make me glad I've invested in a quality sound system. There's tons of deep deep deep bass on this disc. A subwoofer or main speakers with verrrry good bass are necessary for the full effect. And I recommend listening in Dolby Pro Logic or Pro Logic 2 surround sound. It will enhance this disc tremendously. Two channel stereo sounds good too, so if you don't have surround, don't sweat it. The music will still retain its artistic intent. Headphones are a good idea too.
Now all I need is a girlfriend with musical tastes as progressive as my own to cuddle up with when I listen to this disc. It's like a monster movie for the new millenium."
One of the finest compositions of the 20th Century
Michael Rittenberry (rein0068@frank | Nashville, Tennessee | 09/09/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I will not mince my words on this album: it is the finest release by one of the world's leading innovators in music. THE MAGNIFICENT VOID marks a watershed moment in electronic music history and once again ups the ante for all artists working in this undefinable genre. Roach is able to convey a sense of emptiness while also maintaining a strong feeling of peace. No matter how dissonant or abstract the music becomes, it feels as if it is speeding towards a remarkable climax. Since the music is beyond definition, I can make two statements that are certain:1) "Infinite Shore" is one of the most incredibly beautiful and powerful pieces of music I have ever heard... when listening to this piece through headphones, it literally feels like you have floated out into an endless ocean, staring at the expansive galaxy of stars above. Simply incredible!2) "Altus" is the musical equivalent of Heaven.Having said that, this album will not be for all tastes and may even turn some people away. However, it becomes more rewarding with each listen and is the best album in the dark ambient/space music genre I've ever heard (and probably will ever hear, unless Roach tops himself again)."