by Gary Andrews, Ambient Visions
The latest release from Steve Roach and Vidna Obmana sees these veterans of the ambient music scene release an album of startling spontaneous creation.
In a rare live meeting, the two sound craftsmen were together in Philadelphia to perform a concert for the Gathering/Projekt Festival in 2002. During their preparations for the show, the two musicians got together before the event to lay some musical ideas down "off the bat" so to speak.
In typical fashion, the musicians started to create their soundworlds in the small hours using instruments like the Hungarian Fujara used by Vidna and extensive sound processing of the electric guitar by Steve. Various electro-acoustic instrumentation was also used to create an atmosphere of deep introspective and dark ambience. Also, the music in turn reaches out to a hidden foreboding beauty that one can hear in the undercurrent of the music.
The spontaneous aspects of the album are laid down in an almost breathtaking way, as there are no overdubs and no postproduction edits. This is exactly how it was like on the night as if you were hearing it performed live, as if the listener were there on the spot.
SPIRIT DOME encompasses through its music a channeling and at the same time a challenging listen that is sure to add another interesting chapter for Roach and Obmana as they help define the genre that is ambient music.