Spirit Dome
by Matt Rowe, MusicTAP
June 2004


Steve Roach and Vidna Obmana share an unusual capacity for merging their sonic worlds together, creating disrupted spheres where life is everything but banal. Within their blend of primordial change, they offer frightening visitations into warped dimensions, not only of realities but also that of a dark spiritual morass.

With SPIRIT DOME, their collaborated effort on Projekt, Roach and Obmana have produced a single, undisturbed 73+ minutes of ambient disorder that will have you fully entranced during much of that trip. The fact that this impromptu work generates such a story is indicative of the vast amount of understanding that exudes from these two minds. Paired, as they have been several times before, they can produce immediately satisfying effects. SPIRIT DOME doesn't compare with the more thought out paths that they have collaborated on before but the synchronicity exhibited by this recording reveals compatibilities that should have these guys recording together again and again.

This pair of ambient masters created this work during a long after-midnight set that culminated in this chilling travel through the underworld of humanity. Imagine a space of spiritual abstracts made concrete and you only begin to absorb the horror that is embedded into this disc. Imagine a world of slithering madness where every fear and uncertainty is a taunting, hiding creature ready to leap on you and rip your spirit into shreds of darkness, forcing a merge of your apprehension into the choking atmosphere if only to add to the discomfort of the next sojourner.

The music from SPIRIT DOME is steady, subterranean, ancient, and mechanical. It occupies the spaces between the quickening beats moving you inexorably forward to the heart of its existence; the further that you explore, the more lost you become within its expanse. With the same inherently basic sound, SPIRIT DOME adds textures until a fully realized soundscape is formed.

Used as background music, SPIRIT DOME provides a soundtrack to ordinary life thus diluting the surreal impact. But enjoyed as a closed eyes immersion, the music becomes more than the sum of its notes, it becomes a movie of dark corridors and menacing beings extracted from the well of your psyche where what makes you afraid is formed. If you can allow yourself this more than one-hour venture into the darkness where light is the evil unnamed, then you are in for a unique spin.


Spirit Dome

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Spirit Dome
Steve Roach, Vidna Obmana
2004 Projekt PRO152 (CD)
Reviewed by All Music Guide, Ambient Musings, Ambient Visions, CD Services (UK), Hypnagogue, MusicTAP, Sonic Curiosity, Synth Music Direct, Wind and Wire, www.Metal-Only.com

Steve Roach / Vidna Obmana's 2002 CD INNERZONE served as the doorway to the surreal environment explored on SPIRIT DOME. Recorded in one continuous 74-minute session, this is a dark sanctuary of pure texture and beautiful, if not at times foreboding, dissonance pulled along with pulsing beats, subtle loops and dense soundworlds. The single piece, "Spirit Dome," captures a chilling gothic ambience that offers the exploration of remote psychological states of awareness. This is achieved by way of extensive live processing of instruments including fujara (overtone flute), guitar, and the seemingly bottomless wellspring of electro-acoustic sounds found only in the duo's soundscapes.

SPIRIT DOME was created live on the spot in room 314, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on May 24th 2002, around 1 AM. Steve Roach and Vidna Obmana were in town preparing for their performance at the 2002 Gathering / Projekt Festival. With only a brief window of time in which to work together before returning to their homes on opposite sides of the Atlantic, their reaction to the claustrophobic urban environment reveals a new dimension to their sound.

When listening to the recording unfold, one has to keep remembering that this unscripted spontaneous creation was a live session recorded directly to the stereo master, just as you will hear. No post-production edits or overdubs were performed. Past discs from the duo include 1995's WELL OF SOULS, 1997's CAVERN OF SIRENS and 2002's INNERZONE; add their live concerts together in Europe and the U.S. and we are brought to the enveloping world of SPIRIT DOME.
 
1. Part 1 10:23 
2. Part 2 21:30 
3. Part 3MP311:58 
4. Part 4 4:01 
5. Part 5 3:59 
6. Part 6MP36:09 
7. Part 7 8:47 
8. Part 8 6:39 

Tracks flow together as a continuous performance, but are indexed for convenience.



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