The Masterpiece of the Roach/Obmana Collaborations: The Soundtrack to Paradise
by David Rush
Back in 1999, Steve Roach and Vidna Obmana teamed up to create a limited edition, three-disc set called ASCENSION OF SHADOWS, each containing one disc-long composition extending well over an hour in length. Clearly the most successful of the three was the first in the series, a 72-minute composition called "Somewhere Else". For the past few years, Ascension has been out of print due to its initial limited edition status. But now, Projekt has wisely decided to reissue each of these discs, removing them from obscurity.
Sonically, SOMEWHERE ELSE could be best described as an update on the central idea behind Brian Eno's Thursday Afternoon, not in terms of its length, but more so in its general feel. However, unlike that pioneering work of pure sonic ambience, Roach and Obmana crafted a much eerier soundscape, evoking ancient, subconscious memories no different from the ones drawn up from "Looking for Safety" from Roach's DREAMTIME RETURN. Even more so than the duo's brilliant WELL OF SOULS, or even their most recent plunge into the realm of dark sonic bliss, SPIRIT DOME, SOMEWHERE ELSE achieves the full promise of the Roach/Obmana mindmeld, and should be considered quite simply one of the greatest ambient compositions ever... pure mellifluousness with substance, the soundtrack to paradise.