The Magnificent Void
by Jeff Berkwits, Asterism
Whether the void mentioned in the title refers to the vacuous void of outer space or the 'Transpersonal Void' Roach alludes to in his liner notes may be open to interpretation, but there's no question that this dark, droning collection of eight tunes is astounding. Combining the best of both ambient isolationism and experimental electronics, the artist manages to evoke a marvelous sense of spacial emptiness and exploratory loneliness on these compositions. From the opening cut, "Between the Gray and the Purple," which aimlessly drifts as strange noises seem to fly by, to the title track, with its early crescendo and waxing and waning synthesizers, these works impact upon both one's inner emotions and deepest fears. It should be interesting to experience how these sounds affect one in a crowded venue, as Roach is embarking on a rare tour later this year, but as a solitary affair there's no question that this disc is psychically powerful and stunningly stellar.