The Ambient Expanse
by Mark Burbey, Alternative Press
February 1999

Rating: Enthusiastically endorsed

Unlike previous collaborations with artists like Robert Rich, Kevin Braheny, Michael Sterns and others, THE AMBIENT EXPANSE is a "five-movement collaborative work created by two generations of ambient artists," with Steve Roach producing and providing added synth, atmospheres and inspiration.

Recalling the glory days of new age and ambient music, the five tracks on this album are nothing if not expansive. Typically cinematic and otherworldly from the start, the music calls forth images of massive snow plains and blinding horizons, star-swept vistas and heavenly landscapes. The first track, "35th Parallel" by Patrick O'Hearn, is the first to emerge from his many sessions with Roach, and is quite possibly Roach's most like-minded collaboration since working with Robert Rich. As a floating, rhythm-free soundscape, it's like an updated return to Roach's STRUCTURES FROM SILENCE and DREAMTIME RETURN and benefits from being played loud. Vir Unis, with whom Roach has collaborated on an album to be released early 1999, Stephen Bacchus and frequent collaborator of late, Vidna Obmana, contribute similarly inspired pieces. The final track by Roach is the most reflective – a touching conveyance to a vast wasteland of loneliness deep within the universal heart, reminding us who the master of ambience truly is.

The Ambient Expanse

magnify magnify
feature  feature

CD out of stock
The Ambient Expanse
Various Artists
1998 Oasis / Mirage MIR 306 (CD)
Produced by Steve Roach
Reviewed by Alternative Press, AmbiEntrance, Exposé, Illinois Entertainer, Power Spot 89.7FM (Sydney, Australia), Sonic Curiosity, Tower Pulse!

THE AMBIENT EXPANSE is a five movement, collaborative work created by two generations of ambient artists. Steve envisioned the Expanse concept -- "a pure, atmospheric music expressive of deep exploration and high optimism". He then invited a group of artists who felt an affinity with the project and its aim to create a unified flow of expansive and uplifting pieces. The music is divided into five movements, one for each artist. The spirit of the project was brought to life by Roach's signature production style and masterful mixing techniques in his Tucson-based studio, The Timeroom. The result is a powerful statement of sustained beauty that is sure to inspire those who have been missing the pure atmospheric, non-rhythmic expressions.
1. Patrick O'Hearn: The 35th Parallel11:55 
2. Vir Unis: The Undivided Flow13:31 
3. Stephen Bacchus: Point of Safety11:54 
4. Vidna Obmana: The Space In-Between12:44 
5. Steve Roach: The Eternal ExpanseMP317:52 

Steve Roach News Music Discography Live Press Reviews Store Links Bio Contact