by Phil Derby, Synth Music Direct
Their first collaboration since INNERZONE, this finds Roach and Obmana in familiar territory, exploring the murky depths of primordial ambient ooze. In other words, this is good stuff. Totally improvised and presented exactly as it was recorded, this May 2002 after-midnight creation from Room 314 in Philadelphia shows just how well the creative juices start flowing when these two get together. For convenience, this single long piece of music is divided into 8 parts. The first runs 10 minutes, and is full of reverberating echoes, crickets, rustling sounds, and various other delicate atmospheres. A deep booming rhythm, just off in the distance, signals the beginning of part two. The rustling sounds get louder, the drumming more insistent -- if this was a hotel room, I wonder how the other patrons slept! Steve's ambient guitar adds another dimension as the music develops. The echoes move from background to foreground, wailing insistently, and the overall effect is dramatic and haunting as this 21-minute section comes to a close, moving back into the ethereal realms for parts three through five, starting a bit lighter and gradually shifting down into the depths again by the time it reaches part five. Steve and Vidna have a knack for making very primal music that seems to reach into the soul, and it feels like that again here. Part six has elements that remind me of the ambient beginnings to Steve's live two-disc set ALL IS NOW. Only vestiges of rhythm are scattered throughout most of this, but drums finally return in part seven. The mixing of the atmospheric textures and the drums is excellent throughout. Though there is often the sense that the drums are pounding, they are never too forceful, carefully folded into the overall sound whenever they appear. Part 8 borders on the sound of evil, a darker version of Klaus Schulze's Moogetique, from Body Love Vol. 2. It's a chilling but excellent way to finish things off.