The Ambient Expanse
by John Diliberto, Tower Pulse!
February 1999

There is ambient music with techno-beat variations and snatches of melody. Then there is "Ambient" music with canvases of shifting drones, rhythms that pulse slower than an unfolding universe and melodies that are at best, implied.

This is the terrain explored by five fellow travelers on 68 minutes of THE AMBIENT EXPANSE on five pieces that throb and melt in opulent, sub-harmonic immersion.

Synthesist Steve Roach is the producer of the Expanse. His imprint on this style is as profound as that of Jimi Hendrix on the guitar. From the dreamy cycles of his 1984 album, Structures from Silence to last year's ominous THE MAGNIFICENT VOID, Roach has been the Marco Polo of the drone zone.

As the producer and collaborator on all tracks, his influence overwhelms the other artists, whether it's the veteran Patrick O'Hearn or relative newcomers Stephen Bacchus, Vir Unis and Vidna Obmana. Fortunately, that influence also results in the kind of nuanced and detailed soundscapes of which Steve Roach is the master.

The Ambient Expanse

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CD out of stock
The Ambient Expanse
Various Artists
1998 Oasis / Mirage MIR 306 (CD)
Produced by Steve Roach
Reviewed by Alternative Press, AmbiEntrance, Exposť, 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 

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