Well of Souls
by John Pemble

Much like feeling in motion when standing still, an elusive synthesizer chord drone churns and gives the pitch an illusion of ascending "In the Presence of Something". Tiny wood-like dinks answer lower tunks over a high pitched processed sandy shaker and Native American flute responses. This opens the sonic threshold for a time altering journey through the double-disc set WELL OF SOULS by Steve Roach and Vidna Obmana.

Alternating dissonant and consonant notes trip swishes, hoof dingels and backlash hits form signature Obmana electronic drums in the "Realm of Twilight Outlands One". "The Secret Arrival - Outlands Two" furthers this dizzifiying mid-disc experience and ends with thundering hits and ambiguous distant clay rhythms.

Creaking wood with flying multi-harmonic flutes slide warm synthesizer key changes in the first of three moods for "The Gathering". Varying the pace is a sensual metallic Roach rhythm loop with perfectly placed double thumps and other syncopated noise. Razor smooth texture clouds end disc one on a hanging, to be continued, intermission feel.

Disc Two slowly creeps in from the silence, yielding a dark drift with Deep Hours. Laughing taunts emerge throughout this unsettling ambience that give way to a bigger void within WELL OF SOULS. Managing this intensity for nearly an hour, "The Quiet Companion"'s less disturbing presence works to the album's "Dwelling Place" closure.

Textural spaces made by the technical tools of synthesizers, acoustic tribal oriented instruments, properly proportioned electronic processing stacked with multi-track tape all convey an infinite number of undescribable meanings. It is that open-ended reaction to this music that makes each listening a far different experience than the previous.

Well of Souls

feature  feature

Poster $5.00
CD out of stock
Well of Souls
Steve Roach, Vidna Obmana
1995 Projekt PRO60 (Poster, CD)
Reviewed by John Pemble, Detroit Metro Times, i/e, Muze, The Tracking Angle

Steve Roach and Belgium-based Vidna Obmana in their first fully-realized duo project. A dark and inviting descent through textures that swirl and drift like liquid smoke while ethno-electronic grooves throb with primal urges. This double CD presents a "day" and "night" disc, starting with the rhythmic, then moving to pure atmospheric drifts. "This is an unequalled achievement and nothing in ambient or space-music can be compared... organic, graceful, it approaches the realm of the sacred." -- (Detroit Metro Times)
Disc 1
1. In the Presence of SomethingMP39:57 
2. In the Realm of Twilight -- Outlands OneMP313:13 
3. The Secret Arrival -- Outlands TwoMP314:08 
4. The GatheringMP324:08 
Disc 2
1. Deep HoursMP329:24 
2. Well of Souls25:58 
3. The Quiet CompanionMP38:14 
4. The Dwelling PlaceMP39:02 

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