“Well of Souls”, actually the first fully-realized duo project by Steve Roach and Vidna Obmana (aka Belgium-based composer Dirk Serries), lines up perfectly when talking about expansive ethno-electronic music, sketching out an abundance of tribal
, mysterious and groovy (under)currents coloring the nebulous atmospheres. The first disc covers tribal/rhythmic stuff, while the sonic perfume of second one taps firmly into pure, beatless textural netherworlds. The lengthy sonic expedition makes the listener descend into an ancient world while addressing a good dose of tribal minimalism, which often creates intense hypnotic realms along a mesmerizing aura of tranquility and introspection.
Each of the two disc, both devoid of any melody, features an in-depth exploration of various lush spaces and spiritual bonding, a shimmering sonic drift that even can lead to hallucinogenic, foreboding and surreal sensations. For me, the real alchemy and magic happens on the second disc with the immersive “Deep Hours” and the 26-minute title piece as highlights. Both descend in a haunting, massive and pleasantly breathing space where evocative drifts and streams go by while pictures of ancient cave paintings shapeshift before the mind’s eye. If the release consisted of this disc alone, I’d easily rate it 4 stars.
In all, “Well of Souls” might be a tough nut to crack for some, but is most rewarding if you allow its darkness and intrinsic flow in and connect with mind, heart and soul.