Steve Roach and Robert Rich are the most important electronic ambient musicians in the U.S. SoMa is their highly acclaimed follow-up to their first collaboration, Strata. Soma, according to Vedic writings, is "a drink made from plants which could help one commune with the gods." It is also the Greek word for body. So they designed this CD to be a vehicle to traverse between the physical and spiritual worlds. It is deep stuff. The soundscape offers listeners the opportunity to pursue and achieve states of ecstasy. The only extracurricular involvement is from the souls of the music and the listeners. The psychoactive atmospheres penetrate the defenses of the spirit and use Earth's resonant rhythms to tap into the biorhythms. From that point forward, Rich and Roach are in control. Listeners will go to the far reaches of the netherworld and stay within the limits set by this duo.
The second of two collaborations with Kevin Braheny inspired by the desert, this album pays homage to the Edward Abbey book of the same title. It inadvertently became a memorial to that Southwestern nature writer when Abbey died shortly after the music was recorded. Featuring some powerful work by Michael Stearns, this album taps into the psychological depths of stark Southwestern landscapes through a subtle set of soundscapes depicting the hidden dangers, unseen gifts, and intoxication that the desert promises.