Steve Rosborough works out the psychic kinks through music. Whether he’s running his label Moon Glyph Records and releasing albums of forward-thinking psych by other like-minded artists, or laying down the cosmic Tangerine Dream vibes himself under the name Soothsayer, Rosborough is very much interested in healing thru the power of music.
Though his label is based in Oakland, California, and Rosborough himself is very much a West Coast spirit now, he originally came from Minnesota. Working in the experimental music scene of Minneapolis, Steve honed his skills as a purveyor of the psych, ambient, and new age music, searching for that inner light on those cold Minnesota nights.
One wouldn’t associate a Minneapolis winter with meditative ambient music, but there is something quite peaceful about the cold desolation of a Midwestern winter night. There’s a quiet that blankets you when it gets down to below freezing. I think that feeling stayed with Rosborough on his journey west, and has reemerged in his newest musical project, called Omni Gardens.
Omni Gardens is Steve Rosborough in full new age/ambient mode. West Coast Escapism is his debut with Omni Gardens and with Austin record label Holodeck Records. It’s an album of healing and good vibes. It’s a pulse of inner light that emanates each time you play it. You may not think you like new age music, but you haven’t heard West Coast Escapism.
I have to admit, I’d never considered myself someone who would partake in new age music. Incense make my head hurt, I’ve yet to find a decent yoga mat, and I can’t seem to quiet my mind long enough to meditate. But after living with Omni Gardens’ West Coast Escapism for some time now I think I might be ready. It’s an album that works on several levels. It works as a tool to quiet the mind and get yourself into a contemplative state, as well as being just this amazing album of hyper vibe-y sonics. Where Rosborough’s Soothsayer worked on a more cosmic, early Tangerine Dream level, Omni Gardens reaches inside to calm the chi. It’s very much earthbound and tunes us very much to the key life.
“Thinking” opens West Coast Escapism like light emanating from some hidden door you come across in your house you never noticed before. There’s a certain kind of serenity in this track that I find overwhelming. “The Distant Spring” continues those good vibes. This dense and heady track puts me in mind of Billow Observatory, but with a touch of Vangelis thrown in for good measure. “The Physical Plane, The Astral Plane” rings and shimmers like light reflections on the surface of water. Rosborough works on a level of psychic healing, and it’s quiet extraordinary.
Elsewhere, “Dreams of Neptune” is a calming exercise in meditative tones and milky way dreams while “Chrystal Rhodes” crashes like waves on the shore of consciousness. Rosborough colors this track with bits of electric piano and galactic sounds. “Quieted Mind” ends our inner journey and gives us the peace and contentment I think we all need.
Omni Gardens’ West Coast Escapism is a powerful listen if you let it in. I’ve taken many contemplative walks with this album and I feel better after each one. Steve Rosborough is working on many levels as Omni Gardens, and he succeeds. Musically it’s a dense, vibe-heavy listen that can make an afternoon rest or a drive thru the hills all the better. But if you empty your brain and fill it with the light that emanates from West Coast Escapism, you might just find something far more deeper and meaningful.
Just as Steve Rosborough intended.
8.3 out of 10