Reviews 12-03-2023

Music Reviews 



Steve Roberts

An Abandoned Day
by Amongst Myselves





It’s always a pleasure to welcome a new release from Australian ambient artist Steve Roberts, aka Amongst Myselves. Steve’s new album became available on December 1st and, as usual, is something that I think you will enjoy. An Abandoned Day was created between 2020 and 2023 and has as its theme endings. As you might suspect with an overall topic such as that, the music you will find here is contemplative and filled with the emotions of separations or the natural closings of chapters in our lives, whether those endings come through death or through the changes that inevitably arise for all of us as we move through the linear time that makes up our existence.

Although the themes behind the music are sometimes difficult to contemplate, this music seems to capture the concepts quite nicely. It gives us some room in our minds and hearts to think about the endings we face as individuals and collectively the possible endings we might meet as humans given our current unfortunate direction we are heading in relationship to our planet. There is an encouraging element to this music if someone is willing to look into themselves, be aware of their lifecycle, and understand the finite nature of who and what we are. It will allow us to make the best of ourtime and be the kind of human beings that we long to be.

Steve’s music captures those emotions and presents them to us in the compositions that he has presented here on this new album. An Abandoned Day is the ninth release from Steve since his 1999 debut as Amongst Myselves. The music you will find here is steeped in emotions that create some vibrant soundscapes that touch you in a personal way; Steve also includes the songs The Dark Matter Reefs and Fading Stellar Remnant that will propel the listener to the depths of space as he leads us to distant worlds to see what has become of humans as we moved beyond the planet earth.  

The music is purposely introspective because that would be the ultimate goal of focusing on endings in our lives as individuals or collectively as humans. Each of us is required to look within to understand how endings will impact us and how we will deal with those endings when they finally do come. Steve has spent time with these compositions and crafted songs that are on target for the emotions and feelings he wanted his listeners to come away with after taking this sonic journey with him.  






Even though the themes can, on the surface, seem like a negative or dark kind of experience, that is not the case when you listen to the album as a whole. I found the last song on the album, The Absent Pattern of Your Feet, which deals with the loss of a loved one or companion, comforting. I could feel how Steve’s music focused not so much on the loss but on the memories that will live forever in our hearts of those who have left this plane of existence. Steve’s field recordings of bird songs accented the soundscape and gave the impression that life continues for those left behind. The song was sad, but aspects of the music were wrapped in the loving memory of the departed. The wind chimes also effectively kept us anchored to the ending we were listening to.

All in all, I was delighted with this album. Steve was able to cover some complicated subject matter without allowing the entire project to collapse in on itself as a gloomy journey that didn’t offer the listener anything but darkness. My two favorite tracks on this album were The Lost Beach and The Absent Pattern of Your Feet. I think there is hope embedded in the music that Steve has given us on this album, which was an accomplishment on the composer’s part given that endings are not something that most of us want to deal with much less contemplate in the music that we listen to. Even though these are my two favorite songs, I wouldn't want to suggest that the other songs were any less of an achievement on Steve's part because that's not the case. Each song moves the narrative along leading us steadily along a path of opening ourselves up to what lies ahead for each one of us at various times during our span of life on this earth.

An Abandoned Day is a triumph for Steve Roberts, and the music is poignant, intimate, and at times lonely, but it is always comforting in the end. With this album, Steve offers us eight slices of emotions drawn from his perception of the life around him, what life might be like in the future, and hundreds of light years from our home planet. He has done a great job with this album, and I’m sure you will find it moving and compelling as you contemplate the endings of your existence and how that is simply the natural progression of finite beings such as ourselves. Ambient Visions recommended album.


1. The Winds of April (6:06)

2. Silent Spring (5:26)

3. End of Nights (5:02)

4. Lost Beach (8:18)

5. One Day Remains (6:50)

6. The Dark Matter Reefs (8:14)

7. Fading Stellar Remnant (6:21)

8. The Absent Pattern of Your Feet (8:14)


all tracks by steve roberts

synths, guitars and electronics performed by steve roberts 

created between 2020 and 2023 at springmount studio on the lands of the ngarrindjeri nation, australia 

mastered at safe and sound mastering by barry gardner  

marketed and distributed by amongst projects -  

special thanks to rachel for her love and support  

steve uses many custom synthesizers which can be viewed at     

About Steve Roberts:

Originating from the seaside of suburban South Australia, Steve Roberts aka Amongst Myselves discovered electronics and electronic music at a young age. A keen listener of experimental radio programs of the day, he picked up a wanderlust to create his own sounds. With 7 releases under his belt and keen to do more exploration with the satisfaction his music is enjoyed all around the planet. 

Amongst Myselves released "The Sun In The Bottle" in 1999. The style of this album was new age in its basis with a hint of electro-acoustics, but not until his 2001 release “Still Life” did he start to find a doorway to his own landscape. 

The success of "Still Life" led Australian radio program "Ultima Thule" to contract Amongst Myselves to create their new theme based on the "Still Life" track "Ship of Dreams". “Sacred Black” was the next release, a journey influenced by fifteenth century religious persecution, astrophysics, the desolation of a sleeping city at 5am and the Martin Denny classic, 'Quiet Village'. “Eight tracks (51 minutes) of lovely audio-ephemera unfurls with easy-to-fall-into fluidity.” said David J Opdyke 

"Auburn Silhouette" was released in 2007. "To me this album is about light and the sky. I like the chaos that rules these natural elements and that humanity has no rule over them. I liken the tracks on the album to different weather patterns." said Roberts. “Auburn Silhouette” was the first album to include a DVD featuring 3 short films created to accompany tracks from the album. "I've found that the film work I have been doing helps inspire the sound.” 

 In the southern summer of 2010 Amongst Myselves released “Fragments”.  A very ambient remix of his previous three albums, “Still Life”, “Sacred Black” and “Auburn Silhouette”. As Chuck Van Zyl put it “The results range from sustaining lines of sound and minimal electronic modulations to rich arrangements of considerable complexity. While proudly synthetic, Fragments (as all music by Amongst Myselves) offsets any hint of its machine origins with a consonant warmth corresponding with a more reflective human mood.” Fragments went on to be nominated for “Best Electronic” and “Best Ambient” album for 2010 in the annual Zone Music awards. 

Before and during the creation of “Fragments”, Amongst Myselves was also working on a 'concert in your living room' performance to be videoed for DVD. Released as a DVD and CD with the title “Ambient, Landscape and Space” which is how Amongst Myselves describes his styles of music and thus hints at the variation of the tracks. Focussing on the visual content which is a combination of live video footage, 3D animation, timelapse photography and the re-animated, unsettling oil paintings of Bernard Haseloff, brings an added depth to Amongst Myselves'  darker moments. 

Having spent the last two albums looking backwards, "The Past Is Another Country", is an apt title for his next dark and inward-looking release. It took a new direction in composition which left more melodic pieces behind to explore more experimental landscapes. "I've gone for a more drone type approach but using some natural sounds / field recordings to do the drones for me in some cases. The result is quite dark in mood but there is a good amount of lighter contrasting pieces as well", said Roberts. 

In 2020, “The Good Earth”, came with a change in his life having moved away from the city. This album came from many improvised sessions using his home made and purchased hardware synths. “I’m appreciating having limitations as far as my instruments go. Too many options equals too many distractions”. This release also saw the companion piece release of the 20 minutes film piece based on the track, “On The Margins”. This explores the presence of former inhabitants of abandoned buildings who took the land to its limit and the seemingly unchanging heavens that overlook them. One reviewer stated "The Good Earth" as “One of the best Dark Ambient album I heard in a long

To be released in December 2023, "An Abandoned Day" focuses on endings. The end of environments, human life, light and the universe. Us humans have made use of this planet beyond its ability to survive. All life is feeling the impact and eventually all of humanity, not just to less privileged, will suffer heavily unless something is done to stop and reverse this assault. Our connection with the environment has been lost as has our connection with the night and the universe. We only see the universe as something to conquer and now somewhere to escape the mess we have created on this planet, the only planet that can sustain life that we know of, Earth.