by Bert Strolenberg, Groove Unlimited
With the new CD BODY ELECTRIC, a new chapter is opened in the ongoing list of co-operations Steve Roach has done with various kindred musicians through the years. The name Vir Unis (alias of ambient musician / composer John Strate-Hootman) may be familiar to some listeners of ambient music, as he has worked on the IMAGINARIUM project with Ma Ja Le, and also nicely contributed his own thing to the fantastic ambient-sampler THE AMBIENT EXPANSE (both appeared on the Oasis-sublabel Mirage). Now we have the high-tech kindred album BODY ELECTRIC, an album offering a both intriguing and thrilling meltdown of electronic grooves, digital and electro-acoustic rhythms and drumloops, "fractal groove creation and fractal loop programming" (whatever that may be), hypnotic vast soundtextures and a huge amount of samples and effects. Sometimes it's even familiar with minimalistic ambient-dance, but there are also unfamiliar traces of intimate neo-primitive atmospheres leading the journey ahead. These elements even sound very organic from time to time, and if I'm not mistaken this kind of music has already been described as "cyber-shamanistic ancient/futurism" in their homeland USA. Altogether, BODY ELECTRIC is a quite heavy but also haunting experience into ongoing ambient-soundworlds, suitable for all those always seeking for new discoveries into the deep.
Production and sound quality are – as may be expected – state-of-the-art.