by Matt Borghi
BLOOD MACHINE is the second, excellent release that the Steve Roach/ Vir Unis relationship has yielded, the first being BODY ELECTRIC that came out in 1999 on the Projekt label. Prior to that Roach and Vir Unis had worked on a variety of compilations and other smaller projects, but none of that work led to the new sound that they've achieved with BLOOD MACHINE. While BLOOD MACHINE is comparable to BODY ELECTRIC, it really consists of a different, more fevered dynamic.
BLOOD MACHINE starts with "Dissolving the Code" which evolves from a very calm and very Roach-esque synth pad fade into a wild and spastic rhythmic scheme that pulls the listener in to the second track "Evolution" only to be bombarded once more with the sound of percussion that seems to be dancing in the speakers from left to right and right to left. This seems to be the overall pattern with this record. The listener is teased into the track by Roach and Unis' lush atmospherics and once in the track shifts back to the heavily rhythmic sequences, and then back to the atmospherics. The tracks that comprise BLOOD MACHINE segue beautifully into each other one after another, thus creating a long-running, almost cinematic escapade into a soundworld that is completely fresh in dynamic and timbre.
BLOOD MACHINE is quite a departure from Roach's work of late, as well as Vir Unis' but undoubtedly this is one of the most refreshing recordings of 2001.