by Mark Burbey, Alternative Press
It’s good to hear Steve Roach doing such rhythmically charged music again. His deep space ruminations and ancient traveler mindwells of sonic beauty remain beyond compare, but not since SUSPENDED MEMORIES: FORGOTTEN GODS has Roach’s music been so possessed with spiritual fire and ritual dynamism. Vir Unis is a new figure on the ambient horizon and after working with Roach on THE AMBIENT EXPANSE last year, the two came together as kindred spirits, student/teacher/equals in a single breath.
Surprisingly more organic and perfectly formed than Roach’s superb ON THIS PLANET, Unis brings his own palette of original sounds to the mix and both artists provide groove creations that serve as the album’s molten core. The driving rhythms rival the music itself in alien texture and exotic tonality. Early tracks race and skitter and tumble across the face of a planet in the throes of reformation, just as those that follow burrow underground to seek refuge in subterranean caverns. BODY ELECTRIC is a Steve Roach release like no other in his oeuvre. Its 56 minutes pass like a brief dream brimming with detail and mystery, and Vir Unis is clearly an artist to watch. Faithful Roach fans may well find this his most addicting release to date, and those who think they’ve heard it all haven’t even heard the half of it.