Steve Roach and Vir Unis

Steve Roach and Vir Unis

Body Electric


With these organoelectric explorations of the fractal synthesis of human and machine, Steve Roach and Vir Unis blur the lines between the synthetic and the real. Here, struck pots resonate with the hollow tones of electronic beats and computer chips dancing to an electronic groove rattle with seeds in a dried gourd.

The results can be impressive, as on “Pure Expansion.” Against a bright oceanic ambient soundscape, thousands of stars begin to pulse as you stream past multicolored orbs reflecting eons of interstellar evolution. Entering a darker corner of the sky, you witness the birth of “strange new life” — silicon creatures blooming upward toward a dark sun, nodding fractal heads in time with the intergalactic percussive groove. Constantly repeating but evolving, the track circles back to return you to the soothing ambient cradle from which you first emerged.

On the other hand, the emphasis on electronic beats sometimes feels a little overdone — as on “The New Dream,” where heavy beats seem pasted over peaceful ambient synth in a rather jarring mismatch. And the organic percussion and electronic soundscapes don’t always flow into each other as smoothly as they might. Still, the tracks that work outweigh the tracks that don’t, especially for fans of this genre (and the legendary Steve Roach in particular).

Projekt/Darkwave, P.O. Box 166155, Chicago, IL 60616

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