Pulse N Atmo
Vir Unis, in daily life known as John Strate-Hootman, introduces himself as a synthesist, drummer, electronic groove creator and sound sculptor. Well, when you are an electronic groove creator, the Groove-label is most likely the place to be. Being influenced by early ambient-artists like Robert Fripp, Brian Eno, David Sylvian/Japan and their later followers Steve Roach, Vidna Obmana, Michael Brook and Future Sound Of London, he mixes experimental sound sculpting with a hybrid of electronic and acoustic grooves. In 1998, his immense talents could be heard for the first time through his collaboration with the duo Ma Ja Le on the CD "Imaginarium" and the compilation-album "The Ambient Expanse" on which he contributed a track. These talents were picked up by the master of ambient Steve Roach and lead to their joint adventure "Body Electric" in 1999. After "The Drift Inside" and "Aeonian Glow", "Pulse n Atmo" is his third solo-album and what an album it is. Rhythm has an important place on "Pulse n Atmo" and it is not difficult to hear, Vir Unis has a background as a drummer. Ingenious rhythms of all kinds are heard throughout the album. This, combined with excellent ambient sounds and environmental atmospheres, makes "Pulse n Atmo" a great and intriguing spacey, dark and sometimes even danceable experience. With "Pulse n Atmo" Vir Unis has definitely placed himself amongst the masters of ambient. Paul Rijkens Pulse-N-Atmo was a step in a different direction for Vir Unis, mostly thanks to a larger focus on modern music and a glazed percussive-heavy atmosphere. The change worked, not as effectively as hardcore enthusiasts would've liked, but with purpose, a little direction, and a significant amount of resourcefulness, riding that fine line between subtle exploration and a stylistic (and previously successful) safety net. 'Mind Blink Bike Ride,' for example, and it's glitch-Techno influences are in pleasant contrast to the familiar breezes of ambient and cool new-age synths. The inconsistency was jarring to some, conflicted to others, but one of the only satisfying choices Vir Unis could've made for a third outing that wasn't too innocuous or too unexpected and alienating. Dean Carlson / All Music Guide Predating Blood Machine, with Steve Roach, by mere months, Pulse n Atmo is a work that is in the vein of the elegant futurism explored by both Roach and Vir Unis in their trilogy of Body Electric, Light Fantastic, and Blood Machine. Pulse n Atmo is an exploration in pulse, texture, and atmosphere. Using these basic elements, Vir Unis creates an album that is unique and stands on it's own, while still connected to all the frenetic work going on at the time. Aeonian Glow was released around this time as well, so there is an interesting dichotomy between his more atmospheric albums and these rhythm driven pulse works. Pulse n Atmo displays a delicate balance between these two seemingly parallel worlds. Atmoworks.