Recorded in The Bubble, in summer to fall 2000.|
- Ghost in the bubble [6:23]
- Doppleganger [5:38]
- Spoon bender [6:47]
- Black locust beach [4:26]
- Good morning blowfish [6:24]
- Mind blink bike ride [5:49]
- Rinse [3:28]
- Alpha state [5:56]
- Logan [5:01]
- Tweak the pulse [5:48]
- Transmission at banner marsh [4:48]
- We are the sun's dream [10:48]
John Strate-Hootman - Synthesizer, Electronic Drums, Percussion, Fractal Grooves, Treatments, Digital Alchemy Samples
New tribal rhythms from the U.S.A.
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.
2001. 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 its 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 its 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 / USA
This 71 minute CD reflects a demonstratively more rhythmic and far stranger sonic persona for Vir Unis (aka John Strate-Hootman) than he has displayed on his last few ambient releases.
This music is highly rhythmic, intensely electronic, and predominately extraterrestrial in pitch and timbre. Utilizing synthesized sounds as percussives, the melodies are infused with a drastic amount of pep, applied in engaging and notably catchy riffs. Underlying these rapid-fire tempos are clouds of energized ambience, shimmering like the slow-motion pulsations of a pre-explosive supernova. All this coalesces with drive and verve unfound in most contemporary electronic music.
Comparisons of a fusion of Stockhausen and Cluster are not unwarranted.
Matt Howarth / Sonic Curiosity