Vir Unis: The Drift Inside

viru-tdi.jpg (9k) Vir Unis: The Drift Inside
(GreenHouse Music - 1999)

The Drift Inside is quite different from Body Electric (last year's collab with Steve Roach. For his first solo release, Vir Unis is laying off the beats and fractal grooves, concentrating instead on pure, subtle, radiant flows of energy which move in and out, as shapeless and warm as slow-motion whorls of breath. Speaking of breath, mine was stilled with awe during this 72-minute ascension into sheer ambient heaven.

With a perfect blend of organic and ethereal ambiance, Currents Beneath the Shine reveal a new world awakening inside your ears. A hushedly cascading tide of electrons floats dreamily along invisible pathways, thinning and becoming Hidden Streams which spread throughout some vast, glisteningly dark chamber, occasionally casting glints of reflected light. After Leaving the Skin, airier atmospheres are encountered, levitating over a watery mirror below.

A barely perceptible shift allows The Drift Inside to seep through... birdlike trills and driplets hover amongst thinly wafting ripples; the track fades away some 20 seconds before slowly phasing into Zero Ground (8:39), a spacious realm of twilight loveliness, swathed in the churning starlit ebony of deep space. The darkness expands and brightens, beginning to Resonate and Glow, ebbing and flowing in soft, intersecting wave patterns.

Crystal Eyes peer through weather-like breezes; a light, welcome storm seems to be blowing in from the horizon, accented by faint organics and co-producer Steve Roach's ambient guitar loops. That piece is washed away In the Wake of a Passing Thought which leaves behind trails of more-powerful gusts. The effusive turbulence leaves us Adrift in a world of gently swirling chaos in the form of muted belltones and hazy notes which seem to slip between dimensions.

Solar Plexus (3:02) is another bit of interstellar transportation, sailing through thrumming star-corridors which echo of the void, arriving to another zone, heated by the glow of Neuron Lights; here subterranean lava bubbles quietly percolate under a ringing halo of synth shimmers. By the time we fall into Deepest Dream, we arrive at the disc's equivalent of Heaven... lazily spiraling ribbons decorate this simply gorgeous final destination.

The Drift Inside arrived too late to place on the AmbiEntrance1999 Top Ten List, though check back in December 2000; I sincerely doubt there will be 10 other ambient releases of this caliber. Marking himself as worthy of joining the upper eschelon of ambience, Vir Unis acheives a resounding 9.5 for this solidly ephemeral affair.

If you haven't already, now's the time to get on over to the Vir Unis interview, and then visitGreenHouse Music.

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This review posted January 26, 2000

AmbiEntrance © 2000-1997 by David J Opdyke (except CD cover art, rights retained by original owners).