Released: 23 April 2004
The opening track on the album Unomia (57'00") by Helios (aka Keith Kenniff) does something other pieces of modern electronic music can only aspire to do . . . It stays with you . . . Lilting minor key bell-tones echo, build and shift alongside resolute rhythms. But the memorable quality of this song rises from the sentimentality experienced through its hopeful mellow melody; a simple and warm synth line which lingers just long enough to stir the memory. Only the ambition of ideas can limit this music, and on Unomia, his debut album, Helios easily reaches his aesthetic aspirations. The mood and energy of this album wanders up and down, over and under, in a confluence of various streams. The 13 tracks crossfade smoothly one into the other - each an engaging interlude of stratified sound. The truly ambient, environmental moments are cerebral yet comforting. The motion of these impressionistic aural panoramas are contrasted by the edges and grainy definition of this album's rasping rhythms which profoundly tick and shuffle amidst the details of the listener's waking mind. Great stories have a way of re-telling themselves, and with Unomia, Helios has come up with an exceptional, irresistible work which successfully connects prevailing trip-hop fun with the depth and space of ambient sound design.
- Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END 1 July 2004