Pulse Emitter - Dusk Music Album Reviews

Pulse Emitter - Dusk Music Album Reviews
The capstone to Portland synthesizer musician Daryl Groetsch’s wildly productive year, Dusk runs the gamut of his sound, evoking early ambient classics as it flits between beauty and terror.

Daryl Groetsch is on a streak. In the first five months of 2022, the Portland ambient musician who usually records as Pulse Emitter quietly put out an incredible run of synthesizer albums under his birth name. The long, sighing compositions on these six albums were placid even by Groetsch’s standards, but they engaged the listener rather than simply enveloping them. Groetsch’s classical training informed rich harmonic structures that constantly shifted rather than just hovering in place. And the sounds he used—especially a low moan on the best of the series, January’s Home Again—had a chilly edge that was lonelier and less reassuring than most new-age synthesizer music. 

Dusk, Groetsch’s new Pulse Emitter album for Hausu Mountain and the capstone to his enviable 2022 run, leans into this prickliness while rocketing far beyond those albums’ deliberately limited palette. Across the record’s 41-minute run, the sun seems to set as the music transitions from sparkling synth bouquets (“Cloudside Dwellings,” “Chrome Sky”) into darker long-tone pieces with more in common with the Daryl Groetsch Bandcamp releases (“Darkening Forest,” “Snow Diamonds”). This structure gives him the opportunity to flex his full range. Each track does its own distinct thing, which is usually alluded to in the titles—“Snow Diamonds,” for instance, vaporizes crystalline synth shards into an aerosol, while “Fireflies” sparkles with wonder. Yet each contributes to the album’s thrilling, frightening journey from day to night. 

A rich evocation of an alien landscape, Dusk is filled with beauty and danger. There are no discernible voices across its eight tracks, but it still feels alive with chatter. The yearning puffs of electric piano on “Temple in the Mountains” are occasionally interrupted by an effect that sounds like a pterodactyl screaming across the sky. “The Road to Thrax” is full of low growling sounds that suggest fellow Portland producer Strategy’s vocal-distortion fantasias. Everything leads to “Mulch,” which closes the album out with six minutes of subterranean noise; its arrival feels inevitable, like the whole album has disappeared into pitch darkness.

Dusk is less emotionally stirring than 2020’s Swirlings, the previous Pulse Emitter album on Hausu Mountain, and only “Chrome Sky” comes close to duplicating the deep longing and sadness of Home Again and its sonorous title track. Yet maintaining a slight remove allows the album to achieve its effect of dwarfing the listener against the overwhelming vastness of its landscape. Groetsch’s blocky synth palette, reminiscent of early new-age masters like Iasos and Suzanne Ciani, helps in this regard. While a sound-design scientist like GAS might attempt a literal transposition of the sound of a darkening wood, Dusk’s limited tool kit posits an abstract idea of such a landscape and then lets the listener’s imagination fill in the blanks.

It’s a bit like an old monster movie whose shoddy effects are somehow more evocative than hyper-realistic CG, and indeed there’s something fundamentally old-fashioned about Dusk. Though it’s only being released on CD and cassette, its brisk runtime brings to mind early, vinyl-era ambient albums like Eno’s Apollo and On Land, as does its ease in transitioning between the prettiest and darkest poles of the artist’s sound. While many latter-day ambient albums sustain a single mood, those earliest entries in the genre were so charged with the possibilities of this new way of listening that they seemed unbound in the sensations they could evoke, flitting between incredible beauty and terror in the span of a few tracks. Dusk is alive with the same feeling of freedom.
Share on Google Plus

About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Pulse Emitter - Dusk Music Album Reviews Pulse Emitter - Dusk Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on December 13, 2022 Rating: 5


Post a Comment