Pulse Emitter: Oppressive Nature
Digitalis Industries (2009)
I caught wind of Pulse Emitter A.K.A Daryl Groetsch while watching People who do Noise a documentary on Portland, Oregan’s experimental music scene. Groetsch spoke intelligently about his oeuvre and his live footage was completely hypnotic. I have no idea why it took me stumbling across Oppressive Nature in, of all places, Polyester Records late last year before I actually picked up some of his work. This is a beautiful record.
Groetsch deals in home-made synths and analogue electronics that he contorts into and out of strange sci-fi journeys through ambience, hiss and cinematic escapism. His website highlights his inspiration as nature and the cosmos, and while there are moments of ugliness and brutality on Oppressive Nature there is definitely far more space age playfulness going on. On the first of five untitled tracks a subtle beep resonates underneath a wobbly semitone melody like a count down to take off, while a deep drone rises out of the speakers crackling away into nothing and then returning again. It’s ominous and warm.
Later on, Moog like synths drone away seductively while strange noises reverberate in the background. I keep thinking about Italian horror movies from the seventies and eighties being eaten by alien blobs descending from the night sky. Oneohtrix Point Never is certainly a reference point, as are Emeralds but Groetsch differs from these synth nerds by juxtaposing the cheesy bliss with wilds trips into sonic uncertainty. like the bass clef buzz worthy of Wolf Eyes on the third track, which he accentuates with haunting squeaks and splashes of silence. This guy deserves way more attention than he’s getting in the music world. He’s quietly been releasing music since 2003, and even appeared in Wire on an occasion but info on him seems scarce. I for one am going to do my bit for changing that by purchasing some other nuggets from his catalogue, including his 2010 release Cosmic Images. I urge everyone else to check him out too.