Pulse Emitter - Planetary Torture (Housepig Records CD-R)

Pulse Emitter first came to my attention with his appearance on the "Portland" 3LP set that came about some time last year, but he's been at it since 2002 and building up quite the solid following during that time. I'm not sure exactly how prolific he is (his "Portland" side was his first ever appearance on the grooved wax, if I'm not mistaken) but here he's responsible for this House Pig release, their aluminum anniversary release in fact. For the record (or CD-R, ha ha!) Pulse Emitter is the work of one Daryl Groetsch and his tools of the trade appear in large part to be of the synsthesizer variety, and "Planetary Torture" is no different as he uses hand-built modular synths to pursue his craft.
"Planetary Torture" consists of four relatively short pieces, with the whole disc clocking in just over the thirty minute mark. "Ape Shit" is an endlessly fluctuating tailspin of near-cartoony synth loops and whooshes, occasionally brought down to near-silence level and then shot all the way back up into the stratosphere, kinda makes me think of John Olson's Waves project, or Damion Romero, or Jessica Rylan (sans vox). "Warming Rays" is pretty much not at all like the title would lead you to believe, instead bogging your cerebellum down in thick, murky tones that just ooze venom from every pore and introduce the listener to a whole 'nother realm of mental disarray, think Jandek and Schnitzler locked in a room banging out a snarling, collapsing stardust phaser. And call me crazy, or at least "gotten to" by all these sickening tones, but "Propaganda Machine" truly sounds to me like a rearranging of far-out works by Sun Ra's Arkestra, except everything is played by one guy handling one synthesizer. The movements are there, the changes in structure are there, and the effervescent free cosmic slap of the Arkestra gone wildhouse is really there, I swear! But it's the fourth and final clip "Ash" that I like the most, a shakey, constantly erupting mash-up of silence, static and soundpooling, all wrestled out of the depths of Groetsch's Frankensynths. Basically it's like entire buildings, populations, towns and civilizations being razed to the ground, except that it's happening in SimCity. Which is good because honestly, I'm not in the mood to be razed and I'm sure you're not either.
Pretty neat curio from this future noise stalwart and verily worth the price of admission at six bones U.S. (eight bones world). Housepig apparently have done a duo of recordings in similar packaging courtesy Seattle lino-block artist Nic Schmidt, and it's an interesting duality because I must say the packages smell like regurgitated vomit and feel just as dirty. In a good way! There's also a nice little cardstock insert with track titles and pertinent information, not to mention the exquisitely pro-printed CD-R faces. Tomorrow I'll chat you up real nice the other release in the set, yet another transmission from the untiring Bjerga/Iversen tandem.


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