Thursday, May 17, 2007

CIRCUIT WOUND/PULSE EMITTER "Split" (Swampland)

So: I’m feeling a little guilty about my vitriolic review below. Swampland is a totally decent label and the other tapes in the new batch are really quite good. I hope that the Werewolf Jerusalem + The Rita collaboration was just a minor misstep that we can all forget about and move on from. And this split c28 from Los Angeles’s Circuit Wound and Portland’s Pulse Emitter is helping me do just that. The Circuit Wound side, titled “Dismal Beauty,” is divided into three movements. The first is a delay-heavy metallic wail. The piece is calm and atmospheric, but not ambient in the you-forget-you’re-even-listening-to-something type of way. It’s not really Circuit Wound’s strong suit, but it's nice enough, and the next two pieces bring the crunch. The second is a little jammy, but the sound is good with a lot of abrasive high end. The last piece is great, though-- much clearer compositional logic. Harsh noise and digital delay sounds almost like a landslide or a hailstorm, thousands of tiny pellets pummeling your roof. The Pulse Emitter side begins with a long buzzy saw-tooth drone. It’s eventually decimated by the howling resonance of a particularly nasty filter. This begins a dramtic build which eventually explodes into a bloopity twittering synth murk. The remainder of the piece is almost proggy and sounds like the best audio sample for a piece of crazy analogue gear you’ve ever heard. Surprising material for Pulse Emitter. Not nearly as sweeping and cinematic as his work usually is, but a whole lot of fun, regardless.