“Through the Portal” (Phinery)

Through the Portal begins as a dystopian masterpiece and ends as a three-dimensional polygonal masterpiece, the use of “masterpiece” twice (and now three times) being the main point of reference for any potential listeners out there. Pulse Emitter, aka Daryl Groetsch, is essentially a national treasure, having released a literal ton of music since 2004 – seriously, if you placed all the cassettes and all the vinyl ever pressed on an industrial scale, you’d probably get close to a ton. Maybe I’m exaggerating, but I’m not exaggerating when I say that entering this portal, passing through this portal, and emerging on the other side of this portal is an experience that will transform your life in real and magnificent ways. Or it will, at least, make you feel better about yourself for a while. In either case, Through the Portal is a continuation of the Portland (OR) musician’s modular synthesizer excursions, the pieces at once melodic and ruminative, easily absorbed in the background or engaged with full throttle at the fore of your focus. Actually, it’s probably best to tackle this stuff up front, as it’s masterfully crafted and worthy of the stranglehold it puts on your attention. In fact, once you enter Portalandia, you may never return from Portalandia. Get it? Portal-landia. Because he’s from Portland and there’s that show. (I amaze myself sometimes. Does that say “amaze”? I meant “amuse.” Sort of.) And while Groetsch is perfectly capable of churning out release upon release reflecting his own interior within his own style, there are hints toward other purveyors of similarly trailblazingly tranquil and/or illuminating vibes. “Teal Forest Droplets” recalls prime Ferraro, while “Heat Haze” could be a Badalamenti update for the forthcoming new season of Twin Peaks. But all of this occurs in Pulse Emitter’s world, and it’s his rules that we’re playing by here. I urge you, then, to strap in, because, take it from me, you are powerless to resist the excellentity and magnifitude. In fact, as you stare with wondering eyes at Through the Portal on Phinery’s Bandcamp page, that little voice you hear is not in your head – it’s real. “Buy me!” says Pulse Emitter’s Through the Portal, nestled snugly within its link, ready for your Paypal credentials. You’re powerless against it. Your wallet opens. Your money is set free.

--Ryan Masteller