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Pulseprogramming | 1 of 2 in 1000 / 2 of 2 in 1000 (Aesthetics)
Creative schizophrenia isn't necessarily a terrible thing. These 12" releases have their feet in both the frenetic and ambient camps of contemporary electronica. The Pulseprogramming project is a multimedia collaboration between the musicians Joel Kriske and Marc Hellner, filmmaker Eric Johnson and graphic artist Hans Seeger, which lends these recordings a certain cinematic feel and one wonders how the endeavour would operate with the visual stimuli of the latter pair of artists. But even without the complete package the music stands alone with a degree of elegance. The first of these records showcases the more upbeat side of the project, awash with jack-knife beats and chattering frequencies which carry along a selection of minimal melodies, reminiscent of Trans-Am's less rockier moments or some of the Aphex Twin's more relaxed compositions. The effect is not an overwhelming electronic assault of the senses, as a soothing tide of synthesisers exude a low key presence over the recordings, even when the group assimilate elements of dub and house music into the proceedings. The previous ambient backdrop takes centre stage in the second of these releases, as a series of cyclical melodies are accompanied by a becalmed array of electronically generated beats, tones and frequencies. This is not ambient in the Eno sense of the word (although his presence is felt here), but the early morning equivalent of the companion piece's late night exertions: tranquil, soothing, yet with a certain amount of energy. The shimmering cymbal led piece also takes the electronic aesthetics of this project into a more organic setting, hinting at an almost jazzy mood. These symbiotic recordings come highly recommended to fans of the genre, but their extremely limited nature (1000 copies world-wide) may prove to be a bugbear to those who wish to track them down.

Simon Berkovitch
November 2001