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Pulseprogramming - Tulsa For One Second

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Artist: Pulseprogramming

Album: Tulsa For One Second

Label: Aesthetics

Review date: May. 18, 2003

High Road Pop Mode

The opening (“Blooms Eventually”) and closing (“Bless the Drastic Space”) of Tulsa for One Second finds Pulseprogramming in its most salient pop mode. Eliciting a pit-of-your-stomach nostalgia that hints at movie music for an ‘80s teen flick, there’s a tasteful element of New Wave that isn’t forced or kitsch but genuine and resonant. “Blooms Eventually” features the all too common Vocoder effect, which would only be surpassed by a clichéd computer voice reciting robotic texts. Yet the speak-sing effect here is too direct for it to be a guilty pleasure or superfluous. Instead, it makes perfect sense — like eyeliner worn by the Cure’s Robert Smith.

In between the pop pleasure of the first and last songs, Tulsa for One Second assumes something more progressive: cellos swell, clicks snap rhythmically, piano tinks echo in loops and delays as the tracks are stretched from songs into compositions that allow for Eno like atmosphere and hypnotic ambience. By now, electronic music is well beyond an emotionless state of the rigid beats and boredom of cold techno. Electronic masters such as Aphex Twin and Autechre have expertly infused emotion, usually by means of strings and analog synths, while balancing the act with heady detached mindfucks of scrambled sounds and machines eating machines. Pulseprogramming takes the high road and makes a deeply emotional record with melody guiding its songs, be it in keyboard progressions or ghostly voices drenched in reverb.

Pulseprogramming, essentially a two-piece featuring musicians Joel Kriske and Mark Hellner, propagates itself as a multimedia collaboration that includes additional visual artists and art directors. Aside from the ingenious packaging (the sleeve unfolds into a miniature house) and the singular but graceful Quicktime music video, Tulsa for One Second isn’t multimedia art; it’s elegantly expressive music where warm tones from cold machines cut to the quick of human emotion. Never mind what this place “Tulsa” may look or feel like. Here, mood runs so deep that you’re brought to a place where you didn’t know you wanted to go. And you’re so glad you’re there.

By Dusted Magazine

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