The shimmering phrase that opens Pulse Emitter’s “Bioluminescence” sounds like a movie theater’s cue that the lights are going down and it’s time get quiet. The layers of synthesizer that emerge after the initial chime compel the listener to slow down and observe as if something is beginning to grow. Compounded by the imagery of the track’s title, “Bioluminescence” sounds like the score of a nature documentary that borders on science fiction. The song itself is a series of morphing cycles, of swelling synth growls and melodies that wax and wane — a translation of biological expectation. The shimmering patterns recur in variation and become the remarkable moments breaking up expectation, akin to glimmers of light emitting from a creature.
“Bioluminescence” is one of two Pulse Emitter (Daryl Groetsch) tracks contributed to the four-way 2xLP split on Immune Recording. Each of the four artists — Pulse Emitter, Date Palms, Expo 70, and Faceplant (Aaron Coyes of Peaking Lights) — cover a side of vinyl.
The World Is A House On Fire [album stream]
On Zelienople’s Tumblr, there’s a photo post captioned “Summer in the city.” Strata of sable sky weigh heavy on a streetlamp washed in briny green. These are summer days for Zelienople: sky-gazing, images of submersion.
Zelienople’s music, appropriately, makes me feel supine in a field. Albums that sprawl are usually frustrating for being stagnant; I’m not content just to float, I want to drift and/or dive. You know my feel. Zelienople’s The World Is A House On Fire has, however, remarkable movement. In all of these songs, there are many gaping beats, which threaten to sag and fall through, but the next step always comes. By the album’s third track, it’s impossible to not then listen to all seven.
The album is great. I wish only that when the music decides to move, it moved hard. That said, “Out of It’s” ending is the finest I can imagine for the The World Is A House On Fire. You’ll say, “Shit. I’m thinking of the kind of film whose last frame leaves you dead in your seats, a book whose last page’s white space leaves you staring like at the summer sky. “
“The Need Superficial”
People Hear What They See, the latest LP from D.C. rapper Oddisee, is the classic example of a hidden hip-hop gem. It’s a Bandcamp release, so it’s easy to miss, but once you hear its ingenious mix of rap, soul, and funk, you’ll find yourself pressing “play” over and over. “The Need Superficial,” available as a free download from the kind folks at Mello Music Group, marries a breezy soul groove to Oddisee’s rowdy, ricocheting flow — and it’s proof that the DMV is still packing some serious talent amid a resurgence of West Coast rap.
Evan Caminiti (of Barn Owl and Higuma fame) has released a new track under a more recent moniker, Painted Caves. Caminiti has been real busy lately, releasing a record two months ago under his real name (Night Dust on Immune Recordings), plus another Painted Caves cassette earlier this spring — not to mention a few records over the past year or so with his ongoing collaborations (yes, the dude is full of music). This new track, called “Fog Delay,” is a dark and brief episode of throbbing distortion and crawling effects, which move with about the same haste of the thick summertime fog that rolls along the San Francisco bay area, making frustrated airplanes wait as the mist inches by in carefree melancholy — which apparently was an inspiration for Caminiti, according to his introduction to the track on his website Electric Totem.
There’s some real history behind “Gravity Bong.” I mean it. I’m pretty sure that’s the Phil Spector boom-boom-boom-chic. You know, before that wall of sound comes in. You can tell by the tambourine. Then that guitar comes stumbling in and, for a minute, I’m thinking of “Just Like Honey.” But it’s too clean, and it jangles like that Ducktails sun-pop or maybe the psychedelia of Rangers. And that coughing noise like a Wu-Tang interlude. Jeans Wilder? The guy who played Willy Wonka? Well, that explains almost everything but the coughing. Oh right, the whole “Gravity Bong” thing. Got it.
Totally listen for it all below, and buy the album Totally from Everloving Records. I mean, come on, it has a dinosaur on the cover. So cool.