Pulse Emitter – ‘Crater Lake’ LP
Crater Lake was mastered and cut to vinyl by Andreas [LUPO] Lubich in Berlin and is pressed on high quality virgin vinyl, packaged in a full color jacket featuring cover artwork from Will Hutchinson. Crater Lake is the first full length Pulse Emitter album on Immune following the side-long contribution to Immuneâ€™s 2012 Record Store Day 4 way split release. Limited first pressing is on blue vinyl. A free download coupon is included. With an array of handmade modular and vintage keyboard synthesizers Daryl Groetsch crafts melodic and layered compositions that evoke microscopic and interstellar landscapes inspired by nature, science fiction and the cosmos. Groetsch has been working under the Pulse Emitter monicker since 2002, composing and recording in his Portland, OR home studio. Writer David Keenan has called Pulse Emitter â€œthe undisputed king of planetary scale synth hypnosisâ€ and has said, â€œno one is making synth music that feels so organic, so rapturous and so â€˜in tuneâ€™ with the contours of outer and inner space as Groetsch. Inspiration for Crater Lake came from a spiritually moving camping trip Groetsch took to Crater Lake National Park in Oregon where he found it to be one of the most stunningly beautiful places he had ever been. At the time he was conceptualizing an album inspired by the moons of Jupiter and Saturn and noticing similarities between the features of Crater Lake and the moons caused Groetsch to create an album influenced by both the nature in front of him and the cosmos above. On Crater Lake Groetsch delivers his most intricately composed pieces yet by experimenting with melody and pattern synchronization. Groetschâ€™s working method begins with conceptualizing each piece and then composing on paper, MIDI sequencing the tracks, synth programming, and finally recording and mixing. Album opener â€œEuropaâ€ was inspired by the clear blue water of Crater Lake and also relates to the icy surface of the moon Europa that is believed to have an ocean of water underneath it. The albumâ€™s second track â€œloâ€ is about Crater Lakeâ€™s ominous and harsh rock outcropping as well as the volcanic forces taking place underneath Crater Lake and the volcanoes covering the moon lo.
Steven R. Smith/Ulaan Khol – ‘Ending/Returning’ 2LP
On Ending/Returning Steven R. Smith has recorded the same set of songs first as Steven R. Smith and then as Ulaan Khol. Ending is a quiet, minimal record as Steven R. Smith while Returning is a blown-out, maximal record as Ulaan Khol. Ending/Returning was mastered by Patrick Klem and cut to vinyl by Paul Gold at Salt Mastering. The double LP is pressed on high quality virgin vinyl and packaged in a lavish gatefold jacket. The front and back panels of the jacket are printed in silver metallic ink on a white background while the inside gatefold is a beautiful full color aerial photograph of lava fields from world-renowned German photographer Bernhard Edmaier. For a limited time all orders come with a chapbook made by Steven R. Smith specifically for this release. The 12 page chapbook features artwork to accompany each song and is hand-numbered out of only 200 units worldwide. The music of Californian multi-instrumentalist Steven R. Smith ranges from sparse solo guitar improvisations that evoke the crumbling American landscape to his re-workings of Eastern European folk tunes under the Hala Strana moniker and dense blown out psychedelic fuzz guitar workouts under the Ulaan Khol, Ulaan Markhor, or Ulaan Passerine monikers. Smithâ€™s music can be summed up as a struggle to contain a series of opposites : light and darkness, sorrow and joy, despair and hope. On his new double album Ending/Returning both ends of the spectrum have been distilled down to their core as Smith has recorded the same set of songs first as Steven R. Smith and then as Ulaan Khol. Ending is a quiet, minimal record as Steven R. Smith while Returning is a blown-out, maximal record as Ulaan Khol. Ending/Returning was recorded in Smithâ€™s Worstward Studios on all analog equipment and is one of the last albums he recorded entirely in analog as his 8-track reel-to-reel tape deck broke down at the end of these sessions. The piano featured on Ending (which is rarely heard in Smithâ€™s work) was recorded at a rehearsal space in Pasadena. Ending/Returning follows Smithâ€™s album Cities released by Immune in 2009. Smith has also recently released recordings on Soft Abuse, Brave Mysteries, Burnt Toast Vinyl, and his own Worstward Recordings label.