Wednesday, May 25, 2022

John McGuire - Pulse Music [Unseen Worlds 036]

Released as CD format album via the Unseen Worlds label on April 29th, 2k22 with an accompanying vinyl version to follow up approximately in October is "Pulse Music", the first ever longplay effort to present all four parts of John McGuire's "Pulse Music" series containing of "Pulse Music I - III" as well the additional piece "108 Pulses" as a combined body of work. Written in a four years period in between 1975 and 1979, with two of the present realizations formerly unreleased and locked away in some archives until now, the American composer presents a surprisingly bustling, friendly, harmonic and accessible take on so-called 'new' music, Minimal Music and x or Avantgarde-leaning experimental composition techniques of the time, with "Pulse Music I" partially even resembling the feel and gravitas of organ-driven Church Music as well as the chiming tonality of the Baroque epochs cembalo soundwise despite being generated and assembled electronically whereas the subsequent "Pulse Music II" takes McGuire's serial compositional approach to a dense, athmospheric, dreamy and somewhat washed out level whilst employing a set of 'four pianos and small orchestra' to bring the pieces serial score to life. Furthermore we see "Pulse Music III" going back to a rather friendly, computational and rather retrofuturist approach towards chiming, meandering and ever so slightly varying layers of synthesized sounds following the series trademark feat of sudden switches and changes in pace within the piece without providing too much of an interruption to the overall flow before the final "108 Pulses" might, in hindsight, be as close to ProtoAmbient music as one could've ever gotten back in 1975 and therefore is of historical importance for an entire genre to follow decades later as well as it is our personal favorite on this longplayer as well. Check.

Album artwork on Instagram!


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