Monday, May 30, 2011

pulseprogramming - "Charade Is Gold" (2011) [Audraglint Records]

It would appear that today is nostalgic post-punk day here at The Inarguable, and with good reason. Small, Kranky-affiliated Oregon label Audraglint quietly released Chicago juggernaut pulseprogramming's seventh full length LP "Charade Is Gold" earlier this month, and it's pretty awesome. For those of us who haven't heard of this fantastic group, pulseprogramming has been around for at least a decade, centered around multi-instrumentalist Marc Hellner, who us slowcore fanatics might know from Chicago band l'Altra. Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of pulseprogramming's existence is collaborative member Joel Kiske, who handles video and film duties, taking pulseprogramming out of the realm of "just a music group," but rather something more. I've always found the inclusion of a visual member to add to a band's mystique and distinction, much like Justin Graham's haunting and memorable visuals adding to Neurosis's extreme live intensity.

Charade Is Gold recalls the post-Joy Division, early 1980s punk scene, but with a modern sense of atmosphere and dreaminess. Think Souvlaki-era Slowdive covering songs off of New Order's first few albums; dance-infused beats and catchy basslines coupled with dreamy synthesizers and intermingled voices. Each track sounds like a magnificent sunset over a flower garden, but in the least cheesy way possible. Imagine if Portishead wrote "Dummy" while blissfully content instead of morose, grey and frustrated...but with loads more synthesizer. I definitely enjoy how reserved and calm this album is; most newer post-punk bands concentrate more on emotional intensity and less-than-successfully recreating an Ian Curtis-like vocal atmosphere (they normally sound like they're trying to vomit - don't they ever learn?).

pulseprogramming exists in their own little world, and it's working just fine. I can definitely see Charade Is Gold accompanying midday bike rides, reading in the backyard, or just relaxing and thinking of lost time and old friends. It's coldwave without being cold, so I guess we'll call it warmwave. Since post-punk is something that can be approached with hesitation, I can see fans of Sigur Ros or The Album Leaf getting into this one as well, so, please, look into this one!

Be sure to pick up one of the 700 LP pressing here at Audraglint's webpage, and I certainly wouldn't complain if one of you kind folks out there bought me a copy as well!


1 comment:

  1. I really enjoy how you don't do just metal reviews. Your taste is quite eclectic and it really is what brings me back to read your reviews over and over again. Well done.


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