Artist: Alex Spalding
Title: Dead Pulse
Genre: Industrial/ Experimental/ Noise
02 Coagulative Response Fluid
04 Atrophied Cognition
06 Seduction (prolonged)
"Absence of rhythm is absence of life" is the last line of a philosophical statement that is found in the inner sleeve of a physical copy of "Dead Pulse". Emphasis on the word PHYSICAL here because Mr. Spalding has had one significant nightmare after another trying to get his tunes and the tunes of others off the ground, and in succession, into cyberspace. Due to the imperfections of even the most sophisticated of (currently) modern technology, there has unfortunately indeed been some "absence of rhythm" due to some big problems. The hiatus of Alex's Noise-Joy Netlabel, the crashing of a hard drive containing all of the label's material, and, sadly, the end of the netlabel altogether. A real shame, but I guess this makes my Noise-Joy.org sticker that much more special now that the url has been coldheartedly taken over. Oh, well. But this just goes to show you how important actual releases really are, the whole experience of somehow coming up with money, sending money away in one form or another, and getting back a nice CD, cassette, record, what have you (or they). I found it so admirable that Alex declared on his myspace profile that Noise-Joy will not see an end because of all its current troubles, that fifty or so copies of whatever it is will continue to be burned and sold, and that despite the obvious marginal profit margin, his dedication to the artists he represents as well as his own project is unwavering.
"Dead Pulse" is a great ambassador of sorts for the Noise-Joy label, especially because it is upbeat, original, and shows the ample spectrum of what A. Spalding is capable of. The tracks are full of fresh sounding textures, the best being in tracks like "Playground", which has, among its aggressive, heavy electronic bass pulse, different playful flutters of synth sequence and swirls. But aside form the experimental side of things, there is a good helping of dance beats and movement in tracks like "Coagulative Response Fluid" and "Ovum", both having clean and tight sounds like distorted electronic snares, pounding digital bass, and subtractive synth percussion. What I love the most about these danceable songs is that they are NOT 4/4! They are more breakbeat style, not as fast, but not boring and uninventive either. "Atrophied Cognition" is another track that needs mentioning because it is the noisiest of them all, the one with the most digital characteristics. It is so much like Andy of Atrox's work on "White Rooms", even down to the only sound indicative of time-signature, something of a metal on metal percussion.
And finally, one more let down to be thrown out there... It seems that one track was omitted from this album. A long one, too. What would have been the longest track from this work I could have had the pleasure to review entitled "I'm Going To Die" is not on the disc I received. The funny but weird part about this is that the sleeve and tray card have been intentionally printed with the track name, but crossed out with a red line. Not with a marker or pen, but looks to be an actual part of the layout submitted for printing. Its even got an asterisk to further taunt me! Could this be because it is a promo? It would say so. Creative differences between the collaborating artist known as Noiser and Alex? I know not... But it doesn't take away from how good this album is.