Arcane (3) ‎– Pulse

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aetheralchemist82

aetheralchemist82

August 19, 2017
edited about 1 year ago
referencing Pulse, 10xFile, FLAC, Album, none

Those who are familiar with Arcane will likely also know that they are a fictional band created by UK musician, producer, and synthesist Paul Lawler. With "Pulse", Lawler has further expanded on the fabricated backstory by composing a soundtrack to a nonexistent movie, a thematically interesting approach to a genre that sadly only rarely deviates from space-based inspiration of one kind or another. When working under his Arcane pseudonym, Lawler primarily concentrates on composing music that is heavily and unashamedly inspired by Tangerine Dream (usually bearing the influence of their Virgin years period more than any other), and unlike most of the many imitators that have followed in TD's footsteps over the years, Lawler actually manages to match and even surpass the quality of the German electronic pioneers' output with an impressive degree of frequency. As with the majority of Lawler's work, "Pulse" is a very solid effort in nearly every respect -- production values, sound design, and compositional structure are all of an admirably high calibre, and the album contains not a single track that fails to satisfy. Whether it's the sublime melancholia of a song like "Aftermath", the superbly diverse and melodically euphoric "Route 216", or the gradually unfolding and sequencer-heavy intrigue of "The Kabushian Connection", Lawler seems to have a deep well of creativity from which to draw. If there's any criticism that could legitimately be leveled at Lawler, it would be that his compositions can at times feel somewhat constrained and sapped of their visceral potency by a certain overly calculated approach to the composition process, a tendency that it would seem is common amongst classically trained musicians (Lawler studied at Manchester's Chetham's School of Music in the mid-90's). This compositional approach seems to be a double-edged sword, however, as it is no doubt also this sophisticated grasp of musical structure that enables Lawler to infuse his pieces with an ingenuity and intricacy that Tangerine Dream themselves only rarely achieved. Recommended unreservedly to any fans of the genre, or of well-constructed instrumental music in general.