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posted by JC

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Californian Tim Gray, recording as Ethernet, finds a most agreeable balance in his truly enchanting ambient release entitled “144 Pulsations of Light,” released on Kranky, could not be more appropriately titled. In conjunction with the artist’s name itself one can envision a stretch of tangled glowing wire, slowly pulsing in a dark room, sending a constant code through its length to no receiver in particular. As if the sender or recipient matters – the light and messages evaporate into thin air in their slow rhythm, the constant flashes curling into a warm nothingness at the edges.

With a lack of its certain charm, this album could have ended up as a bland muddle of drones and stock pads, but an interesting duality lends originality and cohesion. Gray uses sustained, warm tones, evolving into complex and lush electronic landscapes. He juxtaposes this texture with almost-microhouse beats underneath, drenched in reverb and suspended in air yet giving regularity to the undulating waves of drones. The effect is perfect: Gray subtly brings the beats and evolution of the sound in and out, unfolding in captivating detail, comforting like the strange but familiar breathing of diodes in the dark.

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