Pulse technique is a very scientific approach to making music which causes it to be classed as “experimental,” but in truth all music is just a series of sound pluses in varying degrees and at varying frequencies. Pulse musicians just happen to use the most literal form of this to make their songs. There are few of these scientist/artists, and 061180, aka John Parnell, is most likely the only one from Birmingham Alabama. Nonetheless, he is giving other experimental artists who use the pulse technique, such as German pioneer Merzbow, a run for their money with his new album, I’m Considering Being a Cloud.
061180 has a full nine releases on his Bandcamp page in just two years, though I’m Considering Being a Cloud and another new release, Rev. Queen Daddy are the only two full albums. I’m Considering Being a Cloud is set up so that some songs are connected to each other while others are independent. The interconnected songs seem to tell muted, ambient stories while the single songs appear to operate almost as random musical entities. The album starts off very slowly, with two tracks so ambient and sparse that in the first few minutes of opening track “Fiction” is silent. It builds so quietly that one might think there is something wrong with the speakers. Other songs like “Eat Your Makeup” are punched, poignant and loud, providing a contrast for the largely ambient intro songs.
The pulse technique in electronic music is incredibly difficult to master and requires laser-point accuracy, especially when creating the faster, more articulated songs like “Eat Your Makeup” or “Satan’s Kazoo.” John Parnell clearly has an incredible amount of patience and attention to detail to create such diversified and complex sounds with this method. Half science, half art and all technique, 061180 is poised to become the next star of the experimental music scene, albeit a very small scene. I’m Considering Being a Cloud is available to stream now on 061180’s Bandcamp page along with Parnell’s many other releases.