Pulseprogramming Charade Is Gold

Pulseprogramming Charade Is Gold
Pulseprogramming are the collaborative project of musicians Joel Kriske and Marc Hellner and visual artists Hans Seeger and Eric Johnson, with poet Joel Craig writing the lyrics and Chanel Pease providing additional vocals. Originally from Portland, OR, the members are now spread between Chicago, Portland and Milwaukee, and have been releasing music for over a decade on independent electronic label Aesthetics. With its ambient synth washes under synth-pop beats and maudlin vocal delivery akin to Ian Curtis, without the requisite gravitas, the resulting sound on Charade is Gold is midway between Ulrich Schnauss and early New Order. Although fine on paper, it lacks the sense of artistic focus and distinctiveness needed to give this release any of the impact it needs. It might well be more engaging in a live setting with the visuals present, but as a standalone album it fails to be much more than background music. (Audraglint)