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Austere "Pulse"
The third in a series of works utilizing the principles of Brainwave Encoding.

With the release of "Pulse" on the Hypnos Secret Sounds label, Austere return once again to the idea of Brainwave Encoding as explored on their earlier releases "Convergence" and "Eco". On "Pulse" the idea is put forth that by the subtle application of alpha waves (soundwaves created through oscillating tones between 8 and 12 hertz) the listener will be moved into a relaxed state paired with a greater level of creativity.

So is "Pulse" successful in influencing this creative state? I'd say yes, yes it is. I don't have the proper facilities to measure actual brain activity, but I can certainly feel my body relax as I listen to the disc, an almost meditative calm coming over me. And I'm well aware that I'm more productive, more successful in performing when I'm in a calm mood, so I could easily make the connection that I would be more creative in this state of mind. I'll have to listen some more to fully gauge the effects that "Pulse" has on me, but for now I'd say that the potential is there, and dependent on how I apply myself while listening I have faith that it would influence my creative juices. If nothing else I'd believe it because Austere told me that it would influence my creative flow, and I'm hard pressed to believe that they would kid me about something like that. I trust them on this...

But what does it sound like? Well, if you're familiar with Austere's earlier work you probably already know that it's wonderful, beautiful, mysterious and fully engaging. In the beginning there's a tone that rises and swells, drifting back and forth into silence. It's calming, tranquil, almost like waves, and it lulls you into a new space, a new environment where you can't help but relax and let go of the tensions that you carry around with you. Sounds slowly rise throughout the course of the disc, reaching a peak and then leveling off, ending very similarly to the beginning, with a steady pulse that rises and falls again, a circular form that brings us back to the same spot, a pulse. Throughout its course you can't help but feel that the music surrounds you and fills your senses like fluid flowing through your body. With this in mind I suspect then that the disc's title is more likely to be connected to blood and the associated essence of life, than to the pulse of soundwaves. So sure am I in this belief that there are times during this disc where I'm positive that if I listen hard enough I can hear the sound of birth and death, perhaps even the universe being born. Or maybe that's just my imagination being stimulated by the subtle influence of alpha waves...

Austere have always been an ambitious duo, a pair of musicians who challenge ideas in new and exciting ways. "Pulse" is another fine example of their work, a disc that not only creates an environment for the listener to exist within, but also influences the way that the listener reacts to that environment. It's an additional step in the listening process that displays an attention to detail and a desire to provide a complete experience for their listeners, and in that regard Austere deserve to be commended for going above and beyond the call of duty. Certainly this is a duo who are reaping the benefits of alpha wave induced creativity.

rik - ping things

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page last updated 11/13/07